Opinion: A driving concern

Like many Americans, I spend way too much time in my car. Offices are scattered across a two county area and we have yet to fully adapt to video conferencing as an alternative to old-school drive time. Certainly, face-to-face communication is superior to the over-the-wire kind, but it does demand more than a moment behind the wheel. Public transportation is big in some towns. And many boast of a highly developed private operation too. Cabs and companies like Uber meet the needs of commuters moving around without the benefit of a personal vehicle.

We residents of Central Indiana remain somewhat constrained in our options. So like so many of my fellow Hoosiers, I work to make the best of a suboptimal situation. During the drive time, I schedule return calls (yes, I use Bluetooth and take extra caution trying to restrict my calls to highway time) and plan ahead to have a problem that requires thought. With the radio switched off, the quiet allows for one to ponder in a way that is nearly impossible in a busy office or home. But even with careful preparation, there are occasions during the week when the road and radio are my only compatriots.

Why is it that my regard for a cause is significantly reduced if the driver in front of me with a bumper sticker or two proclaiming to be a protagonist for the issue is a terrible driver? Why do we disdain people who drive erratically because they are: drinking hot coffee, eating a sandwich, talking on the phone, looking for something in the backseat, caring for a dog/child/stuffed animal, reading a book, putting on makeup, or just generally disinterested in the task (all things I’ve seen personally) – and yet why don’t we hold ourselves to the same standard?