The XX Factor

Texting While Driving Without Children

I am too embarrassed by Emily’s trumpets-blaring charge against texting while driving to admit to doing it. But if I did, my sin would of course be committed in the service of the holy grail of multi-tasking. The research the NYT cites, however, has reminded me that when the risk entailed by squeezing two tasks into the same minutes is death, it is utterly and obviously a risk not to take.

Ann, you’re right to chide us for talking on the phone while driving, too , even it’s not quite as crazy dangerous, because of the message it sends to kids. The upright answer is to quit doing this cold turkey, too. But if we’re honest, how many of us will in reality fudge, by abstaining when the kids are in the car (I’d rather talk to them, anyway), and yakking, and even typing, when they’re not? I’d like to say I am above such inconsistency. But then I’d be claiming high ground I’m not really standing on. Is anyone in the same uneasy spot?

Photograph of mom and kids driving by Ryan McVay/Getty Images.