Driving while distracted

Within my immediate family I have a reputation for being a really bad driver. (Are you shocked?) Before I graduated from high school I was involved in several automobile accidents. I even totaled a couple of cars. And that was before we had the technology that we have today - technology that allows us to update our facebook status from anywhere and everywhere with a few keystrokes on the touchscreens of our mobile devices. Last night I went out to dinner and left my cell phone at home. I was untethered for almost two hours. And it wasn’t bad. But anyway...



A few weeks ago Mr. Bobo was driving around in San Antonio on deli business. Mr. Bobo was driving the deli van (a Ford Econoline, for you Nanci Griffith fans) southbound on Hwy. 281 / IH-37. It was a Tuesday morning around 8:30 and traffic was pretty thick - kind of stop-and-go on the freeway. Driving cautiously and braking whenever the Lexus SUV just ahead slowed or stopped, Mr. Bobo suddenly felt a crash from behind. A perfectly nice gentleman driving a big ol’ maroon Chevy pickup had been talking to and/or texting with his wife on his cell phone about a pair of shoes that she needed him to bring to her - when he crashed right into the rear end of the deli van. Mr. Bobo and the deli van were startled as the two of them jerked and lurched and then were shoved into the rear end of the Lexus SUV ahead of them. Suddenly Mr. Bobo was involved in a three-car collision, and he was not happy. Not happy at all. Severely and sadly inconvenienced would better describe the state Mr. Bobo found himself in that morning.



There were three of us involved in the accident that day. Thankfully no one was hurt. But we could have been. The force with which the van was hit by the pickup was quite strong. The deli van was almost totaled. We were all very lucky that no one was hurt. Though we were shaken up, we were able to stand on the shoulder of the road and talk to the police officer and fill out the necessary paperwork. And then this week I heard something in a PSA on the radio that I thought was clever:

What’s more important? An incoming text? Or the oncoming traffic?


Up until that day, I had been guilty of sometimes texting and driving (Ssssshhhh.). I had been guilty of very often talking on the phone while driving. I had probably done a lot of things while driving. That accident scared me quite a bit... Scared me enough that these days I probably won’t answer the phone if it rings while I’m driving. I for sure won’t look at the phone. And I won’t pay attention to any kind of notification sounds that come from my phone while I’m driving.



I don’t mean to get all preachy about it. I get irritated when I hear Oprah talk about cars being a No Phone Zone. That’s a big "cause" for her. She loves to get people to sign the No Phone Zone Pledge. I dare say Miss Winfrey is most likely always on the phone anytime she’s inside a moving vehicle. I doubt she’s ever driving the vehicle - unless it’s for a photo op or a special Road Trip With Gayle King thing she might be working on. So the No Phone Zone works fine for her. She ain’t driving.

They say that "distracted driving" is more dangerous than "drunk driving." I’m not sure about that. But. Sometimes I’ll pull up to the intersection of McCullough and Hildebrand and stop at the red light. I’ll look across the intersection and see a nice lady driving a minivan. She will be drinking a beverage, taking a bite of something, applying makeup, and talking to someone (either a child in the backseat, or someone at the other end of a [hopefully] hands-free phone conversation - maybe both). I know that women are exceptionally talented at multi-tasking. Still I am nervous. I can fully appreciate your multi-tasking skills in some other environment. Hang up. Put down your mascara wand. Pay attention. And drive. Go! The light is green!

Comments

  1. Awwww sorry for your mishap, glad your okay. But don't blame the women for all, the men pick their noses while they are scooting down the road. where do they put that?!

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  2. On Friday 9/2/11, I attempted to walk cross Broadway in front of the Witte Museum with a friend and his 6-month-old grandbaby (in stroller). We stepped off the curb when the crosswalk light said "Walk" and had to lurch back to the curb because a huge pick-up was bearing down on us, even though he had a red light! This is typical San Antonio driving behavior -- oblivious to pedestrians and ignorant of driving laws (right turn on red AFTER stopping, jerk!). I didn't notice if the driver had a cell phone stuck to his empty skull. Seriously, there was almost a squashed baby that day as the truck would have hit the stroller first.....true the driver would have been stuck with manslaughter (and no doubt paroled early) but that wouldn't replace the baby. SA is notorious for bad drivers!

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  3. That's so sweet!!!!! I liked the blog about mom :D she's gonna make us all fat! It's Kat by the way. And I'm sorry about the accident D:

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