We were stopped at a red light, so I figured it was a perfect time to multitask and check on messages. With my head down, I saw movement in my peripheral vision, so I assumed the light had turned green and eased up on the brake and tapped her. I was lucky and so was the car ahead of me and yet I continue this practice every day I drive.
I’m not proud to admit that I’m a distracted driver. I’ve put on lipstick, had a drink of tea, adjusted my radio, GPS and A/C, answered a phone call using my speaker, pushed play on the DVD player and even sent a text while at a red light. It wasn’t until I took the CAA Distracted Driver quiz that it really hit me…I checked them all.
I bet most moms could admit to being distracted when they have kids in the car. Just think of all those times the kids needed you to open a snack, change the radio station, pass them a toy or just when someone was crying in the backseat. We multitask as a gender. Women (especially moms) are forever juggling the needs of work, home, kids, and more, every second of the day. But sometimes we have to stop. We need to give up the need to multitask and just slow down and FOCUS. Sometimes we need to FOCUS and be in the moment. For me, it’s putting down the phone to spend quality time with the kids and it’s while I’m driving. It’s one of those things that you know is the right thing to do, and yet you find excuses.
With a simple promise, I’m ending my distracted driving. I won’t answer your call with my phone or change the station, while I’m driving. I’m not going to check or type while I should be focused on driving. It will have to wait. I’m going to put my own safety, the safety of my kids and yours, FIRST. I’m going to set the example for my boys, one of whom will be driving in another 5 years.
Here are the facts:
- Drivers engaged in text messaging on a cellular phone are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or near crash event compared to non-distracted drivers.
- Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of collisions and easily one of the most avoidable.
- Distractions can come from almost anything that makes you look away from the road. A split second is all it takes to dramatically change the rest of your life.
- Driving requires your full attention (check out these tips).
- Losing your focus on the road can lead to weaving in and out of your lane, missing a traffic sign and putting yourself, passengers and others at risk.
CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) and other traffic safety partners have come together to launch a six week long education and awareness campaign (July 29 - Sept 12 ). They are urging all drivers to make a promise. It's simple, go online and promise to your family and friends to focus on the road.
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Disclosure: I'm participating in the CAA South Central Ontario Distracted Driver Campaign because I want to make a promise to focus on the road and encourage other drivers to do the same. All opinions are 100% my own.