I get annoyed with the people and their bumper stickers who tell me to "hang up and drive". I have been one of those that thought if I can drive and carry on a conversation with a person sitting in the seat next to me, what's the difference in carrying on a conversation with a person on the other end of a cell phone? And further, how could a cell phone conversation be more distracting than passing sippy cups into the rear of the van while refereeing the "he's on my side" backseat battle. Admittedly, both are equally distracting to the driving task which should be garnering most of my attention. But, hey I'm a busy mom, right?
Right. I am not too busy at this moment to think about what life would be like for my family or someone else's family if something unfortunate and preventable happened due to distraction on the road. Really, I don't want to think about that, but I watched Oprah today and her show has forced me think about it. The Oprah show today was all about the ills of "distracted driving". Mainly the focus was on texting while driving, but there were some compelling arguments against any cell phone use while driving.
Did you know that while you are chatting away behind the wheel your driving focus is impaired to the same level as if you had 0.8 blood-alcohol level? That quadruples your risk for an accident. If you're texting, your risk is 8 times greater. You can read more about these stats and the horrible impact these behaviors can have on families here. I can admit that I do not text while driving but again, talking is only a little less unsound.
Oprah framed the use of cell phones while driving as an addiction. She's right. When I first heard that and thought of not using my phone whenever the heck I felt like it, my palms involuntarily began sweating and I immediately started mentally rationalizing my cell phone use. That's what addicts do...rationalize their behavior. So, I am a cell phone addict. And the reason I am writing this post is so I can be held accountable. If I didn't post this and say it out loud, I'd be making calls with abandon next time I was on the road. So, I'll say it now:
I am not going to use my cell phone while driving anymore.
Nothing I have going on is that important that I can't pull over or wait for that call. Actually, there are several things that are so extremely important that I should without question keep to this proclamation...They're my husband, my sons, my parents, my brothers, my in-laws, my nieces, my extended family, my friends and you.
I was moved to make a change today by Oprah. She does that to you. If you are moved by this post or further by Oprah's show, post a comment and let me know you are on board with me on this. Just don't expect a phone call until I get back home.