We all know smoking is dangerous to health of smokers and driving recklessly is a life threatening affair.But there are those folks out there who simply don’t care an inch.There are various fines depending on the country you live for drivers caught smoking.In some countries, its even illegal to drive and smoke while carrying passengers aged below 18. These laws are in place to help protect children from exposure to second-hand cigarette smoke.When someone smokes in the enclosed space of a car, passengers are exposed to toxic air. The air quality is still deemed hazardous, even with the window down.Am not writing this to get all preachy and tell you to stop smoking. It’s your right to smoke.But what i disagree with some people is smoking and driving concurrently.Distracted driving is a growing concern to all of us. When most people talk of distracted driving, usually drink-driving or texting when driving, comes to mind.Drinking slows down the activity of the central nervous system, causing reduced reaction times and poor concentration thus affecting driving capabilities.Smoking doesn’t have this near-immediate effect on the nervous system, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t distract a driver.Few days ago, I saw a neighbour who despite using several accidents, has failed to shake off his bad habits of smoking while driving.There have been suggestions that distraction of drivers through smoking may be greater than the distraction caused by using a mobile phone when driving.I have never and will never smoke and if there’s something I don’t stand is smoking.
I have friends who smoke like there is no tomorrow.From various conversations with them, I have learned that smoking requires a lot of visual distraction. Smoking and driving simultaneously means that the driver has to firstly locate the cigarettes, which may not even be easily accessible. Some are shoved in the glove box and in other cases thrown in the back seat.Then the driver has to light the cigarette, take a puff and hold it.And every time driver raise the cigarette to his lips, they take one hand off the steering wheel. The distractions associated with this entire process are surely similar to sending off a text message while driving or worse off. Smoking while driving also means that ash and embers can easily fly off at any stage and cause burns. A moment of pain can mean a moment of distraction on the road.People have been known to be distracted by all sorts of obscure things leading to collision.Only this week, a young neck of the wood driver leaped from his moving vehicle after finding a plastic snake on his father’s car,and the car ended up head-first in wall.Imagine if a driver get burned with a cigarette, they may have a similar reaction of shock. And who knows where the car may end up.Leaving aside the safety issue, which is of primary importance of course, the amenity of others who may have to endure the stale smell of tobacco smoke, which hangs around in the soft upholstery of cars for a very long time need to be considered.Would I be happy if I had a female partner who smokes in their car and after the romance is over am left with a permanent olfactory reminder of her former presence in my life. Definitely no.I always say that enforcing a ban on smoking while driving is like trying to control adults to the point of extremity which isn’t compatible with my libertarianism and its none of my or your business.However, all those who smoke while driving, better know that its not safe.