August 2, 2008

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Have I issued a commandment lately?

I haven't, have I? Well, it's about time I did! Here you go...


And don't do it while riding your bicycle either. In fact, I'm going to include you pedestrians, too, as well as the rollerbladers and the skateboarders. Did I miss anybody?

First, I have to admit this wasn't my idea. To be honest, I'm so lame it would never have crossed my mind to worry about this problem. But thanks to The Week, NPR, the American College of Emergency Physicians and my friend Marcia, I am on it! Here's what I've learned so far:
  • A recent survey found that 18% of cell phone users type text messages while driving
  • There is mounting evidence that this behavior leads to accidents and fatalities
  • The ER doc who was interviewed on NPR treated a woman who stumbled over the curb into the path of an oncoming car, and the driver who hit a light pole trying to avoid her as he chatted on his cell phone. And that's not all. The text injured keep on coming at the rate of about one per week.
  • The American College of Emergency Physicians has issued an alert because they are seeing an alarming increase in text related injuries, every day in big cities like Chicago.
  • Injuries to the nose, mouth, chin and eyes seem to be the most common, because texters tend to fall flat on their faces. Many are fairly minor, but some are more serious, even fatal. For example, there is an email making the rounds called Don't Text and Drive, that includes hideously graphic photographs of what happened to a Brazilian driver who was allegedly texting or chatting on his cell phone instead of watching out for that truck. Who knows if that was really the cause or not, but who cares? It could have been! The photos are much too gruesome for a cheery blog like this, but if you're one of those visual learners who can handle the blood and guts, or just plain curious, you can find them on snopes.
  • So if you must text and you must also drive or walk or whatever, what can you do? You can stop. Then send your text or have your chat. Then you can go. Simple, eh?
Even thinking about that email is too creepy for this normally cheery website so let's agree that we will NOT text and drive, because I do NOT want to see any more photos like that EVER. And neither do you. Or your family. Trust me. OK?

OK! Thank you very much.

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