When I decide to do a sponsored post I do so because I love the company, the products, and the campaign. Most of the campaigns I work on are fun. I’m a pretty light-hearted person and I like to keep my blog that way. I like to talk about my favorite products, my recent travels, and all things food related. I have a lot of opinions on deeper issues but don’t feel like this is the place for that. I want my blog to feel like a place you come to have coffee with a friend, not where you come to be preached to from a pulpit.
That being said, sometimes I need to discuss more serious things. Sometimes it’s to share an issue I’ve struggled with. (Hello, anxiety!) Other times it’s to share an important lesson I’ve learned. (Always wear sunscreen.)
Today’s post is about a lesson I still need to learn. And it’s too important not to share.
This is an issue that affects most of my generation. We were raised on our phones. I got my first cell phone at 12 years old and my first smartphone at 14. For over ten years I’ve had a phone practically glued to my hand. It can be hard to put it down when you slide behind a steering wheel.
My sweet ride.
I was a late bloomer with driving and didn’t get my license until I was 18. While I’ve been so lucky to never have an accident there have been close calls. A lot of that could be chalked up to getting comfortable behind the wheel and learning to operate a car, but some of it was just plain stupid decisions on my part. I’ve driven with too little sleep, I’ve driven with the radio too loud, and I’ve definitely driven while talking on my cellphone.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and Auto Alliance have partnered together for the Decide to Drive Campaign. They want to increase awareness about the risks of driving distracted. Orthopaedic Surgeons are the ones that have to piece broken bones and limbs together after a car accident. They see the effects of distracted driving every day. The Auto Alliance group is made up of car manufactures that work to constantly improve safety features in their vehicles, but realize the most advanced safety feature in any vehicle is the driver.
I would never drive without a seatbelt. I would never drive drunk. So why would I endanger my life and others by taking my focus off the road to do something as stupid as answer a text message or check my Facebook notifications? Driving distracted is like playing with fire. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,328 people died last year as a result of distracted driving. Another 421,000 were injured. That could be whiplash, emergency surgery, or the loss of a limb and reduced quality of life. The point is that in the past year alone, nearly half a million people were impacted forever not by an accident, but by a choice.
So I’m making the choice to decide to drive, before I have an accident or a horror story I have to share with you. Patience is not one of my virtues, but there is nothing that is so important that it can’t wait until I get off the road. And honestly, it can be really nice to have a break from my phone and just have some peace and quiet and time to myself while I drive.
If you feel passionate about this movement like I do, you can help spread awareness of the dangers of distracted driving by talking to your loved ones. Send them to this website. And if you’re good with words, enter the Decide to Drive Catchphrase Contest. Come up with a slogan to help make the Decide to Drive movement stick, submit it here before June 13th, and be entered to win $1,000. You can win stuff and help a good cause. That sounds like my kind of contest.
I’ve got too much to live for.
I’m Deciding to Drive because I think too highly of myself to be okay with obituary that reads, “Her last words were the text: ‘Sounds good!'” I really hope you’ll decide to do the same.
Questions of the Day: Has distracted driving affected your life? Are you guilty of sometimes taking your attention off the road?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.