I get it. I really do. I have a job. A business. A toddler. A jam-packed schedule. It really does feel like there is not enough time in the day to accomplish everything I need to do. So it seems harmless to send that quick text while on the road. But it isn’t.
In fact, “Drivers engaged in text messaging on a cellular phone are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or near crash event compared with non-distracted drivers” (Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, 2010). 23 times! This just can’t happen. Distracted driving can’t happen. It just isn’t worth that momentary distraction, especially when many of us have precious little people in the backseat.
Before becoming a parent, I had no idea how much of a distraction my little one could be while driving. As it happens, “Children are four times more distracting than adults as passengers, and infants are eight times more distracting than adults as passengers” (AMA). Quick glances. Reaching for dropped toys and blankies. Passing snacks and water. At the time it seems innocent. It is only for a moment. But all it takes is a moment. A moment of distracted driving. A moment with your eyes off the road.
The temptation to text or dial may be too much sometimes, and if this is you, keep your phone out of reach. Put it in the trunk. The backseat. Under the mat. Whatever it takes to keep your eyes glued to the road.
Next time my little one needs a snack or a dropped toy while driving, I will wait until we reach our destination or until I can pull over safely. My cell phone will be out of reach.
I pledge my full attention to the road. For you. Me. My children. And yours.
Will you do the same?
Chelsey Borys was a special guest of Reader’s Digest and AMA, helping to raise awareness against distracted driving. She blogs at mommyconnections.ca.