By Siddharth Prasad

siddharth prasad metal communicationsI used to be able to point at a car from among traffic and sexistly pronounce, “That’s being driven by a woman.” Any ladies in the car with me would, of course, immediately assault me with cries of ‘MCP’ etc.; but in eight cases out of ten, I’d be right.

Now this isn’t a comment on the driving abilities of women – probably just a statistical coincidence. It’s just that there are certain recognizable driving quirks that were more commonly observed (at least by me) among women drivers.

Telltale signs like a car being driven 5 or 10 kmph slower than surrounding traffic; or being driven half in one lane and half in another, oblivious to all honking; or a car that suddenly swerved across without warning – I was just spotting these symptoms and passing judgment. With, like I mentioned, 80% accuracy. Probably just, I hasten to repeat, a statistical coincidence.

In any case, it’s no longer true.

These days, 80% of these sub-prime drivers turn out to be men talking on cell phones. They drive exactly like those ladies used to – 5 kmph slower than normal, in the middle of two lanes, oblivious of the traffic around, wantonly swerving. And just like the ladies, they think they’re driving just fine.

This piece is a rant against all those who operate a car while under the influence of their cell phone. I’m convinced it leads to just as many mishaps as drunk driving.

A recent report by the BBC or some equally trustworthy party states that only one person out of forty can drive perfectly while simultaneously talking on a phone. Only 1 out of 40. And that 1 isn’t you.

No, not you, either. Next time you’re driving and your phone rings, please just ignore it. Or pull over to the side. (And no, hands-free doesn’t help. It only frees your hands, not your mind.)

Anyway, having to answer your phone while driving is such a huge indication of unimportance. There are two types of people in the world:

One: those who are really important. Their views and opinions matter, and that’s why everyone is trying to speak to them. They don’t have answer the phone right away. They are genuinely important, and the world will wait for them.

Two: those who are trying to become important. They haven’t arrived yet, and are scared of missing the chance. So they feel compelled to answer every call. And by doing so, they actually emphasize their unimportance.

Which one are you? (And if you are really so important that your opinions carry weight and are urgently needed, how come you don’t have a chauffeur?) People who answer their phones while driving are pathetic wannabes.

And they drive like sissies. So, to all you alpha-males out there: you’re not the 1. Believe me, you’re just another one of the 39. Please ignore your cell phone while you’re driving. Get to where you’re going and call back. And let me go back to being a sexist.