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The AAOS & Auto Alliance and I Want to Stop Distracted Driving #DecideToDrive #CleverGirls #spon

I’ve been noticing more and more distracted drivers while I’ve been driving, lately. I stop at a red light and glance over to the car to my left or right and see them texting or talking on their cell phones. As the light turns green they start back driving while they still appear to be distracted by their message and/or conversation.

Or maybe it’s a woman with a tube of lipstick in her hand or a parent looking in the backseat at their kids who are fighting.

Every time I see a distracted driver, it sends chills up my spine.

Because distracted driving can lead to crashes. Distracted driving is NO accident. A distracted driver is making a deliberate choice to text, talk on the phone, apply lipstick, eat that bagel, and a myriad of other things that can take attention away from driving. If you drive distracted you are not only risking your own life, but that of other drivers and passengers.

Some years back, my husband and I were driving to a local mall and as we were stopped at a stoplight, we were rear-ended. It really was more of a little bump. The woman was apologetic and there was no damage to our vehicle, so we got back into our cars and proceeded on. At the next stop light she bumped us again. I kid you not. Within 5 minutes she had rear-ended us twice. She was embarrassed and hopefully she learned her lesson and didn’t drive distracted again.

Here’s the reason “I” don’t drive distracted and why you shouldn’t either…

That’s my son. When he is in my car he is my precious cargo. I want to keep him safe, so, my driving, the road, and other drivers get my full attention. I realize that I cannot multi-task while driving. Never. Ever.

I keep my hands on the wheel and I pay attention to to the road. I place my purse, with my cell phone in it, in the backseat. There’s no need for me to be distracted by my phone.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Auto Alliance agree with me and want to increase awareness about the risks of distracted driving.

They have started the ‘Decide to Drive‘ campaign which aims to empower drivers and passengers to speak up about distracted driving, continue the conversation at home, at work, and play, with their families, friends, neighbors, and co-workers and reduce distracted behaviors behind the wheel.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), of the nearly 33,000 roadway fatalities in 2012, there were 3,328 fatalities and approximately 421,000 injuries in distracted driving-related crashes.

Orthopaedic surgeons—the specialists who put bones and limbs back together after road crashes and traumas—along with our partners, the automakers, would rather help all drivers “decide to drive” each time they get in the car and to keep bones and limbs intact.

Remember, the most advanced safety feature of any vehicle is the driver. The AAOS and the Auto Alliance urges all drivers to keep their most sophisticated safety features engaged at all times: eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

How can you avoid a crash? Remove distractions and make the decision to #DecideToDrive. Let’s stop distracted driving.

Oh, there will be a Decide to Drive Catchphrase Contest they will run from May 30 – June 13, 2014… I’ll update you with more information about the contest at the end of the month. So stay tuned.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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