Just wanted to tell you, don’t worry about me driving beside you anymore.  Not that I’m a bad driver, actually, I’m quite good.  Now parking, well, I’m a terrible parker.  (I go askew every time, no matter how hard I try to pull in straight!)  But, driving, I’m not so bad.  Good enough, even, that I felt pretty confident using that precious spare time behind the wheel catching up on phone calls.  And, I’m going to admit, even texting occasionally.  

Until now.

From now on, my phone is off while I’m driving.  No more catch-up conversations, checking texts, or even quick minute calls.  From now on, I am paying attention 100% of the time to the road around me, even if my favorite ringtones are chiming away, and the message tone is going crazy.  

You can rest easy as you drive your precious cargo around, knowing that my phone is off.  Because my cargo is precious, too.  And the risk is simply not worth it.  

You won’t hear me say this often, but Oprah set me straight on that one yesterday.  I barely ever watch her show, but I had a load of laundry to tackle, and flipped on the tv.  To see the families and hear the tragic stories of loss  caused by this completely preventable epidemic… well… it just opened my eyes.  From now on, I’ll be one of those overly cautious nerds who pulls over if I absolutely must make a call.  Better that than wishing for my whole life that I hadn’t taken that call and then killed someone in an accident because of it.  Everybody thinks they can text/talk and drive, that they are good enough to multitask like that.  But the thing I realized is this:  I’m a good walker.  I can walk straight, fast, steady.  I can walk without looking down constantly.  I’ve been walking since I was 8 months old.  (yay me!)  But still, rare but STILL, I occasionally trip.  I’ll stumble, I’ve even fallen down.  Because nobody can walk perfectly all the time.  

So as good a driver as I think I am, it only takes one moment of distraction.  One moment where I’m talking or texting, and I trip.  I stumble, and someone’s mother or father or brother or sister or child is gone.  And no phone call is worth that loss.  No text could be so important.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know.  From now on, I’ll be the one in the red minivan, paying attention, hands at ten and two, letting it all go to voicemail.  

You’re welcome