You’ve Got My Attention

distracted driver

Although I am well educated in the world of computers, how to use them, Web site coding, and the Internet, I am just a little slow when it comes to keeping up with the changing technology, especially in the social media arena. I started blogging and didn’t really know what I was doing until a few months in. I just thought I was writing about an interesting topic each time around and never imagined what I was getting myself into. Now, I’m hooked.

I have a Face Book account, which I never check, a Twitter account where I average about five tweets every two months, and an E-mail account, that I use to check regularly, now has almost 13,000 E-mails dating back to 2000. Yes, that is the year 2000, as in ten years ago. Fortunately, most of them have been read.

My life as a cell phone user is a little bit different. It wasn’t until 1999, more than ten years after they became commercially available, that my history as a user began. Years passed before I became dependent upon my phone, as in I wouldn’t leave home without it. I have even driven back home almost 40 minutes round trip after realizing I had left it behind. Even then, I wasn’t as dependent upon my phone as I am now.

I’m a newbie texter and with every new experience, it tends to get overused, abused, and then some. I often rely on communication with friends and family who text rather than picking up the telephone and calling them. It’s quick, easy, and I can do it in the car, which I have done a few times…ah, while driving.

I was talking to a girlfriend of mine one day whose husband had spent the day driving their children around while she was at a doctor appointment or something. He asked her later on that evening if she did everything they asked her to while driving; pass water, search for lost toys, wipe noses, you get the picture. He shared his amazement at how busy children can be while strapped into car seats. She smiled at him and I smiled at her when she told me the story. It wasn’t a “ha, ha laugh my butt off smile,” but rather a wow, we really do a lot in the car besides driving which is where our attention should really be.

I’m not sure where so many of us get the idea that while driving a 5000+ pound vehicle (my Toyota Sequoia), at a speed of 55mph, hey even as slow as 15mph, we can type in phone numbers or text on a small keypad with even smaller characters on a phone, or find the missing toy that your screaming and impatient toddler dropped, read a newspaper or book (I’ve seen this in commuter traffic), or use a laptop to obtain information that just couldn’t wait (apparently this idiot did and didn’t live to tell about it), and not expect to rear end someone, run off the road, or take yours or someone else’s life.

As a fellow driver, this concerns me. Let me go a little further. As a runner and a bike rider who uses city streets, and a mother who often takes her children on walks and bike rides on our neighborhood streets, I want all of us to be as safe as we can. I have been rear ended, twice, while driving in my car. One driver was searching for a radio station and the other was looking for “something” in his car while driving in commuter traffic.

Distracted driving is what so many of us do and think nothing of it until something happens to us or we are reminded by someone else’s tragic story, and there are so many tragic stories. I can’t imagine being on either end of one of those stories and am going to do my part of eliminating the distractions in my car because it could happen to me just as easily as it could happen to you.

Do you drive distracted? If so, what type of things distract you while driving?

More reading on the subject:
Take Action – Simple Steps you can take to prevent distractions while driving.
List of State Bans – See where your state stands on cell phone and texting bans.
Official U.S. Government Website for Distracted Driving
Focus Driven – Advocates for Cell-Free Driving
Oprah’s No Phone Zone Pledge

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3 Responses to “You’ve Got My Attention”

  • Comment from Joy

    Thank you so much for reminding us about safety while driving. I am
    one of those who realizes that driving is serious business and I do
    not use my cell phone while I am driving. I never liked talking
    on the phone anyway.

    I enjoy reading your blogs it is like reading a good book.

  • Comment from Blessing

    Visiting you from Friday Follow….Im your latest follower. Will love for you to visit and follow my blog at

    -Blessing @ Safe Home Happy Mom

  • Comment from Adrienne

    I really am kind of anal as a driver. The kids know not to ask me to do anything while I’m driving. If they need something, they have to wait until we stop at a light or stop sign or get to our destination. I don’t even answer the phone if it rings (I have that stupid thing anyway – I’m anti-phone). I do, however, change CD’s in the stereo. I try to wait until we’re at a light though.

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