Texting and Driving

Tomorrow I will be taking my 15 year old daughter, Marni, to get her driving learner’s permit.  OMG!  I remember when my dad took me to get my permit.  Later that day we went to a deserted parking lot so I could drive around and get a feel of the car.  Then we went out onto the road.  Wow!  That was exciting and very nerve racking.  I am not sure who had the whiter knuckles – me or my dad.

I plan on doing the same thing with Marni tomorrow.  I will take her out somewhere and let her take the wheel.  Will we go out on the road?  I’m not sure she and I are ready for that yet!  I’m sure my dad thought the same thing 32 years ago, however.  Watching my daughter learn to drive will bring back so many memories for me like my first time on the expressway, my first left hand turn in traffic, and my first experience parallel parking.  I also will remember the stupid things I did as a neophyte driver (I’m keeping those to myself in case my parents are reading this!).  Thinking back, I wonder how I survived those days.

This morning I was watching the Today Show on NBC, and they had a piece on the dangers of texting while driving.  This is when it hit me that my little girl will be out on the road facing the awesome responsibility and inherent dangers that all drivers face.  Featured in this story was the sad tale of a 17 year old girl who was killed on her way to school becasue she was sending text messages while she was driving.  The story goes on to explain how texting while driving has been proven to be more dangerous than driving while intoxicated.

Well, my daughter is the queen of cell phone texting, having been known to send/receive more than 4,000 texts in one month.  And, until now, I have not had a problem with that.  I have gone so far as to argue why cell phones and texting should be allowed in our schools (see here, here, and here).  Now, it appears as if my daughter’s world of texting and the very adult world of driving are about to collide (no pun intended).

I can guarantee that Marni will be watching this story tonight, before she gets her learner’s permit.  She must see and undersand the danger in this behavior before she gets behind the wheel.

Soon enough, Marni will have a driver’s license which will be very convenient for our family.  I am looking forward to the day when I can send her out to the store or take her younger sister places.  However, I also am dreading the day when she is driving by herself, no longer under my wachful eye in the seat next to her.  How will I know that she is focused on the road and not on her cell phone?

If you have a cell phone and a driver’s license, please click on the link below to watch the video.  I only wish they had included the acts of shaving, applying make-up, reading the paper, and eating cheeseburgers in this story.  I am seeing those activities taking place behind the wheel as well.

Texting and Driving


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