Jackie Johnson
March 26, 2013 8:00 am

Hey guys,

So many friends of mine text while they drive, and I don’t get it.

I don’t get why anyone would make an unsafe situation even more unsafe.  We all know the road has more nuts on it than a squirrel’s dinner table. We all know road rage is more on-trend than colored denim. So shouldn’t we all know that driving is a privilege and while you’re behind the wheel, you are maneuvering a deadly weapon? I know that is heavy talk for an upbeat and light-hearted woman like myself, but my wisdom has come with a price.

Once upon a time, I wasn’t always so passionate about safe driving. I’m a working woman on the go, zipping around Los Angeles in a red convertible, and in the past seven years I’ve done some speeding, texting while driving, road raging, etc. that I’m not proud of. I’ve gotten several well-deserved traffic tickets. One day I got a speeding ticket, and to avoid a second point on my driving record, I attended 16 hours of court-mandated classroom defensive driving. I dreaded it initially, but ended up learning a lot and taking it seriously, because I vowed after that class to never get a ticket again. They suck so much. They cost you hundreds of dollars, make your insurance go up and take up a ton of your time. Time you could be spending texting!

Then a week later I disregarded the vow to myself, because of course, and was back to my bad driving ways and I got another ticket, this time for texting while driving. I was steaming mad, at the cop and at myself. I pleaded “not guilty” thinking the cop wouldn’t show up to the trial and I’d get out of the ticket, but he showed up, because of course. The judge ruled it is illegal to hold your phone while you drive. I forked over my $250 and left- then I vowed again, for real this time: I am NEVER gonna get another ticket.

I could’ve bought a fly outfit from Urban Outfitters for $250, or donated it a starving baby charity or something. Both of those would’ve been way more gratifying than that text message I just had to send. So I don’t get why anyone thinks a text message is worth $250. In California, we all know now that it’s illegal to be on your phone while you drive, yet people still do it, and I don’t get it.

So maybe people text while they drive because they don’t think anything bad could possibly ever happen to them? The likelihood of a cop seeing you is slim, so it’s worth the risk to do what you want, perhaps? I just don’t get how texting drivers don’t see why being safe in the car is so important. A few tiny factoids: 1.3 million crashes last year involved cell phones. Every year, roughly 6 million people in the US are involved in a car accident. A fender bender is inconvenient, yes, and maybe some people don’t consider their cars precious. But doesn’t everyone consider their LIFE precious? About 115 people die every day in vehicle crashes in the United States. That’s one death every 13 minutes. I hate statistics and sounding preachy, but how terrible and gross would it be to die because of texting? Texting while driving is just plain dumb and I just don’t get it.

Maybe people just really have important things to get done and can’t find the time to do it, and I empathize with that, for sure. I got an iPhone just a few months ago and oh, man, do I love apps! I love Instagram and seeing what people are up to. I love emojis. What a fun, new way to express myself. And don’t get me started on my new obsession, Jurassic Park Builder. I can’t collect coins from my Triceratops enough – and I would certainly like to while driving to up my Dino levels even faster.

But I don’t. Because I gotta focus on my driving and the road around me, so I put my phone away so I’m not tempted. If I can resist my urge to level-up my pterodactyl, can’t everyone else do the same? I don’t get it.

As a society, our attention spans have become extremely short. You might’ve stopped reading this to watch a sleeping puppy video. Stay with me! The whole concept of a text message is instant gratification. So I know how badly you wanna tell Jess that you love her new galaxy leggings, but it really can wait till you’ve arrived safely at your destination. She wants you to be safe and so do I.

So think about all the things I’ve shared with you, and maybe tell your pals and loved ones, and maybe from now on we can all be safer and we can all start to get it.

Got it?

Yeah girl,

Jackie

 Featured image via the author
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