Normally I would open something like this by saying, "Excuse me while I rant," but in this case, I want everyone to take a moment to read this.
PARENTS: PLEASE DO NOT TEXT AND DRIVE!
I was going to write about this a few months ago, when I saw a local mom drop off her kids at school and then proceed to TEXT AND DRIVE past the rest of the drop-off line, heading towards the crosswalk. I was so furious, but I took a lot of deep breaths and didn't think of it again until today when...
I saw her drop her kids off at school and then TEXT AND DRIVE again!
I'm not sure how anyone thinks this is not dangerous, especially a MOM! Aren't we the ones who care most about protecting the safety of our children and other children? I can see how teenagers and young adults who think they're invincible would text and drive and not think anything of it, but a MOM? I mean, come on, lady! Your 2-ton minivan is a weapon! You are NOT LOOKING AT THE ROAD while driving directly towards a SCHOOL CROSSING WALK!?!?
Maybe you already dropped your kids off at school so you don't give a crap about anyone else's kids who might then be walking to school. Or maybe—somehow–you haven't noticed the ridiculous traffic jam that our school's drop-off line becomes in the morning, with cars turning in from the left and through traffic trying to pass on the right. Maybe you were too busy TEXTING AND DRIVING to notice it!
I know this mom. I don't know her well, but I know her. I would like to tell her—and hopefully she will read this—that according to distraction.gov sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent-at 55 mph-of driving the length of an entire football field, blind. Granted, she is probably only going about 25 on Maple Street (hopefully she's obeying the speed limit!), but she can still drive half a football field before she even realizes it.
I hope everyone will read this, share it, and take it to heart. Not just this mom, but any parent who TEXTS AND DRIVES. At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving. Is this not something that scares you? And think of what any parent texting while driving is teaching their kids... that it's OK TO TEXT AND DRIVE! This is unacceptable AND preventable.
So, local mom, please stop TEXTING AND DRIVING. To any parent who is out there that does this, please stop TEXTING AND DRIVING.
IT CAN WAIT.
Jennifer Niederhoffer is the founder of Impress Media, an independent lifestyle & entertainment public relations and editorial services firm. You can follow her on twitter @impressmedia or @themommysreview.