Yesterday I was driving along and decided to use my after market AM/FM receiver Ipod
interface to listen to some music. Unfortunately I, like most people, am not fortunate
enough to have a new enough car with a built in plug and dash Ipod interface. And let
me tell you, it turned me into a dangerous driver.
I believe the interface for the Ipod is a little piece on industrial art. But easy to
access while driving it is not. Scrolling up and down my 3500 songs I swerved and weaved
as I bounced between Soundgarden and The Smasing Pumpkins. (How did the Spice Girls get in
But I am not alone in my concern over electronic driver distraction. While the most heavily
cited distraction cited for causing accidents is eating while driving, the use of electronics
is not far behind. So much so that General Motors and The University of Illinois are teaming
up for a three year $1.6 million dollar study of what kind of solutions there are to people
being distracted by the use of electronic gadgets in the car. Based on my experience, I
hope there will be a section devoted to Ipod usage, and not just more of the same "Cell
Phones are dangerous while driving" nonsense. Not that talking on the phone isn't unsafe,
but I just think staring at your Ipod screen trying to find a song is EXCEEDINGLY unsafe.
So there, I will now make a vow NEVER to use my Ipod in the car. I will have to wait until
I get a new car with steering wheel mounted, directly interfaced controls. I think other
people should too.
Just so you know, here are the top distractions to drivers according to the Drive For Life
campaign. I wonder if they count Ipod usage in the category with CD/cassette players and
2. CD/Cassette Players and Radio
7. Cell phones
8. Personal grooming