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If You Can Read This, You are Following Too Close

If You Can Read This, You are Following Too Close

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When I first started driving at the age of 16, I only had one speed, and that was fast. I had a cute sporty car, that zipped around town quickly, as I was enjoying my new found independence. I constantly had the radio blaring, the windows down, and a car full of friends.

Fast forward 15 years (I’m really aging myself here) and I feel completely different. When I get behind the wheel I am overly cautious. I instantly feel anxious when I am in certain situations. Knowing that I don’t have total control while driving scares me. This has all changed since becoming a mom.  My carefree attitude was quickly replaced with these new feelings and desires of keeping my son safe.

Now, I feel like I have a heightened awareness of all the bad drivers around me. I feel like I am hyper sensitive to everything going on around me because I don’t trust the other drivers.  We are constantly surrounded by distracted drivers.  I have seen people texting while driving, people juggling a coffee in one hand and a bagel in another, and someone putting on mascara! It makes my blood boil that people are doing this around me, especially when I have my son in the car.

Road rage was something I had never experienced, now I feel like its a weekly occurrence.  No, I am not flipping people off, but if they could read my thoughts they wouldn’t be happy.  When we got pregnant my husband and I went out and bought a ‘Baby on Board’ sticker.  We figured people would be more cautious when around us since we were carrying precious cargo.  Unfortunately this isn’t the case, and I am still dealing with tail gators (my biggest pet peeve) and aggressive drivers.

I was recently having a conversation with my friends about these feelings.   We were wondering why it seems worse now than it was before.  Is the difference that we now live in a face paced world?   Its hard to unplug when we have access to everything at the click of a button, in a car or not.

Or are we just feeling it more now that we are moms, and have children in the car?

Do you ever find that you are distracted behind the wheel?  Here are a few tips to help make our roads safer.

1) Put your cell phone in a purse or bag in the back seat. This way you aren’t tempted to grab it. Remember that your e-mail will be waiting for you when you arrive at your destination.

2) If you have to answer your phone, send a text, receive an e-mail, pull over safely to the side of the road.

3) If you have to use your cell phones use a hands free device.

4) Don’t tail gate.  Leave room in front of you.  If I can’t read your license plate you are probably travelling too close.  Back off.

5)  Be aware of your surroundings.  You should never be distracted enough that are unaware of whats going on around you.  Stay focused.

6) Respect other drivers on the road.

7)  Slow down.

Next time you are distracted while driving I hope you think twice. Please don’t take other peoples lives in your own hands.

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Comments (5)

  1. Erin
    Friday - 07 / 09 / 2012 Reply
    I TOTALLY agree Tricia! I feel like such a scaredy cat now that I've had Willow and really, it's not just in the car. I used to be the type of person who could travel, by myself, to foreign countries, walk around at night and never feel threatened but now, while walking in the mall in full daylight, I'm terrified that I'll get stabbed or shot or fall over the railings and plummet to my death. I think it's because we now have someone reliant on us in a huge way. Their life is important and now ours is too (not that it wasn't before but now it's HUGELY important) so we worry and we fear a lot more as we don't want to cut that time short. We realize just how precious life really is. Great post and lots of food for thought!
  2. Nina Friday - 07 / 09 / 2012 Reply
    I am not a nervous driver, but I do feel a lot of people are more distracted now and think it is because of society today being technology based and fast paced. It is really hard to be handsfree. I know I can be guilty of it while I drive, but I would really love to meet someone who can be handsfree for an hour+ drive, if you read this and can be handsfree.... DO let me know!!!!!
    • Julie MacDougall Friday - 07 / 09 / 2012 Reply
      lol! Yes, Nina it is possible to be handsfree for an hour + drive, but it helps to be really old I think! I have a cell phone for emergencies particularly when driving, but it's the flip type, no screen, no keyboard and it's usually at the bottom of my purse turned off or the battery's dead, doesn't matter only family has the number and they don't call it because they know it won't be on. I must confess though it really helps having daughter Olivia riding shotgun most of the time with her phone glued to her fingers, so I just have to say, call dad tell him we're running late, or text your boyfriend to get him to look up the number for the chinese restaurant on his playbook so we can order eggrolls when we pass Arnprior so they are ready for pick up when we get to Renfrew!
  3. Julie Friday - 07 / 09 / 2012 Reply
    There are alot more distractions now then when we were younger, specifically cell phones. Was there even texting when we were in high school?? I won't text while I'm driving, my phone is usually tucked away, but it scares me if I'm in a vehicle and the driver is sitting there on their phone. I'm on high alert if I'm in that situation. Speaking of crazy things people do while driving, I was listening to a radio station a couple of months back and they were talking about what the weirdest thing was you've seen someone eat while they were driving. Someone called in and said that it was morning rush hour and they looked beside them to see the driver beside them eating corn on the cob... Really??? Corn on the cob... makes me scratch my head!
  4. Tricia Friday - 07 / 09 / 2012 Reply
    Erin, its amazing how much changes when you have a human relying on you. Never thought I would feel this way. Nina, I completely agree that people are more distracted b/c of our fast paced lives. Julie, I don't think there was texting when we were in high school, and if there was I didn't know how to do it! haha

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