Listening to Tom and Ray on "Car Talk" this morning I was struck by a wonderful phrase they used as they lamented the growing legion of drivers who believe it is possible to multi-task behind the wheel. The phrase they used to describe preferred driver behavior is "mono-tasking." I wholeheartedly agree.
As drivers we make dozens of decisions based on the information our brains soak in each and every second on the road. Life and death truly does hang in the balance. Just ask the family members of the 90+ loved ones who die on American roadways each day.
Perhaps the most critical questions we can each ask of ourselves are, "Who do you love?" and "Who loves you?" The answers to these questions should be all the reasons we ever need to make mono-tasking behind the wheel one of the most important New Year's resolutions we will ever make.
So, let's mono-task our way behind the wheel by:
...walking around the vehicle to make sure no children are hiding in blind spots
...turning off all cellular devices - including hands-free - and set aside until I reach my destination
...buckling up and make sure all passengers are buckled up as well
...observe all posted speed limits, and adjust downward due to presence of children at play, cyclists, road and weather conditions
...create space between my vehicle and others around me, so I have time to react to the driving behaviors of others
...use my blinker to signal all turns and lane changes
...stop - take three to see at all stop signs regardless of whether or not anyone is present - it is my chance to practice making complete stops so I am ready the one time that someone does seem to appear out of nowhere
...observe all traffic signals and traffic signs
...think of the ones I love, the ones who are waiting for me to return home safely.
...eat before you drive, or stop and take a break to do so
Again, ask the questions, "Who do I love" and "who loves me?" May the faces of all the loved ones you picture in your mind lead you to "mono-task" your way down every roadway you travel by making driving your top, and only, priority behind the wheel. In doing so, you will do your part to keep kids (of all ages) alive and to make safe driving behaviors a lifetime habit.
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