We know we shouldn’t text and drive…but our phones are programming us to do just that.

The next time I contact you by cell phone from my vehicle it will be only after I pull over and put the car into park. So if you don’t hear back from me quickly enough, practice your patience because I will be practicing my new habit of turning off and stowing my phone while driving. 

The title of this blog post and the quote above are from “The last word” column of THE WEEK (November 8, 2013). In this startling article, which I hope you will read, a study shows “that drivers who are texting are twice as likely to crash, or almost crash, as those who are focused on the road. “

Now, like the Geico ad, everybody knows that, right? Then why does it not change? Are we suicidal or homicidal or just what? The article sheds new light by pointing out that “For many people… using a smartphone may be less a decision than a habit–a move they make without initially thinking about what they are doing or why.”

So clearly the answer is to break the cycle, start a new habit that will greatly increase your odds of avoiding an automobile accident. As a schoolbus driver, I force myself to mute my android and stick it in a shelf where I can’t see it but, up until now, I have kept it next to me in my private vehicle. No longer! After reading this article I decided that even if I don’t care about myself, I at least owe it to the other drivers and pedestrians to pay complete attention to what is happening in front and around my two ton moving steel missle at which controls I am in sole command.

If I catch you or you catch me, let’s remember “Friends don’t let friends text and drive”!