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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hang up and drive


I typically am not part of the Oprah Nation. I don't read books she's recommended until long after the recommendation because I don't want people to think I've been drinking her Kool-aid. I don't religiously watch her shows. I didn't weep at the news that she will retire.

But once in a while, Oprah does say something that makes me sit up and listen. Right now that something is her campaign to end distracted driving.

I'll admit it. I'm guilty of this. I do make a concerted effort to put the phone down and leave it down when I'm driving the carpool home from school. So, why don't I do it all the time? Aren't my own kids worth the concentration that I ensure when I'm driving other people's kids? Aren't the people driving around me?

It's not just about texting, though I do think that is the most dangerous distraction. Even just talking on the phone is distracting enough. Do you ever get to a destination and can't exactly recall the details of the trip there?

I'll holler at the kids for being too loud in the car, telling them I can't drive with all that noise. How is the yammer of a friend in my ear any different? What kind of example am I setting for Annie, who will be driving in just 3 short years?

From now on, the phone stays in my purse or closed in the center console of the car. I know of someone who puts it in the back seat, intentionally out of reach.

So, on this occasion, I'm with Oprah. No more distracted driving. I've even signed her cyber pledge. Will you?


Sharon said...

I don't talk while driving often, but I DO do it. I always feel incredibly guilty every time, too.
It's never for long, because we're only on prepaid plans. But still, it only takes a second.

I'll join you in making this effort.
You make great points here.

Indianapolis Amy said...

I agree with you. There are enough distractions on the road and to add phone calls and texting-- just complicates things.

I agree-- if everyone makes the effort-- we'll all be a lot safer!

Good post:)

Rebecca Jo said...

I'll admit - I used to be VERY bad about texting while driving & I try not too anymore...

but I need to do just that - put my phone away where I cant even get it... I know it is dangerous - I've swerved WAY too many times doing it... I need to stay aware of everyone else texting while driving!

Cat said...

I try to avoid it if I can. but I'm bad about texting at stoplights. Thanks for this post- there are enough distractions without me adding me own!

Janet said...

Gee -- I didn't cry either when I heard she was retiring!

I can count on one hand the number of times I've talked on my phone while driving -- most often it concerned a very sick kid. It stays in my purse where I can't hear it ring/vibrate. Part of this is just because I don't use my cell very often. The reason I have it is every school and daycare can reach me regardless of where I am (work, home, dr, hospital...)

I tell my girls (9 & 11) I'm not driving a phone booth, it's a car! At which point they had to ask what a phone booth was (a generational gap here!)

Annie said...

I watched that episode last night after my Bachelor fix and...Whoa! I don't text, I'm just not really into it, but I am very guilty of talking on my cell phone in the car. A lot. No more! My cell phone will be staying in my purse from here on out!

Shelley said...

I can't sign the pledge because I hate Oprah just that much -- not personally, you understand, but just....ugh.

However! I don't really need to sign it anyway because talking while driving has never been my thing. If I'm with the girls, I have one of them answer my phone. If I'm driving in traffic or on the interstate, I never answer it. If I'm in town, I pick it up long enough to say "Can't talk. Driving. Call you back in a minute."

That is probably my ONLY virtue, lol!