distracted driving

Hamar, Norway

one thing you may not know about me is that i am a pretty cautious driver. i was not always that way but something happened in high school that dramatically changed the way i view driving. this week is distracted driving awareness week and i wanted to join in with Auto Alliance and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons to increase awareness about the risks of distracted driving.

i am not going to complain about bad drivers or point my finger at people who i think should be better drivers, i am just going to share my story and hopefully that inspires us all to be better, less distracted, drivers.

it was my senior year of high school and homecoming week. i was leaving school early because i had a partial. my best friend was sitting in the seat next to me and my ex-boyfriend was walking in front of my car. we were joking, he was running around, and before i knew it, i hit him with my car and ran up his leg.

i backed off, an ambulance was called, and the police questioned me. it was a crazy day and we were all blessed that no one was seriously injured (he did not even break a bone) but i learned something so powerful that day – cars are not toys and it is so important to be an aware driver.

i was distracted that day big time. i was talking to my best friend, giggling about powder puff, yelling out my window, and picking a song to listen to. ever since that day driving has been totally different for me. i am super aware of people on the side of the road or in parking lots. i check both ways tediously before making turns. and i hand my cell phone to the person next to me to look up directions. i am not perfect by any means but i experienced something so traumatic it opened my eyes.

i don’t want you to have to go through the same thing or even worse. i think we have the power to take back the road and to drive with confidence and safety!

– the Decide to Drive program aims to empower drivers and passengers to speak up about distracted driving, continue the conversation at home, work and play, 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.
– many things have the power to distract us, good things & bad things. maybe i am trying to comfort a crying child, switch my CD, answer my phone, drink my latte, finish my breakfast, take a picture of the sunset, chat with my best friend, or just rest my eyes at a stoplight – all of those while good at other times, are not so good when i become a distracted driver and a statistic

– let’s join together and #decidetodrive when we get in the driver’s seat
– let’s commit to letting things wait or pulling over to take care of a situation
– let’s remember that 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.
– let’s enter the catch phrase contest to come up with a great slogan to empower us to make healthy driving choices.


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

Author: Elizabeth Mayberry

  • Scary!

  • that is terrifying, beth! wow…so glad your friend was ok and so glad you decided to share your experience to encourage others to be intentional when they get behind the drivers seat!

    one summer when i was home for college, i was driving out our lane and hit a car that was parked on the side of the road because i looked down at my iPod. fortunately, i was only going about 10 mph, the car i hit was already totaled and just used for pulling a trailer around the person's property, and there was very little damage. but it still made me rethink how i drive!

  • I know! good thing we were going slow speeds and in a parking lot. I am much more aware these days! And that was 10 years ago!

  • Betsy! Yes. I was going slow too which helped! You don't really think anything bad could happen until it does. It is great that these were both pretty minor and helped us become better drivers!

  • I've wanted to write a post about this but haven't had the courage to yet because it is too traumatic =) Dave came to visit me in Korea. He made it back home safely to the US but when he was driving home he looked down at his mp3 to switch a song and long story short his car flipped at 80+ mph. The only part of his mustang that wasn't completely flattened was where his head was. He walked out with some cuts on his arm but that's about it. I have no idea how God spared his life but He sure did. I'm a much more careful driver because of that!!!!

  • Oh goodness, this is such a good topic to discuss. I get distracted so easily, so it's a great reminder!

    One of the scariest moments for me was in highschool when I was driving a bunch of new friends around in the evening. We were laughing about something stupid and I completely ran through a red light– apparently didn't even look at it. I couldn't BELIEVE I had done that, and had I hit someone going 55 miles per hour, there's not telling what could've happened.

    Thanks for writing this today!

  • I've heard of this happening before and no one can EVER give a good reason the driver wasn't killed except by "an act of God" (even if they aren't a believer). I love that phrase! God spares in miraculous ways!

  • It is crazy how one little moment can change you life. It is beautiful the way the Lord provides protection but that in not always the case. It is a good (and dramatic) reminder to pay attention and drive safer!

  • Running a red light on accident is so terrifying. One time I drove in front of a ambulance because I could not hear the siren and it freaked me out. My heart was pounding the rest of my drive home.