* This post is sponsored by the National Safety Council, but all opinions are my own. I support this cause enthusiastically, and encourage you to take the #CallsKill pledge yourself. It’s not just for your family, but my family, your friends’ families – hands-free is not risk-free!
I admit it. I confess, I’m absolutely guilty.
What’s worse is that I am a habitual offender.
Anyone who knows me will probably tell you that I am Type A. Well, probably Type A+ because, well, if you’re going to do it, you should try to be the best, right? Go big or go home – that’s me. As a full-time working attorney who is the primary provider for her family, and a full time blogger, I go 100+mph pretty much all the time. While my family time is sacred to me, and I try not to use my cell phone or deal with work issues after work while I’m spending time with the girls, I’m usually back at it after they go to bed. I swear most nights I work in my sleep. So that means that my two hours of driving time spend in my commute has, in the past, been a time to, well, work. I have convinced myself that I’m doing it safely. That I stopped looking down to text – I use the voice text feature. My commute has been the perfect time to catch up on calls with colleagues (I work in-house in a corporation that operates coast-to-coast, so calls after 5 are not uncommon). The ultimate in multi-tasking. I had convinced myself that I was doing it better – hands-free. That’s the law, right? I’m a law-abiding citizen (except for the email check every once in a while, right?)
Wrong. I’ve been so, so wrong. Please take a moment to watch the Calls Kill PSA from the National Safety Council.
Frightening, huh? As I was reading up on the #CallsKill campaign, I was shocked to learn that 26% of all car accidents involve a cell phone. How many of those 26% could have been prevented if someone wasn’t on a cell phone? How many lives saved?
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Moms & Dads, please, please, please share this post with your driving teens. Have a conversation. Confess your own distracted driving sins, if you must. Take the pledge as a family. Because, really, is that phone call or text or email worth it? What email has been worth your life? Your child’s life? Your health or mobility?
Provided by The National Safety Council
Is this going to be hard for me? Yup. Absolutely. Will I have to pull over and stop the car at some point to check emails until I can break the habit. Probably. Will there be people who are irritated that I don’t answer my phone or respond to texts for an hour? Probably.
But how irritated would those people be if I got in a car accident? And missed a week of work? Or a month? Or suffered such a traumatic head injury I could no longer practice law and provide for my family?
Or was killed.
Or killed someone else.
So I have to ask myself – is it worth it? Is that hands-free call worth even the smallest risk that I get in a car accident?
For me, it’s not. I’ve taken the pledge. Will you join me?