Jun 12, 2013

How do you handle it when you are in a car and the driver starts texting?

This might sound like a teenager’s question, but it isn’t. I was in a car with someone who isn’t directly my superior, but definitely is higher up the ladder than me. While we were on the way to a meeting with him driving, he starts texting. We were in fairly heavy, urban traffic, and it really rattled my nerves, especially after he made a left turn from a center lane, cutting off other cars. When I asked him to stop, he laughed it off and told me he had it under control. I told him if he didn’t put down the phone, I would get out of the car the next time we stopped and miss the meeting. This might not have been the best way to handle the situation, but it’s water under the bridge now. I was wondering how other people handle this, especially if you are the person texting.

A friend of mine did this. I asked him to stop and he didn't. When the car finally did come to a stop I told him I would NEVER get in a car with him again if he texted while he was driving. EVER.

He got the message and hasn't done it again. If you need to text, pull the car over to a safe stop and then text away. It is not worth getting hurt or killed to send or read a text message.

 He put you in a no-win situation. I know “texting and driving” is a bit of a cliche, but I used to do it on occasion and thought I was being careful. Then I ran into the back of a stopped car. Oopsie. I learned my lesson. I can’t think of an ideal response to your situation, but I think you did ok. He would have to be very petty not to see he was in the wrong and hold a grudge about it. Of course, that’s always a possibility. Still beats a Honda trunk in your face, though. In direct answer to your question, if someone told me that something I was doing made them uncomfortable (texting while driving, cow tipping, whatever), unless I had a compelling reason for it, I would stop. As I get older, I find being less of a jerk comes easier. 

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