Tuesday, January 7, 2014

iText

Living in 2014, it's not news to anyone that texting while driving is no bueno. Would it surprise you to know that it is just a dangerous as driving while intoxicated? Likely not if you've read a newspaper or listened to a newscast, or even seen a Facebook forward about the latest tragedy caused by a driver who was distracted by their phone. (Coincidentally, I saw this article on Facebook today)

But, I know that there are many, many people still glued to the screen, when they should be glued to the road. I know this because I see them every day, but also because I've been guilty of it myself. With a full schedule and too many commitments, driving down the road something will pop into my head and 'if I don't do it right now. I'll forget about it!'  Rolling up to a stop sign and sitting there that second longer than necessary so I can tap out a quick note to myself, glancing over to see what x had to say in the text that just popped up because 'What if they need something from me right now?!', any task that just takes a few seconds so it wouldn't really be a distraction because I'd be able to look back at the road in a jiff...it's not as if I did it flying down the freeway, or while negotiating heavy traffic, or with a Keystone cracked open in my lap (although one could argue that drinking Keystone is a crime, driving or not), so that makes it all better, right? Right?

Believe me, I know how it sounds. 'Hi. My name is Sara, and I'm an iAholic.' 

One of the awesome parts of having a tendency to be anxious is that you get to spend chunks of your day letting worst case scenarios play out in your head...what if I got into an accident while I was texting? What if somebody died because I was so self-important that I thought anyone would need something from me so urgently that I couldn't wait to look at a text until I got home in about three miles? 

Then, my mind went a step further...forget all of the horrible guilt and damage, what would actually happen to me (legally) in a worst case scenario? What would my kids and husband do if I had to go to prison because I answered a text? Just so's you know, the sentencing guideline for vehicular homicide in the state of Washington (RCW 56.61.520) for a first-time offender driving recklessly is 51-68 months, and for driving with disregard is 21-27 months. The thought of missing that much of my kids' lives alone turns my stomach. It has to stop. Immediately. As in, cold turkey.

It's not something that people talk about a lots because we all know that it's completely irresponsible. Just writing this post was hard because I'm sure people will judge me for being careless, but being a (kind of) good Catholic girl, I find relief in confession. And gratitude that I'm writing this post as a 'what if' and not a cautionary tale. Anyone else care to 'fess up and commit to quit?


6 comments:

seeamyrunning said...

You are so right on the money. Thanks for posting this! It's a great reminder for everyone because, like you, I'm totally guilty of the "I'll just see who that text was from real quick" and the "hey, two minutes at a stop light! Score!" maneuvers.

Maggie Bahnson said...

Yup, I'm guilty, too. I'm trying so hard to stop!. THank you for posting!

Maggie said...

Thank you for this! I've been so bad about this lately. I'm on board... Cold turkey.

Sherri said...

I'm so proud of you, sister! Great post and reminder. One thing I do to ensure that I won't fall to the "let me just check really quick..." is to make my phone inaccessible. Stow it in your purse, in the back seat, somewhere out of reach. In most places it's also illegal to talk on a cell while driving too, right? So there really is no reason to have it at hands' length. I commute on I-80 everyday and still see people texting!

Crafty Mama said...

Yep. Every time the tweeting birds of my notification sounds I stifle an urge to grab it. "Just one quick glance" is the mentality here, and you are right, it needs to stop. Thanks for the post, Sara.

Violingirl76 said...

So true. Thank you! I even try to be conscious of texting my husband when he is out. I know he will look and probably answer. I think we are all guilty of this. Nothing is that important that it can't wait.
SarahG
RavID: violingirl76