One Little Face Could Put an End to Texting While Driving

By Petula Dvorak
Friday, October 2, 2009

To boss: "u will hv story in 5 mins"

To husband: "u pickd up m yet? u r l8 4 class!"

Phone rings: "Hello? Hi, Mom. Yes, yes, we're fine. The boys are fine. No, the weather is good. If you saw it on the Weather Channel, why are you calling me to ask? Yes, I'll make sure the boys wear jackets. Gotta go, Mom, I'll call you back."

To boss: "ok gimme 10 mins"

From husband: "whats 4 dinner 2nite?"

Okay, not responding to that one.

So here it is -- my multitasking confessional. Driving, talking, texting. Oh, and I forgot to include reaching back to break up a fight or fish for a lost Lego piece.

According to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, I am a "menace to society." And I know I'm not alone.

Come on, sisters: Join me in admitting that moms are especially distracted drivers. I know, because some of you out there have yakked on the phone with me while we're both stuck in traffic.

According to LaHood, some statistics show that nearly 6,000 people were killed and more than half a million were injured on America's roads last year in crashes linked to texting or talking behind the wheel. It's the cause of about 20 percent of the nation's accidents.

Yes, that is chilling enough to stop me cold amid the tappity-tap.

The crusade against distracted driving was the topic of a summit this week by the U.S. Department of Transportation. It pretty much overshadowed this week's revelation that working moms are the nation's biggest cellphone users by a long shot, according to Scarborough Research.

CONTINUED     1        >

© 2009 The Washington Post Company