I just blew through a red light today. I didn't just sneak through because I though I could beat it, I just plain ran it. Why? Because I broke a rule I had tried to keep for myself. I was talking on my cell phone and driving.
Oh I know that many of you don't think it is a big deal especially when you are "just driving around town." Even though I have tried not to talk on my phone and drive I have not been convinced it was really that big of deal either.
But today I convinced myself. No, I did not get a ticket or hit someone. I didn't even have a near miss. The intersection was completely clear when I drove through. I was lucky. So were many other people who had been in that intersection today. I was there at a different time from them.
I fancy myself a very good driver, better than most. I'm sure most of us have the same illusion. So as I looked up at the light while in the middle of the intersection and saw that it was obviously red, I had to take a look at why I had not even slowed down. I pulled over and finished the conversation and drove home.
Studies have shown that using our cell phone while driving is more dangerous than driving drunk. That is a hard fact to convince us of. I am a little fearful that presently 50 percent of the cars I encounter each time I am out have a driver talking on a phone while negotiating our streets.
It took a while for us to crack down on drinking and driving. Wyoming was one of the last states to ban an open container in a moving vehicle. Our technology has again outstripped our ability to deal with the unforeseen consequences. I'm sure it will take some time before we decide how to deal with this new problem.
Cell phone use has integrated itself into our culture and is huge to business in our economy. I give kudos to the businesses that have set policies that regulate cell phone use while operating a vehicle.
I probably won't change any ones mind about the pros and cons of driving while talking on a phone. I did reinforce mine, however, and I will be paying attention to my driving, not to the conversation that can wait.