Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Don't -blank- and drive

I mean fill in the blank as opposed to the past tense of blink. Such as, don't program an address into your GPS unit and drive. Why not? It seems like what ever else you are doing in the car besides driving will result in some sort of trouble. That trouble can be as simple as something rolling under the seat to the extreme humiliation of getting a ticket with a whopper-sized fine associated with it.

So, I have been hearing about the "no phone zone" lately. You may have too. If I had a limo and never had to drive myself around, I would have no problem signing such an agreement. But the more I think about it, the more it makes some sort of sense. Taking your eyes off the road to type out an email or text message is really dangerous. I watched someone do just that one time. I was in the passenger seat and offered to to the messaging but my offer was declined. So I watched the driver text away while I counted the seconds. It was eye opening to me that a "quick reply" took about a half a minute to process. No one in their right mind would drive a half a minute with their eyes closed.

Well, yesterday was the day. I decided to put the cell phone in the purse and put the purse in the back seat where I couldn't reach it. "It's only 12 minutes to get home. Who would call or text me in the next 12 minutes?"  Off I go, up the highway, and I was about 5 minutes from my driveway when, "brrrinngggg!" I got a text message.....

(Good place for a side track - I found that a nice, loud, chimey tone works best for me to hear, even when it sinks down into the depths of my purse. This strategy still fails me while I am in a grocery store or at a place where there is muzak that can masque the alarm's sound.)

So, what do I do? My mind starts racing. I couldn't help but wonder who texted me. And whether or not it was important. And if I could only peek at it for a just second, would feel so much better. And if there was any good place for me to pull over and check it. But then, after about a minute of that, it no longer seemed to matter as much. I finished up my 4 minute drive, and looked at my phone as soon as I was in my driveway.

I admit, this is going to take some getting used to. But at least, I started to break the dangerous habit I have gotten myself into. Maybe you can break it too. It may save a life. Maybe even your own.

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