October=Distracted Driving Month
Welcome to October! The month with Thanksgiving, Halloween, and distracted driving! Wait a second, Merissa…that last one doesn’t fit in with the other two. Here’s a scary fact: Did you know that distracted driving is the 2nd leading factor of fatal collisions in Saskatchewan?
Let’s back up (#PunIntended). What is distracted driving? Well, it is what it sounds like. Anytime you are not focussing on driving but on something else, you are distracted. Cellphones, food, kids or pets in the backseat, grooming, reading, or talking to passengers, are all things that can lead to distraction. And we are all guilty of it. Even the safest driver you know is guilty of driving distracted at some point. Except for me, of course. #WhoAmIKidding
But we all need to wake up here. Just because you ‘have never had an accident’ doesn’t mean it won’t happen. After completing the Basic Motorcycle Training and getting my Motorcycle Learner’s license, I am hyper-vigilant towards drivers who are distracted. Driving a motorcycle makes you watch every driver and what they could be doing (not what they should be doing).
We have a long way to go in improving our distracted driving. Put the phone away. Put it in the glove compartment. Place it in the trunk. Throw it out (okay, don’t do that one). Tempted to check Facebook? Write a tweet about traffic? DON’T GIVE IN! It can wait, I promise.
Tips to Reduce Distracted Driving:
- Hide your phone. Seriously. Good hiding spot? The trunk.
- Pets need to be in a kennel. Not on your lap.
- Kids need to be in a car seat. Kennelling children is neither safe or acceptable.
- Scan the road and sides of the road as you drive. Give those eye muscles a workout.
- Can’t live without your phone in your face? Try walking to destinations! Well…. wait. Maybe take the bus?
- Set your music playlist BEFORE driving. Changing through 10 stations or songs is not only distracting, but so annoying.
- Set your GPS before you start moving. Don’t read paper maps while driving. Who still has a paper map anyways?
- Do your personal hygiene in the bathroom before leaving. The car mirror is not ideal for make-up application or brushing hair. It’s way too small to see everything.
Do you want to be rewarded for not driving distracted? Show us your tips and hints for being a great driver via our social media contest. Tweet a picture or video (make sure to mention @SKSafetyCouncil and #SafeChoice) or like our Facebook page and make a post with a picture or video on it. You will be entered to win a $10,000 travel voucher from CAA!
What’s the best way you avoid distracted driving?
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