This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with AT&T and Latina Bloggers Connect. My comments and opinions are my own.
My Family’s Close Call
Don’t text and drive! We hear it all the time, but sometimes it helps to hear a true life story. It can put a very human face on the statistics. One of the reasons I chose to participate in the #It Can Wait campaign, to discourage text while driving, is I do have my own story to tell, or more specifically, my husband’s and my children’s story, and while the consequences were far from tragic, they certainly could have been.
We know texting and driving can be fatal, yet far too many of us ignore the risk. Did you know texting while driving is involved in over 100, 000 vehicle accidents each year, often causing serious injury or death. That’s not a problem, that’s an epidemic. I am reminded of the importance of refraining from texting and driving almost daily, usually when I see someone driving while texting, and I’m reminded of that day my family went to the store. Here’s what happened:
One day, my husband and two boys went to the grocery store at the shopping center near our home. On the way out, they stopped at the edge of the sidewalk until they could cross safely using the crosswalk to the parking lot.
A woman pulled up to the line drawn on the tarmac about 10 feet away from the crosswalk and stopped. My husband and boys started crossing. Suddenly, the driver started forward toward them. My older son jumped back and yelled, “Papa!,” and my husband, he’s still not sure how, managed to scoop up my younger boy and sort of sling him over his shoulder while spinning his body, rotating in the same direction the car was traveling to minimize the impact on our son if there were any.
Now picture this in your mind. After one full revolution, my husband and son were now directly outside the front passenger side window of the moving vehicle. My husband could see through the window that the driver was unaware of what had just happened and that she had very nearly mowed down 3 people, my family.
My husband was so close now, just half a front seat away, and he could see the driver’s hands resting on top of the steering wheel with her cell phone perched in between them. She was texting. Still completely unaware, she simply continued driving as if nothing had happened.
My husband, only just grasping what had happened, it all happened in a heartbeat, looked up in shock to see another woman, who was in the car directly behind the oblivious texter, with her jaw dropped open, hands gripping her steering wheel, and arms straight out as if she had tried to help the texting driver to stop.
Here’s where I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to refrain from texting while driving.
There is a sense in which the driver was partially aware of what she was doing. That is to say, she did make a complete stop before heading through the crosswalk. But the texting obviously distracted her enough that while partially aware, she was still not conscious of what she was doing with nearly tragic consequences. The irony is she just may still be driving around thinking, “What’s all the fuss about, I text and drive all the time and I’ve never had any problems.”
The following video features another family’s story: (If you are reading this post in the email, please click on the link to this blog in the email to view the video. Thank you. Silvia)
If you would like to join others in solidarity to take the pledge to not text while driving, please click here.
Please drive safely,