Monday, April 4, 2016

Distracted Driver Awareness Month

FTC disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.

U.S. Cellular offers a FREE PRINTABLE Parent Child agreement to help you discuss safety of the Internet, cell phone usage, limits, and courtesy with your teen or tween.  You don't even need to be a U.S. Cellular customer to access this, although I have been for 10 years and highly recommend them. 

Right before my husband and I met online, his car got totaled.  Because it wasn't worth much, but he had just made the last payment on it, he wasn't able to keep driving it.  Instead, he immediately had to take out another car loan. Buying a used car also includes having to get everything fixed that the previous owners didn't do that caused them to sell the car.

What does distracted driving have to do with him having to spent over $3,000 for a used car?  He was driving through town, and was at a stoplight.  He looked in his rear view mirror and he saw someone speeding towards him with her fact looking down at a cell phone.  She readily admitted she was texting.

I can't tell you how often we think back and wish her text could have waited.  Instead of having a car that was paid off and an asset, we have had so many car expenses.  In retrospect, it would have been better for him to have bought a better car as many times as his has been in the shop.  Yet, I know we are lucky that the only cost to us because of a distracted driver was financial.

My dad was hit by a drunk driver in 1990.  He suffered years of medical problems. I have read that texting is almost six times more dangerous than drunk driving, and seeing how my dad suffered, it scares me every time I see someone on a cell phone while behind the wheel of the car.  It pretty much cost my parents their marriage.  I had to drop out of college.  He was in years of pain, and had surgery more than one to try and repair damage.

April is Distracted Driver Awareness Month, and U.S. Cellular is helping to spread the word..   Of course, as well as talking on the phone and texting, distracted driving also includes grooming, talking to passengers, snacking, and more. The best thing to do is to plan to be safe.  If I am with my husband when he is driving, I answer his iPhone 5s.   If I am driving and I am alone, I pull over to the side of the road before I look at my phone or return a phone call.  I used to know some people who if she was driving and saw someone she was friends with who was also driving, she would give them a call.  I think this is more common than I would like to believe.  I would have to find a place to get off the road, and then return the phone call to find out that person just saw me driving and wondered where I was going.

One of the safer things you can do is use a bluetooth headset if you are driving in a car and want to talk on the phone.  The Plantronics Voyager Legend Bluetooth Headset is one such device that helps make phone calls safer while in the car.  If you don't have one of these or something similar, think about investing in one as a recent U.S. Cellular survey showed that 43% of smart phone owners use their device while driving.

It can often be difficult to talk to your teenagers about this topic, but it's very important.  It could save their life.  U.S. Cellular has a Parent / Child Agreement which allows family to make a customizable contract to help facilitate this sometimes hard discussion.  It covers both safety and etiquette.  My husband and I have even used this to set up some ground rules for media usage in our house.  We hope to foster / adopt, and knowing that, for instance, no one, including adults are allowed to use devices while we are having family time will make it easier to enforce, especially if a child can say, "You can't be on your phone." since the rule applies to everyone.  Of course, we always hope our children use proper manners when using the phone, but the most important thing is safety, and since this agreement covers both, it is an extremely helpful resource.

FTC disclaimer:  I am part of the U.S. Cellular Better Moments Blogger Brigade, and this is a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.


  1. Great post, this is such an important topic and though effects us all, we all have different distractions that really get us.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Andrea @