My daughter will be driving soon, and it scares me to death. Driving is a huge responsibility, there are so many things to watch out for, and you need to 100% be aware of your surroundings. Not only do you need to be sure you are not driving distracted, you need to worry about the people around you as well. For the past few years we have taken Catie out on dirt roads and let her drive. In my opinion, the more she knows the better she will be able to handle a sticky situation. However, dirt road driving is nothing like driving on the highway with people all around you. Most driving distractions can be avoided, but not all are 100% preventable. Which is why it’s extremely important for everyone to do their part, give the road their full attention, and focus. It’s not only safer for them, but everyone around them.
If you are driving distracted today is the day to start eliminating distractions, and do your part to make the road a safe place for everyone. If you are not sure how to avoid driving distraction here are a few tips to keep you focused while behind the wheel.
Focus During you are behind the wheel stay focused, it is important to remember other things can wait until you either pull over, or arrive at your destination. Keep your eyes peeled for anyone walking, riding a bike, and the cars around you.
Phones I cannot say this enough, but turn them off. Even in hands free mode they are a distraction. You can also turn them on airplane mode. I know you may not want to, but it is safer for you, your family, and those around you.
Be sure all adjustments are made before you begin to drive. Moving mirrors, and seats can distract you while you are driving.
Don’t wait until you are in your car to listen to traffic conditions. Check them before you leave your home, and have a route plan in mind.
Makeup, earrings, clothing, & everything else
Don’t get dressed, put on makeup, jewelry, or anything else while you are driving. Either do it before you leave your home, or wait until you arrive at your destination.
Think about what you will be snacking on. Try your best to not eat and drive, and if you need to snack while on the road make sure it is something that is not messy, if you drop it you will not freak out and swerve to the left, it’s not hot, or hard to handle. Something like crackers, or chips that is easy to manage.
Kids Make sure everyone is buckled before you put the car in drive. If they need your attention you can safely pull off the road to help them. Don’t reach behind the seat.
Pull over If for some reason something else needs your attention pull off the road.
Know your car Know your car, if you are driving a new car take time to familiarize yourself with where things are before taking off.
GPS Don’t try and pay attention to a nap. Voice navigation will tell you where to go, and be sure to set it before you leave, have a passenger do it, or pull over.
Sleep I read somewhere that driving deprived of sleep was as dangerous as drinking and driving. Personally, I believe it too. If you are not rested, take a nape before you leave. I am sure wherever you are going, and whoever you are meeting wants you to arrive safe and sound.
Passengers If you are traveling with a bunch of kids, try to have adults to help you. Kids are needy, and they seem to need something every three minutes, lol. Having an adult to care for them will help keep you focused on the road.
Music Some people like music, but I like to turn it off when I am driving in heavy traffic so I can focus on the road. Find what works best for you, and try to drive without the radio in stressful driving situations. You may find it helps you stay focused. Also, if you are going to be listening to your iPod be sure to have your music choice picked out. Driving down the road is not the time to be changing songs.
TVs, Tablets, & other devices Keep them in the backseat. It is okay to allow the kids to watch a movie while you are driving, don’t keep it where you can see it. Did you know in 2012 there were 3,328 fatalities and about 421,000 injuries in distracted driving related car crashes? Orthopedic surgeons, the guys who help put bones and limbs back together after car accidents and traumas along with their partners, the automakers, would rather help all drivers “Decide to Drive” each time they step into a vehicle.
There are plenty of ways to keep you focused while on the road, and thanks to American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the Auto Alliance for taking the steps to increase awareness about the risks of distracted driving. The Decide to Drive program wants to empower all drivers and passengers to speak up about distracted driving, bring this conversation up with your family, friends, and coworkers. Help stop distractions while behind the wheel. Remember the best way to keep you save behind the wheel is by you, the driving staying focused. The AAOS and the Auto Alliances wants all driver to keep their eyes on the road, and hands on the wheel. Stay focused, pay attention, and avoid unnecessary distraction.
Decide to Drive Catch Phrase Contest
Do you have the best slogan or catch phrase to make the Decide to Drive campaign pop? Do not miss your chance to enter to win the Decide to Drive Catch Phrase Contest! It started today, and will end on June 13th! Plus, its super fun, great prizes, and for an awesome cause. Check out the details: Enter the Decide to Drive Catch Phrase Contest! Your words could be chosen as the official Decide to Drive campaign catch phrase, and you could win one of two $500 runner-up prizes or the $1,000 grand prize! Can’t wait to see what you come up with! 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.