Guest Author - Lisa Polovin Pinkus
Cell phones have brought a level of convenience to modern day motherhood that moms have never experienced before. We are accessible at all times, can reach out in emergencies no matter where we are, and are able to find answers and directions with the push of a button.
Remember the days when our moms didn’t have cell phones? We’d have to wait in the nurse’s office until mom arrived home to receive the nurse’s call and know to come and get us. If mom wasn’t home when the nurse called, that was it – we’d wait.
Today, we take our cell phones for granted. Even more, we’ve made them a necessity, and we are modeling great misuses of cell phones to our children. In this article, I will cover the use of cell phones while driving.
Problem – Talking in the Car I cannot tell you how disturbing it is to see moms talking on the phone when they have their children in the car. Even worse, most moms I observe are not using a hands-free headset. When we are in the car, driving should be the only thing we are focused on. And, that rarely happens when you have children in the car – they are constantly asking you questions, requesting a different radio station, or asking you to pass them their water bottle.
What we are teaching our children When we talk on the phone while driving, we are teaching our children that that is an acceptable behavior. Yet, how many of us want our newly driving 16-year old to be talking on the phone when he or she is in the car? If you don’t want your children talking on the phone while they are driving, then stop doing it yourself.
Mothers are constantly having to multi-task, but driving and talking on the phone (or texting) is not a safe choice – for anyone! Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration state that in 2009, 16% of fatal car accidents were due to distracted drivers. People who are talking on cell phones cause 25% of all car accidents. Four out of five accidents (80%) are caused by distracted drivers as opposed to drunk drivers who cause one out of three accidents (33%). Our young drivers – those under 20 years old – have the highest percentage of distracted drivers – meaning they are texting more and talking more than any other age group. We have already taught our teenagers that this is acceptable behavior. We need to make changes now so that your children who will be driving in years to come do not think that talking on the phone while driving is the norm.
Solution Make it a family rule that texting or talking on the phone while in the car is prohibited. If the matter is so urgent, pull over to use the phone. Take it a step further and be sure to ask carpooling partners to refrain from using the phone while they’re driving your children.
If you still don’t think texting and talking while driving is a big deal or that you are really careful while you do it, I invite you to visit the official website of the US Government for Distracted Driving and view the “Faces of Distracted Driving”.