Today is the official day to Take the pledge for the “It Can Wait” campaign by AT&T. If you are unfamiliar with what this campaign is about – it’s about pledging NOT to text and drive. I was asked by another blogger, Jerri Ann, from Momecentric, who is directly involved with the campaign to share this campaign with you and spread the word. I do so with great pleasure as I believe 300% in this cause, and then some.
You see, I have issues with those who drive and text. Doing so truly does kill people and it may not be you who gets killed or severely injured, but a loved one. Cell phones in general pose a risk for accidents. In my opinion, hands free devices are the best things around. If you haven’t a hands free device – please pull off to the side of the road until your business is done on that cell phone. It really is as simple as that.
Let me tell you a true story as to why I have such strong feelings about cell phones and driving. My son has severe multiple handicaps. He attends Easter Seals for his day programming. I put my trust in those who drive him but that trust does NOT come WITHOUT worries or concerns.
Before I write more – I need to make it clear that Easter Seals has a policy in place regarding cell phone use, but this particular DSA (direct support assistant) driving my son around didn’t seem to give a crap.
It was obvious that he didn’t think I meant business when I complained about his cell phone use. He continued to pick my son up every morning and would drop him back off every afternoon with that cell to ear – that’s no exaggeration. There literally wasn’t a time that I would see that DSA not have that cell to his ear as he pulled in the drive. I complained. He heard the complaints. He clearly was ignoring the issue. A meeting was due soon and at that meeting I was going to clearly state that I wanted this DSA to be replaced – except before that meeting came a bigger incident occurred.
This one rainy day we (including me) were on the highway headed to a neurologist appointment out of town. This DSA had the audacity to answer his cell, check his voice mail, and take his hands off the wheel to pound on the steering wheel because he was upset with the call he just answered.
Mind you – this DSA is a middle-age gentleman with a son of his own who was 10 at the time. He is more than welcome to do what he wants with his loved ones in his vehicle – but not with me and certainly not with my son who is unable to say – “please do not use that cell while I’m in the vehicle.” That said, I don’t feel he has the right to jeopardize others on the road regardless of what he can and can’t do with his own family members.
So we get home from that appointment, safely, thank God, but that’s when I began to put the wheels in motion with being done with this DSA – like – IMMEDIATELY. I requested this DSA to be pulled from working with my son. That happened right away, a floater DSA was designated until Easter Seals and I came to a mutual agreement on who would work with my son ongoing.
Well, the floater DSA asked why the sudden change and I told her. She then enlightened me that when she was training with this very same DSA that had been let go – that he would text and drive as well in her presence. This floater DSA said when I asked why she never said anything – that she was too afraid too. She has a meek and mild personality and was afraid to speak up and say – please don’t do that. Plus she felt if she had gone to management that she would be looked at as a rat by staff where she hadn’t been employed that long by Easter Seals. What an awful position to be in – seriously.
Anyway, a week or so later a family friend – who was like a daughter to me – came to visit. She was in her early 20’s at the time. She began to tell me an incident about a young lady that was killed. She started with, “do you remember that rainy day we had a couple weeks ago?” I said, “yes, we went to a doctor’s appointment that day.” She then proceeded to say that one of her campers (she, meaning my friend was a camp counselor at Camp Carefree – a camp for juvenile diabetics) was killed that day. She was only seventeen.
I asked what happened. She proceeded to say that the young lady was on the highway in Maine and lost control of her vehicle and that it was determined that she was texting someone at the time she lost control of the car. She was instantly killed in the crash. Such a tragedy! Fortunately, no one else was involved in the incident – but such a waste of a young lady that had her whole life ahead of her.
Granted, cell phones are in the here and now, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to jeopardize anyone else’s life. And quite frankly, you should value your own life enough not to use them while driving. One second is all that it takes for an accident to occur – it’s no different than drinking and driving.
So with all my might – I am begging you to please take the pledge. It could save a life. It could save YOUR life. It could save one of your loved one’s lives. Driving and texting has no mercy on anyone. Will you please take the pledge here: ItCanWait.com ?
You could be saving someone’s life – including your own. TODAY – please share this with everyone you know.