Did you know that April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month? I actually didn’t but it’s something I feel very strongly about and hope that you’ll agree there is nothing more important than keeping our families safe while driving on the road. Just last week, while driving with my family on a 70 mile-per-hour highway, we drove past a young lady who was holding her cell phone at the steering wheel and texting as she was moving along at a high rate of speed. It made me angry. It made me want to scream at her because how dare she put MY family at risk so she could basically play on her phone while behind the wheel of her car? I witnessed her doing it more than once without any regard for the other people on the road. On that same day I witnessed another driver, this time a guy, texting on his phone while driving on that very same road and also at a high rate of speed. This just isn’t acceptable to me. I can promise you that when I get in my car my Samsung Galaxy S6 is in my purse on the seat next to me or the seat behind me. I’m grateful to have Bluetooth capability in my vehicle, but regardless I’d never touch my phone while driving.
While I’d like to see other drivers, both young and old, strictly focused on their driving and avoiding all distractions when on the road, I also know that simply isn’t realistic. Sometimes it’s nice to be productive while on the road, which is why I’m glad there are ways to pair our smartphones with wireless devices and still make safety a priority when driving from one place to another. The problem is that distracted driving isn’t limited to using a mobile device, but also occurs when people eat, reach for a drink, use their commute for grooming, or talk to other people in the car when on the road. This is why it’s so important the seriousness of distracted driving and make it a priority to educate others on ways to keep themselves, and everyone around them, safe when driving.
National Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Here are a few tips, including a hands-free accessory, to help prevent distracted driving among smartphone users:
- Remove distractions. If you’re easily distracted in the car by loud phone notifications then consider muting your Samsung Galaxy S6 when you’re on the road. It will keep your focus on the road and I’m pretty sure your contacts will understand if you’re making safety a priority.
- Plan before getting behind the wheel: Enter a destination into the GPS on your smartphone before putting the car in drive and keep your cell phone in a safe spot where you can still clearly hear the directions.
- Consider an accessory: The Plantronics Voyager Legend Bluetooth Headset is a handy device that allows you to have a conversation while driving without compromising anyone’s safety. If your vehicle doesn’t have an in-car Bluetooth system, like mine does, then this is definitely the next best thing!
- Ask a passenger for help if something is important: It’s important to remember distracted driving not only has an impact on you, but also puts others’ safety at risk. A passenger can help if you need an urgent text message sent or an important phone call to be made, but if you’re driving by yourself try to park for a moment if you really need to use your smartphone.
- Make a family commitment: Have every driver in your family promise to never text and drive and then have each of them, including yourself, sign U.S. Cellular’s Parent-Child agreement. What I love about this cell phone contract is that it not only keeps everyone on the same page, but it can also be personalized based on your family’s personal preferences. It focuses on safety and smart behavior, especially when bringing driving with a mobile device.
The bottom line is that we need to talk about the dangers of distracted driving and educate each other about ways to prevent it while on the road with our families. I promise that no text is more than important than keeping your loved ones, and those around you, safe while driving.
Disclosure: I’m a compensated member of the U.S. Cellular Blogger Brigade, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.