#16: Avoid talking/texting while driving

An acquaintance of mine was recently riding her bike, when a man in a stopped car suddenly opened his car door in front of her while talking on his cell phone. My friend, on her bike, flipped over the car door and landed on her back on the ground. Thankfully, her backpack protected her from serious injury but I can’t imagine what the consequences would have been if she didn’t have something to cushion her fall.

When I was driving to school this morning for the first day of classes, I couldn’t help but think of my friend’s bike accident as I passed several young children excitedly riding their bikes to school. Although new laws in Toronto and in many places around the world now prohibit talking or texting while driving, many drivers continue to be distracted by talking on their phones in one way or another.

Over the years, with the ubiquity of cell phones, I’ve noticed a change in human behaviour from one where humans communicated with others mainly on a ‘need-to’ basis, to one that is dependent on being accessible for most of one’s waking hours (and perhaps even sleeping hours). Unless it is absolutely necessary to answer the phone, I feel that keeping one’s cell phone off limits while driving is a simple act that can prevent many unnecessary accidents and thus help save lives.

You can visit Oprah’s ‘No Phone Zone’ web-page for a variety of videos and informational items on this issue.

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