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Advice on How to Stop Texting in a Car (and look good while doing it)

It is now illegal to use a cell phone while driving in my town of Helena, MT.  I’ve rarely texted while driving, but I’ve been known to pick it up during stop lights.

I answer the phone using hands-free, but if your ob-gyn calls, and your children are in the back seat, this is not a good time to get results unless you are prepared to explain a lot of things you don’t know all of the scientific answers to.  (I won’t go into more detail at this time.)

But it is hard for me to stop texting during stoplights.  Especially if I get there as it is turning yellow and I know I have the whole 20 seconds of red light to wait.  That’s time I can make useless conversation.

But it is illegal.  And I’m trying to be a good mom and give an example of a law abiding citizen to my children.  (They can find out the truth after they are 18.

These are my daughter's nails. I don't paint her nails in the car - that would be dangerous.

Let’s make that 25.)

So here is my solution:  I now paint my nails at stop lights.  I don’t want to mess up the new polish with texting and it is perfectly legal!  Win-win!

AND my nails look FABULOUS.

How do you stop texting?


  1. Kim Griffin says:


    I stop texting by putting my phone in my carpetbag of a purse ~ so I can’t find it, much less text on it!

    1. Marianne says:

      I’ve tried that but then I wonder where my phone is and search around for it. I’m better at ignoring it in full view!

  2. le0pard13 says:

    And you do this in a place that has real weather? Our cops in the southland have started to pull people over when the catch drivers looking down at something in the vehicle.

    1. Marianne says:

      I’ve never done this in a snow storm… It has to be sunny. I do have standards.

  3. This is actually a fantastic question. Because I am very bad and text while driving. My husband gave me a VERY hard time the other day. We were debating the definition of a word while I was driving, and I said, “Here, let me look it up.”

    My husband doesn’t have a smartphone or know how to use one and doesn’t care. He does occasionally text me, but not while driving.

    My husband grabbed the phone from me and said, “It can wait. Don’t do that while you’re driving!”

    “You don’t text while you drive?”

    “No, I don’t. Ever. And you better not either.”

    Crap. So I don’t know. Fortunately, I’m not all that popular, so I don’t text all that often. I guess that’s how I’ll stop – use my unpopularity. And also turn the phone to silent, all but phone calls. If it’s important, someone will call, and it’s not illegal (yet) to talk on the phone while driving.

    1. Marianne says:

      My husband doesn’t have a smart phone either but I usually have him drive because it’s not my favorite thing. It does help that coverage in MT is spotty.

  4. livrancourt says:

    See, I’ve always got so many things going on that when I remember something that needs to be sent in a text, I send it. Not when the car is moving – most of the time – but at a stoplight, sure. Bad girl, I know…

    1. Marianne says:

      It’s hard to not use the stop light time!

  5. laird sapir says:

    Ha! Ok, but seriously, careful with those nails. I always mess mine up when I try to paint them in a hurry.
    I don’t text in the car, except when I am in the school drop off line…sometimes.
    You reminded me of this hysterical video that came out when California passed their hands-free law back in 2008:

    1. Marianne says:

      That is hilarious! Sometimes that’s what it feels like!

  6. LOL, Laird. That video was great! I’m horrible at checking email or texting while sitting at stop lights, waiting in lines, etc. But I try to hand it to my daughter who’s now old enough to safely sit up front and tell her who and what to text. That helps — when she’s in the car. 🙂

    1. Marianne says:

      I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to help!

  7. Tami Clayton says:

    I text when at stop lights, so obviously it’s done quickly and, in most cases, poorly. I often get texts back from people saying things like “Huh? So, you’re tying up a midget at the car wash?”

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