I have a confession to make. I have been talking on the phone and texting while driving. I know I’m probably the only one who does this <tongue planted firmly in cheek>. I keep hearing reports of studies demonstrating that talking on the phone while driving is akin to driving drunk. I understand, but it just doesn’t feel dangerous. In fact, my friends and I do it all the time and we’ve never had an accident… have we?
The truth is that I have caught myself driving dangerously due to inattention. It stops now… before I hurt myself or someone else! I can imagine how I would feel if I hurt or killed a child just because I couldn’t wait to talk on the phone? Imagining that feeling is enough for me. I don’t ever want to experience it in real life.
I pledge to never text or Twitter while driving and I will only talk on the phone while driving if I am out on the open highway and there is no traffic around. It’s just too risky.
How I got here
On our recent trip to Berkeley, I picked up a book called, The Science of Fear (How the Culture of Fear Manipulates Your Brain). In it, I am reading about how irrational fears cause people to behave irrationally. We fret over potentially dangerous things that aren’t very likely to happen. The flip side is that we ignore real dangers because they feel safe. For instance, we lay out in the sun to get that “healthy looking” tan, knowing that the solar radiation is harmful. Even though we know the dangers of cancer, we soothe our fears with statements like, “My friends and I have done this lots of times and we’ve never had any problems.”
Driving while texting and talking is one of those things that we hear the dangers of, but it just doesn’t feel dangerous. So we trust our feelings instead of the facts. In fact, we don’t consciously choose anything, we just do what feels right… and it isn’t a very good choice. How would you feel if you caused an accident because you were driving while talking or texting? Will you join me in stopping before that happens?