“You won’t catch me on my phone while driving!” exclaims Fannie Brynton (46) while driving to her job in downtown Seattle, one hand on the wheel of her 2011 Prius while the other hand feverishly digs in the bottom of her purse for her tweezers.
The founder of M.A.T.T.U.R.D. (Mothers Against Texting and Talking Under Any Reason while Driving), Fannie knows that messaging while behind the wheel is quickly becoming the leading cause of automobile accidents in the United States. Fannie created M.A.T.T.U.R.D. in 2014, after her older daughter scraped the side of their car against a mailbox while trying to take a cleavage selfie in their driveway.
“If my son were ever to get in an accident while sending some kind of emoji-” she adds, veering gently out of her lane while plucking a stray eyebrow hair in the rear view mirror, “I’d tell the cop to book him! Right hand to God, I would. You don’t risk someone’s safety like that!”
But even with the work of groups like M.A.T.T.U.R.D., the problem is still widespread.
“I mean look at the other drivers around us!” Fannie points with two fingers, a tube of lipstick dangling between them like a cigarette. “Texting, Facebooking, Tweeting! All of those people could get me killed!” She shakes her head in disgust, pulling down the driver’s visor mirror to make sure she hasn’t smudged her lip liner.
“Will you hand me my coffee? I want to drink it while it’s still hot.”