Thursday, September 3, 2009

Deadly Distractions

This week I had to take the Fleet Defense Alert online driving course to get certified to drive a 15 person passenger van. First of all, the name itself is scary--FLEET DEFENSE ALERT. It sounds like a homeland security buzzword. The course has 9 modules and was SUPPOSED to take 90 minutes to complete. It has taken me FOUR days.

Day 1 was spent figuring out how to get the modules to open. This required an emergency visit from a computer fairy who magically reconfigured my computer. Apparently cookies paralyze the modules. I'm not a computer genius, but I'm guessing these aren't the chocolate chip kind.

Next I patiently listened to an annoying MALE voice tell me how easy it would be to crash and roll my vehicle killing every one of my passengers. The annoying male voice even gave me some statistics to back up his claim. His voice was so cheerful and upbeat, while delivering his gloom and doom schpeal, that I immediately had thoughts of rolling my vehicle over him, crushing him to death.

I successfully complete the first 4 modules and find that NONE of my scores have been recorded and now I have to start all over again! We are now into DAY 3.

Deadly Distractions--this is the title of the 5th module. Did you know that cell phones are a distraction and cause 33,000 injuries and 2600 deaths annually? Did you know that driving while distracted is as risky as driving intoxicated? I wonder what the statistics are for driving while distracted and intoxicated?

I learned that I should NOT check out the hot guy in the other car or watch for signs leading to garage sales, since both of these are considered DEADLY DISTRACTIONS. I learned that I can no longer shower, shave, get dressed, put on make-up and blow dry my hair while driving. (Ok--so I don't really do this, but statistics show that 8% of deadly distraction accidents are caused by shaving while driving, 8% due to hair styling and 20% due to make-up) I'm wondering what you do with the shaving cream?

Mr. Annoying does not say how many accidents are caused by turning around and YELLING at your children while driving. This I do A LOT.

The embarrassing part of this story is that I FAIL this module. I FAIL because I was too DISTRACTED. Always in proper multi-tasking mode, I was checking email, facebook, texting, filing my nails and editing my syllabus all during my training.

Despite my failure, I take comfort in the fact that only 29% of accidents are caused by distracted drivers. I have the odds on my side.

The following phrase is indelibly imprinted/scarred? upon my brain:


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