Yesterday morning Mike Gallagher was telling this story about a woman behind him on the freeway honking at him. He was enraged that she was expressing supposed road rage towards him. Really?
From his side of the story he was in the middle lane on the freeway going about 50 or 55 mph and talking on his cell phone. He said that there was some distance to the car in front of him.
According to his description he was on at least a 6 lane highway. I’ve never seen a 6 lane outside of perhaps an airport with less than a 55mph limit and most are 60 or 65. The prevailing speed on highways such as this is usually 5 – 10 mph over the limit with about 20% of drivers going 15 – 20 mph over. So, we can assume that the prevailing speed of traffic around him was 65 – 75 mph. Gallagher was going below 55 and was not keeping up with the car in front of him. In the middle lane.
He was talking on his cell phone. More than a few studies have indicated that talking on a cell phone is just as distracting as drunk driving. People distracted by cell conversations very often drive much slower than prevailing traffic, do not maintain a consistent speed, drift out of their lane, and make sudden lane changes, often without using their blinker. Other than going slower than prevailing traffic, we don’t know if he was exhibiting any of these other traits.
This is just what we know from his side of the story. It’s safe to assume that the woman behind him and others on the road around him might have some different details to add.
At a minimum it appears Mike Gallagher was impeding the flow of traffic and there’s a high probability that he was a danger and menace to others on the roadway.
Sad conversation or not (he said that this was a very sad conversation), he should have, at a minimum, been in the far right lane, not the middle lane creating problems for other drivers.
Ideally though, he should not have been talking on a cell phone while he was driving. Driving safely, for us and those around us, requires absolutely 100% of our attention. Roadways are extremely dynamic environments and you never know what might suddenly happen in front of, beside, or behind you. We should NEVER do anything else while driving. Not talk on a cell phone, do our hair, eat, text, or anything else whatsoever.
BTW, I do practice what I preach. Even when I’m not driving, if the person I’m talking to is driving then I make it an extremely short conversation and let them know why.
There are emergency situations that might require someone to talk on their cell while driving. I know one surgeon who talked someone else through a prep procedure while he was rushing to the hospital to operate on the patient. Gallagher’s may be an understandable situation. But it doesn’t sound like anyone’s life was at risk so I’m not sure Gallagher’s situation was worth putting others lives at risk.
This is, I think, the same Michael Gallagher who was threatened with arrest in September 2004 for ‘terrorizing’ a woman on the road in Dallas. And the same Michael Gallagher who screams that everyone needs to have sympathy and compassion for him, but shows little for others.
What a whinny blowhard. Time for Gallagher to grow up.