When I got my first car I was so excited…no more public transportation! No longer would I be dependent on a volatile public transportation system which seemingly ran on a schedule that changed with the wind. But having a car meant that *I* became really lax with my work prep. I would leave the house later and later making the commute to work not unlike a race, complete with the scavenger hunt for a free parking spot on the street. One day I was running late, again, and in danger of getting written up for a third lateness that month, and I couldn’t find a parking spot anywhere. Eyeing the clock, I thought that I would have to risk parking in the patient’s lot (a violation that could result in my car being towed) or – GASP – pay for parking in the visitor’s lot and decided that my decision would depend on if I had brought my wallet with me. I reached to check my purse, which had fallen onto the floor and heard a sickening thud…I had crashed my beloved car into a pole!
A kind passerby assisted me and since my car was driveable I made my way to work. I was so upset with myself…in an effort to save on the fee for parking I was not only late but I had was going to have to pay for a new fender and hood of my car!
I share this story as a part of the Decide to Drive program. The Decide to Drive Program 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.
We’ve seen it and may even be guilty of distracted driving…fiddling with the radio, trying to answer a call, dialing up directions, behavior that allows for not keeping hands on the wheel and taking the focus off of the road. When I find myself engaging in this behavior I tell myself I am being careful but after checking out the statistics from the The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Auto Alliance, I want to help increase awareness about the risks of distracted driving.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), of the nearly 33,000 roadway fatalities in 2012, there were 3,328 fatalities and approximately 421,000 injuries in distracted driving-related crashes. These numbers make me pause and feel a bit ashamed about my behavior behind the wheel. Even when I think I am being careful and that I am able to when think about how I act behind the wheel. I was lucky to be able to walk away from my accident but some drivers may not be so lucky. I realize I sound preachy but is that phone call worth it?
Remember, the most advanced safety feature of any vehicle is the driver. The AAOS and the Auto Alliance urges all drivers to keep their most sophisticated safety features engaged at all times: eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
Going back to the accident I had trying not to pay for parking? My then boyfriend gave me a ride home and paid the fee for me to leave the lot. The fee you ask, the fee for me to leave the lot at the time of day that I would during that period of time?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.