America’s New Deadly Obsession

I’m guilty. Yes, I have talked on my cell while driving. Yes, I thought I had it under control. And ‎while I didn’t text while driving (now THAT one I don’t quite understand), I would, periodically, ‎start a text at a stop light, stop when I began moving, and try to continue the text at the next stop ‎light. Yes, that, in my mind, was okay to do. ‎

So how often do we observe cell phone use while driving? In the Atlanta area, all the time. And ‎although inherently I believed it was a dangerous practice, I sometimes felt I had to call my ‎husband on my way home from work, or call a friend because the 35-40 minute commute was the ‎most convenient time to have a conversation.‎

That was before I watched Oprah’s episode on what Oprah refers to as “America’s New Deadly ‎Obsession,” cell phone use while driving, when it first aired a couple of weeks ago. As I listened to ‎the stories about people losing their lives because someone, whether it was the person killed or ‎someone in another vehicle, was using a cell phone while driving, I was convicted. And I thought ‎to myself, “That could’ve been me. I could’ve caused an injury or death at any time.” So I ‎acknowledge I’ve been fortunate. My angels have been looking out for me. But after that episode, ‎I promised I would never use my cell phone for anything as I drive.

To that end, I am signing Oprah’s No Phone Zone Pledge. It states the following:‎

I pledge to make my car a No Phone Zone. Beginning right now, I will do my part to help put an ‎end to distracted driving by not texting or using my phone while I am driving. I will ask other ‎drivers I know to do the same. I pledge to make a difference.

I know we are all busy. We try to cram as much into a day as possible, because there are ONLY 24 ‎hours in a day. But seriously, is phone use while driving really worth the lives we put at risk when ‎we engage in what Oprah calls “America’s New Deadly Obsession”? Is it worth your son or ‎daughter losing their mother or father? Is it worth losing the loved ones who ride with you each ‎day? Is it worth taking the life of someone’s daughter or son? Rhetorical. No need to answer.‎

Oh, by the way, check out this statistic: we are four times more likely to have an accident if driving and talk on our cell phones. That is the equivalent of a driving with a blood alcohol of .08, ‎the limit at which one is charged a DUI. Even worse, we are eight times more likely to have an ‎accident if we text while driving. ‎

Unfortunately, not too long after the episode aired, it was reported that a 19-year old man sending a text slammed into a telephone pole here in Atlanta.

Is it worth it?‎

Check out the show link here ‎at Oprah’s website.‎

So far, only over 76,000 drivers have signed the pledge. I’ve signed it. Will you?


One comment

  1. GWC says:

    I`m used to talk on my cell phone while driving. I don’t know what to do with myself. I know it is very dangerous but I think that everybody starts laughing at me if I stop my car. I don’t know, it’s crazy. 🙂

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