Decide to Drive: Vow to Put an End to Distracted Driving #DecideToDrive

decide-drive-end-distracted-driving

See those little guys above? They’re baby snapping turtles. They don’t really look all that dangerous, do they? I mean, when they get big, they’re nothing to mess with, but as babies, they’re pretty docile. Hard to imagine one being responsible for a car accident, right? Well, technically, the snapper wasn’t responsible, I was, because I was distracted driving!

About ten years ago I crashed my car. It was the only crash I’ve ever had because it taught me to be more aware of my driving. See, I had a baby snapping turtle on my passenger seat. I was taking him back to the lake after my then-husband found him on the side of the road and brought him to me. He thought it was a box turtle. The claws and sharp beak should have given it away.

My first mistake was putting a snapping turtle on my passenger seat. Really, who does that? Me, apparently. My biggest mistake, though, was trying to calm the turtle when he freaked out and started hissing. The air conditioning hit him and he went nuts. Rather than keeping my eyes on the winding road, I looked at the turtle and tried to comfort him. I looked up in time to see the tree coming straight at my car. I totaled my car because I was too busy paying attention to something other than the road. Thankfully, no one was hurt, aside from a big welt on my shoulder from the seat belt.

Distracted Driving: More than just texting and talking on the phone

decide-drive-end-distracted-driving

When most people think about distracted driving, they tend to hone in on those who text or talk on their phone while behind the wheel. Sure, those are definitely not conducive to paying attention to the road, but they aren’t the only way to be distracted. In my case, a turtle on my passenger seat was all it took to keep my eyes and mind off the road. Basically, anything that takes your attention away from the task at hand is an example of distracted driving.

Make a Pledge to Decide to Drive

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery (AAOS) and the Auto Alliance are trying to increase awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Did you know that, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2012 there were 3,328 fatalities and about 421,000 injuries in crashes related to distracted driving? The orthopaedic surgeons are the specialists who put those bones and limbs back together after traumatic events. They’d much rather see you “decide to drive” and prevent those limbs from getting banged up in the first place.

decide-drive-end-distracted-driving

The Decide to Drive program wants to empower you as both a driver and a passenger to speak up about distracted driving. The site offers numerous tools, from startling statistics to downloads that you can use on your social media sites. Learn about distracted driving, then make a pledge to stop the behavior when you’re driving. If you’re a passenger in the car with a distracted driver, please, speak up. Teach your children to speak up as well. Remember, you are your car’s number one safety feature. All the extra features in the world can’t replicate the attention you give to driving.

Will you pledge to Decide to Drive? What is one thing you know you can do better to cut down on distracted driving?

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

12 thoughts on “Decide to Drive: Vow to Put an End to Distracted Driving #DecideToDrive”

  1. I definitely am on board with this. I’m surprised at how many people I talk to who don’t consider programming their GPS while driving as distracted driving. I think it’s a bit of a risk factor having those new cars with those fancy screens that can do everything from A-Z that will likely to played with by the driver while driving.

  2. What a great campaign. Even without distractions I know I have to worry about the other drivers. I always try and put my phone in my purse and zip it up to remove the distraction.

  3. This is definitely a problem that continues to get worse and I have to admit, I’m guilty of it but I’m making conscious efforts to be more attentive when I’m driving.

  4. Regardless of the law, it seems to be getting worse and worse. It’s the one thing I wish the regular public could hand out tickets and fines for!

  5. Distracted driving is a huge problem. I agree that it’s definitely more than just texting etc. When my kids are in the backseat and one of them drops a toy or wants me to grab something from them, I tell them they have to wait and explain why having mommy reaching in the backseat while trying to drive is just isn’t worth the risk.

  6. Distracted driving is such a scary thing. I am shocked quite often at the things I see people doing in the car. It really cannot be so important that it cannot wait. I applaud the people I see who actually pull over to the side of the road for a moment to text/etc.

  7. I love that we are finally starting to become aware of the dangers of distracted driving, with the popularity of texting, distracted driving has really become a huge problem

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