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Today is "No Phone Zone" Day

This is going to be hard. I am a serious multi-tasker and I make a TON of phone calls in the car.  But I also know that cell phone use for calls and for texting while driving is creating serious safety issues.  Of course I just think it’s the other guy who’s the problem, not me.

That’s what we ALL think.

So today, I am going to be part of the solution. I’m joining Oprah’s No Phone Zone Movement that is launching today. My phone is going in the glove box when I get in the car so I’m not tempted to answer it or even check it while I am driving.

Need some statistics to convince you that our cell phones and driving don’t mix? Here you go:

  • Every single time someone takes their eyes or their focus off the road – even for just a few seconds – they put their lives and the lives of others in danger.  Distracted driving is unsafe, irresponsible and in a split second, its consequences can be devastating. ~ U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood
  • New research findings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that show nearly 6,000 people died in 2008 in crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver, and more than half a million were injured.
  • On any given day in 2008, more than 800,000 vehicles were driven by someone using a hand-held cell phone.
  • Across the board, federal researchers who have directly observed drivers of all ages found that more and more people are using a variety of hand-held devices while driving – not just cell phones, but also iPods, video games, Blackberrys and GPS systems.
  • In particular, cell phone use for talking and texting is now more prevalent on our nation’s roads, rail systems and waterways, carrying a dangerous potential for accidents.

For our safety and the safety of those we love, we’ve all got to be part of the solution. Here’s what you can do:

1. Put your cell phone in the glove box while you are driving. Get temptation out of reach!

2. Check out the No Phone Zone Causes Page = www.causes.com/nophonezone

3. Sign the No Phone Zone Pledge – http://apps.facebook.com/causes/petitions/455

Let’s help safety on the road escape mediocrity today, ok?!

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  • http://sallyg.me Sally G.

    Good morning Sarah! Many cities throughout Canada have laws against cell phone/texting use while driving. There is no disputing the common sense behind this law or the lives that have been taken or changed forever by drivers who did not have their full attention on the road at all times.

    Here’s the thing though – for some, there is a disconnect between the intent (pay attention, be responsible, keep everyone safe) and the follow through. Here’s what I’ve observed – those who do not feel a personal accountability for their driving behaviour with regards to the safety of themselves and others are still texting and driving … and they are actually more dangerous now than they were BEFORE the law was put in place – because they’re now texting ‘out of sight’. Driving while leaning down w/ cell phone below the dashboard ~ or looking down at the seat beside them vs out the window and in their mirrors.

    Raising awareness amongst the responsible who hadn’t previously understood the ramifications of their behaviour is a really good start. Reaching those who don’t think this applies to them – and who now channel more energy into doing what they do without getting caught ~ there’s the challenge.

    I think it’s awesome that you are a beacon of social responsibility in so many ways. You’re an inspiration to us all!

  • Anonymous

    You ARE awesome Sarah, and this is going to be freaking hard. I was just saying to someone yesterday how I usually call my friends when I get in the car. As if I’M NOT DOING ANYTHING ELSE and it’s a good time. But you’re right. Must put more thought to this. Thanks. I guess. :)

  • http://www.marketingfield.com Jaimie

    Thanks for this Sarah!

    I would like to add that any form of distracted driving – changing your radio station/mp3 song/CD, putting on makeup (my particular pet peeve), eating, etc – should also be curbed…. but I will be happy if people do not text and drive :)

    Jaimie

  • http://www.jessilicious.com Jess Webb

    Hi Sarah;

    Awesome stuff! :)
    Thankfully, I never got into using the phone while driving – that is, after trying it a couple of times and getting in a little fender bender as a result!!! ;) Ever since I’ve been adamant about staying off the phone and away from other distractions while driving!

    AND they just brought in a new law here – I think it’s Ontario wide – and it’s now illegal to be on the cell phone while driving. You HAVE to have an earpiece, or not be on the phone at all. :) I’m still not sure if it’s wise to even be using an earpiece…. :P

    Jess

  • Anonymous

    OK, I’m in. I don’t usually talk on the phone while I’m driving, but I will email and text – but only when I’m stuck at a stop light. I know that I’m not coordinated enough to type on that little thing while I’m actually moving! lol

    But you’re right. It is sooo dangerous, and honestly, if you look at the dumba** drivers who are a) driving too slowly, b) driving too fast, c) are weaving all over the damn lane/road, or d) changing lanes w/out looking (I especially like it when they do that on the freeway and shoot across 3 or 4 lanes at the last second so they don’t – God forbid – miss their exit), or e) any number of other stupid things, 99.9% of the time they have that phone up to their ear.

    So on the rare occasion that I do talk while I’m driving, I put it on it’s little speaker so I don’t have to hold it.

    Thanks for the reminder though. It isn’t safe, and more states need to make it illegal to talk or text while driving. I know it’s been illegal in CA for a while, but ha ha – your state and mine – we’ll be the slow ones to get with the program.

    Hugs,

    Lori

  • Anonymous

    Hello Sarah!

    Luckily I never got into the habit of using my phone in the car because being the easily distracted person I am, I knew better not to start. You have my full support for this cause, and I applaud you for getting the word out. I’ve had a few close calls with drivers using their phones, and in the process taught my kids some salty language as I reacted to the situation.

    May I propose we add to the Distracted Drivers List people who read books or newspapers, apply makeup (me, too Jaimie!), and/or turn around to face their kids while driving? The latter makes me crazy, especially if said driver is turned around and looking down for whatever their child dropped on the floor while their vehicle continues to move forward.

    • Mike Korner

      Driving is going to be so boring with both hands on the wheel and having to look forward and pay attention. The problem, of course, is where to stop banning things. To do it right, everything that CAN distract a driver from having two hands on the wheel and looking straight ahead should be banned. Examples that don’t appear to be already on the list: Smoking, radios, DVD players, all food and drinks, reading maps, men shaving, loud music, air guitars, singing like a crazy fool (maybe I’m the only one who does that), and all passengers (unless there is a separator like they have in cabs :). I suppose we should just go ahead and ban toasters from cars before those catch on, too — hey, who wouldn’t like a warm pop tart on the way to work? Seriously, thank you for the reminder (and call to action) on this.

      • Anonymous

        Loving the warm pop tarts idea, Mike (notice I didn’t mention “eating”). ;) Drive safely, my friend!

  • http://sallyg.me Sally G.

    Good morning Sarah! Many cities throughout Canada have laws against cell phone/texting use while driving. There is no disputing the common sense behind this law or the lives that have been taken or changed forever by drivers who did not have their full attention on the road at all times.

    Here's the thing though – for some, there is a disconnect between the intent (pay attention, be responsible, keep everyone safe) and the follow through. Here's what I've observed – those who do not feel a personal accountability for their driving behaviour with regards to the safety of themselves and others are still texting and driving … and they are actually more dangerous now than they were BEFORE the law was put in place – because they're now texting 'out of sight'. Driving while leaning down w/ cell phone below the dashboard ~ or looking down at the seat beside them vs out the window and in their mirrors.

    Raising awareness amongst the responsible who hadn't previously understood the ramifications of their behaviour is a really good start. Reaching those who don't think this applies to them – and who now channel more energy into doing what they do without getting caught ~ there's the challenge.

    I think it's awesome that you are a beacon of social responsibility in so many ways. You're an inspiration to us all!

  • meganmatthieson

    You ARE awesome Sarah, and this is going to be freaking hard. I was just saying to someone yesterday how I usually call my friends when I get in the car. As if I'M NOT DOING ANYTHING ELSE and it's a good time. But you're right. Must put more thought to this. Thanks. I guess. :)

  • http://www.marketingfield.com Jaimie

    Thanks for this Sarah!

    I would like to add that any form of distracted driving – changing your radio station/mp3 song/CD, putting on makeup (my particular pet peeve), eating, etc – should also be curbed…. but I will be happy if people do not text and drive :)

    Jaimie

  • http://www.jessilicious.com Jess Webb

    Hi Sarah;

    Awesome stuff! :)
    Thankfully, I never got into using the phone while driving – that is, after trying it a couple of times and getting in a little fender bender as a result!!! ;) Ever since I've been adamant about staying off the phone and away from other distractions while driving!

    AND they just brought in a new law here – I think it's Ontario wide – and it's now illegal to be on the cell phone while driving. You HAVE to have an earpiece, or not be on the phone at all. :) I'm still not sure if it's wise to even be using an earpiece…. :P

    Jess

  • lorilatimer

    OK, I'm in. I don't usually talk on the phone while I'm driving, but I will email and text – but only when I'm stuck at a stop light. I know that I'm not coordinated enough to type on that little thing while I'm actually moving! lol

    But you're right. It is sooo dangerous, and honestly, if you look at the dumba** drivers who are a) driving too slowly, b) driving too fast, c) are weaving all over the damn lane/road, or d) changing lanes w/out looking (I especially like it when they do that on the freeway and shoot across 3 or 4 lanes at the last second so they don't – God forbid – miss their exit), or e) any number of other stupid things, 99.9% of the time they have that phone up to their ear.

    So on the rare occasion that I do talk while I'm driving, I put it on it's little speaker so I don't have to hold it.

    Thanks for the reminder though. It isn't safe, and more states need to make it illegal to talk or text while driving. I know it's been illegal in CA for a while, but ha ha – your state and mine – we'll be the slow ones to get with the program.

    Hugs,

    Lori

  • http://www.angelfood.co.nz Alice Leonard

    Hi Sarah. Good for you! I’m in New Zealand, and it’s just been made illegal here to use a hand-held phone while driving. I’m so glad!!! It’ll be interesting to see what it does to our road statistics.

  • lipdesign

    Hello Sarah!

    Luckily I never got into the habit of using my phone in the car because being the easily distracted person I am, I knew better not to start. You have my full support for this cause, and I applaud you for getting the word out. I've had a few close calls with drivers using their phones, and in the process taught my kids some salty language as I reacted to the situation.

    May I propose we add to the Distracted Drivers List people who read books or newspapers, apply makeup (me, too Jaimie!), and/or turn around to face their kids while driving? The latter makes me crazy, especially if said driver is turned around and looking down for whatever their child dropped on the floor while their vehicle continues to move forward.

  • http://twitter.com/IAC_Heather Heather

    This is so on the money. I mean, I will admit, if I see a car driving down the street and I see some excessive “brake tapping” I tell myself they are on a cell phone. Let me tell you 9 times out of 10 I am right. But, like another reader mentioned, I will find myself flipping through texts while at a stoplight. I know that it takes my attention off of the more important task of driving a vehicle and keeping myself safe and those around me safe too, but I honestly think that the whole cell phone and texting issue in the car is something that is preventable. Oprah IS right. Put the phone in the glove box – there is no need to be holding your cell phone or blackberry in your hand while driving. There is no reason to have your cell phone within your range of view vehicle driving either (unless you are using it for GPS reasons). I think this is a topic that can and will be heavily debated in the years to come, but it is just common sense. Is it more important to drive to survive or text your besties? C’mon!!

  • http://www.angelfood.co.nz Alice Leonard

    Hi Sarah. Good for you! I'm in New Zealand, and it's just been made illegal here to use a hand-held phone while driving. I'm so glad!!! It'll be interesting to see what it does to our road statistics.

  • Mike Korner

    Driving is going to be so boring with both hands on the wheel and having to look forward and pay attention. The problem, of course, is where to stop banning things. To do it right, everything that CAN distract a driver from having two hands on the wheel and looking straight ahead should be banned. Examples that don't appear to be already on the list: Smoking, radios, DVD players, all food and drinks, reading maps, men shaving, loud music, air guitars, singing like a crazy fool (maybe I'm the only one who does that), and all passengers (unless there is a separator like they have in cabs :). I suppose we should just go ahead and ban toasters from cars before those catch on, too — hey, who wouldn't like a warm pop tart on the way to work? Seriously, thank you for the reminder (and call to action) on this.

  • lipdesign

    Loving the warm pop tarts idea, Mike (notice I didn't mention “eating”). ;) Drive safely, my friend!

  • http://twitter.com/IAC_Heather Heather

    This is so on the money. I mean, I will admit, if I see a car driving down the street and I see some excessive “brake tapping” I tell myself they are on a cell phone. Let me tell you 9 times out of 10 I am right. But, like another reader mentioned, I will find myself flipping through texts while at a stoplight. I know that it takes my attention off of the more important task of driving a vehicle and keeping myself safe and those around me safe too, but I honestly think that the whole cell phone and texting issue in the car is something that is preventable. Oprah IS right. Put the phone in the glove box – there is no need to be holding your cell phone or blackberry in your hand while driving. There is no reason to have your cell phone within your range of view vehicle driving either (unless you are using it for GPS reasons). I think this is a topic that can and will be heavily debated in the years to come, but it is just common sense. Is it more important to drive to survive or text your besties? C'mon!!

  • Anonymous

    Ok, I am going to try this out and put my cel away too, but have they done studies about the safety of driving with toddlers in the car? I mean, how many times have you fished around the back seat (one hand on wheel, one in the back seat) for a dropped sippy cup, binky, toy or blanket so you could calm a crying kid? Or better yet, have you ever had to play referee when the WWF breaks out in your back seat? Talk about not safe. I’m all for pulling over, but sometimes it’s not possible and THEN WHAT? Wonder what Oprah would think about that! …Just sayin’ ;)

  • brittmichaelian

    Ok, I am going to try this out and put my cel away too, but have they done studies about the safety of driving with toddlers in the car? I mean, how many times have you fished around the back seat (one hand on wheel, one in the back seat) for a dropped sippy cup, binky, toy or blanket so you could calm a crying kid? Or better yet, have you ever had to play referee when the WWF breaks out in your back seat? Talk about not safe. I'm all for pulling over, but sometimes it's not possible and THEN WHAT? Wonder what Oprah would think about that! …Just sayin' ;)

  • http://www.axisofawesomeblog.com Trever Clark

    How about going one step further? A day (or several?) without a cell phone period! I’m thinking about taking a cell phone and email break to detox from constant connectivity. Has anyone done this?

  • treverjclark

    How about going one step further? A day (or several?) without a cell phone period! I'm thinking about taking a cell phone and email break to detox from constant connectivity. Has anyone done this?

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