This morning I almost got T-Boned by a lady in a car much larger than mine. I was second in line at a 3 way-intersection where my side had a green light. She was going down the straightaway coming off of a major route and her light was red. I and the driver in front of me saw her barreling down the road with no hints of slowing and we both laid on our horns. She looked up from what she was doing – TEXTING ON HER PHONE – with just enough time to stomp on her brakes and jerk her steering wheel to the left towards the median, and burning a lot of rubber and smoke. She just barely missed hitting the car stopped opposite her by about 3-4 inches and by some grace of a higher being, her car ended up positioned in the center of a three car triangle (mine being one of the points of the triangle) without damage to anyone. If she hadn’t been so lucky in missing our cars, the outcome would likely have been tragic.
I looked over at her and noticed that there were two kids in her car – one was probably about 4 and the other was a few years older. She regained composure and drove away and in hindsight, I wish I had thought to snap a pic of her license plate to take to the police. The only thing that I was thinking at the time was, “How could she be so irresponsible as to be texting with kids in the car?” It didn’t occur to me until later that if she had hit me with my kids in the car (thankfully, the kids were not with me), my family might not have survived that accident.
How many times have you been driving and noticed the car in front of you driving erratically; veering into the shoulder or onto the median, or driving with inconsistent speed? How many times have you caught a glance of the driver through the window or mirror and realized that they’re looking at their phones? I’ve seen it around here more than a few times.
In the UK, a public service campaign was launched to show the dangers of texting and driving (it never ran in the US but gained viral fame when aired on the Today Show). A short trailer of their video is shown here (warning: graphic content):
Here in Fairfield County, a young teenage driver killed a jogger running in the shoulder of the road last March – the section of road where she hit him was wide and fairly well visible. Forensic analysis showed that she had accessed her school’s website from her smartphone at the time of the accident.
Still not convinced? Here are some statistics in the US on texting and driving:
I was never much of a phone person to begin with. I hate talking to people who are calling from cellphones, rarely call anyone from my phone, and never pair my phone with my vehicle’s Bluetooth. In my opinion, nothing is so critical that it requires me to call while I’m driving and certainly NOTHING is so important that it requires me to text or read email while driving. I made a commitment to myself when my kids were born to never ever pick up my phone while driving. I always put my pocketbook on the floor behind the passenger seat so that I can’t reach my phone, and on the rare occasion that I’ve had to reach someone, I am forced to pull over. Nothing is worth endangering the lives of my or someone else’s family. I only wish other people would be so conscientious because it only takes one second to change someone’s life forever.
It’s hard enough to drive with young kids in the car because they demand a lot of your attention. Make the commitment now to never drive distracted by your phone. Turn off your phone while driving. Reduce temptation by putting your phone in a place where you can’t reach it. If you commit to this, you are not only making a difference for your family but also for those who you might affect if you were to have an accident.
8 thoughts on “Make the Commitment Not to Text and Drive”
Maybe it was the same woman who almost hit the car behind me (who would have inevitably hit me) a week ago. Nothing worse then hearing the screech of rubber trying desperately to stop and bracing for an impact. My kids were in the car and most certainly would not have been unharmed…. scary! Thanks fro sharing this info!
Could not agree more with this one. And that video is so disturbing but that’s why it is powerful.
Terribly upsetting to read about your could-have-been-tragic experience. Driving is dangerous enough without extra distractions added. We need to form Mothers Against Texting & Driving and create the type of shame and stigma Mothers Against Drunk Driving were able to do. Seriously, it really has to stop NOW.
This is such an important topic, I’m so glad you shared your story. We lost a close friend 6 years ago Friday because of texting and driving. It was a horrible day I will never forget. We are so serious about this issue that our nanny has a clause in her contract that knowledge of phone use while driving is grounds for immediate termination.
Awesome post! First, so glad that you and your family (and everyone involved) was ok. I drive to work on 95 and Route 7 and see people texting/talking/looking at their phones every day – frightening when you look at the statistics. I do the same thing, put my bag in the back seat so I am not tempted to use it!
When my kids were little, I waited with them at the bus stop. It is the main route to the elementary school. The speed limit is 35. In the 10-15 minutes we waited for the bus it was common to see other moms driving their kids to school. Speeding and talking on their cell phones with their kids in the car. In a hurry to drop off the kids and get to work. Sometimes they ignored the school bus stop lights. Even now that my kids are teenagers I worry about them waiting at that bus stop. It is scientifically proven that when driving and talking on a cell or texting, the brain creates a tunnel vision effect and anything, or anyone in the periphery vision is not seen by the driver.
I’m glad you and the others involved are OK, But I have to admit, most of the people I witness talking while driving are women. I see lots of men pulled over talking, mostly trucks. My husband won’t answer his phone while driving and he says the same thing, it’s the women and girls who can’t ignore their cell phones.
In a survey I read a while back, 10% of the women polled admitted answering their cell phones during sex.
We have caller ID, we can call back. No one is going to abandon you for not answering your cell.
Thanks for your comment!
I find it so sad that people need to feel so “in the loop” that they feel like they’re missing out if they miss a text or a call – I mean, c’mon – during intimate moments??! There was a great piece on one of those news shows (20/20 or Dateline or one of those shows) where they took away electronic access (primarily to see the effects that social networking has had on our ability to interact) from young women for a period of time – and the amount of withdrawal that these women experienced was UNREAL. One girl actually went into meltdown mode!
Wonderful reminder of just how dangerous this practice is. I am so glad you were ok!