DAY 10 Perry – Barcelona
Listening to: The Clash – Lost in the Supermarket
I have my first cigarette of the day while driving to the Circuit de Catalunia. It’s the first time I’ve smoked at the wheel of a moving car and it’s a left hand drive model, the car not the cigarette. No point in doing things by half.
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My lefts hand slides into the cargo pocket of my shorts and I’m rummaging around until I locate the new pack of ten Dunhill Reds. I pull them out and glance at the truck coming up on my left.
I steady the wheel and remove the cellophane wrapper from the pack and take out a cigarette. Once I’ve stuck the cigarette in my face I can navigate the pack back into my shorts pocket which is easier than taking it out. I shift up a gear and push the cars lighter in. After approximately thirty seconds it notifies me with a reassuring clicking sound that it is hot and ready for action. I feel for the lighter, locate it and present it to the end of my cigarette. I suck deeply but almost instantly notice I’ve got the cigarette in my mouth the wrong way round. I check my mirrors, more out of embarrassment that I may have been seen lighting the wrong end of a cigarette than locating the next passing vehicle. I spin it around and inhale. I return the lighter to it’s home in the centre console, take the cigarette from my mouth and return both hands to the wheel.
A couple more drags on and I’m feeling light headed. Not a good way to feel when I’m driving on the wrong side of the road for an Englishman at 120 KMH.
The whole process only took a minute or so but I definitely wasn’t concentrating on the road one hundred percent with both hands on the wheel.
My first cigarette behind the wheel is on a motorway. I wouldn’t like to guess what it would have been like if I was driving through a city centre, passed a school or urban conurbation.
There are no statistics for accidents caused by smoking while driving but I can testify that while going through the process of finding the pack, lighting up and then smoking the cigarette I wasn’t focused on driving with due care and attention. Far from it.
SMOKES TODAY – 10 out of 10
For more information about smoking and Driving click on the links below:
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