He told me Monday while we were talking about distracted driving that the average time a person takes their eyes off the road to check a text is about 4.6 seconds, which also happens to be the amount of time it takes a car traveling 55 mph to go the length of a football field.
I told him he was hitting cones. He responded that he was trying to avoid them. Then he ran a stop sign while looking at the phone.
The deputies asked him via text message where he was going.
"They're asking me where I'm going and I'm trying to tell them I'm going in circles, but I misspelled it because I'm trying to concentrate on my driving," Rutherford said. "I was only going three miles an hour so if I was actually trying to drive, we would have hit the cones."
I didn't do so hot on my spin around the course.
I'd never driven a golf cart before but it seemed pretty simple. It moves a lot slower than the Buick I'm currently driving. Cpl. Rich Lane got in beside me and told me the number I was supposed to text while driving.
You mean I have to input the number and drive? OK, adding to the level of difficulty, I see.
I took off, with my trusty smart phone in my right hand and my left hand gripping the wheel. I moved slowly around the course as I tapped in the number and sent a simple message, "Hi" to the deputy at the table under the tent. One of them responded after a few moments with "Hello. Is it vqcation time yet".
I continued around the course slowly trying to avoid cones and watch my speed (there was a deputy in the cart after all). I was watching the road and my phone for an incoming text when -- thump, thump, thump.
I'd run over three or four cones in a hairpin curve.
"You weren't even texting but the anticipation of a text took your attention from the road," Lane said.
An intern from the sheriff's department pulled the cones from under the cart and set them back up in the turn. I continued and responded to the text. The deputy texted back, "where we going," but I had already stopped. I'd had enough.
It was hard to do at a little less than 10 mph on a little course in a parking lot, Lane told me. Imagine it at normal speed in a regular car.
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at ashley.cr...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4850.
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