It’s honestly sad to admit that when I first took the pledge to not use my smartphone while driving, it was a real challenge. I am so connected to my phone that I didn’t even realize how often I reached for it. I would check texts and emails, send a tweet, etc. I searched for it at stop lights to catch up on work. I would always give myself the excuse of, it’s work…it’s fine. It’s hard to admit just how much time I spend on my smartphone for work, but work or not there is no excuse for using a phone while driving. Taking the It Can Wait 21-Day Challenge with AT&T was a huge awakening for me that really smartphone-related distracted driving can wait.
After I found myself reaching for my phone a few times I told myself it had to stop. Until you really start thinking about it, you don’t even realize you’re doing these things. I would check my texts, respond to emails, things no one should ever be doing while they are driving. Given, I did wait until red lights or stop signs, it’s still a distraction and far from acceptable. Downloading and using the AT&T DriveMode app was a huge help for me.
AT&T DriveMode is free and available to wireless users of all carriers. This safe driving app helps prevent distractions while driving by silencing incoming alerts. The app automatically activates when car speeds reach 15 MPH and deactivates when the speed drops below 15 MPH for 2-3 minutes. This app also features a parental control setting which will alert parents when their teens have turned off the safe driving mode. DriveMode will also send a personalized safe driving message in response to text messages that are received while in the safe driving mode and also gives you one-touch access to key contacts, music and navigation apps. This app is compatible with both Apple and Android devices.
Another tip I have is to place the phone out of sight. I would keep it in my purse or computer bag. I also finally set up my bluetooth. A few months ago I got a new phone and never set up the bluetooth! Crazy on my part. Now, when I use my GPS I set it up before I start driving and put the phone in my bag, cup holder or somewhere I won’t be tempted to look. Then I sit back and let the blue tooth give me directions.
Participating in the It Can Wait 21-Day Challenge has really changed the way I look at using my smartphone while driving. I realized how unsafe it truly is, even just one glance at your phone takes your eyes off the road. A little distraction can result in a big accident.
I am beyond proud to say I have successfully completed the It Can Wait 21-Day Challenge to not to drive distracted. The idea is that after 21 days, experts say the brain will start to rewrite the approach to a habit and the hope is the 21-Day Challenge will serve as step one to lifelong pledge commitment.
The 21-Day Challenge will help people who pledge make safe driving a lifelong practice. It also will help the 1-in-3 drivers for whom distracted driving is a habit turn their bad habit into a good one. Sadly, I was one of those 1-in-3, but on a good note I have stopped using my smartphone while driving!! After just a few days of getting into the habit, I really did start to focus on the road in front of me.
Now, it’s your turn to take the It Can Wait® pledge! Do it for yourself, for your family, for the other cars that are on the road. Remember that car is filled with someone else’s loved ones.
Being on your phone while driving is not only dangerous, it’s selfish. Selfish in the aspect that you are putting your own unnecessary needs before being a responsible driver. I can’t even believe that I use to look at my phone while I was driving, but I am so happy I broke the habit and you can, too!!!
I am happy to join AT&T on their mission to bring safe drivers across the roads. I stayed off my smartphone while driving for the 21 days and I will be staying off of it for many more to come. I hope you will join me in this challenge.
Together, we can make a change and remember, It Can Wait.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored blog post and I was compensated by AT&T. All thoughts and opinions are my own.