I'm probably a teen's worst nightmare when it comes to driving: my mantra to my own children when they were of legal age to get their permit (and, later, their license):
A car in the hands of a driver is a loaded weapon.
They understand the depth and breadth of this truth from losing a 17-year-old friend in a tragic accident a few years ago; another beautiful young friend lost her arm just last year. I can think of half a dozen friends between the three of them who've been in wrecks as recent as two weeks ago...and my own babygirl called one night with words that froze my blood: "I'm okay mom but...."
As a mom, one of the hardest seasons to endure is the "learning how to drive" season. Perhaps The Hardest Thing Of Them All, though, is the first time they make a solo drive. The minutes between home and "there" feel like tortuous hours. The gracious advent of cell phones afford us a peace of mind our parents didn't have--they can easlily let us know when they've arrived.
The inherent danger associated with driving--especially inexperienced teen drivers who cannot understand ALL OF THE THINGS THAT CAN GO WRONG--is why I tell my own "I will snap you like a twig if I find out you're texting and driving." They'll lose their phone, they'll lose driving privileges...and they'll lose my trust in their judgment.
Here's the worst part: I've been guilty of doing this very thing I rail against.
Someone should snap ME like a twig!
Just this week I was driving 65 mph on the interstate when a four-car collision happened in front of me; I didn't see the beginning but I saw a red car spinning and smoking across four lanes of traffic, another silver car with airbags deployed and a shatterd windshield, and two drivers already to the shoulder, both screaming into their cell phones. THE CAR SPUN DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF ME, and I, together with each of the cars in their respective lanes, stopped cold (fishtailing) on the interstate!
It scares the ever-living daylights to think about what if I had been texting and driving.
At a minimum it would have been a five-car collison.
When Verizon told their team of bloggers about how they were teaming up with other carriers for the It Can Wait campaign to discourage texting and driving, I knew I had to share the details with my readers.
And beg you to take the pledge. I did, and I agree with its sentiment: "NO text is worth the risk."
Teens aren't the only ones guilty of texting and driving; EVERY time I'm on the road I see it. And then I find myself channeling my inner Barney Fife and I want to roll down my window and scream "CITIZEN'S ARREST! CITIZEN'S ARREST!!"
Wait. That wasn't Barney....it was Goober. No...GOMER! It was Gomer Pyle!
But I digress. Forgive me.
I don't text and drive anymore; I've tried voice commands but I'm still distracted when I see what my cell phone interprets for my words. Sometimes what it comes up with is beyond laughable and possibly prosecutable under the law! Mercy!
Ninety-five percent of my readers don't comment to my blog (and if you're one who does, you know you're my favorite, right? You emailers, too ;) ) but I'm asking you PLEASE comment to let me know if you signed the It Can Wait Pledge.
Comment by telling me what prompted you to do so; let me know how you're sharing the campaign with others. I know a lot of you don't blog, so are you emailing it to your friends? Sharing on Facebook? Pinning to a board that shares important information (or parenting tips or teenager info)? Printing out the flyers available on the campaign site to share with your kids' high school when it starts back up?
If you're on Twitter, feel free to cut/paste the following.
- Take the pledge to stop texting and driving—I did! http://bit.ly/14ZPaLD #vzwvoices #VZWA #itcanwait
- It CAN wait: No text is worth dying for—take the pledge http://bit.ly/14ZPaLD #vzwvoices #VZWA #itcanwait
- #Verizon is taking a stand against texting while driving. Join in. http://bit.ly/14ZPaLD #vzwvoices #VZWA #itcanwait
And if you're willing to BLOG about this, even if it's in a round-up or link list, please use the graphic on this post and link below; if there are at least 10 who join in by Friday, May 31, I'll give away a FANtastic prize (once I figure out what it is, at least $25 out of my own pocket. It's a small way to say thank YOU for helping to save lives...I don't think that's an understatement.)
What say you...are you in? Will you sign the pledge and let me know you did? I sure hope so! Memorial Day and weekend is when we remember and honor those who gave their lives for our country. Isn't it the perfect time for Everyday People Like Us to do a small thing that might have a powerful influence...and maybe protect someone you love?