Lawyering While Driving
It took over 20 years of driving, but the odds eventually caught up: I got into a car accident. More accurately, I caused a car crash.
I took my eyes off the road for a split second to look at a contract sitting on the passenger seat (yes, I did it) and slammed right into the car in front of me. There were no injuries aside from a minor ding on my head, but there was some nasty damage.
On balance, I was ridiculously lucky.
During my 20-minute drive into the office this morning, I saw:
- 2 people texting, neither of whom were keeping up with the speed of traffic;
- 3 women putting on makeup (1 was also juggling coffee);
- At least 5 people talking on their cell;
- 1 person who looked as though he was wearing ear buds and rocking out to some Van Halen; and
- 1 guy reading some sort of document at a signal, glancing between the document and the road as the light turned green (read: doing exactly what I was doing in my own wreck).
It wasn’t very comforting.
Some stats, courtesy www.distraction.gov:
- 20 percent of injury crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving.
- Drivers who use hand-held devices are 4x as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.
- Using a cell phone while driving, whether it’s hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a 0.08 percent blood alcohol concentration.
At Rocket Matter we spend a lot of time with smart lawyers, all of whom are ridiculously pressured and busy. Too much to do and not enough time to do it. The temptation to “lawyer while driving”, to squeeze in a little work behind the wheel is high, no question. However, we’d respectfully ask that while you’re driving that you think twice before taking that call, or wait just a few minutes to respond to that text. If it really can’t wait, pull over for a minute. The statistics are scary, and they do tend to catch up.
We sincerely want our community to be happy, productive, and safe.
So, in the words of Sergeant Esterhaus: Let’s be careful out there.