I will warn you now, this post isn't about fertility...well, I guess kinda, but we'll get there. And sorry in advance if this sounds like I am yelling! But after watching Oprah, hearing my Mom say she was calling because she was driving almost made me sick! I did not call her back on my way home from WW. READ ON...
This post is about something that was brought to my attention yesterday, by Oprah of all people. Cell phones and driving. I will admit (and anyone who knows me, knows this because I call you) that when I get in the car alone, the first thing I do is put in my earpiece to my phone and call someone. I even have specific people I call on specific days to catch up, kind of like a date! But no more. And that is going to be hard because it takes me roughly 35-40 minutes to get home from work. Time that I do nothing but talk on the phone. Well I guess now, I will be talking to myself and blogging in my head because I won't be on the cell phone anymore.
I always knew texting and driving was bad. If you think about it, how can it not be? I you are looking down at your phone, not at the road! Remember when we learned to drive and you couldn't have the radio on or friends in the car because our parents thought we would be distracted? Well hello, cell phone, food, cigarette (not me! but others), radio, children (again, not me obviously), make up (not me), shaving (yup, I have SEEN it, but never done it), and a multitude of other activities that aren't related to driving. I often wonder what people are holding on to the wheel with since I can see both hands full! I even remember as a kid yelling at my Dad when he drove with his knee once in a while...thankfully no more. So why has this become okay now? Because someone gave us a phone and the ability to have unlimited texts, talk and internet? I know that is my problem, but no more. Just because someone gives you crack, does that mean you do it?! I hope not!
So first, a quick synopsis of the show from yesterday (Here's Oprah's Synopsis), but mine is shorter. First, in true Oprah fashion, there are mini-segments of families who have lost someone because that person or another was driving and texting/talking on the cell phone...and of course the first ones are children. One family lost their 11 year old when she was riding her bike home from school ("15 pedals from home") and was hit by a lady texting and died. Another 19-year-old dropped his phone, reached for it and hit a large tree. Sob stories and yes, I did sob! (Especially as I began to think, "what would happen after we have tried so hard to get pregnant and then someone took him/her away from us with something stupid like this? What if I did that to another parent, previous Infertile or not?") Oh right...synopsis...so then we talk to some of the people in the video, and I cry more. (let's face it, when do I not cry during Oprah?!) More mini-interviews, and more pictures of cars mangled beyond recognition. Then, they bring up the story of this 19-year-old who was texting and killed 2 men because he crossed traffic and pushed them into another lane and the guy behind the 19-year-old hit them. They have the wife and child of each man speak, then the 19-year-old. Obviously, he knew what he had done was wrong and was remorseful, going so far as to say his 30-day jail sentence wasn't enough (agree) and got Utah to approve a very strict law about driving and texting. No, he still isn't forgiven in my book, but at least he is trying to prevent others from doing what he did. They review headlines that we all have seen - the bus driver who was caught texting on tape and got in accident, the train conductor doing the same thing and derailed the train, etc. Finally, they get to the statistics and they do a study with three strangers. They have each person (on a closed course) drive without a cell phone and do a brake test (how long does it take for you to react when you see brake lights) and drive a slalom course. Then do both again while texting to see the difference. Each driver was a self-proclaimed texter-extraordinaire. Not anymore they aren't! All were astounded by the results. Here's the stats that stood out to me:
* Driving while talking on the phone makes you 4 times more likely to be in a car accident, texting raises that to 8 times more likely.
* Driving while talking on the phone is like driving with the legal limit of alcohol (.08 blood alcohol level) in your body! (I refrain from driving and drinking, so this made me sit up and take notice.)
* 500,000 people have been injured from people driving and talking/texting.
* 6,000 people have DIED because they were involved in a texting/talking on the phone accident
HOLY COW! Those are astounding. Please go watch the show, at the very least, some of the videos on the website. Oprah's videos. And do like I did and sign her No Phone Zone contract. And follow it! (So maybe my synopsis wasn't quick, but Oprah covered A LOT!)
So how does this connect to our infertility. My Mom has been telling me for some time that maybe "God is trying to teach me patience" and for a while I just believed that. But now it has become that God is either trying to teach me something or is waiting for something to happen in our lives (i.e. J get a better job, our finances be more in line, pass the CFP (aka big nasty), etc). What occurred to me today was, God's lesson to me could be...don't talk on the phone and drive! I would never dream of doing that with a child in the car (mine or my friend's), but what about while I am pregnant? I had never thought of that? There are enough distractions out there without adding to them.
Please watch the show folks, and at the very least just stop doing it. If you need to call someone in the car for directions, pull over. Who knows who could be calling and what effect it will have on you and your driving? Please be careful and please hang up and drive or pull over and chat?! It's sad that it took 6,000 people dying and 500,000 people getting hurt to teach me (and hopefully everyone) that message! But it won't soon be forgotten!
Trust me, it won't be easy to drive home from work and not gab on the phone because I have a 35-40 minute commute, but it will be worth it to make sure I make it home. Lesson learned Big Guy...lesson learned.