The Do’s and Don’ts (all Don’ts) of Texting and Driving

pexels-photo-230557.jpegWhich of these things don’t go together? A) Peanut butter and jelly. B) Cereal and milk. C) Bat and ball. D) Texting and driving.

Unless you have been living under a large cellular rock, the correct answer is D) Texting and driving. The weather is turning warm and sunny and people of all ages are making plans. You out? You out? You up? You out? Sup? Who dis? The problem is too many of those people can’t wait til they get home to make those plans…they’re texting while driving.

Here’s a thought…Don’t.

It might be my advanced age, but it infuriates me when I see people texting while driving. I’m livid when I’m behind a car and when the red light turns green, they’re paying no attention, resulting in a seven-car length gap between the first car and the texter. I only have a 13-mile commute back and forth to work every day, but during that time I still see tons of people pecking away at their tiny keyboards, not paying the slightest bit of attention to the road. Or the fact that I am having a fabulous hair day.

Your full attention must be on the road. Two years ago, I mistakenly thought I was the only person on the face of the earth who was talented enough to text and drive safely. I was “knee” driving while texting, and while I was looking down, my knee slipped, and I went into the other (empty, thank God) lane. God only knows what was so important it couldn’t wait. It scared me so bad that to this day there are gray hairs no Clairol will cover. It was enough to teach me a big lesson.

You should not text even while sitting still. Last winter, I was waiting to turn left into my work. There’s a wide turn lane in the middle of the four-lane road where everyone waits to turn left into the office building. A woman (not a teen, but an older woman) in her white SUV was traveling toward me, and she was paying no attention to anything but her not-so-smart phone. I was a sitting duck. To my horror, her car drifted out of her lane and veered directly into mine. I laid on the horn, and she looked up just in time to swerve over. The speed limit on that road is 45 and she would have hit me head on. I guarantee she didn’t need any coffee the rest of the day (maybe an ekg for her heart, though) as the adrenaline pulsing through her body at the near miss was enough to keep her up for several nights.

You should not text and drive, even if you’re stopped. If I had been looking down at my phone and not paying attention to traffic, even though I wasn’t moving, I would not have seen the White SUV of Death barreling toward me. I was watching and able to alert her to the impending crash, thereby saving my favorite shirt.

Mind your own business. This morning I was heading to work and a teen in a white car ahead of me was texting up a storm. She was weaving slightly from one lane to another while looking down. I figured if I could get up next to her, I would have her roll down her window and self-righteously tell her off. I’m old and crabby like that. As luck would have it, traffic halted for a red light and I was almost even with her when I noticed several things simultaneously. First, it was not a teen, it was a senior citizen. Second, she was not texting, she was drinking coffee, and third, I was so intent on busting her for texting that I failed to notice the car ahead of me was stopped for the red light. Only by the grace of God was I able to slam on the brakes and avoid an accident. I avoided humiliating eye contact with others around me. It was the longest red light of my life.

Texting and driving is extremely dangerous. Please don’t do it. No message is ever, ever that important that you should risk your life or the lives of others to check your phone. Not even if you think you’re skilled at doing both at the same time.

You’re not.

***

About the author:

Christine Cacciatore is a multi-published author who lives—and loves—to write. Together with her sister, Jennifer Starkman, she has published the magical novels Baylyn, Bewitched and Cat, Charmed, with the third book Elise, Evermore coming out soon. On her own, she has written Noah Cane’s Candy, a sassy holiday short romance and Knew You’d Come, a spicy paranormal romance novella. Also, Chris ventured into the Kindle Worlds Mary O’Reilly paranormal series and has written Trouble Lake and Grave Injury. They’re the perfect books to curl up with any time of year but especially Halloween…because they’re chock full of ghosts!

Chris is a member of the In Print Professional Writer’s Group in Rockford, IL and the Chicago Writer’s Association. In her spare time, Chris enjoys writing, reading, and coloring in her grandchildren’s coloring books with the good crayons. Chris is married to a devastatingly handsome man she met on eHarmony, has three children and a gigantic black dog who helps her pack lunches in the morning. She also has four of the most beautiful, intelligent grandchildren in the world…with one on the way…and their antics keep her in stitches.

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