Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Is it life or death?

I think almost everyone has done it. And it can kill you or someone you love.

I am talking about using your cell phone while you are driving. I am not just talking about texting, but using it at all. I have caught myself not paying attention to the road while just trying to check my voicemail.

A few months ago I saw Oprah's episode about making your car a "No Phone Zone." I was sickened by all of the sad stories about people who had lost a loved one because of distracted driving due to cell phones. I took the pledge, promising I would not use my cell phone while driving. But only a few weeks passed and I was breaking my promise.

My broken promise came screaming back at me just recently.

Have you ever gotten a new car and felt inconspicuous? People don't know that is you in that car!

My two youngest children go to a daycare a few miles down a very curvy two lane road with a 60 mph speed limit. This last week, as I waved like an idiot at my other mommy friends who didn't recognize me in my new car, I noticed something scary. Almost every time I passed her, one of my very favorite fellow mommies was either talking on the phone or looking at her phone. This particular mom is precious to me and I would be absolutely devastated if anything happened to her.

Why can we not just ignore that ringing phone? Is that message life or death? I can't say for everyone, but I know my text messages sure aren't THAT important!

Texas has only a partial ban against cell phones while driving. If you are an adult, you can talk and text all you want while driving. Does that sound crazy? The only restriction is in school zones. New drivers and school bus drivers are banned from using cell phones while driving. Some states have bans against texting and using handheld cell phones. In these states you must have a hands free device to talk on your cell while driving.

So, here's my idea for myself. I am just going to turn off the ringer while I drive. If I can't hear it ringing, then maybe I won't be tempted to look.

Unfortunately, my quitting won't make myself and my precious cargo completely safe from distracted driving. EVERYONE has to do it. So, just wait to answer that call or text. it life or death?

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