“Heads Up, Texas!”

One Friday night, four years ago, a group of us went over to our friend’s house to hang out. We played board games, ate pizza, and laughed at our toddlers playing on the floor. The next day, while driving home, I recieved a shocking phone call. “Chris was killed in a car accident this morning!” Jason’s voice shouted over the bluetooth connection. I sat at the traffic light in disbelief. The car behind me honked impatiently, before I stepped on the gas and accelerated across the intersection.

“What happened?” I wailed.

“He was rushing to get back to Fort Worth after his morning shift. He took a sharp turn on the slick road and lost control of the car. He went into on coming traffic and was hit head on by an SUV! We can’t believe he’s gone. He had just been on the phone with his family.” Jason explained.

Two years after we lost our friend, I was driving across the store parking lot, when a women on her phone slammed into my driver’s side wheel. She had been illegally cutting in between parked cars, so intent on reaching a restaurant across the parking lot, that she didn’t see me! Thankfully, I was only going a slow 20 mph when she hit me. I was able to walk away a little shooken up, but otherwise without a scratch. On the other hand, my car needed $3,000 worth of repairs! [I am so glad that woman had auto insurance.]

Both of these events have the same thing in common, the use of cell phones. In our fast paced world, we are glued to our phones. How many of us will turn around and go back if we forget our phone at home? We feel naked with out them. When they pings, we feel pressured to respond immediately! Being constantly connected is hurting us. Yearly, there are thousands accidents all related to the use of cell phones. Sadly, as you read earlier, not everyone gets to walk away. Many have died.

Heads Up, Texas! We have to work together to remind one another not to drive distracted. Don’t text and drive. Keep the phone out of your hands and take calls over bluetooth instead. And what about responding to those notifications from text messages, social media, and emails? IT CAN WAIT. From this day forward, pledge to drive safely, not distracted. Take it a step further by visiting www.Itcanwait.com and taking the pledge! You can also join me on June 10th, 2019 from 11am to 3pm in Downtown Fort Worth’s Sundance Square Pavilion for The TxDOT Distracted Driving Statewide Tour Stop. There will be family friendly activites to educate everyone on ways to drive safely. Let’s not text, talk, and crash. Instead, let’s be more balanced in the use of our cell phones! This post was sponsored by TxDOT. However, all thoughts, personal experiences, and opinions shared are my own. Please drive safely!

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