I see and hear a lot of people give lip service to the new millenium mantra,

 

“Get off your phone and drive!”

 

I’m one of them.  You’re probably one of them.  Probably anybody we ask would tell us they’re one of them.

 

So why do we all do it?

 

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{The road’s going straight … I’m going straight … no cars around me …}

   

I have an innate distaste for the “NEWS”.  The great majority of “news” we recieve is designed to shock us into states of depression. 

And I like feeling depressed about as much as I like taking cod liver oil.   So I semi-apologize in advance for the brief news article I’ve included below.

But I also don’t like to see people lose their lives because of something stupid.

And texting or talking or googling, or mapping on your phone while you keep your vehicle moving isn’t driving. 

It’s stupiding.  My new word. 

Probably already in the new urban dictionary for people who text and drive.

Notice I did not way, “While driving”.  Because texting or talking or googling, or mapping on your phone while you’re driving – isn’t driving. 

It’s killing innocent people.

There are hundreds, probably thousands of cases similar to the one cited below, but this is the one that for some reason, snared my attention enough to copy it and keep it around:

By Scott Smith – Associated Press
Monday, July 24, 2017

 

FRESNO, Calif. – A teenage driver lost control of her car while she was livestreaming on Instagram and recorded part of the crash that authorities said Monday killed her younger sister in California.

 

After a gap in the livestream, the driver is seen leaning over the body of the girl, trying to shake her awake and saying she was sorry. She said she expected to spend the rest of her life in prison but doesn’t care.

 

“This is the last thing I wanted to happen, OK? … Rest in peace, sweetie,” the teen says. “If you don’t survive, I’m so (expletive) sorry.”

 

Authorities say Obdulia Sanchez, 18, was driving the car Friday when it veered onto the shoulder of a road about 75 miles (120.7 kilometers) northwest of Fresno.

 

She overcorrected, causing the vehicle to swerve and overturn into a field, ejecting her sister, the California Highway Patrol said.

 

Jacqueline Sanchez, 14, of Stockton died in the crash, Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said.

 

Another girl, also 14, was in the backseat and survived with a leg injury.

 

I cannot begin to imagine the dreadful feelings that must have gone through the mind, body and spirit of Ms. Sanchez.

I just bought two bumper stickers that say, “Get Off Your Phone and Drive!”

One is for my rear windshield, for you.

The other one is for my dashboard, for me.

Because I’m guilty of being stupid, too.  “Hey, the road’s going straight.  There aren’t any cars around me.  I can pull up that playlist on my phone and listen to it.”

BLAM!!!

That’s when the farm truck wanders across the road from out of nowhere, off an unmarked gravel road you don’t see 350 feet ahead.

Or it’s when Santa Claus makes a sudden detour across your bow, or the Loch Ness Monster gets aggressive panhandling for three-fitty.

 

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“Oh, excuse me for cutting you off without warning!  I was just texting someone …”

 

 

Are there kids in the back seat?  Significant other in the passenger seat?

Let me tell you something.  I don’t know how it feels to have killed or maimed anyone in an auto accident. 

But I know vividly what it feels like to have it almost happen.  (Thankfully, not from being a moron and texting while driving.)

No, my near fatal crash came just from being naturally stupid.  True story.

On the third birthday of our prize champion young Registered Texas Longhorn bull, Rhett Butler, I decided to weigh him.  Because he was such a national prize, I documented phases of his growth like a scientist. 

 

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 A  bull from the Butler bloodline, at a home named Tara, Rhett Butler seemed a natural for his name.

                  
                                                          

One year, two years, and now three years of weights and measures were scribbled inside the pages of my hand-held spiral note pad devoted to him. 

Coincidentally, on the same day we were flying out for a week’s vacation in Acapulco with friends.  One of them owned a hacienda on the mountaniside overlooking the city and its bay.  We had been there before and I was already imagining more of chef Rosa’s flavorful, handmade sopas.

To make the plane on time, I planned to drive Rhett into the local truck weigh station early in the morning.  I’d weigh the truck and trailer with him in it, then return after unloading him. 

The weight of the full rig when empty would give me the number to subract to achieve an accurate weight measurement at exactly three years of age.  Pretty simple.

I went to the corral, opened the back door to my stock trailer and loaded him in.  This was a special trailer, custom built to accomodate Longhorns. 

Rhett’s massive horns were already wider than a double bed so our cutom-sized trailer was also custom painted to match the scheme of my truck, giving it the effect of a small locomotive coming down the road.

 

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Truck and matching trailer looked traveled like a small locomotive. 

 

I marveled at the beauty of his body composition and his peaceful hand-fed nature in this tranquil pastoral setting.  I hitched up the trailer and we drove into town.

The weigh station was empty at this early hour and we drove in and out with our weight, smooth as glass.  After I released Rhett into a pasture to graze and party with his fellow Longhorns, I returned to the same station.  

The process went just as smoothly and quickly the second time.  In a few minutes I was on my way back to the ranch, about half an hour ahead of schedule.  Yay, me!

As the bright lights and big city of Cleburne, Texas faded into my rear view mirror, I pressed the accelerator.  I wasn’t listening to the radio, nor on my car phone (this was back when we had, “car phones”), I was just happy.

It was a beautiful morning, Rhett Butler weighed 1,250 punds, I was humming along in my comfortable huge truck, and we were about to spend a week in Mexico.  I called on my big 454 engine and we got up to about 60 mph.

That’s when I hit the dip in the road. 

I didn’t pay any attention to it; it was just a small dip.

Then I watched in shock as my stock trailer slowly passed me on my driver’s side, in the opposite lane of oncoming traffic …

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  The very first thought that ran through my mind – this is the God’s honest truth – was the famous Laurel and Hardy scene where they’re playing piano movers.  At one point, the piano passes them while they drive their truck in the same manner.

The trailer eventually slowed and veered off the roadway on the opposite side of the road.  I watched in shock as the scene unfolded behind me in my elongated truck-sized driver’s side mirror. 

My trrailer was speeding directly for a used car lot that bordered a wihite ranch style home adjascent.  The entire car lot was protected on the roadway by a fence made of two-inch welded pipe.

To my amazement and as if a guiding hand steered it, I saw my trailer somehow miss all that fencing and find its way directly through the open gates of a used car lot.

It flew across the open drive-in and parking area, then exploded one car after another in sucession until it came to its final rest on top of the fourth car.

I slowed my truck to a stop, got out and loked back, dumbfounded.  A nice guy in his car behind me stopped and approached me.  “Are you OK?” he asked.  

My reply was a stammering, “Yeah, yeah I”m fine.  Say, thanks for stopping.  Do you think you could be a witness?”

This complete stranger gave me one of the most serious and helpful facial expressions I’ve ever seen.  He said, “Mister, I’ll help you any way I can, but I don’t think you want me to be a witness.”

I caught his meaning and thanked him.  He drove on ahead and I turned my truck around toward the car lot.  

As I pulled in and dropped down out of my truck, a young guy came bouncing out of the doghouse in the middle of the lot.  He laughed and rubbed his hands with glee as he exclaimed, “Man!  I’ve got to call The Boss and tell him I just sold four cars!”

I checked the wreckage of my trailer, perched atop an early 80s Oldsmobile.  I had secured the safety chains on both sides of the hitch.  But they came apart like butter when the dip in the road popped the trailer hitch housing up and off the trailer hitch.  I had not latched the hitch.

I wish I could write well enough to make this stuff up.  I can’t.  This all happened just like this.

The bottom line is, Everything worked out fine.  I gave the guy my insurance information, drove home, and made the flight.  Of course, in my shocked state I forgot to bring my wallet.  No passport, no driver’s license, no nothing.  Going to Mexico.  In the 80s they let me sign a photocopied form stating that I’m a U.S. citizen and would be coming back.

But here’s the only thing of importance of this whole affair.

I lead a charmed life.  Nobody got hurt.  My trailer could have come off a few feet farther away and plowed right through the lifving room and bedroom of that ranch style home.  It could have run head-on into an oncoming car.  What if it was an SUV full of a soccer mom and eight kids?  It could have bounced off that railing and come back into the lane to perform the same kind of damage.

Any scenario of tragic consequences you’d want to paint could have possibly happened.  But thankfully, it didn’t.

Once again, I got away with it.  Somebody up there loves Me.  Why?  I have no idea.  But somewhere along the way I picked up the Luicky Charm of Life and its saved me from myself many times since.

So no, I don’t know the feelings of people whose loved ones perish because of distracted driving.  

But I know what it felt like to have a near miss, and that was enough for me.

SO – to the How To of this long history of roadway mishaps.

DIstracted driving is one of our culture’s big problems today.

Jill Konrath is a seasoned professional in sales and business and I enjoy her newsletters and blogs.  I’m borrowing the information below from one of her missives:

  • Distracted driving is a factor in 1 out of 4 crashes nationally.
  • Texting while driving makes you 23 times more likely to be in a car crash.
  • When drivers read/send text messages, their reaction time is doubled. 
  • 6 seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road when texting. If you’re going 55 mph, you will travel the length of a football field during that time. 
  • Drivers on cell phones are more impaired than drivers with a .08 blood alcohol level (legally drunk).
  • Using a cell phone while driving makes you 4x more likely to get into a crash serious enough to injure yourself. 

Fortunately, we have help overcoming this temptation.  There are actually a number of apps you can install that will prevent you from using your phone while driving.

In my research I came across an outstanding blog posted a couple years ago by Amber Delotsan.  I’ve carved out a couple of highlights for you below, but there is far more great material available there to help you – stay alive while you drive. 

The summaries below are from, APPS THAT PREVENT PHONE USE WHILE DRIVING, by Amber Delotsan:”  

Cellcontrol can disable the ability to text or use applications while driving, and it is the only Apple App Store approved solution of its kind. It is difficult to tamper with the controls and disable, and it does not interact with the driver.

Available on Android and iPhone, the DriveSafe Mode app makes it easy for parents to monitor their teen’s phone use while they are on the road. It only takes three steps to get started: create an account, download the app to the phone of the driver you wish to monitor, and sync the device to your account.

LifeSaver blocks all phone usage, lets parents know that their children arrived safely, and gives drivers iTunes rewards for safe driving. This app is always running, undetected, but locks the phone once the vehicle starts moving. LifeSaver is simple, secure, and will notify you if your child unlocks it.

Just – Don’t Do It

I don’t care if you use one of these cool new apps, or put your phone in you glove compartment, or just discipline yourself not to use it while driving.  I’m not big on process.  I’m big on results. 

Just – Don’t Do It

 Whether you put a voodoo doll of Jobu on your dashboard to make it “very bad” if you text and drive — please, do it.

Using your phone while driving is totally a matter of your choice.  Please choose to do anything that keeps you from taking out yourself and probably more likely, some other unsuspecting innocent person, please do it.

But when you think, “Oh, just this one time, I’m fine.  I can do it.”

Just – Don’t Do It

 

‘Nuff Said

 

Please SHARE with your friends and colleagues!

Coming Soon:  The Boss is – YOU! (aka: HIRED GUN III)

 

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Email: Robert Danger Workman

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Robert Danger Workman writes from his consistent track record of top-tier success in sales at different companies, in different industries, with sales management, EVP, entrepreneurship and ownership of several companies.  Four decades of in-the-field, face-to-face selling and leading winning sales organizations provides the background and experience prevalent in his HIRED GUN brand such as the best-selling and award winning book, HIRED GUN – You’re #1 and Somebody Hates it, and the new, HIRED GUN II – The Essential Guide for Top Salespeople.

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