Toledo boasts sections of I-75 that twist and turn for several miles, creating additional hazards for those who drive this treacherous highway. While I was driving on the freeway today, traffic suddenly stopped just before the South Avenue exit. I put my hazards on in an effort to help warn drivers behind me coming around the curve.
As I looked in my rearview mirror, I clearly saw the driver of a Chevy Blazer yakking on his cellphone. He realized almost too late that traffic was stopped, slammed on his brakes, and skidded on the wet pavement into a parabola, winding up facing 180 degrees in the wrong direction. Miraculously, the driver somehow avoided hitting any other cars, and came within inches of smacking the cement wall on the shoulder.
He missed my car by perhaps twenty yards, so the scene was more surreal than scary. The interesting moment to me, though, was when he finally turned his truck around and drove past me to get onto the exit ramp for South Avenue.
True to form, the twit was still talking on his cell phone.
Now, I am far from someone who is a fan of extra legislation, but there are definite risks associated with drivers on their cell phones. The problem has a name - "cell phone distraction" - and it is responsible for 2,600 deaths and 330,000 injuries in the United States every year.
Turn your phones off while driving, folks, and if you need to make an emergency call, pull off the road. The idiot with the cellular I saw today came within perhaps a half-second of smoking my car in the rear at 70 miles an hour, and you might have been reading my obituary instead of a blog rant.