Jun 112014

It wasn’t until I found out I was pregnant with Kayleigh, that I really started to pay attention to my driving habits, and the driving habits of others.  I had never given much thought about how my driving affected my own life and the lives of others, until I had a precious life growing inside of me – one that I would do anything to protect. 

Kayleigh driving

As my belly grew bigger, I became more and more cautious while driving or riding in a vehicle.  After Kayleigh was born, I spent the first 3 months of her life sitting next to her in the back seat whenever we’d go out for a drive, even if it was just down the road.  John felt like our taxi driver, but I wanted to make sure she was safe back there.  I just couldn’t bring myself to sit in the front seat, and leave her in the back all by herself.  She was so tiny and helpless.  As I sat next to my sweet angel in the back seat, I was constantly looking over my shoulder, watching the drivers behind us, and in the lanes next to us, making sure that they weren’t going to hit us.

Are You Guilty of Doing Any of These Things While Driving?

It’s amazing what you see on the road when you actually pay attention – people eating, putting on make up, driving with animals on their laps, talking or texting on their cell phones, reading maps – all while sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle.  Do they not realize how dangerous that is?!  In the blink of an eye, people could be severely injured, or even killed, all because someone was distracted while driving.  Is touching up your make up, or sending a text really worth that risk?  No!  

Distracted Driving Can Be Easily Prevented

Driving is something that requires a person’s full attention, and there are many ways to prevent distracted driving.  All it takes is a little preparation before getting behind the wheel.  Taking just a few minutes to prepare yourself for the trip ahead, even if it’s just down the street to the store, can make all the difference, and help to prevent car crashes.

10 Tips to Prevent Distracted Driving

1.  Before you leave, make sure you are ready to leave.  The vehicle is no place to be fixing your hair or putting on make up.  Take care of all of that before you get into your vehicle.

2.  Know your route before you leave.  If you do end up getting lost and need to get directions, pull over to the side of the road before checking your map, or enlist the help of your passengers so you can keep your focus on driving. 

3.  Make sure all children and pets are secure before leaving.  If they need to be attended to while you are driving, pull over.  Reaching into the back seat while driving is a distraction, and can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.  

4.  Make all necessary vehicle adjustments before you start driving.  Adjust your mirrors, climate controls, radio, GPS system, seat incline, etc., before hitting the road.  

5.  Make sure all loose items in your vehicle are secure before driving.  You don’t want to be reaching down to pick something up that has rolled under your foot while you are driving.

6.  Never use any electronic devices while driving.  Do not use your cell phone to make phone calls, text, browse the internet or anything else while driving.  If you absolutely MUST use your cell phone, pull over to the side of the road and turn your vehicle off first.

7.  Try to eat before you leave, or after you arrive at your destination.  Avoid eating messy foods in your vehicle, as they can be hard to manage while driving.  Also, do not smoke cigarettes while driving.

8.  Keep the sun out of your eyes by using your vehicle’s sun visors and/or sunglasses while driving.  

9.  If you feel drowsy while driving, stop somewhere close and safe to sleep for a bit, or call someone to come get you and your vehicle.  

10.  Devote your FULL attention to driving.  Continuously scan the road, use your mirrors, and be on the lookout for pedestrians, animals and other objects that may make their way into your driving path.  Obey all traffic signs, and pay close attention to other vehicles.  

Share these tips with your friends and family.  Together, we can help put an end to distracted driving.

Take Back the Road

Decide to Drive

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Auto Alliance want to increase awareness about the risks of 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.

Enter to Decide to Drive Catchphrase Contest through June 13, 2014, and you could win 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.  This contest is open to everyone 18+ in the US.  

Did You Know?

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.

The next time you get behind the wheel, remember, the most advanced safety feature of any vehicle is the driver!

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

  26 Responses to “10 Tips to Prevent Distracted Driving #DecidetoDrive”

  1. I love this initiative and really think it will just be a matter of time before people realize just how unsafe it is to drive while distracted. It’s just as bad as driving drunk.

  2. I admit I’m sometimes guilty of checking for texts or emails while at a red light – but yesterday, when driving home, there was a huge accident on the major street where I live, and the whole street was shut down; the vehicle had flipped in the middle of the road, and I later read online she was 18 and was texting, eating, and speeding. That’s going to deter me from doing that again, it was a horrific sight.

  3. Moms are so used to multi-tasking that car-time seems like the perfect chance to catch up on phone calls or whatever. But it’s the most important time to pay attention!! Thanks for the reminder.

  4. I zone out while I am driving all the time. I will be somewhere and wonder how the heck I got there. Ugh!

  5. Number 9. I’ve experienced that and gotten in an accident.

  6. This is pretty awesome – I am so guilty of distracted driving, but I am trying to change

  7. First, what an absolutely darling baby picture! And that funny face she makes in the first picture just makes you giggle :) I agree, there are so many distracted drivers on the road these days it’s pretty scary!

  8. Great tips. Those photos of your daughter driving are just too cute. It’s so important to remember that driving is more important than anything else.

  9. I totally agree on all of your points. People forget they are driving something that is more lethal than many things you do on a daily basis. People are so busy trying to multi task when the one thing they should do is just drive.

  10. Wonderful tips. I am so glad our family lives by no distractions. So dangerous and you see people doing crazy things all the time :(

  11. Great tips, I have to admit to being distracted by the kids the most. Even a second to look in the rearview mirror at them could be deadly. Yet it’s those that i see texting and driving – so scary!

  12. I usually try to throw mine on the other side of the car so I’m not tempted to grab it!

  13. I am guilty of eating and driving. I am trying to get better about snacking before I hit the road.

  14. What great tips. I am so afraid of others texting and driving all the time!

  15. She is a DOLL!!! Your tips are excellent. I get so mad at my friend if they text while driving. I can’t believe anyone still attempts it after all the horror stories you hear!!! IT CAN WAIT!!

  16. EXCELLENT TIPS! Seriously, distracted driving is one of my biggest pet peeves, and I know how guilty I was of it when I was a teenager. You’re not just risking your own safety, but my safety and the safety of my family, too. Just don’t do it!

  17. Distracted driving…drowsy driving…it is all very scary. I never used to worry much about being on the road but with a car full of littles I have found I have a serious anxiety about other drivers, bad roads, and so many other factors.

  18. My 5 kids are my biggest distraction! Great tips!

  19. Thank you for sharing such an important post. Both my teens drive and it is drilled into their heads never to text and drive or do other distracting things.

  20. Last week we hit the highway right when the sun was shining like crazy! I didn’t think I was going to be able to drive because it was so blinding.

  21. What a great list! This is the kind of list new drivers should be forced to learn!

  22. Oh my goodness, I am so scared about being distracted. Back when I was working a lot I would leave work and get home and really not even remember driving home, I was so zoned out. It is super-scary! love your list

  23. Drives me nuts when I see people with dogs on their laps while they drive. I have a little dog and there is no way that wouldn’t cause a problem if I allowed that!

  24. I find the dog situation to be the most ignored one. I mean here are 15-125 missles, that are running around in the car and often sitting on the driver’s lap! It’s craziness!

  25. Being distracted while traveling can easily happen to anyone. A great tip was know your route before you leave. Makes travel smoother.

  26. Great tips.Now we just need to get the world to read each one and follow through!

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