These days, people feel entitled to use a cell phone wherever they happen to be. Whether in line at the grocery store, at the movies, or in a restaurant, the world is expected to come to a screeching halt as a ringing cell phone is answered. While using a cell phone in many settings is simply rude, there is one situation where using a phone is dangerous and should be avoided at all costs: behind the wheel of a car. Here are five signs that you need to let inbound calls roll to voice mail until you can pull over to the curb.
Sign #1: Lately, you find that stop signs and traffic lights appear out of the blue, and only just in time for you to throw on the brakes. Guess what? There is no magic involved in their sudden appearance. They were there all along. The problem is you were too busy talking on the phone to notice them.
Sign #2: A lot of drivers find it necessary to honk and wave balled-up fists in your direction. One now and then may mean somebody is having a bad day. One or two a day means something else entirely. If you can’t drive to the grocery store without this phenomenon happening at least once, chances are you are doing something while on the phone that is causing them distress.
Sign #3: Turns seem to come up before you realize it, making it necessary to hit the brakes and turn on a dime, or proceed a little further and double back. Like the lights and stop signs, those streets and roads have been there for a long time; nobody put them there two minutes before you drove by. The problem is you were too busy talking to realize that the turn was coming up.
Sign #4: In the last month, you’ve had to throw on brakes or veer to the side of the road to avoid hitting someone that you thought was several hundred yards away. The thing is, the other guy did see the stop sign or traffic light coming up and acted accordingly. Since you were busy telling your best buddy what happened on your date last night, you kept moving forward, almost until it was too late.
Sign #5: If any of the aforementioned incidents happened while there were children in the car, that is a sure sign that the cell phone needs to stay off while you drive. It’s one thing to conduct yourself in a manner that puts your neck at risk; it’s another thing to endanger little ones. If you don’t care about yourself, at least care about the safety of those young children who depend on you for protection and care. Once they are grown and on their own, you can take your life into your own hands all you want.
Like most things in life, using cell phones requires the application of a little common sense, and a little consideration for others. Taking time to lose the attitude that you are entitled to use your cell phone whenever and wherever you like will lead to the healthy habits of stopping at stop signs, obeying traffic lights, and actually making turns the first time. As a bonus, avoiding use of the cell phone when you are behind the wheel will go a long way toward helping you live to a ripe old age, and not end up as another statistic.