Put Down Your.....Ice Cream!

{dirty dirty windshield}

Last week Dave and I were coming home from Target.
Imagine that!
There was a car in front of us at this intersection.
She was turning onto the highway and we were right behind her.

The light turned green and a lady started to cross the street on one side, while
a teenage boy rode his bike across the crosswalk coming the other direction.
We watched in horror as the lady in front of us drove right through the intersection.
Never stopping for the woman walking or the bicycle rider crossing. Not even pausing.
Although she was driving slow like she was distracted I'm pretty sure she never saw them.
The woman walking jumped out of the way. But the boy on the bicycle was hit.
He was OK. Pretty shaken up but she just clipped his foot
and back tire of his bicycle.

As we were all just paused there on the road the boy decided he was fine
and started to ride away in shock.
The driver took a few minutes to pull off the road down the off-ramp a ways.
I followed her closely.
She was an older lady with blue gray hair.
As she tried to get out of her car I slowed and unrolled my window.
I still wasn't sure she knew what really happened.
It was then that I saw it.
Instead of yelling....Put Down Your Cell Phone.....
which we do often in our car out of frustration for people not paying attention....

I yelled at her in horror....Put Down Your Ice Cream Lady!
She was trying to eat a square Klondike Bar while driving.
You know the kind where the hard chocolate shell falls off with each bite?
She was still trying to manage it and eat while getting out of her car on the side of the road.

As she took ANOTHER bite of ice-cream and looked at me quizzically 
I yelled to her again...YOU JUST HIT A BOY...

*  *  *  *  *  *

Two weeks ago I challenged two of Kaia's friend who are driving...both boys,
to join me in a week of truly cell free driving. 
No glancing, touching, texting or checking our cell phones while driving. 
Because I know I am guilty of glancing and even sending short texts while driving.
While I have a driver age child approaching quickly I realized
what a bad example I am being to her.
Sure I've got more experience on the road....
but taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds
isn't even safe for the most experienced drivers.

I checked in with the boys mid-week.
They were doing pretty good.
I allowed us all 3 strikes because I know bad habits are hard to break.
There was a prize at the end of the week if they succeeded!
These boys drive my daughter around town occasionally
...so I wanted them to be successful.
I didn't want them to give up because they failed one time.

We found that the only way to be truly successful was to not have our cell phones within reach.
Which meant in the back seat or even in the trunk of the car.
A few times I couldn't help but want to check my phone...
so I pulled over to the side of the road to address who had called or texted.
I was anticipating some calls from Shriners Hospital that I needed to take.

I talked to one of the boys after we were finished with our week challenge and
He said he has pretty much stopped texting while driving.
I was so proud of him.
Both boys will be getting a treat from me this week as their reward.

Most of us don't have a problem eating ice-cream while driving.
But we are almost all guilty of cell phone use while driving.

Take our challenge this week.
Put your cell phone away.
Be aware of how may times you do take your eyes off the road
even just to check who is calling you.
Hand your phone off to your passenger....
or put it in the back seat where it will have to wait until you are parked to reach it!

And let me know how it goes.
There might just be a reward for you too...
comment on this post if you are joining in on the challenge!

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  1. Great challenge. And yes one distraction is as bad as another. It sounds like the old lady was not very "with it". I don't mean to be "ageist" but I really think there should be an age where everyone is required to re-take the driving test. I have driven behind so many old people who really scare me on the road, and known of several HORRIBLE tragedies involving them. I know (at least I HOPE) I'm going to be old one day I and am already telling my kids to TAKE AWAY THE KEYS.

  2. Count me in! I have been guilty of this from time to time.

  3. I have been so disgusted with so many drivers recently! I am really so sick of how dangerous the roads have become because people aren't willing to slow down, follow simple guidelines to keep us all safe, and most of all, yes, put down the danged phones! I have been working VERY hard at being an "undistracted driver" recently, so yea, I am joining you too! Wish everyone would so our roads would be safer for ALL!

  4. Great challenge! I have been guilty of it from time to time but I decided a long time ago that I would ONLY send text messages at stop lights! (And red stop lights at that. You know, for clarification.) It's a hard habit to break but it's worth it.

  5. I believe I will join this challenge. I am guilty occasionally. Mostly talking, but once in a while of texting. I am going to stop! And be more aware of driving. Thanks, April!

  6. I am guilty. I feel bad about it but don't stop. I have a 3 year old and a foster daughter (5 MONTHS). I constantly think about how bad it would be if something happened. I definitely think the key is to put it out of reach! I cannot stop myself if it is within reach. I WILL JOIN THIS CHALLENGE! :-)

  7. That's crazy!
    We're so used to being "accessible" all the time, that we forget it's more important to wait until we get home, or pull over in a parking lot or something. I think it's great to make a "don't touch your phone" rule :) I'm always checking myself to make sure my kids aren't making me a distracted driver too--it's hard!

  8. I joined your challenge when you first mentioned it. I did it far too often and yet get irate when I see others doing it. I know, hypocrite. It's been hard but I have 2 boys 9 and 11 with their eyes on me all the time. I want to be a good example for them so that is my motivation. Thanks for the nudge!

  9. are you kidding me?!?! ice cream??

    i don't typically keep my phone next to me b/c i am too tempted to check a text if it comes in. however, i still answer my phone and make calls b/c i have the bluetooth feature where i can do it through my radio.

  10. Thanks for the reminder. I was doing good for a while, so this is good for me. I'm in!

  11. I am definitely guilty of thinking its okay to check little things or send short messages. Right now, we don't have a car, and rely on tuk-tuks to get around. The driving here is quite intense, and I was surprised the other day when I saw a driver on his cell phone. I couldn't believe someone would risk that sort of thing in the traffic here.

  12. i am so guilty. i will be joining you. so that my kids will be safe!!!

  13. I love the idea of challenging your daughters friends.

  14. Talking & Texting while driving are illegal in CA, which is where I live, and I STILL have a hard time with this one! I keep a earphone thing in the car for talking but when I get a text it's so hard not to check it and respond. I'll join you!

  15. Talking & Texting are illegal here in CT, too, but it doesn't seem to matter. I can't get bluetooth to work right now, so I've been guilty, but I will take the challenge! If I don't get bluetooth fixed, the phone will be silenced so I won't know of incoming. As Byrdie said, I try at red lights, but they turn green (when we don't want them to). It annoys me that cigarettes are ok for drivers. I was in a car when the lit end blew into the driver's lap. Talk about distraction! If I hit a squirrel, I'd be upset; a kid on a bike! YIKES I'm definitely in your challenge.

  16. what a great idea april! you must be the coolest mom ever!!! i think i'm more guilty of eating my ice cream than using my cell phone. what ever.

  17. I in on your challenge. Even though my driving habits have changed dramatically since my oldest (about to be 16) daughter was hit by a drunk driver on the way to school one morning, I am still guilty of a quick glance now and then. Mostly at a red light...but we live in the country, the stop lights are long a far inbetween! Great call to action for the teenagers too, I like it!

  18. *I'm in....geez, need more coffee! lol

  19. I found your blog via Heather at My Daily Dose of Crazy. I love this post, and I am SO in on taking the challenge. I've really made an effort to not use my phone unless stopped at an intersection, but I know I can do better. Great challenge, thank you!

  20. I'm joining for sure!! I have my most prized babies with me and never want anything to happen to them. Especially because I was so selfish to want to text!!


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