Thank you AT&T for sponsoring this post about distraction free driving.
We live in a world that is so fast paced, we’re constantly on the move. Whether we’re rushing to get to work, running late to a kid’s practice or trying to get home to get dinner in the oven. Life moves fast and we’re all trying to keep up. I know I struggle with getting it all done. I feel pressure to keep moving and always be active. Since we’re all always on the move, I find myself always on my phone anytime I have a few seconds to catch up on my personal life. I might be checking my email, responding to a client, texting friends or scrolling endlessly on social media. Escaping on my phone is my way to slow down a bit and get my mind off the 100 other things I need to be doing.
With a baby at home, I don’t get much down time so I find myself glued to my phone any spare minute I have. It’s a horrible habit… and I know it is. Our phones become so addicting without us even knowing what we’re doing. I find myself mindlessly picking up my phone and looking on Facebook or checking my emails without even realizing what I’m doing. The worst part is that I’ve caught myself doing this while driving.
I’m embarrassed to even write that out because I absolutely hate when I see distracted drivers on the road. That said, it terrifies me to no end when I see someone on the highway driving 75 miles an hour with their phone in front of their face. Not only are they putting their life in danger, but they’re putting my life in danger too.
I admit that I find myself grabbing my phone and looking at it while in the car when I’m bored. Sometimes minutes will go by before I even realize I’m looking at my phone. Want to hear something crazy? Seven in 10 people engage in smartphone activities while driving. This has got to stop and I wanted to do something proactive to change my behavior.
Taking the 21-Day Challenge opened my eyes to how addicting phones can be. I committed to 21 days of distraction-free driving to help break the habit of using my phone behind the wheel. The first few days, I caught myself searching for my phone while driving. I almost always have it in the cup holder of my car so it’s easily accessible, but during the challenge I kept it in my purse so I wouldn’t have it easily accessible.
During the 21 days, I noticed I was able to finally clear my mind. The less I used my phone, the less I thought about it. Putting the phone down was freeing. Instead of worrying about who is texting or what’s going on Facebook I would find myself doing things that freed stress such as singing in the car, talking to my baby, and going through mental list of what needed to be accomplished for the day.
Being free from my phone felt good. I felt like a new person and actually enjoyed spending time on my phone once I got home instead of using it mindlessly. Even though the 21-Day challenge is complete, I’m opting to not use my phone in the car. It’s the best thing I can do for me and my family. Distraction-free driving would prevent so many accidents and make the roads so much safer for everybody.
I want to invite you to join the It Can Wait movement. Take the pledge to never drive distracted at ItCanWait.com. Then try the 21-Day Challenge so you too can understand how putting your phone down in the car will truly make a difference in your life. To help with eliminating distracted driving behavior, AT&T also has an app called DriveMode that will help to keep your eyes on the road and your mind off your phone. The app is available for both iPhone and Android smartphones.
I get on to my husband all the time about being on his phone while driving. I remind him that he’s not only putting his life in danger but mine, our child’s and everybody else’s life on the road. That gentle reminder is enough to keep him from picking up his phone in the car. Now, I urge you to do the same. Be diligent and remind anyone who is driving with you in the car that your life is in their hands.
To help keep the 21-Day Challenge and It Can Wait pledge, I made a simple distraction free contract for you to print out. This is a great tool for all drivers – teenagers or adults – in your house. Although it might seem silly, it could save lives. I encourage you to use these Distraction Free Contracts. Please print and have everybody in your family sign. Sit down together to have a discussion about distracted driving, sign the distraction free contract together and take the 21-Day Challenge. Then in one month regroup and talk about the changes you all have noticed. I know this can make a huge difference in your life because I have seen it work miracles in mine!