A 1.7 Million Dollar Distraction

Nov 18th 2009

Last week Andy House was taking a drive… in his 1.7 Million Dollar Bugatti.  That’s a car, a very expensive car.   I don’t know — I’m  just wondering, if I could afford a 1.7 Million Dollar car, would I buy it?  If I bought it would I actually drive it? If I drove it, would I drive it in public or rent a private air-strip or a race track somewhere.

The stories of what happened during the drive are manifold and diverse, but the best I can put together…

He was driving, not on a private road but on I-45 outside La Marque, Texas.  He was distracted by a pelican on the road.  (Okay that part, is in question.)  In his distraction, he dropped his cell phone on the floor.  (Okay in one version, actually my preferred version, he’s texting.)  So he’s driving; he’s birdwatching; he’s on his cell phone; he’s –maybe– texting; and did I say, “he’s driving.”  A 1.7 Million Dollar car.  And he’s driving on a public road that is — did I mention this — bordered by a salt-water inlet.

So here is the video of a 1.7 Million Dollar Distraction.  The actual crash was caught on tape because some Bugatti admirers happened to be driving on a parallel road.  Don’t feel like you have to watch the whole thing, in about a minute you will get the idea.  (Warning there is a reference to poop from the people watching the crash.)

By the way, he left the engine running for 15 minutes, with engine, body, and interior damage, it’s totaled.  It’s almost too easy to get to the life-lessons.

  1. 1) Don’t text and drive.
  2. 2) Don’t buy and/or drive a Bugatti if you are easily distracted. But the one that hangs with me the most is…
  3. 3) Distractions Can Be Very Expensive.

You might be tempted to think that you would never allow yourself to get so distracted that you would waste/damage/loose something so valuable.  But everyday we are given a gift of great value — a gift of time.  Everyone gets the same amount, 86,400 seconds.  86,400 moments to be seized or wasted.

Sometimes we wonder where the time goes.  In a recent poll by Priority Management they tried to find the answer to that question…  They found that in a lifetime, the average American will spend: Six months sitting at stoplights, eight months opening junk mail, one year looking for misplaced objects, two years unsuccessfully returning phone calls, and seven years waiting in line!   Bring a good book!

Let me pull that down into a typical day… in a typical day the top three time fillers are sleep, work and…  tv.  The average american spends 4 hours and 49 minutes watching tv.  I think the 49 most come from those who have tivo.

Let me pull that day into a very specific role.  Cornell University did a study and attached little microphones to kids and they  monitored them for weeks.  They found that in America the average father spends on a per day basis 37.7 seconds talking to his children.  Parenting magazine pointed out that children spend an average of just 17 hours a week with their parents.

I think our kids are worth more than a Bugatti.  Kids are not a distraction they are a treasure.  Not just our own kids, although that is where we should start.  But from college students at PSU to orphans around the world, to our own children, kids are the Bugatti, not the distraction.  Where are we putting our time?