Do We Still Have to Talk About Texting and Driving?

When I first began driving, I was 20 years old. Yes, I waited that long, but this isn’t important. It was 2006, and I still had a flip phone. Most people did. Smartphones didn’t exist, and most of us (unless you owned a fancy Sidekick) had to press buttons multiple times to get the letter or punctuation we wanted. Mess up? That sucks. Start over. It became really easy for habitual texters to text without looking. All we had to do was feel around for the right key, hit it the correct number of times we’d already memorized, take a quick glance to make sure it was correct, and hit “send”.

But because texting was such a thumb workout, we still made actual phone calls to our friends. Also, not all of us had unlimited text messaging, and those overage charges were steep.

We heard all kinds of warnings about texting while driving, but it really didn’t seem like a big deal. I mean, I was careful, and I barely even had to look at my phone to do it. And I didn’t even do it that much compared to most of my friends (although my parents will read this and be mad at me forever).

All that changed with the smartphone. Now, our primary communication relies on texting, our many social media networks are sending notifications to our phone (giving us the impulse to check it and respond right NOW), and we’re using our phones for GPS during our commute. There are all kinds of reasons to reach for your phone while you’re behind the wheel, and a large majority of us are guilty of it at some point in time, despite the recent laws prohibiting it in some areas.

How many times have you seen a horrible driver who had their phone in their hand and thought, “that guy can’t do two things at once”? Did you conclude you’re better at multitasking than that idiot?

Guess what?

You’re not.

You’re distracted, taking your eyes away for what seems like a split second, and you’re unprepared for something to go wrong.

Let me put it to you this way: Do you really want to injure someone, yourself, or even just mess up your car because you NEEDED to check your email?

Trust me, I know, it’s really hard to resist. But there are a few things you can do to protect yourself, the people in and outside of your car, and even your car itself.

I’m challenging you. Try it for a week and see how it goes.

Dock your phone.

Simple phone holders aren’t terribly expensive. I use this one. If your phone isn’t in your lap, you’ll be less likely to interact with it. Before you put your car in drive, put it on its charger, on a dock, closer to your dashboard. You’ll still be able to watch your GPS, and even make simple music changes without looking down, and the temptation to text isn’t nearly as strong. I tried leaving my phone in my purse, but I inevitably ended up digging it out halfway through my drive home.

Turn off notifications.

When we hear that little ding from our phone, we immediately feel the need to respond. Take at least some, if not all, of them away. I don’t have notifications turned on for my email, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. I’ll check all of them when I have time to, but I don’t need every “like” to interrupt what I’m doing — especially driving.

Send your texts before you leave.

When you’re sitting in your car, before you put your car in drive, send whatever texts you need to. Send your “on my way” text now with an ETA. Double check your directions and traffic reports. Check your social media now so it’s not bugging you the whole ride home.

Find some entertainment.

On those long, traffic-heavy drives home (ATL traffic, anyone?) it’s very tempting to catch up and check social media. Instead, come prepared. Have some good music, an audiobook, or some podcasts ready to go. Make them easily accessible and queued up so you’re safer when you need to change it.

Get a bluetooth device.

Most cars come with bluetooth now, but if yours didn’t, get yourself a headset. This way you can still make and receive important phone calls. And these days, if someone’s actually calling you, something might be wrong.

Think of your priorities.

You just got a text. Do you really need to answer it? If it’s not worth pulling over, then it can wait until you get to your destination. Your safety is more important.

Pull over.

Don’t be afraid to pull over if you think you need to answer something now. It may add a second to your drive, but it’s worth it.

 

Since committing to NO texting while driving, my drives feel free. It’s some time away, to jam out to my favorite music, and I am fully focused on what’s in front of me. I encourage everyone to keep the hands off their phone and keep their priorities straight.

Will you commit to it for a week?

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Life This Week

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◦   Today, Tim and I are learning how to do shots — not tequila — injections for the beginning of our IVF cycle. I already mentioned this briefly on Tuesday, but I feel like this beginning deserves to be talked about some more. Sorry if you’re not into it.

◦   I am so grateful for good friends who are so supportive. And I’m unbelievably thankful for the blogging community and how supportive y’all have been the last few months. So if I haven’t told you personally, thank you. It means a lot.

◦   I’m currently resisting this strange new urge to buy all the washi tape. Who am I?!

◦   In case you didn’t catch it last week, Blogger Men Tell all will resume in September and continue quarterly. So prep your dude for some blogging! He’ll have plenty of warning!

◦   If you’ve been around here awhile, you may know that in the last year or two I binge-watched through the entire Degrassi series (Junior High, High, and Next Generation, which is now just “Degrassi”) until I caught up to what was currently airing. Degrassi took a bit of a break, scared me with rumors of cancellation, but is back on the air right now EVERY WEEK DAY, and will be airing on Netflix after this season. It’s like Christmas. If you’ve never watched any Degrassi, I totally recommend it… But just know that Junior High is incredibly silly, and started in 1987.

◦   Summer is breezing by (seriously, the kids are about to go back to school!) and I am TOTALLY OKAY WITH IT. I’m so ready for fall weather, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, boots, and sweaters. Doesn’t that sound so much better than sweating while you’re sitting in traffic?

Have a great weekend!

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In case you missed it:

Silver Lining
Top Three Tuesday
July Birchbox vs. Ipsy

Favorites this week:

The Top 10 Best Drugstore Mascaras – Meg O. on the Go
Strobing – Bourbon, Lipstick, and Stilettos
My Story is Beautiful, Sarah – Allison Ramsing


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July Birchbox vs. Ipsy

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BIRCHBOX

box worth: $29

amika un.Done Texture Spray (full size $24)

Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow (full size $27)

stila look at me liquid lipstick trio (full size $20)

Supergoop! Anti-Aging City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30 (full size $42)

Vasanti Cosmetics BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator (full size $34)

july-birchbox

IPSY

bag worth: $66

Jelly Pong Pong Cosmetics 2-in-1 Shadow/liner ($16)

Coolway Beachy Salt Spray (full size $12.95)

Aurora Gel Effect Nail Polish in 4 Alarm Fire ($7.99)

Be A Bombshell Cosmetics Lip Balm ($14)

pūr~lisse pur-bright ultra skin brightening serum (full size $76)

july-ipsy

While the Ipsy bag was clearly worth more this month, I’m just not overly impressed with either one. Have you tried Ipsy or Birchbox? Which do you like best?

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