Dear Abby

Dear Abby: Driver puts phone out of reach after a frightening close call

 
 
Abby
Abby

Dear Abby: The other day, while backing out of a parking space, I nearly hit a woman who was walking behind my car with her toddler son. I didn’t see them because I was dialing my cellphone and was distracted. The woman rightfully yelled at me to pay attention and get off my phone, and although she was gracious and encouraged me to consider it a “wake-up call,” I didn’t react as kindly to her out of embarrassment. Instead, I became defensive and didn’t apologize, even though it was my fault.

I shudder to think of what might have happened, and I admit this wasn’t the first close call I’ve had. I’m a married mother of two and should know better.

While I can’t go back and find her, I hope the woman sees this letter. I want her to know that because of that incident, I now lock my purse and phone in the trunk or place them on the backseat out of reach before I start my car. This way, I avoid the temptation to look at messages or make a call.

I have also asked my kids to keep me accountable by reminding me if I happen to forget. They will be driving in a few years, and I want to set a good example for them.

Please pass this idea along – especially to moms like me who try to multitask in the car.

Hands on the Wheel in California

Your suggestion of placing your purse and phone on the backseat out of reach is a good one. You are really lucky you didn’t kill or seriously injure that mother and her child. Regardless of whether or not the woman sees your letter, I hope it will remind other drivers of the danger of driving while distracted.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Read more Lifestyle stories from the Miami Herald

  • What do you recommend?

    “The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton — it’s a book built around characters and plots inspired by astrological principles. It’s a neo-Victorian murder mystery and a mere 832 pages long, and it made 28-year-old Catton the youngest person to win the coveted Man Booker Prize. The voice is natural, easy to understand and ambitious; she’s a novelist who is seeking to reclaim the authorial, a writer who seeks to entertain and enlighten.”

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">The Boom:</span> How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World. Russell Gold. Simon & Schuster. 384 pages. $26.

    Nonfiction

    Book considers the pros and cons of fracking

    Author considers both sides of the controversial issue.

  • Southern Cross Stargazer for April 20-26

    By nightfall Spica follows fiery Mars, in Virgo, higher in the east. Telescopes reveal the white ice cap shrinking in the Martian summer and subtle dark details on the iron-rich red Martian desert. Binoculars enhance the planet’s bright color. Mars sets in the west about dawn and will remain bright for a few weeks.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category