Texting while driving. Most of us have done it at least once. Many of us do it all the time. I admit, I am just as guilty as the next person. Yes, I have texted and driven before. Even though I very rarely texted while driving, the fact remains that I have done it. I thought that I had it all under control. But I watched a show on Oprah yesterday with information that totally changed my perspective.

 The stories of the families who lost someone due to distracted driving will stay with me forever.

I will not text ever again while I am driving.

Did you know that nearly 500,000 people are injured and 6,000 people are killed each year because of texting, talking on the cell, or emailing while driving? That is nearly 6,000 deaths that were 100% PREVENTABLE.

ONE. HUNDRED. PERCENT. PREVENTABLE.

Children. Teenagers. Young adults. Elderly. Mothers, fathers, aunts,  uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, and friends. At any given time, it could happen to you. You could be killed in the blink of an eye because someone was busy texting behind the wheel. You could lose your children because someone was engrossed in a cell phone conversation while driving.

Gone.

Forever.

All because that text or that phone call couldn’t wait until the vehicle was no longer moving.

But if you’re like me, you’re thinking to yourself I’m careful when I talk or text while driving. Well, guys, science shows that NO ONE’S brain is capable of multitasking to that degree.

With alcohol, for instance, someone is considered impaired to drive when their blood alcohol level reaches .08. Once their BAL is .08, their risk of having a crash QUADRUPLES. Likewise, talking on your cell while driving also QUADRUPLES your likelihood of crashing. So talking on the cell phone while driving is equivalent to having a BAL of .08.

Texting while driving increases your risk of crashing by EIGHT TIMES.

EIGHT TIMES, people.

I had no idea.

When you are distracted while you are driving, you simply don’t see the information in your peripheral vision and about HALF of the information in front of you is removed. This means you could miss a stop sign. A red light. Another car. A pedestrian.

Your brain goes into information overload and that’s why you don’t see what is right there in front of you. It simply cannot do that many things at one time. It simply cannot. No matter how good at it you think you are. No matter how many times you’ve done it in the past. Just ask yourself, is it worth it?

Get off the phone.

It’s not worth it.

Because you have precious cargo in your car… yourself, your kids. It’s just not worth it.

Oprah has started a campaign to end distracted driving. Click here to sign Oprah’s No Phone Zone Pledge. Learn more about distracted driving at distraction.gov.

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