Distracted driving is a real problem and it’s not limited to texting or answering phone calls. From putting on makeup, to eating behind the wheel, to turning around to check on our children or pets in the backseat – we are pretty good at coming up with other ways to entertain or multitask while on the road. And I’ve been guilty of it myself. My charge? Blasting loud music.
Even though radio apps exist now, my main form of radio listening still happens when I’m driving. I’ve been known to turn up the speakers when one of my favorite “jams” comes on. And if it’s throwback hour, I’m gone. During more than one of these “driving while jamming” sessions I realized, later than I should have, that an ambulance or police car was passing.
Yep. It was the dead of winter, my windows were closed and my stereo was turned up. I was actually surprised I couldn’t hear what normally sounds like deafening sirens. And the volume was not even close to being turned up all the way. It made me wonder about the vehicles I’ve seen passing with the bass thumping through the asphalt as the driver cruises by. There’s no way they could hear a siren if I couldn’t. Scary.
It sounds simple, but it’s a powerful message of hope. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Auto Alliance are working together to increase awareness about the risks of distracted driving. My blog post today is part of that campaign. The Decide to Drive campaign aims to empower drivers and passengers to speak up about distracted driving, continue the conversation at home, work and play, and reduce distracted behaviors behind the wheel.
Did you know that orthopaedic surgeons are the specialists who put bones and limbs back together after road crashes and traumas? They along with automakers are part of this campaign to reduce how many of those surgeries and emergency room visits happen.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, of the nearly 33,000 roadway fatalities in 2012, there were 3,328 fatalities and approximately 421,000 injuries in distracted driving-related crashes. That’s way too many deaths and injuries for my peace of mind. Even if you Decide to Drive, have the others around you? Awareness is key.
The most advanced safety feature isn’t a part of the vehicle itself. It’s the driver. By keeping your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel you can stay attentive and help reduce the risk of being involved in an auto collision.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and received compensation in exchange for writing this blog post. The content and opinions expressed here are all my own.