Distracted Driving and Me

People have become inextricably linked to their cell phones (guilty, as charged!). It’s so nice to have the convenience of constant access and contact. Cell phones have done a lot for putting our minds at ease when we can contact anyone from anywhere, but cell phone use has become a HUGE safety hazard while driving.

I’ve been trying a little experiment (we can thank my mother for this): would it be possible for me to drive from Point A to Point B without looking at or using my phone? Up until a few months ago I didn’t think much about sending out a quick “Yes” or “No” text reply if someone messaged me while I was driving (multi-tasking is efficient, right?) but then I started hearing all the statistics, and even seeing first-hand, the very dangerous implications of distracted driving.

Last spring I was waiting for oncoming traffic to break so I could turn left into my girls’ dance studio parking lot. Two other cars stopped behind me and then, I heard a series of two loud, “BANGS,” followed by my car being pushed forward about six inches. A man in a large truck had slammed into the car at the back of the line and caused a chain-reaction collision. As you can imagine, the damage to my car was minimal but the others behind me weren’t so lucky. The first thing the officer asked me when he came to the scene was whether I had been using my cell phone when the accident occurred. Fortunately, I hadn’t been on my phone, but the man who caused the accident was.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which is a great time to learn a little more about how you can make the road a safer place by focusing on the task at hand. According to the National Safety Council, 26% of crashes in 2012 can be attributed to cell phone use while driving, and as much as 90% of crashes are caused by driver error and could be avoided. Don’t fall for the myth that hands-free devices offer a safety benefit; you’re still not totally focused on the road.

For more information about distracted driving or to take the pledge to drive cell-free, visit http://www.nsc.org/safety_road/Distracted_Driving/Pages/distracted_driving.aspx.

You may also want to check your auto insurance policy to be sure that your liability limits are high enough to cover the costs associated with causing an accident. While we hope this NEVER happens to you, it only takes a moment to injure or kill someone and to ruin your life in the process. My main priority at Tulsa Family Insurance is to protect the blessings of my friends, family, and clients!

How’s my driving cell-free experiment going? I’ve completely stopped texting while driving. The only time I talk on the phone while driving is when I’m in Kansas and there’s nothing to hit (kidding!). It’s a process, but awareness is the first step in changing your habits. Have a great April, enjoy the amazing Spring weather, and stay focused on the road!!

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