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A coffee cup, a parrot and a guardrail

In recent years, concerns over cellphone use and texting have become prominent, as insurance companies, police and politicians have become worried over Americas love affair with portable electronic devices. Cellphone, and more worryingly, smartphones provide for a special distraction that is problematic.

Because they are more accurately small computers, their phone capability is secondary. No one talks on the phone anymore, they text. Texting and other internet-based quires are dangerous to drivers because they demand both physical engagement, the typing of the keypad with your fingers, and the greater distraction for your mind of reading or writing a text and typing a search.

This type of distraction can be as disabling to your brain, otherwise occupied with the demands of driving, as being intoxicated by alcohol. Multitasking for the brain does not really occur and if you are concentrating on a text message, you are not concentrating on the highway or traffic.

But distraction can be created by many different causes, from fixing your hair in the car, reading notes for a business meeting or trying to stop siblings in the back seat from fighting. It may even be caused by a parrot needing some coffee.

Or at least that is what one Uniontown, Pennsylvania woman attributes her car crash to, after she struck a guardrail. She claims her pet parrot likes coffee and was pecking at the coffee cup lid in her car in an attempt to get at the coffee. When she looked to see what the bird was doing, she struck the guardrail.

She was lucky she only it a guardrail and not an oncoming semi truck. In a crash like that, she could have been killed and the police would have been left to wonder why there were bird feathers inside the car.

Source: Pennlive.com, "Pet parrot pecking coffee cup is blamed for Pa. car crash," John Luciew, April 17, 2015

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