Today's post is sponsored by the National Safety Council, but all opinions are my own.
It seems as though car manufacturers are in an arms race to make vehicles as connected as possible – but at what cost? Research is showing that voice-activated technologies may be distracting, which means they are not a good alternative to using a cell phone while driving. Of course, I believe they are slightly better than having a hand off the wheel holding it to your ear (because at least you have both hands on the wheel), but either way, you're distracted.
Shortly before Charlie was born, we bought a new car. I was so excited to finally have a car with bluetooth in it. At the time, I worked about 30 minutes away from our house and used that drive time to catch up with family on the phone. In the time since then, I've only used my phone in my hand while driving a few times (usually because the bluetooth wasn't working or something like that).
Recently, I've noticed how distracted I am when I'm using the phone in the car (yes, even hands-free). I've been talking to my mom on the phone and missed my turn because I'm not 100% paying attention. Sure, I'm looking at where I'm driving, but I'm not really focused on what I'm doing, which is what should be happening.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. I'm taking the pledge to give up my cell phone use (both handheld and hands free) while driving for at least one week and I hope you'll join me! It sounds like a lot, but it's really not! During that week you're going to really notice how much more focused you are on your drive.
To make it easier for me to stick to the pledge, I'm turning off my bluetooth and putting my purse (with cell phone in it) in the back seat of the car. I won't be able to reach the phone if it makes a noise and it won't be coming through the car.
Another thing I see a lot of (and I'm definitely guilty as well), is using your phone at a red light. The thing is though, studies have shown that you're distracted up to 30 seconds after putting the phone down from a call or text. Makes sense to me because then you're waiting on a response or thinking about whatever it is you were just talking about. The bottom line is: it can wait. Just get where you're going and then get your phone out.
As a mom, there are enough distractions while I'm driving: the kids fighting about something, someone crying, making sure they have the snack or drink that they want, fielding those back seat questions, and a million other things it seems. Those little distractions in the back are all I need to think about when it comes to reasons for not using my cell while driving!