Safe Driving for Moms and Dads
Parents leading hectic, complicated lives and accustomed to the demands of multi-tasking lifestyles can find themselves distracted, tired and emotionally jangled. That’s not good – no matter what our age – if we’re also sitting behind the wheel and traveling at 55 mph. Safe driving demands concentration and attention at all times. The risk of making mistakes and crashing increases when we drive and use a cell phone, snack, vent anger or frustration, drink alcohol, grow drowsy, become distracted by the children in the backseat, or simply zone out and stop paying attention.
THE ZEN OF SAFE DRIVING:
Despite being awake and alert while driving, a commonly reported driving mistake is “zoning out” on the road – forgetting about driving and letting your subconscious do it for you. In a sense you are putting yourself on autopilot. When in this state of mind you are “aware” of your surroundings, but your reaction time and maneuverability becomes impaired – two of the most essential skills we use when driving. Stay relaxed but totally focused.
Using a cell phone while driving can be risky. The National Safety Council’s position is that “a driver's first responsibility is the safe operation of the vehicle and that best practice is to not use electronic devices including cell phones while driving. When on the road, drivers shall concentrate on safe and defensive driving and not on making or receiving phone calls, delivery of faxes, using computers, navigation systems, or other distracting influences.”
CHECK YOUR EGO AT THE (CAR) DOOR:
When confronted by an aggressive driver, set aside your pride and ego. Do not challenge an aggressive motorist. Avoid eye contact and hand gestures. Remember to drive defensively. Get out of the way. Report aggressive driving to the proper authorities.