It happened again this morning. A minivan driven by a cell-phone wielding woman (most likely a mom) pulled in front of me at top speed, with zero regard for the fact that my own 2-ton minivan already occupied that space in the road. And again, the mom behind the wheel didn’t seem to notice me as she chatted away with whoever was important enough to merit risking my life and hers.
With the school year in full swing, it seems like every day I encounter a mom who is so distracted by her phone call or texting or her cup of Starbucks that she’s willing to ignore traffic laws to get where she’s going. Is it really worth it? Is that phone call worth leaving your kids without a mom? Does that hot cup of coffee taste so good that you’d risk paralysis in a car wreck? Is that text message so urgent that it’s worth the guilt of killing someone on the road? The other day I saw three vans in a row with cell phone mamas pull in the lot at Dunkin’ Donuts –and all three drivers looked like their minds were a million miles from the crowded lot of bleary-eyed customers hunting for a sugar and caffeine fix. It's a recipe for disaster.
I can’t say I have never talked and driven. Or eaten breakfast and driven. I have, and I’ll bet you have, too. I've also had a car totaled by a newly minted driver who took her eyes off the road to pick up her phone and careened into my husband's Mazda, sending it into an SUV. Thankfully, he was fine, but many lives could've been shattered in that instant. All it takes is one wrong turn, one misjudged space, one blown stop sign.
So as the school year and fall activities get in high gear, let’s set an example for our kids (who will be drivers themselves one day). End the call, read the text later, put the coffee in the cup holder and focus on getting ourselves – and our precious cargo – safely from one point to the other.