Certainly, there are some pretty strong opinions about cell phones and driving. I try to be very honest on my own blog so I'll tell you: I spend much of my hour commute home on the phone catching up with friends, making plans, calling my online students. I also will be honest and tell you that I don't have a hands-free device. I have wanted one, but I haven't made the trip to the store and picked one up. My car is far too old to have the fancy blue tooth built in. So I drive...with a phone in my hand, distracted. You may do the same, too. (Do you?) I'll ask of you now-please stop.
One week ago, my parents called to tell me there had been an accident. The car my sister had been a passenger in was hit head on by a man on his cell phone. He didn't even hit the brakes because he didn't even realize he had swerved across the center line and into oncoming traffic. Not one brake mark. The impact pushed the car back 200 feet. Up an embankment. Did I mention that there was a four month old baby in the back seat? No, uh well, there was. It was SUV against Honda. (Honda owners will delight in the fact that the Honda held it's own!)
Luckily and miraculously, the baby was unharmed. The driver of the car my sister was in was bruised and sore, but unharmed. My sister bore the brunt of the impact, breaking her leg and her sternum. Instantly, the choice to take that phone call changed my sister's life. In the blink of an eye, the next 3-6 months of her life and possibly forever were changed, altered, transformed. Instead of planning vacations, she is in a walker, just trying to get from bedroom to living room. Instead of starting with a new department at work, she is figuring out how to breathe through her pain, how to walk with both a broken leg and a broken sternum. She requires 24 hour care when she used to live independently.
All because a man chose to take a phone call. Please think about this the next time you are driving. Remember that no phone call is that important to jeopardize the well-being of your life or others. Buy a hands-free device and use it. Or, like one of the nurses at the hospital who constantly sees the trauma caused by cell phone distractions does, lock the phone in the trunk. Please.