Archive for October 2009
Have you noticed the recent spike in gas prices? I remember just a week or so ago gas at my local Kangaroo station was about $2.20 and today it’s up to $2.49. I’m a gas-cynic so I tried to think of which upcoming travel holiday was responsible. Nothing came to mind and Columbus Day, while a federal holiday, just doesn’t bring road trips and getaways to mind. What gives?
Apparently I’m not the only one who noticed; the Associated Press had a story about it this morning. According to the article, the rise in prices has to do with a weak dollar and a decrease in production.
I guess the only silver lining is that the rise in prices held off until we don’t need to use our cars’ air conditioning much.
A couple evenings ago I left class and walked to the parking deck to find my poor Cavalier wedged between an SUV and a little sedan. They parked so close I don’t think I could even slide my hand in the door, much less the rest of me.
Now what? It occurred to me I have no idea what to do in this situation. Call campus police? So I went to the student center to get a snack hoping at least one of the cars would leave in the next few minutes. It worked, believe it or not. Whoever you are, thank you for moving.
As a final note, I’ll say what bothers me most is that the person parked on my passenger side would never have been able to exit their car on their driver side. They would have to know that they’ve parked way to close.
Please don’t trap my car.
According to The New York Times, President Obama signed an executive order yesterday banning federal employees from texting while driving.
“The order covers federal employees when they are using government-provided cars or cellphones and when they are using their own phones and cars to conduct government business.”
I don’t want to get too deep into politics on this blog, but I will say that texting while driving is a topic I feel strongly about. I don’t think anyone, however skilled at texting and/or driving, should try to type a message into a handheld device while they are in control of a potentially dangerous moving vehicle. Even if you trust yourself not to lose control or sway out of your lane, you cannot trust the drivers around you to not do something unexpected. I believe if your eyes and mind are on your phone, you may lose critical seconds that are necessary to react and avoid injury in such a case.
Because I drive around seven hours weekly for school alone, I have had plenty of opportunities to have “near misses” with drivers who, due to distraction or sudden mechanical failure, do something unexpected, causing me to need to adjust my driving quickly. You, no doubt, have seen plenty of these incidents during your travels as well.
With all of that said, I’m not necessarily in favor of or opposed to new laws to regulate which distractions drivers can and cannot engage in. I do think everyone should decide for himself that his safety, the safety of his passengers, and the safety of drivers or pedestrians around him, is more important than a conversation occurring 160 characters at a time.
What are your thoughts on the safety of texting while driving? Do you think laws are necessary?