Welcome to my public service announcement.
This past weekend, I was driving in the parking lot of a local park when a 2 year old child ran right in front of my car. Fortunately I was going slow enough that I was able to slam on my brakes and avoided hitting the child. This event scared me half to death. I did not see this little boy coming at all. He had darted out from between two cars and he was so small that his head was not even as tall as the hood of either car. He literally ran out of nowhere from my vantage point.
All I could think about once I caught my breath was “what if I had been on my cell phone, would I have been able to stop in time?” I really don’t think I would have. Fortunately I had both hands on the wheel when he darted out and I was totally focused. Add cell phone distraction to the mix though, and I think I could have really hurt this little guy.
So, even though I am against talking on a cell phone or texting while driving period, it is especially important to be fully focused when driving in parking lots. Not only can little kids appear out of nowhere, but there are minimal stop signs, and people just don’t seem to pay attention in parking lots. If you desperately need to be on your cell phone when in a parking lot, then just pull into an available parking spot and have your conversation there. (The same advice applies to when driving down side streets also.) There really is no excuse for holding on to a cell phone when driving. Most, if not all, cell phones come with hands free devices, like the T-Mobile HTC Amaze phone, so you really do not need to be driving around with a phone next to your ear anyway.