Friday, April 30, 2010

The Conversation Can Wait

Hey there, me again.  It's my day to blog, so if I want to do two posts, well then.  I just got done watching Oprah and had forgotten today is her national No Phone Zone day.  And seriously, this topic is far more important to me than promoting another book.

How many of you talk or text on a cell phone while driving?  And if you do, what's your excuse for doing so?  Do you think it's safe?

It's not.

I don't have to tell you why it's not.  We're all adults.  We know better.  Texting and talking on a cell phone while driving is distracted driving.  But I do have to say this.  How dare you—how dare you—take the lives of others and your own, in hand by driving while distracted?  That conversation you're engaged in is not that important.  It can wait until you stop and park, or can pull over to a safe place.  We got along just fine 10 years ago without having to chatter in the car as we drove.  The two technologies—cell phones and cars—don't mix.  Yes, I know some of you younger people have grown up with a cell phone in hand.  You know nothing else.  Texting is a principle means of communication.  But is a text or phone conversation worth risking your life, or the life of someone you don't even know?  Almost 6000 people were killed last year as a result of driving while distracted, or being in the path of a distracted driver.

Think about it.  And pledge not to text or talk on your cell phone while driving.  Ever.

Here's a link to Oprah's pledge sheet.  That's the way to make it official, but you don't need to sign anything, you just need to make a promise with yourself that you will not be stupid while driving.  Senseless deaths caused by distracted drivers are 100% preventable.

Michele (who keeps her cell phone, turned off, in her purse, while driving)


Christie Ridgway said...

Great reminder, Michele! In California it's illegal while driving, but of course people still do.

Today at Surfer Guy's high school they had a program called "Fifteen Minutes" about driving while drunk. Really scary and informative for teens. The kids are really shaken up when the "deaths" of their friends and peers are reported. So, that's another thing to remember when you get behind the wheel of a car.

No drunk driving. No driving while using your cell.

Michele Hauf said...

Yes, no drunk driving! And it's been studied and proven that talking/texting is as distracting as driving drunk.

Schools in our neck of the woods staged 'reenactments' of a drunk driving crash today. I imagine it would be pretty sobering to watch your class mates being dragged, bleeding (fake blood) from a crash. Let's hope it fixes in their brains, and it's not forgotten too quickly.

Terry Odell said...

Definitely. There was a piece with a simulator on NBC's morning news. Took about 5 seconds for Meredith to crash when she had to read a text message while driving. Really shook her up.

Martha Lawson said...

No, I don't talk and drive! I've found out that I don't pay as much attention to my driving if I'm talking!!

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Whalehugger said...

My hubby and I have never had cell phones and we aren't getting one until there's no other choice left.

Liza said...

In TN it's illegal to text while driving and they are working to pass a law that only allows you to use hands-free devises to talk on the cell phone. Hasn't passed yet, but think it will soon. I don't text while driving ever, but will admit I talk on the phone as long as I have my bluetooth headset on.

catslady said...

My daughter had her car totaled by a 16 yr. old who raced through a red light to get home in time for curfew while talking on her cell phone (all denied by her but thank goodness for witnesses and that no one was really hurt although the girl was taken by ambulance because she cut her lip on the air bags!!!). Last week my best friend's daughter ran into a parked truck while TEXTING - another totaled car and thank goodness no one hurt. I think all cell phones should be illegal and used only for emergency. Even the bluetooth or handless - your mind is still in two places.

Michele Hauf said...

A agree that the earphone thingies are distracting too.

But to be honest I have to admit even chatting with a friend while driving is distracting. How many times have Lois and I been on the road, chattering away, only to realize we missed our turn? Too many.

I tend to think listening to music is sort of a mindless task. It's like background noise, and if we know the song already we probably use a different part of the brain, not the same part we'd use to create new conversation. So music probably isn't that bad (unless it's blaring and you can't hear emergency vehicles). Does anyone agree with that?

KylieBrant said...

In Iowa, beginning in July it will be illegal to text or read a text (I think) while driving. But I find it just as unsafe to try and dial while driving so I think we need to go to hands free phones in the car.