The “It won’t happen to me” club has a new member
We’ve all heard about distracted driving. If you haven’t, perhaps you were distracted. A lot of drivers become members of the “It won’t happen to me club” once they begin to drive. They usually drive as they want expecting crashes will only happen to other people and not themselves. Do you belong to that club? Is it a lifetime membership?
I recently came across a crash scene of a rear crash. It happened right in front of where I was going so I ended up with a good view of the damaged vehicles after I arrived. Apparently, the lead driver had stopped somewhat normally but the driver behind appeared to be distracted and rammed completely into the rear of the SUV. Were they looking at their stereo, their coffee cup or perhaps even their cell phone, even though we know that’s illegal? This momentary lapse in concentration caused thousands of dollars of damage to the sports car, but luckily for the driver of the SUV their vehicle sustained very little damage to the rear of their vehicle.
With the constant change of traffic movement, why would and do drivers take their eyes off the driving scene? We hear about it every day of our lives but for some reason drivers don’t change their behaviour behind the wheel. What does society need to do to get the message across? Maybe an intervention is required.
Damaging a $30,000 vehicle to a point where it was un-drivable just because they saw something “shiny” and couldn’t wait until they were safely parked really makes no sense. When I’m teaching new drivers how to drive at Young Drivers of Canada I often make the point of making decisions based on emotion versus logic. Which do you use most of the time?
Wouldn’t logic say to wait until you’re parked to use your cell phone? Wouldn’t logic say to wait until you’re at least stopped to grab that coffee or change that CD? Wouldn’t logic say to wait until you’re safely parked to reach into the backseat for something? Emotions tell us we need it now. Well, it’s time to become a grown up and ignore those emotions and start to use logic to make proper driving choices. Are you up for this challenge? If you’re having a hissy-fit right now, you probably aren’t.
Being a proactive driver starts before you start your engine. Turn the cell off and put it away so you aren’t tempted. Pre-program your music if you must. Secure all loose items in your vehicle so you won’t want to glance at them as they move about the seating compartment. Involve your passengers to assist you while you’re driving so they can give you directions, program the GPS, send and receive text messages instead of you. Involve them enough that you can have your full concentration on driving.
Let’s all start the movement of reducing distracted driving. It starts with you and you need to spread the word to your friends and family. Together we can make our roads safer, but we need to remove drivers from the “It won’t happen to me club” one member at a time.