Which of these things don’t go together? A) Peanut butter and jelly. B) Cereal and milk. C) Bat and ball. D) Texting and driving.
Unless you have been living under a large cellular rock, the correct answer is D) Texting and driving. The weather is turning warm and sunny and people of all ages are making plans, many of them by text. You out? You out? You up? You out? Sup? Who dis? The problem is too many of those people can’t wait til they get home to make those plans … they’re texting while driving. Here’s a thought …Don’t.
I only have a 13-mile round trip commute back and forth to work every day, but during that commute I still see tons of people pecking away at their tiny keyboards, not paying the slightest bit of attention to the road. Or the fact that I am having a really, really good hair day. Here are some basic rules of the road.
Your full attention must to be on the road. Two years ago, I mistakenly thought I was the only person on the face of the earth who was talented enough to text and drive safely. I was “knee” driving while texting, and while I was looking down, my knee slipped and I went into the other (empty, thank God) lane. God only knows what was so important it couldn’t wait. It scared me so bad that to this day there are gray hairs no Clairol will cover. Haven’t done it since.
You should not text even while sitting still. Last winter, I was waiting to turn left into my work. There’s a wide turn lane in the middle of the four lane road where everyone waits to turn left into the office building. An older woman in her white SUV was traveling toward me paying no attention to anything but her not-so-smart phone. I was a sitting duck. To my horror, her car drifted out of her lane and veered directly into mine. I laid on the horn, and she looked up just in time to swerve over. The speed limit on that road is 45 and she would have hit me head on. I guarantee she didn’t need any coffee the rest of the day, although she may have needed an EKG.
This is why you should not text and drive, even if you’re stopped. If I had been looking down at my phone and not paying attention to traffic, even though I wasn’t moving, I would not have seen the White SUV of Death barreling toward me. I was watching and able to alert her to the impending crash, thereby saving my favorite shirt.
Mind your own business. This morning I was heading to work and someone (a teen, I assumed) driving ahead of me was texting up a storm. She was weaving slightly from one lane to another while looking down. I figured if I could get up next to her, I would have her roll down her window and tell her off. Or, more likely, give her the evil eye.
Traffic halted for a red light and I was almost even with her when I noticed several things simultaneously. First, it was not a teen, it was a senior citizen. Second, she was not texting, she was drinking coffee, and third, I was so intent on busting her for texting that I failed to notice the car ahead of me was stopped for a red light. Only by the grace of God was I able to slam on the brakes and avoid an accident. I avoided humiliating eye contact with others around me. A red light was never longer.
Texting and driving is extremely dangerous. Please don’t do it. No message is ever, ever that important to send or read hat you should risk your life or the lives of others to check your phone.
Not even if you think you’re really, really good at doing both at the same time.