That swerve, my car went over the line a bit into the next lane. I’m not sure what type of reflex it was, but it was quick. And it saved me from a crash. After I gained my composure, I looked over at the car next to me. The driver had no idea what had happened. Instead she was talking on her phone and smoking. She was preoccupied.
Distracted drivers don’t cause accidents. They are making a choice to text, to eat or to look at a map while driving. And that’s no accident. I have to admit that I’m guilty of making bad choices too. Even though I keep saying I won’t do it, I talk on my phone while I’m driving.
Are we on a treadmill going way too fast? Do we think that stopping to have a snack or make a phone call is going to take away too much time from all of the things we “need” to do? Before we had mobile phones, we had to stop at a pay phone or wait until we arrived at our destination to make a call. There were no drive-ins so most of the time we ate inside a diner or at home, not in our car.
That may be showing my age, but the idea is we need to slow down. A few minutes isn’t going to kill us. But being a distracted driver just might. Or we can hurt others:
“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.”
One of the mottos is “I don’t ever want to say what if” A distracted driver who causes a crash will think “what if I wasn’t texting?” The person behind the wheel is the best deterrent to crashes. Don’t be a distracted driver, keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Auto Alliance have joined together for the “Decide to Drive” campaign. Besides bring attention to the danger of distracted driving, they are encouraging people to feel comfortable to talk about this issue to family, friends, etc. There’s even an anonymous email you can send to someone you know that is a distracted driver but you’re too embarrassed to talk about it.
“Distracted driving is any activity that could divert attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety”. (Distracted.gov)
Decide to Drive is holding a Catchphrase Contest which runs May 30 – June 13, 2014. Enter the contest with your best slogan. You can win one of two $500 runner-up prizes or the grand prize of $1000! Enter here: http://clvr.li/1nwa6CV
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.