I am not a fan of driving, so I personally try to avoid it. It has nothing to do with my own driving, but it’s really because of other people on the road. As a passenger I’m constantly looking out the window at other drivers. The sad reality is that most drivers aren’t fully focused on the road. They are on their cell phones texting, taking selfies, snap chatting, watching videos, looking at social media. I see people eating, putting on make-up… Everything but focusing on the road!
Stat: “Each day in the United States, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.” That is each day! We can do better. This is preventable.
I recently read a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that said, “texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed”. Would you voluntarily drive the length of a football field with your eyes closed? I doubt it! So, why would you send/read a text while you’re driving?
The more I think about distracted drivers the more I realize that we are truly a distracted society. People are constantly staring at their phones – in the mall, at sporting events, concerts, in airports. It seems impossible for us to live in the moment and be present. While engaging in a phone conversation, at least one person is likely distracted doing something else. We don’t give our undivided attention to the person on the other line. I don’t know why it’s so hard for people to ignore emails and texts while on a phone call and focus on the other person. The true definition of multi-tasking is being able to deal with more than one task at the same time. Sure, I can send an email and have a conversation at the same time. But it is impossible to give both 100% of your attention at the same time, so please stop trying.
Stop trying to do several things at the same time. You might think you’re efficient, but you aren’t being effective. Stop sacrificing time with your friends and family to check/post on social media. Live in the moment. Stop driving if you can’t commit to being solely focused on the road. Admit you are distracted and make a change. It’s not worth your life or someone else’s.
Do you have tips on staying focused and getting rid of distractions? Send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Jenna Whelan, Director of Consulting