3 Easy Ways to Kick the Distracted Driving Habit #DecidetoDrive



A bunch of years ago, I was in a car accident at a busy intersection. I was stopped at a red light, and as I glanced up in my rearview mirror, I saw a car coming at me. I could see that the driver was looking at something in the car, with her head turned away from the windshield, and she was not slowing down. I sat in my car and waited for her to hit me. I saw it coming, and those few seconds felt like hours.

3 Easy Ways to Kick the Distracted Driving Habit #DecidetoDrive

The girl that was driving was young. A new driver. Her boyfriend was there, and he kept telling her how stupid she was. But I have trouble passing too much judgement. Even though I still wince when I see a car coming up behind me, I can’t be too mad because there are times when it could have happened to me. Cups of coffee, CD changes, sandwiches, even bumper stickers on other cars…they’re all distractions, and most of us have let them get the best of us at one time or another.

And now, cell phones. People are talking and texting behind the wheel, which means those who do drive distracted are likely to be more distracted than ever. As a busy mom who works at home, I’m constantly multitasking, and I’m the first to admit that I struggle with getting distracted in the car. When my phone rings or dings, my first instinct is to grab it. And since I’m already dealing with kids, music, COFFEE… the distraction level can escalate quickly.

This is bad for 2 very important reasons: 1) It’s extremely dangerous, and 2) it’s illegal!

In Pennsylvania, it is against the law to use your cell phone while driving to send or receive texts, emails or messages of any kind. If you are caught, you will incur a $50 fine. Making phone calls, on the other hand, is not illegal, PennDOT suggests pulling off the road, using a hands-free device, and not participating in emotionally heated conversations.*

3 Easy Ways to Kick the Distracted Driving Habit #DecidetoDrive

It didn’t take me long to change my ways, and you can, too. Start out by putting these 3 tips into action:

1. Charge your phone at home. The car charger is located in a place that will put your phone within arm’s reach. Temptation is your enemy, so avoid charging your phone in the car if possible.

2. Put your phone in the trunk! Out of sight, out of mind…or at least out of reach. If you can’t get to it, it can’t distract you.

3. Put your kids on the case! I took the plunge and explained distracted driving to my 4-year-old son. I knew that once I told him, I’d hear about it…and I do. I’ve tested it out a few times by just reaching over for my phone, and my son is ON IT. “Mommy! Don’t look at your phone! Eyes on the road or the policeman will come!” This is pretty much of a no-fail plan because 4-year-olds don’t forget anything!

#DecideToDrive

In an effort to increase awareness about the risks of distracted driving, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Auto Alliance have created the Decide to Drive program. This 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.

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. Those are not numbers to feel good about, and change needs to happen. Orthopaedic surgeons—the specialists who put bones and limbs back together after road crashes and traumas—along with our partners, the automakers, would rather help all drivers “decide to drive” each time they get in the car and to keep bones and limbs intact.

Decide to Drive includes all the tools you need to help raise awareness in your community, within your family, and online. From activity booklets and cell phone wallpaper reminders to social media kits and sharable infographics, you’ll find all the tools you need to get involved and help your friends and family keep their attention on the road and #DecidetoDrive.

3 Easy Ways to Kick the Distracted Driving Habit for Good #DecidetoDrive

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. Visit the Decide to Drive website to learn more about the campaign and how you can get involved.

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Source: http://www.dmv.org/pa-pennsylvania/safety-laws.php#Cell-Phone-Laws-in-PA

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

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Comments

  1. Awesome post! We are all guilty of this, and I love the tips, especially leaving your phone in the trunk, out of sight out of mind. I plan on practicing this more!
    Katie Harding recently posted..Happy Mother’s Day – A Keurig Giveaway from Mom Favorites!My Profile

  2. Andrea Campbell says:

    My kids are lifesavers for those times when I get tempted to take a quick peek. They always tell on me. :) I now started painting my thumbnail with bright polish so if I am temped to quick check something, I see a bright nail reminding me not to.

  3. This is such a great post because I’m definitely a distracted driver. I need to learn to keep my phone not in close reach to me when driving because I’m usually on it. :(
    Amanda Love recently posted..Zulily Phil & Teds Stroller Giveaway #adMy Profile

  4. Here in Mass, we can talk on our phones, but we can’t text & drive otherwise we will get a big fine.
    Robin (Masshole Mommy) recently posted..Alpine Lace Deli Cheese Event With Kristi YamaguchiMy Profile

  5. This is something that really strikes a nerve with me. With all the news stories about people crashing and dying due to the fact that they or someone else can’t just put the stupid phone down long enough to pay attention to the road, you would think people would sit up and listen! I am proud to say that I do NOT take my phone out of my purse while driving. It’s not hard to WAIT until you are parked.
    Jennifer B recently posted..Book Blast: Rescuing Her Honor by Johnny RayMy Profile

  6. Distracted driving just isn’t worth it.
    Here in Alberta the fine is $172.
    It can be really really easy to slip into that bad habit so I make sure that I tuck my phone into my purse and put my purse in the backseat.

  7. Fantastic and timely post. Irritates me to see people not paying attention to their driving.
    Debbie Denny recently posted..May is Lupus Awareness Month! #CURELUPUS #Powerof10My Profile

  8. I don’t drive yet but this post does have a lot of useful information that I will keep in mind when I finally make the move to get my license.
    Giveaways 4 Mom recently posted..TrueLipids ReviewMy Profile

  9. I don’t look at my phone when the car is moving at all, but I really shouldn’t look at when I’m behind the wheel period.
    Liz Mays recently posted..These Squishy Little Shoes #SkyscapeMy Profile

  10. Such an important post. Distracted driving is really scary and becoming more and more common. Everyone should be required to put their phone in the trunk while they’re driving!
    Lois Alter Mark recently posted..san diego on fireMy Profile

  11. Great tips. We were recently in a car wreck caused by a distracted driver- although he wasn’t on his phone- and we have all been looking for ways to drive a bit safer.
    Pam recently posted..Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie RecipeMy Profile

  12. lisa jones says:

    This Is Definitely Not Me I Drive That’s All I Do o Phone No Text No Reaching In The Back Seat My Hubby Does ALLL OF THE ABOVE & It Drives Me NUTS

  13. My distraction is my phone, I need to start turning it off or keep it out of hands reach while I drive.
    Mama to 5 BLessings recently posted..Every Mom Needs To Read The Waiting (Book Review) + 5 Copies To Giveaway #thewaitingbookMy Profile

  14. Great post. Distracted Drivers are horrible. I live on a Mountain and can’t tell you how dangerous the roads can be here normally so distracted and you might as well kiss yourself goodbye. I leave my purse and cell phone in the trunk and off. I loved the idea of painting your thumb nail red that I saw in comments but thank you for addressing this what is becoming a national concern.
    Laura (Lauras Little House Tips) recently posted..DIY-Amish Folded Star Quilted Hot Pad/ Pot Holder Video TutorialMy Profile

  15. These are some great ideas. I like using my phone for its GPS navigation but maybe it would be better to have a GPS device that only has one purpose so it can’t be as much of a distraction.
    J.Merrill recently posted..A Week in LA With a Highlight of Angelina Jolie #MaleficentEvent #FireandRescueEventMy Profile

  16. I will read or send a quick text sitting at a stoplight… anything else, I’ll pull over into a parking lot & continue on my way when I’m done. I just don’t get how someone would be so stupid as to text and drive.
    Robin {Mom Foodie} recently posted..Back in Black! … Driveway Makeover RevealMy Profile

  17. I think the fine should be way more than $50. There have been too many accidents with the increase of cell phone use and technology.
    Aly Mashrah recently posted..Million Dollar Arm: Must-See Summer Movie!My Profile

  18. Distracted driving is potentially as dangerous as drunk driving and must be avoided at all costs.
    Janeane Davis recently posted..Take Action Now Even If It Is HardMy Profile

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