Fun with Texters

In Texas, it is illegal to text and drive simultaneously.  This law has created a new class of idiots criminals: People who text while driving, with their phones in their laps to avoid the phones being seen by Police.  These are about the worst-driven cars on the road, but only because nobody is driving them.  A human is at the wheel, but they are not driving, they are heads-down interacting with their mobiles.

A common stratagem employed by these fools is to drive close enough to the car in front of them that said car in front can be seen in their peripheral vision while they are looking down.  They speed to catch up to a car, then slow when they are within a couple of carlengths of the car before them.  This means that I can clearly see in my rearview they are not driving as they pull up behind my car.  They glance up occasionally as a cursory form of making sure they are not upside-down in a ditch yet, but otherwise I can tell they are busy with more important* things than piloting 2 000 kg steel missiles at 75 miles an hour.

They are not concerned with the speed they are driving.  They are barely concerned enough to keep any space between our cars.  This of course is an unsafe condition.  My usual recourse when dealing with tailgaters is to let off the gas pedal and gently decelerate.  Most people get the message before we hit the legal minimum speed.  TXT MSG buddies eventually get the hint too, but they are more amusing.

You see, when you make a texting “driver” stop texting and pay attention to the road, you are intruding on their consciousness. Who invited slow-driver to the texting party?  Keep half an eye on your rear view mirror, and you can see them look up more often, then watch as they get visibly irritated as they figure out you have slowed, then that you have slowed just for them, then that they have to drag themselves away from their 3/16″ keys and move their 12′ car around to find a faster gate to tail.

Then, usually, I stand on the gas and they don’t get to pass until well over the speed limit – but then they’re off like a shot and well out of the danger zone – for me, anyway.


*Things like “LOL j/k” are obviously more important than, say, not running a van full of nuns off a bridge.  Duh.


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