angelica drivingFL title

It’s hard not to text and drive, or even not to check your phone while driving. Incoming messages. Alarms. Weather alerts. Sports and news notifications. Our phones do so much more than only making phone calls. Since the invention of smartphones, humans have been using them as a distraction for any time they encounter boredom (most of the time to look at nothing important).

Do you know what people did 25 years ago before there were smartphones to play with and they were bored or stuck in some sort of queue? They would talk to strangers, or grab a newspaper or a Highlights magazine. Other people would carry a book or some type of reading material with them, all the time. And some people would just sit in silence and wait. Wait until it was their turn to do whatever they were there to do.

With our iPhones and Androids and all other smart devices, we don’t have to be bored ever (yet we still are). We have billions of apps at our fingertips to keep us busy. We have the whole internet in this tiny magical box that fits in our pockets (unless you’re a smaller person with an iPhone Plus).

Back to the car and what I learned the other day. Every person driving a car is playing on their phone. And most of them are just scrolling through their Facebook or Instagram feeds. It’s not enough that we can listen to music, podcasts, radio shows, TV shows, YouTube videos, or pretty much any form of entertainment while driving our cars. We can even talk to people through our car speakers (Thanks, Bluetooth!).

But, that’s not enough. Most people still need to look at something. Something that isn’t the road in front of them. Especially while in traffic. Traffic may be the worst invention ever (Even though it’s more a side effect to the creation of automobiles. Either way, traffic really sucks!)

Traffic is the worst thing while you’re in it, but once you are no longer stuck in traffic and you start moving at a normal speed again, you totally forget you were ever in traffic. You can be stuck in traffic for just two minutes and you will hate life and every person around you for those two minutes, but once you get moving you will completely forget that you were ever in traffic and continue on with your life (singing along to whatever song is playing in the background).

Back to everyone being on their phones while driving. How do I know everyone was checking social media though? Well, while I was driving the other night, I was also conducting a science experiment. I was looking at each driver’s phone screen to see what exactly they were doing. That may be the most unsafe thing, not texting and driving on your own phone, but looking at other people’s phones in other cars while driving. But, I had to do it for research purposes (and we were moving very slow during this experiment).

I even saw a few people FaceTiming while driving. It seems that many people don’t really care about safety or living a long, wonderful life. Also, now that everyone decided to get the Uber phone clip on their car you can’t tell who’s a civilian and who’s just an Uber driver (If you would like to know how I feel about Uber drivers, see UBER DRIVERS aka THE WORST… ).

I’m not perfect. I play on my phone while driving too, but I try to keep it to while at red lights. There was a time where I would put my phone into the center console and try to drive to my destination without taking it out. That worked for a few days, but sometimes you’re not sure if your friend has left to meet you at a movie and you have to get your phone out to make sure they left their house. Or sometimes you may need to respond to a message so you don’t forget to do it later. Or sometimes you just think of something that’s kind of funny or may work as a Ferdings Learnings, so you have to take out your phone to write it down in your notes.

I know that using your phone while driving is “kind of” illegal, but there are some small emergencies that require you to use your phone while driving. Let’s try to keep it to when we’re at red lights. Also, don’t go overboard and start scrolling through Instagram. Those posts will still be there when you get to the movie, and you can look at them before or during the previews, but when that movie starts you better put your damn phone away or I will throw it at the screen.

Texting and Driving is Kind of Illegal Now (in Florida)



On October 1, 2013 (it’s still 2013 right?) I learned that Texting and Driving was now Illegal in Florida (kind of). I wasn’t really sure what else was illegal though. Is it just texting? What about iMessaging? What about Facebook messenger? What about Instagramming or Snap Chatting? Can I still send the Tweets? Can I still Candy Crush in my car? Am I allowed to answer the phone? Can I change the music on my iTunes or Spotify, if I’m listening to it in the car? (All of these questions and more came into my head at once)

It took me about 10 days, but I finally looked up the actual law. What I found out is that texting and driving isn’t really “illegal,” it’s just “kind of illegal.” What this means is that you can’t be pulled over for texting and driving only, it’s a secondary offense (it can only be added on to something else you were doing). I’m pretty sure the cops can find pretty much any reason to stop you though once they see you texting, and you will go to jail! (Actually you won’t go to jail, I believe there is a small fine, and you might get a point or two on your license if you were within a school zone or your texting ended in an accident).

What exactly counts as “texting and driving?” ‘Prohibiting operation of a motor vehicle while using a wireless device for certain purposes.’ What are these certain purposes? 

You are not allowed to be manually typing or entering letters, numbers, symbols or other characters (so I guess no emojis).

What is still legal? 

Voice Communication: I can still talk on the phone, but can I enter in the numbers to call someone if I don’t have them saved on my phone? That’s a tough one.

Reporting emergency or crime: I’m still allowed to take a picture of a crazy accident to send to my friends, right? Does that count as reporting an emergency or crime?

Navigation: I can still use my phone to get me places, but how am I supposed to type in the destination?

Safety Alerts: I can still receive these strange amber and silver alerts I have been receiving on my phone while driving through sketchy neighborhoods.

Radio Broadcasts: I can listen to my podcasts while I drive to work still (which would be nice, if I actually listened to podcasts while driving…)

A discovery I made is that ‘A legally parked vehicle is not being operated.’ What makes a vehicle legally parked though? If I am at a red light and I throw it into park, am I legally parked and now able to send all the messages, read articles and play candy crush until the light turns green? Do I have to pull into an actual parking spot? Can I pull over to the side of the road? Can I throw my car into park in the middle of the highway if I receive a message? (That last one sounds really dangerous, don’t do that)

So, I guess what I learned is that I can still text and drive and do whatever I want on my phone, as long as I am doing everything else right. The moral of the story is don’t text and drive or you will crash and die, 100% of the time. Thanks for listening, safety first.