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Thoughts For Thursday: Please Stay Off Your Cell Phone When Driving In Parking Lots And On Side Streets

October 13, 2011 · 24 comments

in Misc Tips, Thoughts For Thursday

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.

Thank you!

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

MoneyforCollegePro October 13, 2011 at 7:45 am

I think this message needs to spread world wide!


Miss T @ Prairie Ecothrifter October 13, 2011 at 4:15 pm

I agree. When I first heard about the law banning cell phones and driving I scoft but I have learned how much safer it is to have it in place. I now frown with frustration at those that are wandering all over the road an almost hitting me because they are too busy on their cell phone.


Kris October 17, 2011 at 8:12 am

It is amazing how you can spot someone who is driving on their cell phone a mile away, although I am sure they would say “cell phones don’t affect my driving at all”.


Kris October 17, 2011 at 8:20 am

I wonder if other countries are as obsessed as we are with talking on our cell phones. Are we that bored that we can’t spend a minute just thinking, or are we that important that we must always be on the phone? (My guess if the former…)


The Biz of Life October 13, 2011 at 8:46 am

Good point. Glad you were paying attention.


Kris October 17, 2011 at 8:19 am

I am too. I keep thinking about that event over and over, it could have been disastrous.


Little House October 13, 2011 at 9:56 am

Los Angeles passed a law a couple of years ago that states you must talk on your cell phone hands-free while driving. However, this law is rarely enforced. I see so many people yapping away on their cell phones with one hand on the wheel. It’s very dangerous and distracting. I guess it take a near accident or a full blown accident to really alter peoples habits.


Kris October 17, 2011 at 8:19 am

I think even people that have near accidents have a pretty short memory. What in the world did we do before cell phones? Did we have to actually be on time to our appts??


MoneyCone October 13, 2011 at 12:28 pm

I read somewhere that most accidents happen in parking lots where people aren’t as careful as they are on the road. This adds credence to that.

Both parents and drivers need to pay attention.


Kris October 17, 2011 at 8:18 am

I think driver’s ed does a terrible job at teaching kids how to drive in parking lots. You are a long way from that worry, but I make sure I take my teen drivers in parking lots all the time. I really notice all the bad drivers then, and the lack of stop signs doesn’t help the new driver either.


Krantcents October 13, 2011 at 1:25 pm

I also live in Los Angeles and I am only aware of the CHP ticketing people on the freeway for cell phones. Talking on the phone is a distraction even if it is hands free. Do we really need a law for people to wake up? I guess it is similar to seat belts. It took a law for people to wear them.


Kris October 17, 2011 at 8:17 am

I always struggle with the hands-free cell phone being a distraction or not. You would think that it would be no more distracting than having a conversation with the person next to you, but someone it still seems to be.


retirebyforty@retireby40.org October 13, 2011 at 1:29 pm

I’m totally behind this. Nobody should use the cell phone when they’re in the driver seat. We have a no cellphone law and I see people breaking it all the time. It’s a cash cow, I don’t know why the police are not taking advantage of this potential revenue.


Kris October 17, 2011 at 8:13 am

Oh totally! Police spend so much money on speed traps here, but they could make a ton if they actually pulled over the cell phone offenders here. The town I live specifically bans cell phones and there are no signs, so not everyone is aware. They could pull over every other car if they chose to and maybe fund our library.


driver franz October 13, 2011 at 2:21 pm


i use a better engine than
you. is it true that they say that about you?



Kris October 17, 2011 at 8:11 am

They say that and a whole lot more about me… 🙂 (Couldn’t bring myself to delete this one.)


Dave October 13, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Great insight! We all need a reminder on this one!


Matt Wegner @ Financial Excellence October 16, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Please tell me there was a concerned parent somewhere near this child. Thanks for the reminder. Glad nobody was hurt!


Kris October 17, 2011 at 7:57 am

Matt, an arm did reach out to grab the child finally, but had I not been paying really close attention, the arm would have been way too late.


Sandy @ Journey To Our Home October 17, 2011 at 8:38 pm

This is SO true! Last year a woman hit a 6 year old little boy who darted between cars. She was in a school zone, driving slowly, and NOT on a cell phone. He still died from trauma.

I think there are messages out there to teens about not driving on the phone or texting while driving, but I see a lot of older (30-40) year olds doing the same thing! It seems like one of those things parents say – do as I say, not as I do.


Kris October 17, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Oh that is a terrible story. I am so glad the driver was not on their cell phone because they would probably blame themselves even more, even though it was unavoidable. So sad.


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