“I trust you, it’s the other drivers on the road I don’t trust.” I can’t count the number of times my mom said this to me as a teenager. For years, I trusted myself as well, until I slowly became comfortable driving while distracted by my smart phone. Without realizing it, I became less and less safe behind the wheel. There is no argument — distracted driving is dangerous driving.
Good news, drivers sharing the roadway with me: I made a choice 21 days ago to completely ignore my smartphone while behind the wheel. I focused on the road and disregarded calls, notifications and fought the urge to peek while sitting at red lights. I took the AT&T It Can Wait 21-Day Challenge and made the pledge because there is no text, tweet, email, photo, or snap that is worth a life. Simply put, #ItCanWait.
I am pleased to announce that I haven’t touched my smartphone while driving! I acquired positive habits and changed my thinking regarding the “need” to immediately read and reply.
Here’s what happened:
- I was a highly attentive and focused driver.
- I could remember my drives from point A to point B.
- I conversed more with my children while in the car.
- I felt safer and more in control. For example, I could confidently brake if a car suddenly stopped or if a child ran into the road.
- I became more aware of the distracted drivers around me. They missed lights turning green, swerved while texting, and drove at inconsistent speeds.
- My biggest victory was this — I realized that #ItCanWait in other arenas of my life. I decided that playing with my children, working, or talking with my spouse and friends were important. I stopped jumping up every time I heard my phone and lived my life in the moment.
Here are my five tips for success:
- If meeting someone, let them know you will be driving, and won’t be available while on the road. You’ll see them when you get there!
- Keep your phone in your purse or in your glove compartment.
- Place your phone on silent or do not disturb mode.
- Let your front seat passenger operate your phone.
- Get the free ATT&T Drive Mode app, available for both Apple and Android.
Why You Should Join Me
To put it bluntly, you’re on the road with me, my children, my parents, my grandparents, my friends…you get the picture. Please keep us safe!
Actively play a role in preventing one of the 431,000+ crashes per year caused by distracted driving. Even while in your car alone, you are never alone on the road. Be safe and set a good example, especially if you have little ones watching from the backseat.
Over 11 million pledges have been made, making your commute safer. AT&T strives to reach 16 million pledges in ‘16 and have launched a Pledge Contest. One lucky winner can choose the Virtual Reality Simulator Tour for a day, or can recommend a non-profit with a safe driving program to receive a $5,000 donation from AT&T.
Do you agree that #ItCanWait? Make the pledge now. Share your progress on social media using #ItCanWait for an opportunity to win Google Cardboard or It Can Wait swag. Even more importantly, you are agreeing to become a mindful, accountable and safer driver. For that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
“This is a sponsored blog post and I was compensated by AT&T. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”
A self-described “Jackie of All Trades,” Army wife Jackie Toops is a mother of two and enjoys writing, travel, art, languages, slow cooking and peaceful parenting. She studied Interdisciplinary Humanities, Museum Studies and Nonprofit Management, and has overseen public relations for museums, galleries and universities. She is a contributing author for Wall Street International Magazine and has discussed her articles on-air with AFN Wiesbaden. She’s usually seen adventuring with her Canon, a coffee and two small children. Follow her on Twitter.
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