Earlier this month I was pulled over by a motor officer and issued a ticket for distracted driving. I was talking on my cell phone to my husband while holding the phone to my ear. The bluetooth wasn’t working (imagine me screaming into the car speakers “Hello? CAN YOU HEAR ME?” numerous times before I gave up on it). We were in the middle of discussing a very time-pressing important-to-us matter. I had actually pulled into a Toys-R-Us parking lot to talk to him but in the middle of our conversation I realized if I didn’t start driving I would be late to pick up my boys from preschool. So I pulled out on the main road and no more than a minute later I saw police lights in my rear-view mirror. Of course I wasn’t happy about getting a ticket, but I’m glad I did because after paying the fine I took a distracted driving course and it was an excellent reminder of the extreme dangers of talking and texting while driving. The only time you should touch your cell phone in the car is if you need to call 911. My personal emergencies were no excuse! Shame on me. I am now going to pass on some of the statistics and information I learned in this distracted driving class in hopes that at least one of you will listen and learn. It could save a life! Driving is a privilege, not a right and the time we spend behind the wheel should be taking seriously.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. These types of distractions include:
Using a cell phone or smartphone
Eating and drinking
Talking to passengers
Reading, including maps
Using a navigation system
Watching a video
Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field BLINDFOLDED.
3,000 deaths and 400,000 injuries are caused by distracted driving each year. Texting while driving is 6 times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated.
11 teens die EVERY DAY due to texting while driving.
Texting while driving is the same as driving after 4 beers.
And if those statistics aren’t enough, this disturbing video of a bus driver caught texting and driving should make you think twice:
I wanted to create a visual reminder for myself. Something to ensure I won’t ever pick up the phone while in my car. Remember, even when you are at a stop light, it is still not safe to pick up your phone. That’s when I came up with this quick and easy crochet phone cover with a “no symbol” button. The cover can stay in your cup holder or be used as an all-day protective sleeve. The most important thing is that you place the phone in the cover as soon as you enter the car. The button sticks out like a sore thumb and is a constant reminder to NEVER TEXT AND TALK WHILE DRIVING. I encourage you to make one for yourself and one for a friend or loved one!
– Lion Brand Unique Yarn (Garden color). This is a bulky weight chunky yarn.
– Size H Crochet Hook
– Tapestry Needle
– 1 inch white Button (preferably with only two holes)
– Red Sharpie or Red Paint Pen
Ch = Chain
SC = Single Crochet
Note: This cover fits an iPhone 5. If you need to make it wider, just add more chains in the beginning.
Leaving a long tail at the beginning, Chain 23, join with a SC to first chain to make a circle. chain 1 and skip a stitch to begin round 2.
Round 2-19: SC + Ch 1, skip a stitch, SC + Ch 1, skip a stitch, repeat around (working in continuous rounds) until you have about 19 rows.
Round 20: SC + Ch 1, skip a stitch, until you get to the middle of the back edge. Chain 20 and SC to join. Continue to SC + Ch 1, skip a stitch until you get to the end of the side or row (doesn’t really matter where you end this round). Weave in end.
Sew bottom together using the long tail you left at the beginning.
I placed a small circle sticker in the middle of the white button and used a red paint pen to color around it. Be sure to paint the red stripe diagonally across the button holes. Use a bit of red scrap yarn to sew it on to the front of the cover. The “no symbol” button serves a great purpose in this tutorial but I have to admit this would be a beautiful phone case if you used a wooden button instead 😉
A good way to measure how wide you will need to make the starting chain is to wrap it loosely around your phone. Be sure not to twist your chain when joining to make a circle.
Even if you don’t crochet or don’t end up making this project I still hope you took something away from this post. For those of you who are local, the Beaverton Oregon Police Department offers a Distracted Driving class to anyone who wants to attend (not just those who have received traffic tickets). If you have a teenager who is of driving age, this would be a great class for them to attend. I encourage you to contact your local police department and ask if they have a distracted driving class or for more information on distracted driving visit www.distraction.gov.