I just got done watching the Oprah Winfrey show about talking on cell phones or texting while driving. The episode featured both people who have lost someone in an accident caused by talking or texting, or people who caused an accident because of talking or texting while driving.
Talking on a cell phone or texting while driving is called distracted driving. The U.S. Department of Transportation is working to end the danger of distracted driving on the country’s roads. Oprah is working toward the same end by creating what she calls a No Phone Zone. She has challenged drivers in the country to make the roads safer, and give up texting while driving. I totally support this, especially after seeing this episode of her show. Some of the stories-and pictures-were shocking.
It was a sobering hour, to say the least, but also one that caused me a lot of confusion. I know people talk on their cell phones while driving all the time, but have to admit, I didn’t know people texted while driving as well. I have trouble even comprehending the how of texting while driving. Texting seems difficult enough, what with those little keys, but to do it while you’re also driving?
How could anyone think that the attention it takes to text isn’t attention that really needs to be paid to the road in front of the car? And even if the texter thinks he or she is such an excellent driver and excellent texter that he can handle it, what about all the other people out there texting while driving, who may not be?
Why do you need to text while driving?
Besides wondering how texting while driving is done, I really wonder why. What in the world is so important that it must be transmitted right now, and can’t wait until the drive is done? And if it is so important, I think a person would want to either pull over or stop to make sure that the message is sent correctly.
If what’s being texted isn’t of absolute emergency-status importance, then why is it necessary to send it while driving? Why can’t it wait? And if getting where you’re going in a hurry is the issue that has people texting while driving, the texting ought to be able to wait.
As was brought home very well by this episode of the Oprah show, talking or texting while driving is a dangerous combination. I can’t imagine any situation where doing this is necessary. There’s always another option: either pull over and text, or drive and text later.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I admit I don’t have a cell phone, and I’ve never sent or received a text, so I don’t know what it’s all about. Maybe there are aspects of this texting issue that I’m unaware of-maybe it’s really fun or addictive. Or maybe not.
Maybe it’s just dangerous.
Oprah’s on the right track. Texting and driving don’t mix. To join Oprah’s No Phone Zone, you’ll have to sign a pledge that your car is a No Phone Zone.