Moms Need to Stop Driving Distracted

One thing moms know how to do best is multitask. We can make a lunch while comforting a crying child, talking to our boss on the phone, and keeping an eye on the neighbor's dog, and then do four more things the next minute. In life, this is an asset, but behind the wheel, this is dangerous.

Texting and driving (and cellphone use in general) was responsible for 25 percent of traffic accidents in 2009 and moms are doing it at an alarming rate.

A recent poll from Good Housekeeping and Yahoo Shine showed that 55 percent of moms "multitask" while driving. And before you say that you never text and drive, consider this: "distracted" can mean anything from fetching a toy for a crying child to changing the song because your daughter hates it or eating a lunch on your way to preschool pick-up.

If you think it's not you, think again.

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Obviously many of us know not to text and drive. Even so, we're still doing it. Twenty-two percent of moms admitted to texting and driving and 59 percent admitted to talking on their phone.

I will admit that this is me if my cellphone is close to me. I now keep my purse in the back because on longer drives, I get antsy and I will check my email at a stop light. Shorter drives are easier (and I really only make short drives), but I have had to start putting my cellphone behind the kids so I won't be tempted. I know how dangerous it is, but if it's near me, I won't resist.

I am also deeply guilty of the other things. My children will be perfectly well behaved for the whole time before we get in the car, but once we get in, they are like devil kids. And my son will scream bloody murder until I fetch a fallen toy. To me, the screaming is worse than the seconds of distraction it takes to grab the toy. 

I also have been known to grab a PBJ on the run and eat it on the way to get my son from school. I don't feel it distracts me, but according to the survey, it does. So, guilty as charged.

In a fast-paced life where mom is juggling 10 balls at once, it's easy to forget how driving really has to be the only focus at the time when we are doing it. I am going to make sure I implement some changes in my own behavior (no more PBJ in the car! My kids will just have to scream until we stop!), but that doesn't take care of other drivers. It's their behavior that worries me. I can only change my own.

Do you drive distracted?

 

Image via Jim Legans, Jr/Flickr

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