A letter to the woman I saw on her mobile phone with her kids in the car.

I saw you as I drove with my four-year-old in the car. You were smiling with the sun shining on your face. Then I saw you laugh into your phone as you failed to stop at the stop sign, with four children in your own car.

You almost ran into us but you didn’t even notice. You didn’t even look my way. You just kept on going, chatting away on your phone.

I assume the children that were in the car with you are yours. But perhaps you are their aunt or a babysitter. I don’t know. What I do know is that you didn’t seem to have a care in the world as you ran that stop sign laughing on your cell phone.

I didn’t have time to curse at you or yell and scream out the window. I just reacted with my brakes, caught my breath, and moved on. My heart was pounding.

driving while on the phone
"In one split-second, one or more of your children could have been gone." Source: iStock.

Is it really worth it?

In one split-second, one or more of your children could have been gone. My child could have been gone. No more laughter. No more school pick-ups. A serious injury could occur that would devastate your family for a lifetime. A parent could be lost to a child as well.

Is it really worth it?

It’s funny how we take life for granted so often that we barely notice how close we all come to death on a daily basis.

I’m not writing this to be a judgmental downer. I’m writing this because there needs to be not only an awareness about cell phones and driving but an understanding of the real consequences of not focusing on the road.

driving while on the phone
"I see people doing it every day. One hand on the wheel and one hand on their cell phone."  Source: iStock.

I’m writing this because talking on your cell phone while driving — especially with children in the car is not only terrifying but it’s unnecessary. I see people doing it every day. One hand on the wheel and one hand on their cell phone. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s illegal in any given state.

We all know how hurried and stressed we are trying to shuttle kids to and from school, racing to work, or rushing around doing errands. Adding one more distraction into the mix isn’t helping.

Unfortunately, most people don’t realise the full impact until it happens to them or someone they love. But by then it may be too late.

Is a conversation with someone really so important that you have to abandon all common sense and put your family at risk?

Is it really worth it?

Let’s be glad nothing happened on this lucky day because — make no mistake — luck was on both of our sides. It won’t always be so.

"Is it worth it?" Source: iStock.

Let’s cherish the life we have, the lives we’ve created, and the lives of others as well. Let’s do this by remembering how fragile human life is and how technology can be more of a dangerous distraction when our attention is already branching out in so many different directions.

We all survived without talking on phones while driving in the past, so there’s no reason why we can’t do it now.

It really can wait.

Let’s put our children’s lives before our own escapes and distractions — and if you can’t do that anywhere else, at least do it while driving.

Is it really worth it?

Read more of Michelle Zunter's work at The Pondering Nook or find her on Facebook.
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