I know that Stuff Parents Need is a place where we tend to keep it light and breezy. My most harrowing tales are about the worst baby wipes on the market, and my words of wisdom are about things like how to make iced coffee at home (which I believe to be a quite serious matter, myself). I’m not here to be a downer in your day. You’ve got 99 problems but this blog ain’t one!
But friends, for just a few minutes, I’m gonna need you to take a knee and have a listen.
photo credit: The U.S. Army via photopin cc
Many of us are doing something extremely dangerous every single day. And in many cases, we are putting ourselves, other people on the road, and even our own children in danger. I’m talking about distracted driving. Now, distracted driving can take many different forms. Perhaps you rock out so hard to that rendition of Farmer in the Dell that your kids love so much that you even close your eyes during “Heigh-ho the derry-o.” We’ve all been there, my friend. But we’ve got to dial down our enthusiasm a tad since we’re operating a moving vehicle, ‘k?
And before I sound like Judgey McJudgerson, I will share with you my own personal distracted driving struggle: fishing around for my cell phone. Now, I’m proud to say that I cut the texting while driving habit a long time ago after realizing what a truly stupid thing that was to do (sorry friends…it is REALLY STUPID to text while driving…that’s not an opinion, but a fact). But a while back I realized that I was still distracted by my cell phone regularly while in the car. Perhaps I’d receive a text message from someone, or maybe the phone would even ring (almost always my parents…nobody picks up the phone anymore!). And then I’d find myself fishing around in my purse to try to locate the phone (my purse is like a black hole, I swear). But by doing this, I was taking one hand off the steering wheel, and definitely taking some of my focus off driving. Oh no….that needed to stop.
My solution was to get a hands-free device for my car. Here’s what mine looks like:
I’ve had this for over a year, and at this point, I’m pretty good about remembering to put my phone in the device before I even crank the car. Should the phone ring, I can easily tap on my phone and answer it while keeping my eyes on the road where they belong. I feel MUCH safer, personally, by keeping my phone at my eye level while driving. I love this device so much that I got one for my brother-in-law, who was looking for something to help me not be distracted while driving.
A device like this one might be just what you need. Or perhaps you want to do something like a bluetooth device. Or maybe you just want to get in the habit of turning your phone off while driving. These are all great options! I want to encourage you to take a few minutes today to think about your driving habits, and which ones might need a bit of an overhaul so that you won’t be distracted while driving. Decide to drive while you are driving! Last year 3,328 deaths 421,000 injuries on the roadways that had distracted driving as elements related to the crashes. Distracted driving is 100% preventable, friends! The driver of the vehicle is the most advanced safety feature that has ever been created. Just something to keep in mind!
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the Auto Alliance want to help you better understand the risks of distracted driving, and to encourage you to Decide to Drive. Until June 13th, you can enter the Decide to Drive Catchphrase Contest. Somebody is going to win $1000 for helping them come up with a catchphrase for the campaign. It could be you if you enter!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.