Gambling is part of the human condition. People flock to Las Vegas to risk losing a small amount of money to have a chance at winning big. Many times, the end result is losing big, while winning nothing.
This same risk behavior analysis occurs when people text while driving. Most who text while driving believe that they can do so safely—after all, they’ve done it before and nothing bad happened. This type of gambling, even if one has gotten away with it before, is far riskier than losing money in Las Vegas.
When we text while driving, in the two or more seconds of focusing our attention on the cell phone instead of the road, we are gambling that something unexpected will not happen.
We are gambling that a small child will not at that moment dart across the street chasing a ball.
We are gambling that the large van in front of us, which had been going 40 miles per hour, is not going to suddenly veer off into the left turn bay, immediately exposing us to a stopped row of cars.
We are gambling that the green light we were approaching isn’t going to turn yellow the instant we train our eyes on our cell phone, leaving us in a position to run a red light at the intersection.
We are gambling that the mother and her two small children who were not very noticeable when they started walking across the unmarked crosswalk will be able to see that we are not being safe drivers and will somehow avoid a catastrophe for herself and her children.
We are also gambling that the driver next to us is going to be paying attention to the road, and not to a cell phone, and is going to avoid causing a sudden emergency to which we would be unable to respond because of our momentary focus on texting.
Texting While Driving Illegal in Tucson
Yes, laws across the country are changing, so that texting, or even reading a text, will be illegal. On April 1, 2012, a new ordinance will take effect in Tucson, Arizona, that will make it illegal to text or read a text while driving.
However, we should avoid texting while driving not only because of the new law, but also because eventually, such gambling can cause us to lose everything. The safest bet while driving is to expect the unexpected, and to focus exclusively on driving.
By Louis Hollingsworth