I can't multitask. This isn't a matter of choice -- my poor bearlike brain is simply incapable of paying proper attention to more than one thing at a time. This means that, if I'm paying attention to something like not bumping into the car in front of me, I am not paying attention to you. Yes, I know it's a problem, and yes, I know it drives you crazy, but I can't help it!
Recent events have also proved conclusively that this problem renders me almost completely incapable of delivering a timely verbal warning. I may repeat your name, or repeat a word like "no" or "stop" half-a-dozen times, but I will not be capable of thinking up a timely and helpful phrase that will keep you from doing whatever stupid or dangerous thing I see you doing. Luckily, nobody has died or been seriously injured as a result, but if you hear me babbling for goodness' sake stop what you're doing and make sure you're not in danger, because I won't be able to tell you what the problem is. I'm not coherent or rational at that point.
When I was trying to teach someone to drive, I wasn't able to tell her that she was turning far too sharply, and wasn't able to tell her to stop. Luckily, she hit a bush rather than a pedestrian or a brick wall, both of which were in the vicinity. When somebody decided to get out of my car when I was stopped at a red light rather than waiting until I could turn onto a side street and pull over safely, I wasn't able to tell her that the light was about to change -- I could only babble "no-no-no" in shocked surprise. The light did change, when she was halfway out of the car. If I had been even a little bit distracted, or if the driver behind me had honked their horn at the wrong moment, or if my foot had slipped on the brake pedal, I could easily have started moving at that point. DON'T FUCKING DO THAT!!!
Don't assume that I'm paying attention to what you're saying when I'm in another room, or when I'm driving, or when I'm reading or talking to somebody else. Don't assume that I can hear you at all, or that it will register in my poor confused brain if I do hear you. Get my attention, and watch me to make sure I haven't concluded that your long pause meant that you were finished and I've gone back to what I was doing. Don't assume, if I don't follow your excellent directions, that I'm merely stupid. I may have seen something you didn't, or I may simply be trying to get into a situation where there are fewer distractions so that I don't do something stupid. Or I may be hopelessly confused, and be operating off some incorrect assumption that causes me to totally misinterpret what you're saying. Sorry about that. It's not your fault, really.
Hopefully, the only person I kill when I'm distracted for the last time will be myself, but I don't have a whole lot of hope. Please pay attention when you're around me, and please cut me a little slack. Yelling at me or arguing with me will only make things worse.
That concludes today's public service announcement. We now return you to your regularly scheduled friends list. Have a nice day.