Category Archives: texting and driving

Great distracted driving news for Gram’s birthday! Hooray!!!

Hey there, remember me? Yes, it’s your long lost Mother R back from an extended holiday sabbatical. Or that’s my excuse anyway. And now that the holiday season has been well and fully celebrated, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Martin Luther King Day, Groundhog Day, Lincoln and Washington’s birthdays plus mine and Gram’s, I guess it’s finally about time to get back to work. 

Especially since there is fantastic news to share, thanks to some exciting news analysis by Matt Richtel in Sunday’s New York Times. Are you ready? Here goes! Many drivers are doing their texting in parking spaces rather than on the road! And Mother doesn’t mind one bit that it may not have anything to do with taking her advice. You may all be doing it because Oprah said so, or Ray LaHood, or the Car Talk guys, or somebody else altogether – she doesn’t care! She is just thrilled that you are doing it, and can’t thank you enough. But she will try. 

THANK YOU VERY, VERY MUCH!

But do you know who isn’t thrilled? Yup, the folks who are waiting for your parking spaces. Please do not worry about them. Once they realize you are making every effort to save their lives, they won’t be so cranky. In fact, they will be patient and grateful, like you are when the shoe is on the other foot, right? Of course you are! They will catch up soon, bless their little pointed heads. Maybe an assortment of exceptionally creepy PSAs from Bangalore, by way of The Inspiration Room, will help. Let’s give it a try…

Don’t Talk While he Drives 

Too disgusting? I’m sorry!

Here’s a charming video from the New York Times to cheer you up. It’s about a delightful elderly (but not at all infirm!) lady and her old car that looks like new. Enjoy 🙂

Isn’t she a dear? This nice lady is not my Gram, but she sure reminds me that I still miss her after all these many years. 

Happy birthday, Gram! 


How to stop texting while driving: help from AT&T

Honestly, it was not my plan to kick off the new year crabbing about texting and driving. Again. I had every intention of starting out on a cheerier note with a funnier post. But the helpful folks at AT&T had other ideas, and now that they mention it, I can see their point. So it’s back to the same old tired topic. You know how to make us stop, don’t you? That’s right! Stop doing it!! Please???

So we’ve pledged to Oprah. (We have, haven’t we? Did you forget? Well, go on and do it right now. We’ll wait. Here’s the link: No Phone Zone) And Lord knows Mother’s nagged you enough about it over the past year, hasn’t she? Don’t think so? Check out these examples:

Great highway safety news and a reminder
Have I nagged you about texting lately?
Distracted driving: Are we still texting and chatting on the road?
Texting is not the only thing teens should NOT do while driving
Have I issued a commandment lately?
Why you should NEVER text while driving

And I suspect I may have missed one or two. So here I was thinking that was plenty enough, when a new Facebook page came along with the depressing message that I was wrong. Some Who out there in Whoville is apparently STILL texting while driving, so AT&T (mindful, no doubt, of its role in this sorry state of affairs) has created one more pledge, and a complete program to go along with it, bless its little pointed head.

So if you know one of those slackers who hasn’t got the message yet, would you please, please, please pass the word along? Because Mother’s heart has had more than enough breaking over these tragic stories and far too many others. She doesn’t want to hear any more of them. Not one! You probably don’t either, do you? And just to be be crystal clear: we don’t want it to be because they’ve quit telling us; we want it to be because there are no more tragic stories to tell. So let’s thank the poor souls with the really broken hearts who have lived those stories and been kind enough to share. Let’s think about the consequences the next time we’re tempted to pick up the phone behind the wheel, and don’t do it. And let’s resolve not to create any more tragedies for any more grieving victims. Not one! OK? Thank you!

Here’s the AT&T Facebook page, where you can watch a powerful video, take the pledge and follow links to the full documentary and more resources:

Make a New Years Resolution Not to Text and Drive

Seriously, please promise Mother, Oprah and AT&T that you will NEVER text and drive so we can put this problem behind us once and for all. And stay tuned for that cheery post I promised you any day now.

Best wishes to everyone for a happy and salubrious 2011!

Great highway safety news, and a reminder

Woo hoo! We killed only 33,808 people on the road in 2009. That’s the best we’ve done (and by best I mean least!) since 1950. Mother’s ever so proud of us for driving more safely out there, and so is the Governors Highway Safety Association, as you can see here.

But lest we get complacent, there are nice folks out there who are taking the time to remind us that it’s still too many. With illustrations and some very excellent suggestions on how we can continue to improve. I couldn’t say it better myself so will just copy directly from the email sister Kacey sent along yesterday. (Thanks, Kace!)…

Would you like to have been in the passenger seat?


This accident occurred north of Deer Lodge in I-90. The driver was appx 22 year old guy heading east to college. He had left central Washington early in the morning. He fell asleep at the wheel and drifted off the shoulder hitting the end of the section of guard rail. The guard rail came through the right headlight, engine compartment, firewall, glove box, passenter seat, rear seat and exited out the driver’s side rear window. That is 120 LF of guard rail that threaded through the Suburban.

No passengers and the driver was not injured.

I am sharing this as a reminder to all about NOT driving when you shouldn’t be behind the wheel (drinking, texting, distracted or just plain tired).

Have I nagged you about texting lately?

Not nearly enough, have I? Because somebody out there is still doing it! I want you to stop it right now! And I’m not the only one. Since you don’t seem to listen to me, here’s a recent plea from a heartbroken Mom that I discovered thanks to a tip from my dear little sister (Thanks, Mary Beth!):



This report comes from her new home in Florida. And what’s going on back in the old upstate NY neighborhood? Well, pretty much the same thing. Here’s another recent report:


Texting while driving claims eighth life in three years – Buffalo News : The Buffalo News

And of course, Oprah hasn’t changed her mind, as you can see in this recent New York Times piece:

Dnt Txt N Drv

Finally, if you still need to be scared straight, here’s a a collection of photos courtesy of my friend Tom (thanks, Tom!).Yes, that's a motorcycle buried in that car

The label on the email said Her last call was on a cell phone!!! Was it? I don’t know, and this report I found at Drive and Stay Alive, Inc. doesn’t say, but it could have been and that’s good enough for me. And you too, right? Right!

Stockholm Motorcycle Fair

Now, come on, don’t make me tell you again. Quit texting and phoning while you’re driving! And if you will do those two little things for me, then I promise to stop being so crabby in the future. Thank you very much.

Distracted driving: STILL texting & chatting on the road?

I know, I know, I’ve been harping on this for quite some time now. Does mother need to tell you how to make me stop? That’s right! I will stop nagging you as soon as you do what I say, and I say that you must STOP texting or chatting on the phone as you drive. So have you stopped? Yes? Good for you!

What? Some of you haven’t?

OK, you’ve asked for it; I’m calling in the big guns. If you won’t listen to me, then maybe you’ll pay more attention when you hear it from Oprah. That’s right, Oprah herself has turned her attention to this critical issue, bless her heart. In fact, she devoted an entire show to America’s New Deadly Obsession, complete with custom t-shirts and a very catchy slogan (Don’t tempt f8, that txt can w8). But it’s more than just a show. Oprah is starting a movement, the No Phone Zone movement. Thank you so much, dear Oprah!

If you have time, mother recommends the entire episode. It is powerful, and true. Or you can select from various segments, or check out interesting related stories. And if you do nothing else, at the very least PLEASE go to the No Phone Zone to take the pledge.

But I know you’re busy, so in case you don’t have time to head over to Oprah’s place and watch a video, why don’t I just recap mother’s complete series of posts on the topic. The graphics and real life examples are vastly superior on Oprah, but you can find the basic message here…

Have I issued a commandment lately?
Why you should NEVER text while driving
Good news!
Texting is not the only thing teens should NOT do while driving
And driving is not the only thing we should NOT do while texting


Oprah and I are not kidding. This is every bit as dangerous as driving drunk. It is life and death. So just don’t do it, OK? OK! Enough said.

Well, except that mother is SO proud of all of you who are already doing the right thing. Thank you, darlings. Over and out.

Texting: not the only thing teens should NOT do while driving

Horseplay is also out. Many of us may think that goes without saying, and with good reason, but a recent story from my favorite news magazine, The Week, about a tragic accident in Arizona, reminds us that it never hurts to be crystal clear on this point. In fact, I believe this rises to the level of a commandment:

There shall be NO horseplay in and around a moving vehicle.

And while we can thank a grieving Arizona teen who ran over and killed her own brother by accident (while playing chicken) for this reminder, there is no reason to limit this rule to teens. All drivers would do well to remember that screwing around with cars is dangerous and inappropriate. Always.

Listen to Sgt. Ed Wessing, the officer from Arizona, who is quoted in the story, “Driving is not the time to horseplay, whether it’s hood surfing or doing this type of thing.” Mother Rider doesn’t even know what hood surfing is, and doesn’t want to. She feels quite comfortable forbidding it sight unseen, and thanks Sgt. Wessing for the heads up.

Finally, in case you’re still hazy on the DON’T text and drive commandment, you can find extra clarity at these previous posts: Have I issued a commandment lately? and Why you should NEVER text while driving. And while we’re being perfectly clear, let me repeat: this commandment is NOT limited to teens. Nobody is allowed to text and drive. Period.

Remember to stay salubrious out there, would you please? Because you know mother worries. OK? OK!

Why you should NEVER text while driving

I know I’m repeating myself, but when the commandment is this important, that’s what Mother needs to do, over and over again, until everyone gets it. And that goes double when she has amazingly disturbing video backup from a British public service spot. So here it is, with thanks to Mr. Hughes for creating it and to her friends Laura and Kim for finding and passing it on:

Sure it’s staged, but if you are tempted to blow it off on that account, here’s why you absolutely should not, in the words of its creator, Peter Hughes:

“Yes it is violent, but the reality of a fatal road accident is much more gruesome, is much more violent and my position on this is that if you are old enough to drive, if you are old enough to want to drive, you are old enough to be aware of the real and serious risks one places yourself in every time you get behind the wheel.”

And one more caution from Mother R: As a guy, Mr. Hughes may not be aware of this, but as the daughter, wife and mother of guys, I am, so let me be clear. You guys who are saying to yourselves that this doesn’t apply to you because they were girls and that would NEVER happen to you (you know who you are) are wrong, so you can just get over that little delusion right now. And you can stop protesting, because you know I’m right.

In short, just don’t do it! Period. And frankly, I’d lay off the cell phone chatting too. Enough said. I’m off to teach my driver safety class now and trusting you all to have a nice safe day, on and off the road.

Have I issued a commandment lately?

I haven’t, have I? Well, it’s about time I did! Here you go…

DON’T TEXT AND DRIVE

And don’t do it while riding your bicycle either. In fact, I’m going to include you pedestrians, too, as well as the rollerbladers and the skateboarders. Did I miss anybody?

First, I have to admit this wasn’t my idea. To be honest, I’m so lame it would never have crossed my mind to worry about this problem. But thanks to The Week, NPR, the American College of Emergency Physicians and my friend Marcia, I am on it! Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  • A recent survey found that 18% of cell phone users type text messages while driving
  • There is mounting evidence that this behavior leads to accidents and fatalities
  • The ER doc who was interviewed on NPR treated a woman who stumbled over the curb into the path of an oncoming car, and the driver who hit a light pole trying to avoid her as he chatted on his cell phone. And that’s not all. The text injured keep on coming at the rate of about one per week.
  • The American College of Emergency Physicians has issued an alert because they are seeing an alarming increase in text related injuries, every day in big cities like Chicago.
  • Injuries to the nose, mouth, chin and eyes seem to be the most common, because texters tend to fall flat on their faces. Many are fairly minor, but some are more serious, even fatal. For example, there is an email making the rounds called Don’t Text and Drive, that includes hideously graphic photographs of what happened to a Brazilian driver who was allegedly texting or chatting on his cell phone instead of watching out for that truck. Who knows if that was really the cause or not, but who cares? It could have been! The photos are much too gruesome for a cheery blog like this, but if you’re one of those visual learners who can handle the blood and guts, or just plain curious, you can find them on Snopes.
  • So if you must text and you must also drive or walk or whatever, what can you do? You can stop. Then send your text or have your chat. Then you can go. Simple, eh?

Even thinking about that email is too creepy for this normally cheery website so let’s agree that we will NOT text and drive, because I do NOT want to see any more photos like that EVER. And neither do you. Or your family. Trust me. OK?

OK! Thank you very much.