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“Bring Awareness to Distracted Driving with the “Decide to Drive” Campaign”

I feel like this is such a tough subject right now, especially in the blogging community. Without going into details, distracted driving can ruin lives.

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. It is so easy to be distracted while behind the wheel. It seems like we all are guilty of it in some form or another. In fact, I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t in my car right now as I was writing this article. Fortunately I use a text to talk feature that allows me to keep my eyes on the road and my hands on the wheel. However how many times have you answered a text message while speeding down the road or flipped through a stack of CDs or songs on your MP3 player to find the perfect driving to?

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They say that texting and driving is next in that with driving drunk. Though I certainly would never have a drink then get behind the wheel, I have been guilty of texting a few times while driving. There have been times where I have looked up from my phone with just enough time to hit my brakes before I read her and the car in front of me.

Fortunately I have now adopted some better habits to make sure I stay focused on my driving. With the precious cargo of my child in the backseat I can’t afford to drive without all my attention on the road. I have a spot in my car that I put my cell phone and I put it on silent for my drive so I won’t be tempted to check it if it rings. I pick out what music, if any I’d like to listen to while I’m driving before my car even leaves the driveway.

One of the best pieces of software I have is the “text to talk “function. If you are answering a text message it keeps your eyes on the road and your hands off your phone while still being able to reply. You just hit one button and say “I’m driving I can’t talk right now ” and put your phone back down.

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the Auto Alliance want to increase awareness about the risks of distracted driving, and I think they are right for doing so. 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. Orthopedic 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. Remember, 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.

Just even one conversation can bring this to light. While writing this post it reminds me to take distracted driving seriously. My life, and my passengers life are a lot more important than a missed phone call.

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

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