Confession: I Have a Bad Habit that Could Kill Me or Get Me Arrested (& I’ll Bet You’ve Done it Too)

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  1. I hate people that text while driving. They’re dangerous to themselves–and worse–to me and my family. The stats above translate to 3285 cellphone related auto “accident” deaths per year. The FBI stats show 300-400 rifle-related homicides nationwide per year. That means that one is ~9.5x MORE LIKELY to die in an auto “accident” involving a cellphone that from a rifle of any kind–inlcuding every assault rifle ever made. Where’s the outcry to ban “assault phones”? If policy was driven by stats and not emotion, the there *should* be 9.5x more emphasis on phones than rifles, right? And another factor, I can make choices about how exposed to firearms I am, limiting my exposure to derps texting-while-driving? That’s much harder as we all share the same roads. People, please, stop doing it.

    • Kate Bartolotta says:

      Amen to that. I used to be the first person to say how horrible it was to do…but it kind of crept in. I’m committed to kicking that habit completely.

  2. I think all cars should have locking gloveboxes so you can LOCK it in there while driving. If you absolutely need to take a call get a bluetooth radio and have it connected wirelessly through bluetooth (while it’s locked in the glovebox). Even then nothing says that you MUST take any calls while driving.

    • Kate Bartolotta says:

      I agree about the calls too. Even with a bluetooth, it’s still distracting. I used to think “what if it’s an emergency?” but really…what can I do about it while driving? If it’s a long drive and the phone keeps ringing, it takes 2 seconds to pull over and talk and see if it’s something important.

  3. Tom Brechlin says:

    If I’d text in the car, it may have been at a stop light but I very seldom do it. In fact, I avoid using my phone in the car. About a year ago my company made it a policy that we not text. Funny thing, within the first week after the policy was implemented, while I was driving a client to a court appearance, my boss text me. I responded back when I got to court. She was actually pissed off that I hadn’t responded.

    When I’m on the expressway and I see someone texting, I pull out my cell phone and pretend to take a picture of them. It’s funny to see how they respond.

  4. You’d lose that bet with me.

    On the bike path, I see people texting while riding. I have no idea how they even manage this, but Kevin and I joke that they’re all texting their mothers to say, “YES MOM IM WEARING MY HELMET”

    • Kate Bartolotta says:

      I’m glad! Yeah, as hard (and dangerous) as it was at stoplights or in traffic, I have no idea how someone would text on a bicycle!

  5. Red1714blue says:

    You lose the bet. And your focus is wrong; it’s not about avoiding arrest or personal injury, it’s about about placing the people around you at risk for your own selfish reasons.

    Your “nudge, nudge, wink, wink, everybody does it” attitude says it all. But please note that there are many people out there who wouldn’t dream of acting in such a lethally irresponsible manner.

    • Kate Bartolotta says:

      No, I wrote it that way to be a little melodramatic with the title. There are (thankfully) many people who would never do that. I was one of them, and then noticed myself occasionally checking my phone at stoplights, etc. It truly is lethally irresponsible, which is why I stopped doing it, and why I wanted to draw attention to it. Clearly, there are many many people doing it so we need to look at why and make stopping that habit a bigger priority.

  6. A clear case of the fact that what’s obvious to one person may not be obvious to someone else:

    Did you ever consider that you never really NEED to send a text message, ever, to anyone? If you don’t text or talk on a cell phone, will your world totally implode?

    If that’s too hard to imagine, I can recommend something a little more manageable — don’t even take your device with you at all. Leave it at home. Forget about whether it’s in the trunk or the glovebox. How about not in the car at all.

    If you can’t get by without your texting device with you at all times, then driving really isn’t the problem. You have a much larger problem that needs addressing.

  7. wellokaythen says:

    Those statistics about nine deaths a day probably just count drivers who are distracted by texting. Those numbers probably don’t count all the pedestrians texting as they walk out into traffic or people crossing the crosswalk with their cellphone hand blocking their view of oncoming trucks. Where I live, people on bikes are considered pedestrians (which means they can basically ignore traffic signals as they see fit) so the numbers wouldn’t count people texting while on bikes either.

    Some of those deaths must be a person texting running over another person texting. The upside is that you can call 911 really quickly….

  8. James Patrik says:

    Really cleverly written Kate – I loved the dramatic intro. Really drew me in.
    I choose to sing along to my tunes. It means that I can focus on driving,cant hear the phone, and the worst thing that can happen is that some other driver is exposed to my own guilty Britney Spears habit.

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