Before I dive into the rest of this post, I want to say that no matter what you drive, I think we can all agree that we should do better. 83% of people still admit to driving distracted. We have come to accept it as normal, so let’s stop normalizing it. If you see someone using their phone behind the wheel, don’t be afraid to SPEAK UP! Join me and over 38,000,000 others in pledging to always drive distraction-free at ItCanWait.com!
It’s no secret that I LOVE electric cars. As a green living advocate, I’m a big supporter of EVs (electric vehicles) because the more people start choosing electric over gas, the cleaner our air will be! I drive an electric vehicle that has incredible driver-assistance features. As a result though, it is often incorrectly viewed as a self-driving car, leading to drivers not paying attention to the road.
My EV allows you to purchase a full self-driving “option” which is a feature that will one day deliver full autonomous driving capabilities—and once that day comes eventually, then anyone who purchased it ahead of time will have access to it.
For now though, we have “enhanced autopilot,” which will drive on its own with certain limitations. In other words, you still need to be fully present! Yet there have been several sad incidents where drivers mistreat this feature as an invitation to not pay attention to the road, leading to fatalities in some cases.
Seeing these stories in the news made me want to help spread awareness and remind my peeps out there to avoid the temptations of driving distracted. It. Can. Wait.
THE COMPLEX ISSUE
As our reliance on tech has grown over the past decade, the issue has gotten more complex:
• The number of U.S. adults who use social media nearly tripled (26% to 72%)
• 70% of U.S. teens use social media hourly or almost constantly vs. 34% in 2012.
• Over 80% of car-share drivers use their smartphone while driving.
• These distractions are expanding into other forms of transportation, with 4-in-10 people admitting to “e-scooting” and biking distracted.
• In 2019, minutes on mobile phones are expected to exceed minutes spent watching TV!
• A 2019 study by AT&T showed that nearly everyone surveyed considered smartphone driving to be dangerous—but many of the same people admitted to doing it anyway.
Distracted driving is so outdated y’all. There’s plenty of tech and strategies we can use nowadays to help keep our hands off our phones and eyes on the road, so we really don’t have an excuse anymore.
However it happens, so what can we do to make it stop?
5 WAYS TO PREVENT DISTRACTED DRIVING
1. Use Distraction Preventions Apps
Download the AT&T DriveMode app if you have an Android phone. It can silence incoming alerts and phone calls and automatically reply to text messages that you are driving. The app turns on when the GPS detects you are driving 15 MPH or more and turns off when you drop below 15 mph for 2-3 minutes. To the parents out there, you can also get alerts if your child’s app is turned off.
2. Hide Your Phone
For severe addictions, it might not be enough to control the sounds of notifications and incoming messages. Do you sometimes get that itch to just “check” your phone—maybe to see if you missed a message or you want to browse social media?
You gotta hide your phone my friend. Stash it in your bag and put your bag in the backseat or somewhere where you can’t reach. If you really struggle with withdrawals, put it in your trunk (or if you have a Tesla, put it in your “frunk”).
I have an iPhone, so I use the Do Not Disturb While Driving feature. You can set it to turn on automatically or add it to Control Center for quick access.
3. Plan Before You Go
Plan your route ahead of time to prevent navigation distractions. Get familiar with how to get to where you’re going before you start driving. It will boost your confidence as you navigate. Also, don’t wait until you start driving to program your navigation system. Ask your passenger to do it for you or enter your destination while you’re still parked.
4. Plan Before You Go
Prevent others from driving distractedly by simply speaking up. I know, I know—ugh awkward! The stats don’t lie though—51% of people are more likely to stop driving distracted if a friend or passenger pressures them to. This is one of those times where peer pressure is actually a great thing.
5. Take the It Can Wait Pledge
Join millions of people and pledge to always drive distraction free at ItCanWait.com. A few seconds is all it takes to get distracted and endanger yourself or others. OR you can spend a few seconds taking this pledge and sharing it with others to prevent distracted driving from ever happening again.
After nearly a decade, AT&T’s It Can Wait program has successfully grown awareness of the dangers of smartphone use while driving despite the ever-evolving challenges associated with the issue. On Pledge Day, September 19th, it’s time to speak up against distracted driving because one simple reminder could save a life. No text, post, video or selfie is worth a life.
Distracted driving is outdated. Speak Up. It Can Wait.
Do you have any tips for preventing distracted driving?
* This post was sponsored by AT&T, but please believe all opinions are ALL ME.