Over the last month I have had the opportunity to think about distracted driving and the #DecideToDrive campaign. The goal is to increase awareness about the risks of distracted driving through this campaign by empowering everyone to speak up to help reduce distracted behaviors while driving. I thought I was doing pretty good drivingbefore, but quickly realized that I have a confession I need to make…
I am a distracted driver.
Phew! I said it. Now everyone will be watching me. Accountability at it’s best! I am a distracted driver or at least a recovering distracted driver as I have been rethinking and retraining my driving habits over the last few weeks. I am betting I am not alone. In a world where technology is at our finger tips and everything seems to be “go, go go”, it is extremely easy to get distracted while driving. BUT I am discovering that it is just as easy to fix. Here are 4 ways I am improving my distracted driving:
Let It Go!
I know, you now have the song in your head, right? Me, too, but it helps to remember that when it comes to phone calls, texts and emails that you can let them go unanswered until you reach your destination. The phrase “It Can Wait” helps me to also remember that answering or checking those is not the most important thing. The most important thing is to keep my eyes on the road so I can be aware of the road and a safe driver. If my eyes are on my phone, whose eyes are driving my car? Yikes!
If it is important, I need to pull over to take care of it.
“Drivers who text are 23x more likely to be involved in a crash (compared to non-distracted drivers).”- Virginia Tech Transportation Institute”
Don’t Eat While Driving
Guilty! As much as I hate to admit it, I didn’t realize that this is one of my bigger problems. We are constantly running from school to sports to the next thing that often I throw a meal into containers for us to eat on the road. I have been retraining myself to take a few extra minutes to eat before we leave or to wait until we arrive at our destination.
Keep Busy People and Hands In The Back
There are some people I just don’t allow in the front. This guy is going to be one of them! He has to touch EVERY button, dial or vent all the time when he is just sitting in the car parked. I can only imagine how much worse it would be while we are driving. I now have a few people that I refuse to allow to sit up front.! Love them, but I also love them in one piece a lot better!
Discuss the Importance of not Driving Distracted
My kiddos are constantly asking me to watch them while I drive. Um, not possible sweetie! I have learned that if I discuss with my kiddos the importance of me not being distracted while I drive (i.e. fighting, throwing things, etc.), they seem to do a lot better at not being crazy in the car or asking me to look at them. It took a few weeks of reminders, but I think we are there. Hopefully, as they get older this will sink in so much that they will carry the thinking on into their own driving.
This is probably the most important one. I am not always the driver in our car and my children are not always driving with me. If we are in a car where someone is being distracted (i.e. any of my faults previous listed above), we need to speak up and we need to teach our children to speak up. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be safe and get home in one piece.
Enter To Win
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Auto Alliance have teamed up to spread the awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and need your help! They are looking for the best slogan or catch phrase to make the Decide to Drive Campaign pop and have some awesome prizes for the best ideas.
Go enter the Decide To Drive Catch Phrase Contest now!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.