November 21, 2012

One Hand on the Wheel

[photo added 11/28/12]

I always drive with one hand on the wheel.

I don't need my right hand for shifting, my automatic transmission doing most of the work for it.

No, while the left hand steers, the right hand scans the radio. It digs in purse for lip gloss and tweezers. It fumbles with phone and unscrews cap from bottle under arm.

It flips visors and adjusts mirrors.

It turns the air from hot to cold and back again.

It fiddles with the emergency brake release button.

It grasps the gear shift as my left foot reaches for a phantom clutch.

It rests on my thigh because no other hand does.

The right hand is busy, and does not grab the wheel.

Why won't I drive with both hands? Wouldn't I have more control over steering? Wouldn't it be better to have a nearby hand to sound a warning horn and help veer out of a rogue driver's way?

Should the right join the left at the wheel?

Doesn't the left get tired doing all of the work by itself?

But there's so much else to do...

...with the other hand.

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