It started with a sore throat. My daughter got one on Wednesday and then it spread to the whole family. Finally on Saturday, with my sick husband resting at home, I decided to drive all 3 kids to urgent care.
Yep, everyone had it! The doctor was kind enough to write my husband a prescription too, even though they didn’t swab his throat. So I loaded the kids in the car and it was on to our next stop, the pharmacy.
I got into the car and heard my phone buzzing. It was my aunt. She had sent me a text asking if the clothes she’d sent fit the kids. I started to text my reply…
Then, I was lucky.
There was a loud bang and I lunged forward in my seat; I hadn’t even put my seat belt on. My eldest daughter started crying so I got out of the car and ran around the back to the passenger’s side to check on her.
The seat belt had scraped her neck a tiny bit. Everyone else was OK. Then I went to check the front of the car. In my moment of carelessness, I had let the brake go and slammed into a light post. Luckily, I was in an empty parking lot.
Oh the phone call to my husband was painful, but the thought in the back of my mind was how painful it would have been if I had gotten on the road before checking my phone.
That fender bender was a reminder of how important it is to Decide To Drive.
Now, I make a point to zip my phone up in my purse and put it out of reach before I start the engine. That way, I don’t have the option to get it out and respond to a call or text until I stop the car and turn off the engine. Turning off the engine is key because even in a parking lot, serious damage can be done.
I also get my children involved. I simply remind them to help me drive safe by being on their best behavior and reminding me to keep my eyes on the road. They are extremely good at telling me to do things 🙂
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2012 there were 3,328 fatalities and approximately 421,000 injuries in distracted driving-related crashes. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) 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. 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.
Carelessness isn’t an accident. 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.
Share this post and learn more about the Decide to Drive program to help reduce distracted driving and save lives.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.