Rant alert! A friend just got rear-ended, this morning, by a guy who was looking down constantly in stop-and-go traffic. She’s pretty sure he was texting.
How can we stop people from doing this stupid thing? What is it going to take?
Actually, I would be totally OK with no cell use at all while driving. (And yes, I know a lot of people disagree with me.) I’ve seen so many drivers involved in heated, excited, animated conversations while on hands-free phones. It’s just not worth the risk. We’ve all heard the stats from AAA and NHTSA about hands-free yacking not being any safer than holding a cell while driving.
It’s not only where your hands are. It’s where your BRAIN is.
The person on the other end of the phone doesn’t know when you’re in a tricky driving situation that requires your full concentration. Someone sitting in the car and talking with you sees the situation and gets it. When my son, Matt, is driving with me, he knows that the time to ask me a question isn’t when I’m trying to merge onto the freeway.
Emergencies? No problem. Use the phone. But yacking with your girlfriend about what she got at Target while you drive to school to pick up the kids? Give me a break. It’s dangerous and it’s just not necessary.
I’ve been trying to not be the person on the other end of the phone when someone is on a cell while driving, too. I’ll admit I haven’t always asked to talk at another time when this happens. I do it sometimes. But not always. But I’m going to do it all the time now. Otherwise I’m being pretty two-faced about this.
I don’t want to be the person you’re talking to when you get in a wreck. I don’t want to be the person your child is talking to when she rolls the family SUV.
We set examples for our kids with everything we do. And we made a family commitment about this. Randy and I never talk on a cell, or text, while driving. (And we’ve managed to lead a pretty normal, happy life while not partaking in this part of the current driving culture, by the way.) Matt has gone thousands of miles with us in the car and has never seen us do it. He’s seen us pull over to make a call. Or ask him to answer a call while in the passenger seat. Or check messages when we get to our destination. But we don’t call and drive.
So when we tell him not to text or talk on his cell when he starts driving (soon – gulp), those won’t be empty words coming from mom and dad.