Help put an end to distracted driving
Today’s post is about a more serious subject…distracted driving.
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.
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.
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.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.