|Logo from CHP campaign|
Each day, I travel a pretty long commute from Schuylkill County to Allentown, the seat of Lehigh County, PA. It's about 40 miles, most of it on one major highway, Route 78 which is highly traveled by commuters and tractor trailers alike. When I'm on Route 78, I travel with the speed of traffic. And by the way, I won't be divulging my rate of speed except it allows me to pass those in the slow lane. :)
I counted about 50 cars that I passed over the distance of 40 miles. Within those 50 cars, I counted 10 people speaking on their cell phones without hands free devices and 5 people actively texting with their eyes down on their phones. You can always tell those people in front of you who are texting. They started veering off to one side or the other. I usually try and pass them as quickly as possible. I don't want to be caught up in their bad driving habits.
Now I will say I am not 100% innocent in this subject. I would be a hypocrite if I said I never did it. I would say I am actively reforming myself of those bad habits and I have taken steps to stop them. I now use a hands free device for my phone. If I have forgotten the ear buds, my smart phone allows me to call people via voice commands and I then put them on speakerphone. If I find myself desperately in need of checking or sending out a text, I pull over and put on my hazards or just pull into a parking lot somewhere. A couple years ago, I picked up a yellow rubber thumb ring by GoGo which states: "NO TXTNG-TXT L8R". I stopped wearing thumb rings about 17 years ago so instead I have put it around one of the knobs on my car radio so I see it every morning as a reminder.
You can also get anti texting thumb rings at: http://www.textingthumbbands.com/ From their website comes this interesting and scary bit of info:
"Texting while driving takes your eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of a football field completely blind! Doesn't sound too smart does it?"
Even if you are at a stop light, it is not safe to text. I personally know people who have been in fender benders because they are slowly rolling forward into another car while texting. Or alternatively, they preemptively step on the gas while finishing their text thinking the car in front of them is now moving when they are not!
I am now an advocate for this. I yell at my friends. But I also have my friends yell at me if I slip up and do something stupid while driving. Your life and possibly someone else's may be at risk for your stupid foolish behavior. No text or call is worth a life.
On a lighter note, I passed one child picking his nose. I then passed a station wagon with at least five dogs romping about from chihuahuas to pugs to yorkies. And lastly, I passed a man eating a danish. I secretly hoped it was an apple danish because I really like apple danishes.