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My 21 Day Challenge To End Distracted Driving Update

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For the last 21 days, I have been participating in the AT&T, It Can Wait, 21 Day Challenge To End Distracted Driving. This is a sponsored blog post and I was compensated by AT&T. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Going into this challenge, I had an important and personal reason for doing this… my daughters. My children have inspired me to do my best in every aspect of my life, and especially when it comes to keeping us all safe. Now that Maddie is driving, safe, non-distracted driving is even more important to me because I want to set a good example for her and I want her to understand why she too needs to make distracted driving a priority when she is behind the wheel.

6 years ago AT&T launched It Can Wait to help grow awareness of the dangers of smartphone distracted driving. It has inspired more than 5 million downloads of the free AT&T DriveMode® App, now available in Spanish and open to all carriers. They have worked with state departments of transportation on research that suggests a correlation between It Can Wait campaign activities and a reduction in crashes and collaborated with AT&T data scientists on research that shows how statewide anti-texting laws impact the rate of texting while driving. 

I already drove as distraction free as possible when it came to my phone use behind the wheel, but during this challenge, I learned that even though I don't use my phone when driving, even the notification sound can be distracting. 

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I always said that I kept my phone by me in the car in case of emergency, but I never thought to use AT&T's DriveMode app (Apple or Google Play), which silences the notifications when you are driving. I learned during this challenge that there are so many solutions to distracted driving and that the right one is out there for everyone. If the app isn't the right one for you, you can also move your phone far enough away that you can’t see or hear it, like into the trunk or hand it to someone else to hold if there are others in the car with you. It takes willpower in the beginning not to look down at your phone if you are used to doing it in the car, so using the app or moving your phone away from reach really helps. 

The most important part of this challenge was the timing. Since experts say that it takes 21 days to form a new habit, sticking with it and using these tools to succeed for the whole 21 days is key. I noticed at the beginning of the challenge I was thinking about my phone more than I did before because it felt off limits. But within days, I started to care less.  Towards the end, I didn't think about my phone at all.  

I even felt myself stepping away from my phone more often in other aspects of my life too… like when one of my girls wanted to go for a walk together. I ended up using, this time, to talk to them more about what distracted driving means, and why I was so dedicated to it ending. I feel like this is another one of those very important things that we should be talking to our kids about when they are young.  We must also show them by our actions what non-distracted driving looks like so that we can break the cycle and truly end distracted driving once and for all.

AT&T has a goal to get 16 million pledges by the end of 2016! There is still time to join and take the AT&T pledge to commit to driving with zero distraction and the 21 Day Challenge

Did you take the challenge?

Heather
Heather Delaney Reese is a Lifestyle and Family Travel Writer currently on the road with her family 150 days a year, sharing exceptional family memory making moments and life's everyday fun times. She is a big proponent of encouraging others to join her journey and become a professional blogger so that they too can make money at home and spend more time with their families.

29 Comments

  1. One of their ads has stuck with me and I hope that when my kids are of driving age they will remember my advice and driving habits!

  2. Distracted driving is such a big problem. My daughter was in the ER the other day and the lady beside her had been texting and driving.

  3. It’s really nice that you’re doing this for your girls. You can never be too safe when it comes to driving and kids these days can’t seem to understand that. I think if parents do this, the kids will have a better understanding of road safety and focusing on driving.

  4. I hope a lot of people sign this pledge and take it seriously. I see so many distracted drivers daily, it’s starting to scare me to even drive to the grocers anymore!

  5. Drivemode app or apps with similar functionality are crucial these days. I usually turn on the airplane mode before driving as well as before plugging it into the charger for two reasons; to charge my mobile fast and to avoid the distraction. Nowadays, teenagers and the younger adults are using snapchat while driving; it is too common these days which is extremely risky.

  6. What a great challenge! We have always had a rule not to use cell phones while in the car and it has worked really well. It’s true that the notifications distract too. Have to check out the apps you mention.

  7. This is such an important campaign. The amount of people I see texting and driving distracted on a daily basis is mind blowing AND scary!!!

  8. This is such an important topic and such a great way to spread awareness! I love this, thanks for taking part in such a great cause!

  9. I am going to sign up for this challenge. I don’t drive at the moment but I do ride in the car nearly everyday and I guess it becomes normal to answer your phone or use it in some way while driving that it goes unnoticed so I love challenges like this that bring awareness so that we can be more mindful and remind our family and friends to be more mindful too.

  10. I’m going to take the AT&T pledge to commit to driving with zero distraction and the 21 Day Challenge. I’m going to try to get my daughter to take it as well because her driving scares me, lol.

  11. I’m not always in for “challenges” but this is one I’m fully on board with – i love it! I’m going to have to try it myself!

  12. You think because you don’t text, you’re not distracted. I’m sure if I tried this, I’d be startled by how much attention I pay to my phone regardless of what I’m doing.

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