Wednesday, March 31, 2010

...Crusin' and playin' the radio, with no particular place to go.

I have been struggling for things to blog about, mainly because I don't have pictures to go with any interesting things we do. But one thing that has been on my mind lately is cell phone usage while driving. I am the first to admit, I have texted while driving. I use my phone while driving. I also commute to Midtown Atlanta every day on 75 and I see tons of people swerving around and as I pass them I see that they are messing with their cell phones. 80 mph is not a safe speed to be multitasking at. It's dangerous, and I have heard way to many tragic stories that stem from cell phone usage while driving.

I have a story about cell phone usage while driving. It was my 23rd birthday and I was a nanny for two awesome girls, ages 14 and 10. (Let me interject here and say if I ever have daughters, I hope they are as awesome as those two girls.) I had just picked up the oldest one from a sleepover and we were going to pick up some lunch. I had the right of way, a green arrow, and there were about 4 cars in front of me. They all went through just fine. My car sort of hesitated before I went, which was weird, but it turned out to be a blessing! A guy who was talking on his cell phone totally blew through his red light. If my car hadn't hesitated, he would have smashed into me right where I was sitting! My car was totaled and his was in bad shape too. Overall, the girls were just fine and so was I. It was a terrifying experience being in an accident like that with other peoples children in my car. The family knew it wasn't my fault and they knew me very well and trusted me (I was their nanny for about 4 summers). I won't go into the details about the rest of the drama (and oh boy, what the guy who hit me FULL of drama!) but he hadn't seen the light because he was distracted by his phone call. I was really good about not using my phone while driving after that, but I got lax about it as the years passed. But now that texting while driving has become a big problem as well, I started to think about the issue more and more.

I decided that I needed to do something. I felt like complaining about it wasn't enough (shocking, huh?!) That's when I heard about Oprah's No Phone Zone Pledge. I thought it was kind of a silly thing to do at first, so I didn't think about it much. I didn't want to sign something just because Oprah said we should (I have never even seen an episode of her show!) But then I really started paying attention while I was driving and so many people are not paying attention to the roads. It is especially scary when you see teenagers doing it. I'm not saying they are bad drivers, but they have less experience on the road and don't need even more things to distract them. I don't want something to happen to me or my loved ones because someone was checking Facebook or sending a text instead of watching the traffic signal and missing the fact that it turned red.

I know that I thought this wasn't as important when I first read about it, and I also thought, I'm a safe driver this wouldn't happen to me (which is ridiculous because it already has!)....Then I remembered it just takes one moment of not paying attention to cause a wreck. So, I decided that I would pledge to make my car a little safer.

That being is my pledge!

I pledge that I will not text while driving and will use only handsfree calling if I need to speak on the phone while I am driving.

I know I'm a cheeseball.....but at least I'm trying to be a safe cheeseball :)