I got a new car recently that came with a Satellite radio trial. There’s a wheel dial on the dashboard and up and down buttons to scroll through the hundreds of stations and a big screen display that tells you what station you are on and the name of the song and artist. Also on the screen is a clock to give the time of day and below that more dials and buttons to control the cockpit temperature heat and cold and direction and speed of air flow. If that’s not enough behind the wheel is a button on the odometer to scroll through what miles per hour I’m getting, how far I’ve traveled, whether I’m driving efficiently (No kidding, if I step on the gas too fast the green circle turns white…a clear indication I’m wasting gas and probably breaking some EPA rule!) I have another button to push that says how much life is left in my synthetic oil how far to the next gas station and last but not least the buttons so I can use my cell phone in the car and not get a ticket. When I first got the car I couldn’t keep my hands off those buttons!
I thought about that dashboard as I was reporting last week on a young woman who was killed in an accident that the CHP says happened when she was driving and texting on her cell phone. She was alone in her car late at night on Wolfe Rd. She also was not wearing a seatbelt (something I always do). The Nevada County coroner’s Office identified her as 29 year old Silvia Perez-Varona. Her name was withheld until relatives could be notified in Mexico. Somehow all those buttons and screens on my new car don’t seem as important now as just keeping my eyes on the road.