Home is Where we Hook-up

April 8, 2007

Do you use your cellphone while you drive?

Filed under: Travel in the U.S. — Heligypsy @ 10:46 am

I am working a contract with a company called InterCall – they supply technology and support for companies to host conference calls. My role is to patch clients through to their correct conference, these are about 20 second interactions and they go like this:

Me: “Good Morning, may I have your conference number please?”

Last Tuesday morning this is how the client responded, oh, and it bares mentioning that it was a woman,

Client: **already frazzled “Hi, Hello, I’m a trucker – coming into some heavy traffic, I don’t know the code, but the call is for XYZ Company”

I shook my head, asked her to spell her first and last name – and before I connected her I closed with “Please, Drive Safe”

Keith asked me jokingly after I’d hung up, “Did it say ‘Drive Safe’ in your scripting?” Well, no it didn’t, but I could NOT help myself but to add it – and I’m praying for everyone on the road with her. I am certain she is neither going to get full benefit of the information presented on the call, nor be able to concentrate on her driving in traffic – wielding a truck regulated to haul loads up to 50,000 lbs.

We left Medford the next morning with a 500+ mile drive up the I-5 ahead of us. I watched every semi like a hawk. I’d eye each one in the cab as we passed by and the first one I caught swerving across the lines, oh ya – it was a woman and she was on the phone!!! I didn’t keep count, but was really amazed at the cell phone use by truckers, headsets or not – does that seem unsafe to anyone else? Have I turned into a old fuddy duddy, or is this a serious safety issue?

As we came into the thickening traffic of Seattle, I began counting how many drivers of regular vehicles were on their cell phones. No joke, 3 out of 4 drivers were on the phone, and dare I say – relatively unaware of the their own maneuvers or those around them. Certainly my senses were heightened, what with driving in a 50 ft long rig, weighing around 17,000 lbs at 5:04 p.m. on a Wednesday of Easter Weekend – but the drivers who slid in between us and the car in front of us just because their car would FIT, probably never really gave the move much thought, as they were too busy talking on the phone. It’s not a smart move, but it happens all the time. Jeeeeez, God forbid we loose our trailer brakes! If I lived full-time in a city (won’t happen, but let’s just say…) and my commute twice daily was in busy freeway traffic I’m sure I would fall into the comfort zone and talk away. Doesn’t make it safe.

So, I wanna know – how many of us are using our cellphones while we drive? I do, on a headset. Lemme know where you stand, I’m very curious. I promise not to judge – unless you are a trucker, cuz I really don’t think truckers should be chatting away while driving

Though Keith has a firm position of kudos and congratulations being unnecessary in regards to work that must be done – I had to compliment him for his fine driving hauling this:

first-stop-ever.jpg

In this nightmare:

entering-seattle.jpg

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11 Comments »

  1. I do not use my cell phone while driving unless I really have to. And several times yelled at poeple to get off the phone and drive when they have almost hit me. Awful aren’t I. I even got so bold as to walk up to a womans window once and asked her to roll it down so I would have her full attention when I told her she cut me off and almost caused an accident because of her conversation on the phone. It is dangerous I agree. And in public places I think they are making people even more rude than ever

    Comment by Karen — April 8, 2007 @ 3:51 pm | Reply

  2. Wow, it totally brought back memories seeing that big rig in the hectic rushhour traffic in a big city! Whew, it made me cringe thinking of your description of little cars pulling in from of you becuase the could fit…. Do they think you are driving a ferrari that stops on a dime? Do they not realize it takes 2 trailors in lenght for you to stop? Ha, i guess not!
    Happy trails to you and cant wait for another blog of where and what you are doing

    Ciao

    Comment by Kim — April 9, 2007 @ 7:16 am | Reply

  3. Ha, forgot the pole…
    yes, i use my phone while driving but not that often, and I live in a rural area and will most likely hit a deer rather than another car……

    I know, not safe , i am just too cheap to buy a blue tooth for the razor

    Comment by Kim — April 9, 2007 @ 7:18 am | Reply

  4. I live in Port Hardy, and most eveyone pulls over to use their cells. (Did I mention that you only have a mile section of highway where you can get reception…LOL) Hence a long line of vehicles at the side of the road. A Trucker friend has this neat ear peice,it dials on voice command and he only has to tap it to answer. Although the sight of this guy seemingly talking to himself may make even me drive off the road.

    Comment by Sherryl — April 9, 2007 @ 7:31 am | Reply

  5. I do use my cell phone, but try to use a headset. I don’t use it in heavy traffic…unless it has stopped and I’m basically waiting for it to clear.

    Another note…I use Intercall for work all the time! I’ll have to listen for your voice!

    Comment by Molly — April 9, 2007 @ 9:09 am | Reply

  6. What a nice looking rig!
    You know me I rarely use my cell phone… and not much reception on Hwy 6.
    That traffic was bad. What were you doing on the road at that hour? (or hours?)!!!! Can’t you pick and choose when you are going to travel?
    Will touch base soon with news. (Just general stuff

    Comment by Debbe — April 9, 2007 @ 11:50 am | Reply

  7. I don’t own a cellphone!

    And I don’t understand the phenomenon. I understand more and more people are choosing cell phones instead of land lines, makes sense if you need a cell phone. I understand that for some lifestyles (like gypsies 😉 and professions these are an asset – but for the majority of the world?

    Slow down people, not just as Paula said, because you need to pay attention to the road, but why do you need to be in constant communication with the world?

    I’m all for the slow movement – except when it comes to the internet 🙂 High speed rocks.

    Comment by LJ — April 9, 2007 @ 1:03 pm | Reply

  8. Do you guys really realize just how lucky you are to travel the world and enjoy all the sights you see? I know you do, but I’m jealous! As for the use of cell-phones…why do people always have to be talking to someone to be getting along in life? I find it very binding to be a slave to the phone, mail, etc…! I don’t even answer my phone at home if I don’t want to! As for the whole cell-phone thing, I just got a little pay-as-you-go phone for emergancies ONLY! I had to use it only a few weeks later when my car broke down on the side of the road. Throw the phones in the garbage and start enjoying life! Imagine what you miss while you are trying to drive and talk at the same time?!? WOW! There is a whole new life out there to see. Quit talking and start watching! Kudos to the two of you for living life to the fullest. I still miss you though!!
    Love ya,
    Bonnie from Freddie’s in Tumwater, WA

    Comment by Bonnie ;-) — April 10, 2007 @ 9:09 am | Reply

  9. Yes I use my cell phone while driving, although I try to refrain from text messaging while driving.

    Comment by Trever Walker — April 10, 2007 @ 11:04 am | Reply

  10. I try not to use my cell phone while driving and absolutely won’t do it in heavy traffic. It amazes me all the truckers and bus drivers I see on the phone when I pass them on the Interstate (and car drivers, too).

    Comment by JennH — April 15, 2007 @ 3:03 pm | Reply

  11. Two days after we safely arrived in BC, on Seattle news there was the story of City officials voting to pass a ban on using a cellphones (without a handsfree device) while driving. Won’t help with the focus on driving, but will help a little

    Comment by borderlinegypsies — April 15, 2007 @ 3:59 pm | Reply


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