I Will Never Look at Cell Phone In My Car Again After Terrifying Moment

Mom Moment 13

traffic light

The post is by Jen Singer of Momma Said and was previously published on her blog.

After decades of driving, I know a thing or two about how to stay focused on the road while driving, despite distractions.

I’ve endured a carload of kids, jacked up on sugar and playing kazoos, as I drove them home from a birthday party.

And yet, I didn’t run a red light.

I’ve had to swerve when a car veered into my lane and nearly hit me and my car full of 12 year-old soccer players head-on.

And yet, I didn’t run a red light.

I’ve avoided car doors swinging open, bike messengers zooming by, and taxi cabs cutting me off in Manhattan, at rush hour, in the rain.

And yet, I didn’t run a red light.

I made a phone call from my car.

And I ran a red light.

My son and I were driving home Sunday from buying a file cabinet off Craigslist. When we stopped at a red light, I decided to call my manager to let him know the exciting news that I’d just found out I was going on Fox & Friends the next morning. I stuck the earpiece in my ear, dialed his number, and waited. The moment his voice mail picked up, my son asked me a question not realizing I was on the phone.

And I hit the gas.

And I drove into the intersection.

And I thanked God no cars were coming the other way.

And we made it to the other side unscathed. Physically, anyhow. The moment was still sinking into our psyches.

Meanwhile, I left the following phone message: “(Gasp!) Oh my God, Ed! I just ran a red light…..(silence while it sank in)…You just witnessed the last time I talk on the phone in my car…….(sigh). Oh yeah, I’m going on Fox tomorrow.”


So I put my phone in my purse and left it there the rest of the ride home. I put it there in my car on Monday, too. Yesterday, I put it in my jacket pocket. People called, but I didn’t answer. I didn’t even glance at who was calling.

I just drove.

On my way home from one son’s cross country meet last night, I pulled over to call my other son at home. I didn’t check email or texts at red lights. I didn’t call anyone or answer the phone while my car was in Drive.

And everyone survived.

So go ahead and call me. Text me. Email me. Leave a message, and I’ll catch up with you later.


Have you ever run a red light?


Image via Gzegorz Lobinski/ Flickr

Jen Singer from MommaSaid.net would love to hear from you on Twitter, @JenSinger

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Sondra Best

Well now you've learned a permenant lesson. Now you will never do that again. Since no one was hurt but you're now terrified, you learned that lesson in the best possible way.


kjbug... kjbugsmom1517

When i was in a constant state of absolute exhaustion from having a undiagnosed thyroid problem and a new baby I did. Scared the absolute shit out of me . I would forget I was driving even. Was horrid. I was at the point I'd only go somewhere if I absolutely had to. I was scared to death to drive. Thankfully I didn't hurt anyone and am on medication now for my thyroid. Exhaustion is nearly as bad as being distracted.

SaphireH SaphireH

I've done it twice during the day during snowy and crappy conditions on 2 occasions when picking up my son from his dad and slid through them on accident trying to stop and I've done it a couple of times in the middle of the night at like 2 am coming back from friends houses and wasn't watching the lights but thankfully there weren't people on the road at 2 am

heydo... heydooney

I'm glad it turned out well and that you learned something.

nonmember avatar Me

I hope everyone would have a moment like this, maybe majority of people would stop talking on the phone, or texting, or facebooking or whatever. I dont text, I have occasionally talked with my husband on the phone while driving but I try not to.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

I have never spoken on the phone while driving. My phone is sometimes sitting next to me but the most I'll do is glance at it while stopped if I hear a message ping.

Tal0n Tal0n

I've run pleanty of red lights in my life and none of them while on the phone.  Of course I've also never gotten into an accident running a red light, but that's neither here nor there.

KenneMaw KenneMaw

Glad everyone wss ok

Tabat... Tabatha42183

Yep, two loud rowdy boys in the backseat and I was following an 18 wheeler, the way the lights are set up on this particular section of riad no matter how slow I was going or how far back from the truck I was there was no way to see the light, period as this light is like 150-200 foot uphill from another light. I accidently ran it and automatically pulled over, not only because I freaked but because as I seen that the light was red as I was going under it, I also saw the city cop to my right that had just witnessed my running it and he was going to pull me over anyway. He knew coming to my window it was an accident because I was already crying and freaking out, he ran his check and seen the ONLY ticket I have eveduhad was a speeding ticket in 15 years of driving and let me go.

bingo... bingogurl

I did because I was completely exhausted after a very long day of work, school and had picked up my kids fromd daycare. I got a red light camera ticket in the mail and I can honestly tell you that I don't even remember the light going red when I went through. My one and only ticket. 

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