I generally don’t like to publicly admit to things I do that I shouldn’t do. I mean, you know I’m not perfect, but I try not to let you in on exactly how imperfect I am. But today, I’m going to make a confession. Not a silly one, but something serious that I’m committing to change.
See, I don’t smoke, so I’ve never had a smoking habit. And I don’t drink, so I’ve never had a drinking problem, or ever been tempted to drink and drive. Drunk drivers are actually one of my biggest pet peeves. Why it’s so socially acceptable to do this, I don’t know. But you know what? I do something that is arguably worse, and until I stop, I really can’t talk.
I text while driving.
Not just text. I’ll check an email, send a response. I’ll start responding to an email at a red light and try to quickly finish it as I start driving on green.
It’s a terrible habit, and I’m going to stop. Now.
The funny thing is it really annoys me when I’m in the car with someone else who is using their phone while driving with me in the passenger seat. I’m thinking really? And trying my best to watch the road for them.
“It’s never worth it. If there’s a phone call so important or a text so crucial that you need to address it right now, then it’s probably important enough to pull to the side of the road for,” the Allstate Information Team told me in an interview. “I always try to think about how awful I would feel if I caused an accident and injured myself, my passengers (especially kids) or another driver while checking Instagram or responding to some meaningless text. It can wait!”
My husband deals with a lot of accidents at work, and he says people don’t readily admit to using their phones at the time of the crash. However 71% of drivers admitted to Oprah, that they read, send texts, or email while driving.
I’m willing to admit that I’ve done it. More often than I’m proud of. Though not when my kids are in the car, it should have been never.
I’ve been turning my phone to silent or putting it in the back seat where I can’t get to it, but the Allstate Information Team has other ideas too.
“Turn email & text alerts off or silent them,” they said. “You can also turn on the “Do Not Disturb” option on your iPhone. You can also overcome temptation by keeping your cell phone out of reach. Place you cell phone in your purse or briefcase, away from the front seat so you’re not tempted to use it while driving. If you don’t feel the buzz of a new text or hear the ping of a new email, you won’t be as tempted to check them.”
We don’t have fancy new cars with Bluetooth but it may be something we consider after we drive our cars into the ground and look for newer ones. Or maybe in the mean time I will look into a headset. But I don’t ever have phone calls that are so crucial I need to take them while driving.
It’s a LOOONG way away, and who knows what technology we’ll have then, but I wouldn’t want my kids to be using their phones while driving. I’d be devastated if something happened to them.
Remember how things were 20 years ago? Wow. A lot has changed.
Thousands of people are killed every year because of distracted drivers. And hundreds of thousands are injured. It’s a serious problem. And I don’t want to be a statistic.
“Distracted drivers are the biggest threat on the road,” the Allstate Information Team told me. “It’s hard enough to maneuver intersections, potholes, construction, and normal traffic without ‘normal traffic’ updating their Facebook status. It is important that we drive defensively and be watchful for those we share the road with. We might practice every precaution to avoid cell phone usage while operating OUR vehicle, but our fellow drivers might not be so cautious.”
I’m only five years late, but I’m taking the Oprah pledge, heck–My own pledge–to stop checking my phone while driving. For real this time because seriously, it’s not worth it.
Are you with me? Or WAY ahead of me?
This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held insurance company, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day.