Dear Distracted Drivers,

Put your damn phone down.

Driving isn’t complicated.

You push a gas pedal and the car goes. You spin the steering wheel and the car turns. Basic stuff!

When a task becomes easy, it feels like second nature. So we multitask. Drivers eat, drink, text, change clothes, and put on make-up behind the wheel.

Driving isn’t complicated… but it is a responsibility.

You’re driving home from work. You know it’s not smart to text and drive. Even the quick text that says, “On my way!” can be all it takes.

Fun Fact #1: Most accidents occur within 5 miles of your home.

Fun Fact #2: It takes 5 seconds to send a text message (yes, that includes short ones).

At a speed of 55 MPH, you travel 80.7 feet/second. 80.7 feet x 5 seconds = 403 feet. That’s more than the length of a football field… and you just traveled that distance without looking at the road.

Texts seem urgent in the moment. They really aren’t, though. Everything seems more important when it happens than it truly is. How many texts have changed your life? Probably none. Think rationally, not reactively.

What could go wrong? Plenty! Imagine:

  • A deer runs into the street.
  • You don’t notice a huge pothole.
  • Another driver is texting and blows a red light.
  • A driver in front of you slams their brakes suddenly.
  • There’s a tire or obstruction in the middle of the road.

If you don’t pay attention, any of these situations could easily cause a life-threatening traffic accident. At best, you’ll end up with broken bones and an expensive hospital bill.

Driving isn’t complicated… but it is a responsibility (and you need to act like it).

According to the CDC, 35,398 people die in traffic accidents every year. A study by NHTSA revealed 1 in 10 fatal crashes involved a distracted driver.

Research by AAA suggests hands-free technologies are not exempt. If it takes your mind off driving, then it puts your life at risk (I‘m talking to you, chatty passengers – save the small talk for later!).

Does anyone remember how to talk to people anymore? Our smartphones beep and buzz with constant notifications. We’re like a bunch of junkies playing Candy Crush and obsessively liking statuses.

I’m no better than you are. It’s fun to watch my phone blow up when I post an update that goes viral… but there’s a time and place to check in. Bottom line: If you’re driving a car, that’s NOT one of them!

When you’re driving, put your phone away or turn it off. Stick it inside your purse, glove-box, or side compartment. Out of sight, out of mind! No text message is so urgent that it’s worth risking your life or anyone else’s.

Know some distracted drivers who need a reality check?

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