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Time To End Distracted Driving

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This is a sponsored blog post and I was compensated by AT&T. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Something happens inside of you when you have a child that is of driving age.

I remember the moment when this happened to me. I was driving down the road, and I heard the familiar “ding” from my cell phone letting me know that I had a text message. It is almost second nature to pick up my phone and look to see who the message was from… but then I remember just seconds before, I was telling Maddie that she had to make sure she never took her eyes off the road. Never!

It was like the world shifted. If I wanted her to be a safe driver, the most important thing I could do was to show her safe driving. But even the best intentions need some help. Thankfully AT&T has tools to help us stay distraction free when we are driving.

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Maddie has had her permit for a few months now, and every time we are in the car together, I have a constant dialog going with her. I point out possible upcoming issues so that she can do the same when she is driving. I am teaching her to drive in the rain. I’m showing her the best distance recommendations between her and the car ahead of her.  I am taking a pledge to end distracted driving, and she is doing it with me.

We both believe that nothing is more important than driving distraction free. Whatever comes through on our phones- It Can Wait.

 

AT&T has a real solution to distracted driving by encouraging us all not to think about it.

That sounds odd right, but the theory behind it is that if our phones are not tempting us to distraction, then we won’t be distracted. That can be by using their DriveMode app, which silences the notifications when you are driving, or by moving your phone far enough away that you can’t see or hear it. You can lock it in the trunk while you are driving, or just turn your phone off. Do whatever works for you. 

AT&T is also going beyond that with the It Can Wait 21-day challenge and pledge to never drive distracted. 

We all know that habits are made after 21 days of doing it, so they have created the 21 Day Challenge to encourage you to drive distraction-free with the tips above.

Driving distracted is dangerous. This isn’t something new, but did you know that even people who acknowledge that it is dangerous still drive when they are distracted. We all need to be a part of the solution by joining the challenge. 

The 21-Day Challenge will help people who pledge make safe driving a lifelong practice. It also will help the 1-in-3 drivers for whom distracted driving is a habit1turn their bad habit into a good one.

Why 21 days? Experts say it takes at least 21 days to make or break a habit. So, by stowing away our phones while driving for 21 consecutive days, we can break this bad habit.

 

I was really interested in the research that AT&T did. Did you know that almost half of people who took the pledge said they now don’t use their smartphones while driving? Or that 4-in-10 people asked a friend or family member to not use their smartphone while driving. This was important to me because I want to empower my girls to speak up about this if they are in the car with someone who isn’t paying 100% attention to the road.

The good news is that those who share their promise or pledge with others are even more likely to stop driving distracted, and more likely to speak up to others. 

In addition to the challenge, AT&T also has a pledge where we can commit to driving with zero distraction. This is a winning combo to me. When I make a promise or a pledge to something as important as this, I know I will keep it, and I know that the 21 Day Challenge is exactly what I need. I plan to give my phone to a passenger when I am driving and to turn it off when I am driving alone. I will be updating my progress during the next 21 day on my social media pages.  I encourage you to take the pledge with me right now! Let’s work together to end distracted driving by joining AT&T and their goal to get 16 million pledged by the end of 2016!

 

(New AT&T research is from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,096 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken from August 9-10, 2016. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+). Respondents were asked how often they use their smartphone while driving. Those who did not drive, own a smartphone, or preferred not to answer the question have been excluded from this analysis.)

Did you take the pledge?

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog It's a Lovely Life®! In addition to traveling 150+ days a year, she also helps new bloggers build successful blogging businesses.

71 Comments

  • My oldest daughter is nearing driving age, and I’ve already started talking to her about how important it is to stay focused when she’s driving. I lead by example while I drive, as well.

  • It’s so important. I can always tell when I am behind someone who is texting and driving (which is illegal in MASS) or even on the phone.

  • So many people are so addicted to their phones and they just don’t realize how dangerous it can be. Love the idea of this pledge but I really think that people of all ages need to take it, not just teens!

  • I never check my phone when I’m driving. My kids are always telling me that my phone dinged when we’re in the car, but I tell them I’m driving so I can’t look at it. They learn by watching what you do, so I won’t do it.

  • Here in Ontario, distracted driving is against the law. The minimum penalty is a $490 fine and 3 demerit points. If I need to use my phone while driving I will pull over to the side of the road.

  • It’s important to be a good example to our kids when it comes to driving safely. You’ll never know what can happen on the road and it’s better to focus on driving than to risk everything. I’m glad you’re taking the pledge, we have to make sure we guide our kids through this.

  • I’m glad to know that I still have a few more years before my son is ready to drive. It will be ingrained into his head by that point that he will not be doing any kind of texting with driving at all and there will be strict punishment.

  • We’ve definitely taken the pledge. It is so scary how many accidents occur because of people texting on the phone. It really can wait. If it were really that important, then pull over and check it out.

  • Driving safely is one of the things that I make sure to teach my girls as well. I don’t want to constantly worry about them while they’re on the road. It would give me so much peace of mind if we did this pledge!

  • With 4 young people in our house, safe driving is constantly on my mind. Ending distracted driving isn’t limited to just kids, for sure. Adults are just as guilty of this crime and do not serve as good role models for their children unless they DON’T TEXT WHILE DRIVING. Thanks for sharing such an important message that will save lives of both the young, and not so young.

  • I’m quite known to take a phone away from someone if they are driving, or buy them a mount if they are using Maps. Most people put the phone on their lap, and that’s a big problem.

    I also am known to let people know that I don’t answer the phone when driving. I won’t even sync it with the car so I can answer it. It’s too much. More people need to make a more conscious effort to not use their cell phone while driving.

  • I very intentionally zip my phone i my purse every time I drive. If (God forbid) I ever got into an accident I don’t want anyone to even THINK I may have been on the phone!

  • I was just with an old friend who was texting while driving us and it bothered me so much. I actually passed her later because she was sitting a little looking at her phone instead of paying attention. Texts and other things on your phone can wait and if not, then find a safe place to pull over.

  • I get so angry when i see people on their phones. My husband even does it and i yell at him or take the phone away. Nothing is more important than the lives in the car and on the road. People need to quit with the phones, it can definetely wait!!

  • What a great campaign! With all the distractions these days, I am dreading the day my kids learn how to drive. Love that this is bringing more awareness!

  • I remember the days before mobile phones. It’s so important for teens to put down the phones while driving. There is enough to keep track of without talking or texting.

  • We recently lost a member of my volunteer community as he was walking to the Boys & Girls Club due to a hit & run. Being the middle of the day, officials suggested that perhaps the driver was distracted. Such a horrible tragedy. I will be pledging in his honor.

  • I am so nervous for when my kids start to drive its a couple years away but still. I love this pledge idea I am going ot have to do it when she starts to drive.

  • I was in an accident because of my cell phone distracting me. I learned my lesson though. I try not to use my cell phone at all while driving by having the copilot do things for me as well as using a car mount so it’s up front and center. I start my navigation before I leave and try not to touch it while in motion. I also use bluetooth to make sure I am hands free. Thanks for highlighting this important topic! We need to get the word out more!

  • This is SO important. i see it too much around here, people are very distracted. Yesterday alone there was THREE major accidents within 5 minutes of my house. 5 MINUTES! and three? crazy we need to make some serious changes!

  • Such an important campaign. I think most of us are guilting of answering the phone too often in the car. It can wait!

  • That must be so scary having your child drive for the first time! I don’t even want to think about my son getting to that point. Way to establish good habits before they can make bad ones!

  • it definitely can wait! I don’t use my cellphone at all while I’m driving. Just don’t understand why it’s so hard for some people to follow such simple thing.

  • Sounds like you are doing a wonderful job teaching her. It can be scary to put a child on the road but I love the idea of this pledge.

  • I love this entire campaign and plan to share it with my family and friends! No text, call or social media update is worth a life. It can all wait!

  • I love that you are teaching your girls to pay attention behind the wheel. Nothing is that important to get hurt over.

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