Join me in the AT&T 21-Day It Can Wait Challenge

I hate to admit it, but I know I’m not alone.  We’ve all been there, sending a quick text, checking your email, snap chatting as you bust out the lyrics of your favorite songs…using your smartphone while driving.  Being distracted while driving is so unsafe, yet so easy to find yourself doing.

I am beyond proud to join AT&T in their 21-Day Challenge and pledge 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.

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Habitual distracted drivers have a false sense of security in their actions. Only 58% feel that using their smartphone behind the wheel is “very dangerous,” compared to 78% of non-habitual distracted drivers. Ironically, they’re also twice as likely to have been involved in a near crash or a collision. (source)

I have a terrible habit of using my phone while I’m driving, like terrible.  It is such an easy bad habit to get into and I have fallen victim.  As someone who works in the digital world, I am glued to my email, social media etc.  But, the truth is, its not worth it.

Today, I am taking the IT CAN WAIT® pledge and I encourage you to do the same! 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.

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I am taking this pledge seriously and I’m not the only one. Since AT&T started this campaign, more than 10 million pledges to not drive distracted.  This comes at a great time for me, I have been SO busy.  I often find myself reaching for my cell phone, even conducting business as I’m driving down the highway.  It’s makes my stomach twist when I think about the times I’ve even ‘just looked’ at my phone while driving.  Because the reality of it all is it can and it will wait.

According to findings from new It Can Wait research1, almost half of people who pledged said they now don’t use their smartphones while driving.

Those who share their promise or pledge with others are even more likely to stop, and more likely to speak up to others. Of those who shared their promise or pledge with others:

  • 4-in-10 asked a friend or family member to not use their smartphone while driving.
  • Nearly one-third asked a driver to not use their smartphone while driving when riding as a passenger.
  • Nearly 4-in-10 asked a passenger to operate their smartphone while they are driving.

I am excited to start the 21- Day Challenge myself and to encourage you to join me here are 21 reasons NOT to use your smartphone while driving.

1. You’ll be distracted as a drive.  This is an obvious reason, but it’s so true.  You’ll be distracted and you won’t be able to focus on driving.  

2. It can wait.  We’ve all heard it before, it is better to be safe than sorry and there is nothing so important on your phone that it can’t wait until you are parked.

3. You might hurt someone.  Again, we go back to being distracted, but seriously being on your phone could result in someone getting hurt.  The regret you would feel will never be worth it.

4. It might just be illegal. Many states have banned texting and driving this includes 41 States, the District of Columbia, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

5. It could cost you a whole lot of money. Some states will ticket you as much as $10,000 for texting and driving.

6. Your eyes will be off the road. Five seconds is the minimal amount of time your attention is taken away from the road when you are on your phone. If you’re traveling at 55mph, then that means you will drive the length of a football field without looking at the road.

7. It’s not just about you. You are putting your passengers, other drivers and even walking pedestrians at risk.

8. Your insurance company will not be forgiving. The greater risker you are to your insurance provider, the higher your rate will be.  If you find yourself getting in trouble with the law for being on your phone, you can expect your bank account feel it, too.

9. You can’t respond as quickly to the unexpected. If you are distracted by your phone you will not be able to see an unexpect car, animal, person, etc. Your reaction time will slow down and it will be too late to make up for it.

10. Autocorrect is not always your best friend.  As silly as it sounds you might end up sending a text that is completely irrelevant to what you were trying to send and again it won’t be worth it.

11. It could take up a lot more time.  Getting from point A to point B will take a lot more time if you get distracted on your smartphone and lose control of your car.

12. You could pull over. There is no reasons to put yourself or others at risk. You could easily pull over and use your smart phone.

13. You might get lost.  Being on your phone could cause you to miss a turn or travel the wrong direction.

14. You have options.  In this world we live in there are options. If you truly need to get in contact with someone while driving you could use hands-free technology.

15. You would never drink and drive, right? Using a cell phone to read or send text messages delays a driver’s reaction time as much or more than the legal limit of alcohol consumption.

16. It’s not cool. If you think you’re impressing your friends, you’re wrong.

17. You could cause pain to someone else. If you respond to someone while driving and something happens to you that person will feel at fault. More than half (53%) of all adult cellphone owners have been on the giving or receiving end of a distracted walking encounter.

18. You could cause a wreck. Car wrecks big or small are stressful, time consuming and completely unwanted. Take proactive steps to avoid them by being off of your phone.

19. You could take someone else’s life or even your own.  We’ve been over the fact that it’s distracting and could put people in danger.  But, the scariest part, it could result in fatal accidents that take someone’s life.

20. You could be the change. At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010. (NOPUS)

21. You’re setting a bad example. There are people following your lead in life.  You might not realize it, but they are.  By choosing to stay off of your phone while on the road you are helping others make the same safe choice.

These are just 21 of the many reasons you should not be on your smartphone while driving.  Trust me, I’ve been there and as much as I hate to admit it, it’s true.  I’ve been a distracted driver who played on my phone or sent a text message while driving. It’s not smart and it’s not worth it.

I am happy to join AT&T on their mission to bring safe drivers across the roads.  I am pledging to stay off of my smart phone while driving for the next 21 days and I hope you will join me in this challenge.

You can also join the challenge through the AT&T DriveMode App.  You can download it for Apple and Google Play.

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.

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Sarah Ruhlman is the founder and editor of Sarah Scoop.com. Sarah is a lifestyle blogger, online influencer and television personality. Email sarah@sarahscoop.com to connect and work together.
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