Mom, What About Us?

By Jay Anderson, TSP

Every weekday morning we start out the same way. After breakfast Mom loads us up in the SUV, first she straps Lily my sister in her properly installed child safety seat then she buckles me in my toddler booster seat.

 Now, here is where the fun begins. Mom picks up her cell phone and calls a friend as she backs out of the driveway almost hitting the neighbor’s mailbox. Before I know it she’s constantly drifting out of her lane. Oops … there’s the driver next to us blowing his horn and waving like crazy, except Mom doesn’t hear or see him because she’s on the cell phone. Whew, sure glad we made it to the next traffic signal. Yikes! Here we go again, now Mom is text messaging someone. If I was old enough to talk, Mom would be getting an earful from me. 

Trust me when I tell say you cannot imagine how scary it is making the daily trek to daycare.

I guess Mom isn’t aware of the latest statistics. Sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent-at 55 mph-of driving the length of an entire football field, blind. That doesn’t include reaction time, so I see why more than 1.6 million crashes are caused by cell phone use and texting each year. And to make matters worse the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) issued an alert, warning that being distracted by text messaging at inappropriate times, such as crossing the street, can result in death or serious injury. People assume that driving while text messaging is the most dangerous. Physicians from around the country now cite rising reports of injuries involving texting-while-waliking, bicycling, boating, rollerblading and jogging. Typical injuries include minor facial abrasions, twisted ankles, and lacerations; and, ER doctors reported three deaths, one in Florida and two in California, as a result of tex

Moms, remember you have a responsibility to protect us, your precious cargo. There’s a protective fence around the swimming pool and alarms on the doors. The cabinets have safety latches, you make sure we are properly restrained in our safety seats and you won’t let us sit in the front passenger seat or ride our bicycles without a helmet. Today most people consider unsafe driving as a major threat to themselves and others so why do you insist on driving distracted?  

Perhaps it’s the temptations of technology... According to a recent survey by Good Housekeeping fifty nine percent of moms answer phone calls when driving but seventy percent admit such behavior is dangerous. More than twenty percent are texting while steering even though more than fifty percent say it's distracting. But despite all they fess up to, moms are more worried about the behavior of other drivers.

I sure wish my Mom would ask herself two questions each time she uses her phone while driving with or without us. Number one is it necessary and number two is it worth the risk. Please answer no and leave your phone in your purse, or better yet turn it off when you drive. Never forget: When You Drive Distracted, We’re All Impacted!