Drivers, hang up the phone
Dorothy HarrisThere's a lot of discussion regarding texting and driving. For the life and safety of all of us, please never use your keypad while driving. Common sense says this is a deadly mix, and for some, talking on the phone is apparently just as dangerous.
Published: January 17, 2013
Published: January 17, 2013
This week I wondered whether my column would be a thing of the past, right along with me, when a lovely lady in a very nice luxury car nearly mowed me down in a parking lot.
She wasn't texting or talking on the phone; she was listening to a conversation on her speaker phone. I know this because she got that close as she attempted to introduce me to the exfoliating properties of asphalt. Ouch.
Mr. Harris had his own issues this week with a driver on the phone. There was an emergency in the south end of the county and he was on his merry way, sirens blaring and lights flashing.
It would seem our modern emergency vehicles are not properly equipped to advise motorists, as the driver in front of him never realized Mr. Harris was behind him, nor did he move over as Florida law requires.
"I followed this car for like a mile and a half," he fumed. "The whole time I'm behind them, they never once looked in the rearview mirror."
Eventually the driver ended his phone conversation and quickly realized he was being followed by a fire truck. I'm sure it was an exciting moment for him.
Later in the week, the kid and I went on errands and witnessed one of those "what were they thinking moments" by yet another driver.
This person pulled up to an intersection, looked intensely in the other direction for several moments and then promptly pulled right out in front of us. Apparently their driver's education must not have mentioned one should look both ways when driving.
I slammed on the brakes and thank you Jesus the man behind me was not on the phone and thus refrained from rear-ending me.
The scatterbrained driver seemed shocked to see other cars in the intersection with him as he halted, taking it all in. Fear and embarrassment clouded his face as he meekly nodded an apology and slowly moved on his way.
"Good thing I wasn't on the phone, huh?" I asked my daughter as we peeled ourselves off the windshield. It was a great teachable moment.
With a teen who will soon be out on the roads herself, I feel chest pains coming on already. So many moms echo this fear within me.
"My son is driving," one shared. "I am a nervous wreck until I know he's made it safely to wherever he's going. Most of the time, I have to text him to find out, but I don't want to text him because I'm afraid he'll text me while he's still driving."
Lately I've been traveling out of town for my new job and one thing I've noticed is this sort of crazy hit-and-miss driving activity doesn't go on much in Polk County.
Maybe it's the lack of businesses along the highway or the different demographic of drivers, but honestly folks, I don't feel the need for survival mode instincts outside of Sebring.
I've also noticed law enforcement speed traps are numerous throughout the Winter Haven area and they seem to be doing a hefty business. Kind of makes me wonder if it's time to see the same around here. Drive safely my friends; it's scary out there.