I record Oprah everyday, and watch maybe one entire a show a week. [I only watch the first few minutes of each show to see if it's something interesting.] Today's show was one I watched in its entirety. The topic was *distracted driving.*
I admittedly talk on the phone while driving, though it's always hands-free and I get the call going before I start driving. I have sent a text while sitting at a red light. Before today, I saw no real harm in it, thinking that it was the compulsive texters/dialers who caused accidents, not I.
Tears sprung to my eyes as I watched and listened to the stories of people who lost loved ones to distracted drivers, the stories of drivers who thought they could safely use their phone and drive. I can't imagine what life would be like if I lost someone to distracted driving or if I ever caused an accident because I couldn't wait to use my phone.
According to University of Utah researcher David Strayer, talking on a cell phone quadruples your risk of an accident. "For comparison purposes, someone who's drunk at a 0.08 blood alcohol level has a four-time crash increase. So talking on a cell phone is about the same as driving drunk," he says. "When you're text messaging, the crash risk goes up to eight times."
In October, the province of Ontario implemented a law making it illegal for motorists to use hand-held wireless communication devices or any hand-held electronic entertainment devices while driving.
This evening, I took the pledge to make my vehicle a *No Phone Zone.* Too many people have died completely preventable deaths. Too many people have caused accidents they could have avoided. Won't you take the pledge too?