Light Notes

Driving old or texting, which is more dangerous?

Which is scarier: Driving while texting or driving while old?

This question suddenly came to the forefront of my baby boomer thoughts on our recent vacation.

Disguised in my sporty Eclipse — it shouts, “We’re not old!” — my husband, Bill, and I drove incognito across 6 states. We casually joined the throngs who looked askance at gray-hairs driving huge motorhomes. Our lips curved into smiles. They were obviously driving “old.”

But not us! We were cool, in control, and most importantly, “with it.” This was apparent to anyone glancing at our speeding car, my iPhone resting on my lap and Bluetooth draped over one ear.

Even when we were among the “40-somethings” in Sacramento rush hour traffic who texted and talked, we bore down on bumpers like everyone else. Our quickness and agility at dodging potholes and ruts on the California highways aligned us with the best of drivers. No way would there be a reason for any pointing fingers or clucking tongues directed at us.

As we swooped across lanes while listening to the drone of our GPS and book on tape, we abruptly realized we couldn’t multitask.

“Oh no!” Bill exclaimed as he slammed on the brakes, swerving and skidding into the median of an interchange; one freeway heading south and the other going east.

“I should be over there!” his words lost in the rumble of our sliding car.

Within an instant, the car leaped forward across dirt, gravel and weeds as we jumped the curb and rejoined traffic. Mortified, I couldn’t bear looking out the window to see who was dodging us or pointing their finger. Instead I kept my mouth shut and clutched my iPhone, my fingers flying on the keyboard.

From where I sat, it seemed that texting was safer than “driving old.”