Don’t do it in a car
Recently I’ve seen a list of things you shouldn’t do in the car. I found them very interesting and of course, some are obvious.
The first one might really surprise you – don’t put your feet up on the dashboard while riding in the passenger seat. I rarely do this because something usually starts to hurt, so I have to take my feet down. It’s probably what you do when you’re taking a long trip and boredom hits. Sometimes the passenger just wants to change things!
I have a friend who liked to do this. Her husband does all the driving and she relaxes with her feet up. Recently she pointed out to me how dangerous this was and that she misses being able to ride that way.
I have driven past people and have seen them relaxing that way. But here’s what a Georgia woman had to say about it: “Don’t prop your feet up on the dashboard, it could break your body for life!” Now that’s a pretty firm statement. It seems that airbags deploy at a speed of 100 to 200 miles an hour and she says that could send your knees into your eye sockets in the event of a crash. This message is a frightening one, but just two years ago Audrey Tatum had her legs crossed in the passenger seat with one foot on the dashboard, when she was involved in a crash. It deployed the airbag sending her foot into her face.
The result is she broke her nose, ankle, femur and arm. Years later, she still walks with a limp and can’t stand for a long period of time. When the collision happened, she had no time to move. Basically, her whole right side was broken, simply because she couldn’t put her foot down in time. Her body is full of screws and rods to this day and her goal is to help make people aware they should not ride with their feet on the dashboard.
My friend’s revelation led me to look up other things you shouldn’t do in a car. For instance, you shouldn’t fard while driving. No, I didn’t spell that wrong. That is an actual word meaning applying cosmetics to your face. For women this might include lipstick and other make-up. So don’t drive and fard.
I may have occasionally been guilty of this when I’m stopped for a long time, perhaps waiting for a train or something where I’m not actually driving. There’s nothing else to do, so why not check and see if you have lipstick on. You know that mirror is just so handy right there above your head. Why not multi-task!
I think the advice here is that you shouldn’t do this while you’re driving the car, meaning while you’re steering and it’s moving.
Another on the list – don’t drink alcohol, take illegal drugs or smoke in the car. Of course, these are obvious to most, but let me get to that last one. Many people don’t smoke anymore and certainly most wouldn’t do it in a car because they know how bad it is for those around them. But many years ago it was common to ride in the car with smokers. Sometimes they would crack the window and sometimes not. The smoke would fill up the car. Occasionally, those of us who weren’t smoking would choke. The passenger’s clothes and hair would certainly all smell like smoke when they got out. Don’t do this whether driving or not. Thank heavens those days are over.
Another on the list is – don’t eat food that’s likely to spill while driving. Certainly a spill in the car is distracting and then you’re not paying attention to driving, but instead worried about cleaning up the car. I do like to eat in my car. That would be more of my multi-tasking. I can drive and have a snack before I get there and save time.
Then there’s this – don’t talk on a cellphone without a hands-free device and don’t text while driving. This is a much talked about problem. I see it all the time and often a car will be weaving in the lane in front of me. When I pull up next to it, the driver is talking on their phone or texting. I do have a hands-free device in my car and I do talk while driving, however, I’m not sure its actually less distracting than holding onto the phone itself. For some of us, communication has become ultimately important!
This might seem obvious, but the next on the list is – don’t read a book while driving. I have a friend who used to drive long distances for his business. He would actually read a book while he was driving. He told me he put it on the steering wheel and read. Oh my gosh! I’m pretty sure he doesn’t do that anymore, especially since there are so many ways to listen to a recorded book now. Oh let’s hope he’s done with that!
The last one on the list is – don’t engage in sexual activity in the car while driving. Oh my gosh! I just have nothing to say about that.
(Melanie Behrens – firstname.lastname@example.org)
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