Thursday, July 28, 2011

Snap judgements can sometimes be wrong - but just how safe is sign language while driving...?

Sitting at a red light in my car yesterday, I noticed a car pull up next to me and stop.
Specifically, out of the corner of my eye I could see how the driver appeared to be gesticulating wildly with his hands.
In today's stressed world of Johannesburg driving, it's really easy to assume that wild driver gesticulations equate to an angry driver.

How idiotic did I feel when I took a proper second look at the guy - he was actually using sign language to communicate to a passenger in the vehicle!

Straight away it hit me, how my snap judgement had totally mis-read the situation...

The next thing that then occurred to me, was the safety factor involved here.
I have no way of knowing if the driver or passenger was hearing impaired in this situation, but it must be noted, that after the light turned green, there were several sharp steering corrections in the (straight) trajectory of the vehicle in question.

Just how does a person who is at the wheel of a car, stay in proper control of the vehicle, while communicating with someone by using both hands instead of speech?
It's a topic that I am going to touch on in one of my next blog posts soon.

Your thoughts?
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