April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Sort of funny isn’t it? “Distraction awareness” – an oxymoron, like “expect the unexpected” and “almost exactly.” But, sometimes we do need reminders to the distractions that take our focus from being safe. I received an email from a co-worker who was at an entertainment complex. You know those places that have miniature golf, batting cages, games and other fun stuff. This one had a go-kart track and while waiting in line he was watching the racers zoom around the curvy track. He then noticed a teen, about 14 or so, slow down dramatically on a curve. He thought the go-kart had died, but then saw the teen reach into his pocket, pull out his cell phone and start texting! In the middle of the race! He had one hand on his wheel and was being passed by everyone while he slowed to a crawl to send his message. My co-worker was not happy, but I started thinking maybe the teen just didn’t realize it’s a danger. Cell phones and texting is something we do constantly. We always have our phones and they are usually in our hand or very close by. I rely on mine to stay in contact, do my job, and even as a form of entertainment – have you played Little Wings? It’s become second nature to us to reach for our phones and start dialing, texting or looking at something. So it’s easy to forget it can also be a distraction and unfortunately we do need reminders to stay aware. Get into the habit of realizing – every time you reach for the phone – what your main focus should be. And, if it’s driving or doing something else that requires your full attention, leave the phone or other distraction alone.
This is also a great time to educate others. The winning posters and videos from the Driving the Message contest are now available for download. Print them, share them and educate others. It’s always the perfect time to save lives.
Read updated facts about the major dangers>