The car in the lane next to us was driving erratically — slowing down abruptly, hovering in my blindspot when I was clearly trying to change lanes, and then swerving slightly over the line. Since I suffer from road rage even under the best of circumstances, this was testing my patience and making me increasingly agitated. Luckily, I was able to speed up and pass. As I breathed a sigh of relief, JP glanced over and informed me that the driver — a woman about our age — was texting. Not 30 seconds later, the offending driver slowed abruptly yet again and was rear-ended by another driver. The accident was minor. There was a horrendous crunching noise that I’m sure translates to hundreds of dollars in repairs, but neither party was injured.

But only six months ago, a car load of teen girls lost their lives thanks to the urgent need to send and receive text messages, and surely they are not alone. How many others have traded their lives — and the lives of others — for the convenience of sending a quick note to their boss, friend or lover?

Millions of things distract us when we are driving — kids yelling in the backseat, annoying commercials on the radio that necessitate changing the station, a ringing cell phone. The list goes on and on. Every time we choose to glance away from the road — just for a second — we are taking a risk. But when you look away for a prolonged period — long enough to tap out a message using the tiny keypad of your phone — that risk escalates to wanton carelessness.

So do us all a favor — yourself included — and wait until get to your destination before focusing your attention on that itty bitty keyboard.

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