There was a story in the Toronto Star earlier this week about how 100 drivers a day fail to stop behind the open doors of a streetcar, putting them at risk of hitting a disembarking passenger.
So what’s one the big reasons for the failure to stop?
Cell phones. Yup, drivers are so busy yacking away that they often fail to see a large, red public transportation vehicle come to a stop ahead of them.
Why people in many places are still allowed to drive and talk is a mystery. There’s no way you can truly focus on driving if part of your brain is paying attention somewhere else. People who check their Blackberrys are even worse.
The lack of focus is becoming a pandemic. Rather than paying attention to the task at hand, we’re distracting ourselves on purpose.
Along with cell phones, Blackberrys, iPhones et al, one of the biggest distraction culprits is the iPod. People plug in and tune out as they walk, bike and take the bus, subway and streetcar – oblivious to their surroundings.
As I ride back and forth to work on my bike, I’m shocked that so many people ride while listening to their iPods. They can’t even hear me coming alongside them, let along a car. Given how little respect Toronto drivers give bicyclists, the last thing I’d do as a bicyclists is not be completely focused on the task at hand.
Perhaps multi-tasking is to blame. We live in a world where doing more than one thing at a time is totally acceptable. How can anyone be super productive if they’re only doing one thing at a time?
Truth be told, we all need to focus on being focused – be it driving, biking or working.