womenTALK: Blog

Thursday, Jan 21st 2010

No Phone Zone

authored by Elizabeth Battaglino, RN, CEO of HealthyWomen

You see it every day—and maybe you’re even guilty of it yourself: talking or texting while driving.

While many people believe they are masters of multitasking, think again.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, in 2008 nearly 6,000 people died on American roadways in crashes that involved distracted driving, which they define as anything that takes your eyes off the road for more than two seconds, takes your hands off the steering wheel or interrupts your concentration while driving.

The most significant and growing concern is the use of cell phones or other electronic devices while driving, particularly since such use has increased exponentially in recent years.

Texting poses the greater risk because it involves a convergence of visual, manual and cognitive distractions that make this practice especially hazardous and potentially deadly.

Particularly at risk for distracted driving are young drivers. HealthyWomen—in keeping with its mission of strong and empowered leadership—would like to take this initiative to highlight women’s roles as caregivers to our youth and role models for their future.

After all, if your children see you talking or texting while driving, what incentive do they have to commit to distraction-free driving? It’s a simple formula of do as I say, not as I do.

Oprah Winfrey announced this week that through her media outlets including The Oprah Winfrey Show, O Magazine, and Oprah.com, she is initiating a no-texting campaign. By submitting and committing to a simple pledge, Oprah is hoping to take back the roads from a danger that is as serious as driving under the influence. She wants to save lives—maybe yours.

See below for a copy of Oprah’s No Phone Zone Pledge and print a copy to tape inside your car. Commit to the 20 seconds it takes to review its message while you start your car and place your phone inside your purse, glove compartment or even trunk for those who need serious commitment.

Visit Oprah.com for more information, to submit your pledge and to watch shocking and disturbing videos of the dangers we face on the roads each day. Let’s band together as women and stop being part of the problem and become vehicles on the road to solution.

Pass it on!

Oprah’s No Phone Zone Pledge:

I pledge to make my car a No Phone Zone. Beginning right now, I will do my part to help put an end to distracted driving by not texting or using my phone while I am driving. I will ask other drivers I know to do the same. I pledge to make a difference.

Print the No Phone Zone Pledge (pdf)

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