Life can get quite busy for many of us. One way to handle this is to multitask. But not the way Mr Bean did when he was getting late for work.
Life can get quite busy for many of us. There just aren’t enough hours in the day for everything we want to do. One way to handle this is to multitask. Multitasking, according to Dictionary.com, is “the carrying out of two or more tasks at the same time by one person.” Uber Eats defines it as “the carrying out of two or more orders of Chinese food at the same time by one person.”
I love multitasking. In fact, I am multitasking right now. I am writing this column while watching football on TV. Yes, watching football qualifies as a ‘task’. Anything you want to do (or need to do) is a ‘task’. Just don’t tell your spouse or partner that spending time with them is a ‘task’. Otherwise, you might have the ‘task’ of finding another partner.
Watching football is a task that I often combine with other tasks: running on a treadmill, doing the dishes, even taking a bath (not all at the same time). It helps that I can watch football on my phone. But here’s what I never do: I never, ever watch anything on my phone while driving.
This is common sense. But common sense is not as common as we’d like it to be. Some people actually watch movies or videos while driving. They think they are masters of multitasking, but they’re on the verge of being masters of disasters.
Taking your eyes off the road while driving is just not wise. It’s cute when a kid riding a bicycle takes his hands off the handlebar and says, “Look Ma, no hands.” But it’s not that cute when an adult driving a car says, “Look Ma, no eyes.”
There is a reason why we are required to pass a vision test to get a driver’s license. It’s important to be able to spot objects on the road. Wearing glasses or contact lenses can help us see better. But unfortunately, scientists have not yet come up with something we can wear over our brains.
A man named Venkat recently shared a video on X that showed an Uber driver in Mumbai multitasking. The driver, apparently unaware that his passenger was recording his multitasking, kept glancing down at a phone on his lap to watch a movie or show, while wearing wireless earphones.
Uber India responded to Venkat and seemed very interested in identifying the driver and sending him home to catch up on his movie-watching. Unfortunately, he’s not the only driver who’s putting entertainment ahead of safety. Another X user wrote that his wife had a similar experience with an Uber driver. “There is risky driving and there is totally foolish driving,” he wrote. “Watching videos while driving comes in the utter foolish category.”
It’s cute when a kid riding a bicycle takes his hands off the handlebar and says, “Look Ma, no hands.” But it’s not that cute when an adult driving a car says, “Look Ma, no eyes.”
Let me break down these categories so they are clear to everyone:
Risky driving category: This includes speeding, glancing at your phone to see a text message, and driving with your dog on your lap. Any type of distraction, including arguing with a passenger, could fall into the risky driving category.
Foolish driving category: This includes applying makeup while driving, typing a text message on your phone, and writing a column while driving (I’ve never done this). Also in this category: driving while you’re sleep deprived, and brushing your teeth while driving (with apologies to Mr. Bean).
Totally foolish driving category: This includes watching a movie on your phone, driving while intoxicated, and doing yoga while driving. Also in this category: getting any type of physical stimulation while driving, whether from a partner or not.
If only we could build a special highway for drivers who keep falling into the last category. We can call it the Totally Foolish Expressway.
Then we might be able to smile when we see headlines like these: ‘Driver Watching Movie Collides with Driver Doing Zumba’. ‘Ambulance Driver Multitasks, Carrying Away Two Numbskulls at the Same Time.’
Photo of kid riding bike: Courtesy Pexels