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.
Friday - 07 / 09 / 2012