My belief is that the Digital Video Recorder, or DVR, not the cell phone, is the major reason for today’s distracted driver. You ask, the DVR? I say yes and before you tune me out as yet another loon talking about the foibles of driving carelessly, let me explain why I believe what I do.
WHEN I WAS A KID…this is the point where the eyes of my three teenagers glaze over and their minds head off into a land that I no longer remember nor do I want to. So let me start again. When I was a kid the idea of a DVR was just a gleam in the eye of some NASA engineer hoping that one day he would be rich, rich, rich! Television controlled your life. You worked your life around its schedule. You paid attention to your watch, your surroundings, time of day, sunrise and sunset to gauge when your favorite show was on. In early June around sunset on Sunday you knew it was about 7:00 and it was time to watch Jim wrestle alligators and lions on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom while Marlin Perkins stood safely in the studio watching Jim’s arm being torn from its socket.More importantly it meant that the Wonderful World of Disney would be on next and provide the hope of catching just a glimpse of Annette Funicello!
To make all of that happen, you had to pay attention or you would miss the show and it would be forever gone. There was no DVR to record and save it for your purview later.Many of the drivers today have never experienced life without a DVR. They have never had to plan their day around a television show. If Nickelodeon is showing a One Direction concert at 7:00, just hit record. If Iron Man 3 comes to an end and you want to watch it all over just click ‘Play Again’. You missed the hilarious punchline from Brian Regan? No problem, a simple pause, rewind, and play and, voila, there it is! The current generation has been instilled with a sense that if you don’t pay attention, no big worry, just rewind and play it over.
Unfortunately, life does not have a DVR. As life moves along and you miss something, well that moment is gone forever and you don’t get to do it over. You may get to repeat it but it is not the same moment, it is a copy of a previous moment. As a result a mistake cannot be erased. Whatever happens you will live through the consequences of the action, or inaction, you performed. That includes good and bad.
So when you see that driver, old or young, carelessly driving down the road with phone to ear, texting and reading texts, putting on makeup or shaving, at 70 MPH, with traffic all around, it may not just be stupidity (although that still rates pretty high on the Darwin scale). It may be that the person believes that life is just like television with a DVR, if you miss something you can hit Pause, Rewind and Replay and get a different result. The issue being that is not even close to reality. A moment of inattention, loss of focus, distraction at 60 MPH, or even at 25 MPH, will eventually result in a wreck and the results can be devastating. Maybe it is just the loss of a car but the mistake can easily be much more serious. Your inattention may result in a life changing injury or even death, your own, or possibly worse, the person you hit. While the mobile phone gets all of the blame, and it has earned much of it, I do not place all the fault on the phone itself. I believe it starts with the mentality that comes from using a DVR. People truly believe it is fine to be inattentive because when you miss something you can just do it over.
That’s the thing about cars and do overs, the two together don’t exist…