Distracted driving is a real concern these days with the brunt of society living in a fast paced lifestyle. People want to get from Point A to Point B in record time, but life happens in between. I have seen people putting their makeup on at a stop light and people looking up in their mirrors while driving to place lipstick on. The things we do in our vehicles while driving is not only a possible distraction for their own safety but it’s a distraction for drivers who bear witness to such things as; looking down instead of at the road, turning your head backwards to maybe speak to a child, doing your makeup in the drivers seat while driving, and so on and so forth. There are many things people have done that can be considered distracting to both the driver and other drivers on the road. I know that when I see a person doing something that clearly shows the driver doesn’t have both eyes on the road or their hands on the wheel, it distracts me from my driving. It takes me a moment to realize what I had just witnessed, it’s so mind boggling to me what people do behind the wheel.
I think we may all have been guilty of distracted driving from time to time without realizing it and this can cause crashes. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Auto Alliance want to increase awareness about the risks of distracted driving. My advice to those who find themselves getting distracted while driving is to pull over as soon as possible. It’s that simple. I have been known to pull off the side of the road many times, it is usually because my son’s are screaming at each other in the back seat. If something is going on with my children that requires my attention or is distracting to the safety of my driving, I pull over. No questions asked. I tend to the kids, let them know their distracting Mama’s driving and I don’t move again until they are calm and acknowledge they will cease the distracting behavior.
Here’s a couple Tidbits of Information regarding Distracted Driving:
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), of the nearly 33,000 roadway fatalities in 2012, there were 3,328 fatalities and approximately 421,000 injuries in distracted driving-related crashes.
- Orthopaedic surgeons—the specialists who put bones and limbs back together after road crashes and traumas—along with our partners, the automakers, would rather help all drivers “decide to drive” each time they get in the car and to keep bones and limbs intact.
The “Decide to Drive” program aims to empower drivers and passengers to speak up about distracted driving, continue the conversation at home, work and play, and reduce distracted behaviors behind the wheel. As parents, we already have enough to discuss with our children and educate them about, please add the topic of distracted driving. Lead by example. My example is that I usually have my cell phone on vibrate while driving to ensure it doesn’t distract my eyes from the road nor hands from the wheel. I also have used voice operated hands-free devices in years past for cell phones, in case of an emergency phone call during driving. Most phone calls and text messages can wait until you stop driving, if not? Pull over.
As a proactive Mom and one who leads by example, I have kept dialogue open between my three children regarding safe driving practices, sure they may only be 11, 7 and 5, but one is never too young to soak up information! If I lead be example and keep the conversation going, they will be more educated on ways to not be a distracting driver when they reach driving age.
As part of this Decide to Drive Campaign, I am sharing with you a fun slogan contest called Decide to Drive Catchphrase Contest. This contest will run from May 30, 2014 – June 13, 2014. Head over to the Decide to Drive Catchphrase Contest page for more details and to enter your choice of slogan to bring awareness to distracted driving! You could win one of two $500 runner-up prizes or the $1,000 grand prize! I cannot wait to see what the new slogan will be.
Connect with American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons on Facebook, Auto Alliance on Facebook and “Decide to Drive” on Facebook to keep up to date with the latest news, statistics and information to help you raise more awareness of distracted driving.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.