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Drivers: Share your cell-phone stories (and confessions)

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Now we know the appalling answer.

How could Erin Brett Lindsay-Calkins miss the flashing lights, the warning bells, and the bellowing horn of an approaching locomotive? Why did she try to drive under the crossing gate, adorned with more flashing red lights, as it descended across her path?

Why did she and her son die at an Efland rail crossing?

The answer hits home for a lot of us. Lindsay-Calkins was distracted from her driving. She was on her cell phone (see today's story with reader comments).

It's time to talk about this.

Surveys show what all drivers know: Many of us talk on our phones as we drive, every day. We take our eyes off the road to read e-mail. We take our thumbs off the wheel to send text messages.

We take our minds, or at least an important part of our attention, off our driving.

Have you been in a crash that involved a driver using a cell phone? Were you on the other end of that phone conversation? Maybe you were that driver who caused a rear-ender, or a more serious crash, because you were distracted by the phone.

Please share your experience.  Share your story or your confession. Send photos and videos of drivers texting or talking on the phone.

DON'T make the foolish mistake of taking photos while YOU'RE supposed to be focusing on traffic. I don't want to see any photos like that. If you're stopped, or if you're a passenger, your photos and videos are welcome.

Let me hear from you: bruce.siceloff@newsobserver.com or (919) 829-4527.  Please include your name and contact information.

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Oh, look! Your blog has a

Oh, look! Your blog has a "Mobile Version" link. I can read it in my car. Thanks, dude!

My Phone Has Voice Mail

I own a cell phone. The phone has voice mail, so the phone is usually turned off. I submit this because I seem to be in the minority in doing this.
For at least 15 years the guys on the Radio program, Car Talk, have given away bumper stickers that say "Hang up and Drive". Their only problem is they are not in your car to give you a "dope slap" when you don't hang up.
The "appalling tragedy" is much of our society has no training in prioritizing items in their lives while viewing the world at large.
More than 215 persons' lives were altered by the  car-train crash in Efland.
http://www.startribune.com/nation/79908297.html?elr=KArks:DCiUMEaPc:UiacyKUUr

cell phones and driving

When I drove, I did not drive and talk on the phone. If I needed to make a call, I pulled over into a parking lot and talked. I only talked on the phone and drove in an emergency. I always stopped before crossing tracks; even with crossing arms and bells and whisles. How can this be missed? How can one miss the fact that one crashes through the gates of the crossing?

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About the blogger

Bruce Siceloff reports on traffic and transportation. A News & Observer reporter, editor and blogger since 1976, he took over the Road Worrier column in 2003. Lately he drives I-40 with the cruise control set at 68 mph. You can e-mail Bruce, call him at 919-829-4527, check out his Crosstown Traffic blog or follow him (@Road_Worrier) on Twitter.
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