Help put an end to distracted driving

Today’s post is about a more serious subject…distracted driving.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Auto Alliance want to increase awareness about the risks of distracted driving through the Decide to Drive program.

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.

I’m really happy to be involved in the program- especially since this subject hits kind of close to home.

Some of you may recall that I was involved in a car crash in April 2013.

Michael was just 6 months old at the time, and we were on our way home from visiting my parents.  We came to a 4-way stop, and as it was our turn to proceed, a driver in a truck completely failed to stop and hit us while going 45 miles per hour.  His truck dragged my car for a bit, and then my car spun around before we finally stopped.

Car-crash

When strangers ran up to my car to ask if I was OK, all I could say was, “I have a baby in the back seat!”  The few seconds of worrying whether or not Michael was safe and sound were the scariest of my life.

Miraculously, he slept through the entire ordeal.

Whether the driver was texting, talking on the phone, changing stations on the radio, I’ll never know. All I know is that whatever he was doing couldn’t possibly have been as important as paying attention to the road.

I’m very fortunate because, aside from some post-traumatic stress (I’m extremely on edge in a vehicle now), I lived to tell my story.

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.

Open-Road

Image source

Since the crash, I always remind my loved ones that emails, texts, a fresh application of lipstick, or whatever it may be can wait, and that if any of those things just happen to be urgent, they should pull over and deal with them off of the road. Nothing is worth the risk of potentially injuring or killing someone.

In the words of those behind the Decide to Drive program, we all need to remember that the most advanced safety feature of any vehicle is the driver. The AAOS and the Auto Alliance urges all drivers to keep their most sophisticated safety features engaged at all times: eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

You can find some other valuable driving tips here.

Aside from paying attention while driving, you can help to support this campaign yourself by entering the Decide to Drive Catchphrase Contest until June 13, 2014.  All you have to do to enter is come up with a catchphrase that you want drivers to remember.  I have a few of my own in mind, but they are admittedly a bit cheesy.

The top prize is a $1,000 Visa Gift Card (and the potential of having your idea featured prominently in a nationwide Decide to Drive campaign!).  Two runners-up will receive $500 Visa Gift Cards.  I’m sure that we could all find a few ways to use those. ;)

Have a great day and drive safely!
erin

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

4 Comments

  1. Such an important topic to discuss!!!

    I took a defensive driving course a few years back and it was very informative. I am very hyper aware when I drive now. Someone almost hit me head on the other day due to distracted driving – looking down at something on their lap.

    When I buckle up I buckle up to drive and do nothing else. The State I live in is hands free with cell phones and GPS systems too. However people still do not obey the law.

    It is SCARY what I see people do while driving and the running of lights too!!!

    Be Aware and Be Safe :)

    thegrassskirt Reply:

    You said it, girl! I think that everyone should have to take defensive driving classes now. The road can be a scary place!

  2. the good thing about living in atlanta is that it’s too crazy with traffic to even answer the phone, let alone text!

    thegrassskirt Reply:

    LOL. I guess that is a positive of crazy traffic! I still need to get to ATL. I cannot believe that I have never been!

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