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Because Miley is just not worth it.

Distracted Driving

Just as we wouldn’t crack open a beer and drive, we shouldn’t snap open our cell phones and drive. We’ve all gotten into the habit of arranging a ride home before a night that will involve alcohol, but our habits around cell phone use in cars still need adjustment.

I know many friends who say, “Oh, I only look at it when I’m at a red light.” But I beg them to change that behaviour. Why? Because if they are like me, the need to look at the phone when it “pings” is strong and no conversation starts and finishes during the span of a red light.

I have to consciously work at avoiding distracted driving by leaving my phone in my purse, and then put my purse in my back seat. Alternatively, I turn it off for the duration of my drive. (The stats support this decision: drivers engaged in text messaging are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or near-crash event.)

I do this for selfish reasons … because I don’t want to miss my children’s next birthdays because I fatally crashed while texting with my girlfriend … because I don’t want my husband to feed me through a straw for the rest of his life because I couldn’t wait 10 minutes to check for an email update about a business meeting … and because I don’t want to be responsible for killing or hurting another person because I was tweeting about Miley Cyrus. I know that I could never forgive myself.

Deaths from impaired driving have been dropping continually since 2000 as a result of public awareness campaigns and legislative changes. The same will need to happen for people to take distracted driving seriously.

One such campaign has been recently launched by the CAA and it’s called “MISSING.” I took CAA’s online survey to find out what I could be missing as a result of distracted driving and then I then I took the following promise:

For my friends, my family and my future, I’m making the promise to stop distracted driving. I will avoid answering my cell phone, responding to texts or letting other distractions pull my focus away from the road. No distraction is worth what I could be MISSING.

Will you consider making this promise and sticking to it too? Take this short distracted driving survey now.

P.S. If you feel that your teens might need more discussion around this topic, consider sharing this powerful video, created by acclaimed film maker Werner Herzog, with them.

P.P.S. Yes, the CAA approached me to write a post on this topic. I think it’s a worthwhile topic and I hope you do too.

CAA South Central Ontario is a not-for-profit auto club which also offers travel dealshome insurancetravel insurance and auto insurance. There are more than 1.9 million CAA members in South Central Ontario and over 5.9 million members in Canada.

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Comments

  1. My phone is synched with my vehicle (it’s a newer one) and it senses when it’s IN the vehicle and turns it’s own audio OFF. I totally love this feature because I’m never even tempted to look at my phone when I drive. I lost a good friend a few years ago to someone who was texting and driving (not my friend) and I just hate to see people doing it.

    • Oh, Erin. I am so sorry to hear you lost a friend this way. It must make a loved one feel so angry to know how easily it could have been prevented. I’m terribly sorry for your loss.

  2. I don’t have this problem since I don’t drive (yet!) but when I start I will certainly be remembering this advice! Nothing is worth not coming home to my boys!

  3. Thanks Julie! That documentary by Herzog is very powerful (as are all of his works)

  4. Great post! I’m like you! I need to throw my phone in the backseat to avoid reacting to the ping. I’m bad and I really have been thinking twice about doing so!

  5. I see so many people talk and text in their car while driving. You look at some Twitter photo and see one shot of the road with the steering wheel. What are they thinking???? Great post as it makes you think twice:)

  6. What a great post. Miley is definitely not worth it. Powerful video indeed, thanks for sharing.

  7. i like the whole miley bit. it puts things in to perspective, really nothing is so important on our mobile devices that it should distract us from safe driving.

  8. Ab-solutely this is a very important message. No question! Thanks for sharing it. I try very hard to set a really good example for my kids because they are tweens and really it won’t be much longer until they will be driving their friends around. They notice every little driving thing I do. So I don’t check at red lights because I have no idea how that is supposedly safe. It’s a very bad habit. I try to leave my phone alone when I am driving and I very often pull right over into a parking lot if the phone rings. I need to keep my eyes on the road.

  9. Hopefully all provinces will adopt laws that make it illegal to talk or text on a phone while driving. BC has, not sure how many other provinces have.

  10. YES! and can we add “don’t text and walk”!! this is also very dangerous….. and I see so many people almost getting hit because of this!

  11. I love that my hubby and teen know the severity of texting while driving. People just don’t think you know 99% of the time you will walk away from the accident but you may kill someone else. How can you live with that? The video is great btw… great share!

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