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No phone zone

I was channel surfing a few days back and managed to catch a few minutes of Oprah Winfrey Show. Normally I do take some time to see what is the topic of discussion and if it is something of my interest, I watch the whole show. The topic of discussion on that show was ‘Distracted Driving’. I did not move an inch.

Very relevant to me and to countless others. And the stories of some opened my eyes.

A 9 year old girl was run over by a 2000 kg SUV while she was riding a bike in front of her house. Reason: The driver was texting and didn’t see the girl.

A 61 year old women was killed because a 21 yr old man crashed his car into her car because he jumped a red light. Reason: He did not see the red light because he was texting.

A 18 wheeler truck crashed in to a school bus carrying 22 children dragging it nearly 200 feet before bursting into flames. Luckily 21 kids escaped with minor injuries but not all. One girl lost her life. Reason: He was texting and didn’t see the bus.

A 19 year old man deviated his lane and clipped a car on the next lane. Both cars lost control, ended up on the oncoming traffic line and both men were killed instantly. Reason: The 19 year old was texting

Here are some facts for you.

  • Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent. (Source: Carnegie Mellon)
  • 80 percent of all crashes and 65 percent of near crashes involve some type of distraction. (Source: Virginia Tech 100-car study for NHTSA)
  • Nearly 6,000 people died in 2008 in crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver, and more than half a million were injured. (NHTSA)

The statistics are shocking. And the most shocking: 1 of 4 road accidents are due to texting!!!

I am a culprit. Have never thought twice before texting while driving. If I need to reply to someone or send a sms or browse the net, I pick up my phone and get on with it, while driving regardless of traffic or speeds or the possible risks associated with it. And now I realize how dangerous it can be.

“I Took The Pledge; Will You? Don’t Tempt F8 — that Txt can W8.”

Take the pledge. Don’t text will driving.

Source: www.distraction.gov, www.oprah.com

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41 thoughts on “No phone zone

    • Ppl think that they are focussed on the road and driving and they can multitask and talk or text using their mobile phones. But they are not – as the statistics show us.

      No call is more important than the call of our life. Lets be more sensitive to others while driving !!!

      That pledge is a wonderful thing. And it goes on to show your courage by accepting your mistake here.

      BTW, I am missing Oprah’s shows – its not coming in India. Which channel did you watch ?????

      • Yes, it is absolutely essential that drivers concentrate on the road and car rather than take their eyes of the road and start fidgeting with their cell phones!! I’ve seen so many cars deviating their lanes but fortunately not getting into crashes.

        I’m not sure when the show will be telecasted in India. I actually saw it nearly 2 weeks back.

  1. I pledge!
    I never ever take a call while im driving, while my hubby is all the time on the phone…he must attend every call and check him mail and with 1 hand reply to them too while driving. I was so paranoid I got a bluetooth system installed in his car, which picks up the calls on the car speakers…but even then his email checking hasn’t stopped. He gives me sleepless nights!

    Im frankly very scared and concerned about this habit and I hope people become more responsible and take the pledge. That one call can wait…accidents are just waiting to happen. Life is precious people.

    Masood, im going to take the liberty of printing this post and giving it to my hubby to read it. Thanks much!

  2. getting involved in an accident where the other person is at fault is one of those most unfair things that can happen to anyone.. i cant believe u used to text while driving..n if u did that on the dubai abu dhabi highway, all the more bad.. GLAD you have pledged.. speed used to trill me but after seeing dubai accidents, i am always careful, doubly.

    very good article..

    • Yes, I texted irrespective of where I was driving. Many times on the highway too. But have decided I will not henceforth. Infact I’ve reduced it since I saw the show..which was around 15 days ago.

  3. i am here after ages!! firstly, i love the layout!!
    This is a very relevant post. and yes even i am guilty of using my cell phone while driving. and yes i am ashamed of it. and yes i pledge i wont 🙂

  4. Masood, this is such a relevant thing. Not just texting, even picking up calls – e it through the blue tooth – it still hampers our concentration. I am very particular about this. My husband does not text but he picks up calls and I have been at it to make him stop. Phone calls/texts everything can wait till one has reached the destination. If it could be an emergency, why not pull over at the next possible place and then call back?

    I am so happy that you have made the pledge. We need more people like you 🙂

    • Yes, but answering calls one cannot avoid always. Specially if he/she spends a long time behind the wheel. Like I spend atleast 3 hrs daily driving so cannot miss calls. But texting can definitely wait. My wife is after me to buy a bluetooth headset.

    • Smitha said all that I wanted to say 😛 Thankfully both me and my husband doesn’t know how to text 😳 and I don’t even pick up a call while driving.

      Masood if you are driving for 3 hours and pick up a call does it really make a difference? I mean you are miles away from the person who is calling and god forbid if it is some emergency a person like me would definitely stress out 😦

  5. Yeah Masood, I’ve been guilty of this as well. But the problem is at times you just want to win those movie tickets by answering a stupid question. All other smses can wait though…

  6. Happened to me an hour ago – I had to take emergency evasive action to avoid being hit by a moron in a Nissan Tiida who was texting at 80kph

  7. Hey dude wassup ??? 🙂 well am anoder culprit 😦 but touhwood..nothin severe has happend so far by god’s grace…or my good driving skills 😉 reading the statistics and stuff however do scare me!! A lot of times u know even when it’s not the gadget..subconscious thoughts play around ur mind which can be disastrous…!

  8. I don’t call/text when I’m driving!
    But, yes, have seen plenty of people come close to having an accident, because they were too busy on their cell phones!!
    We need to be extra careful in a place like Bangalore which has its share of traffic jams and accidents!

  9. Sheesh !!! never knew it was this serious !! I listen to music while riding my bike and yeah, also speak using the headset ! I know its bad and Im trying my best to avoid the speaking habit !!

  10. Seriously people who text, talk on the phone, do their make-up, all give me the heebie-jeebies…..just a seconds laparvaahi cd be a date with death….mostly for the innocent who had the misfortune to cross their path.

    Glad u took the pledge 🙂

    • Thanks Nancy. Speacially out here in Dubai, people have this terrible habit of driving while fidgeting with their cellphones. Almost with no regard for traffic and other cars. Now, I try not to do the same and be vary of such drivers!

  11. I thought talking on the phone was dangerous but texting!! That’s so obviously inviting trouble.

    I never use mobile while driving, but will send this message to all friends – ‘Don’t Tempt F8 — that Txt can W8’ 🙂

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