You’re excited…or you’re not. You’re moving to a new duty station. The goods are packed, the family is ready, your mail is forwarded and now all that is between you and your new life for the next 2-4 years is the road that will take you there. How many times have you gotten behind the wheel, zoned out, and had difficulty remembering the last 10 miles? This is so easy to do, especially when going long distances, or when driving a stretch of road you are very familiar with. Never take your mind off of driving – even if you think that you won’t be the cause of an accident, someone else that is driving and distracted might not be so lucky.
It doesn’t matter whether you are going 100 miles or 3,000 – you need to be mentally engaged in the drive. Geico.com states that Distracted Driving is any activity that takes your primary attention away from the task of driving. The three types of distractions Geico identifies are in their report on The Distracted Brain- The Dangers of Driving Distracted are:
That split second it takes to reach for a french fry in a greasy bag. The time it takes to push play on the DVD player strapped to the back of the passenger head rest. The agonizing torture of knowing your phone has slid between the seat and you need to get it – All of these are split instances that are just long enough to take your eye off of the road and get into an accident.
If you really need those french fries, tell the passenger to feed them to you – think of it as strengthening the marital bond if it is your spouse, or building a trusting friendship.
Teach the kids that patience is a virtue and that you want teach them to fish, not just hand them the fish. Either they can learn to push play themselves, or they have to wait until you or the passenger can do so safely. Don’t give into their demands and satisfy their incessant groveling. You’ll be rewarding the wrong quality – you want them to wait patiently and arrive alive to the destination. They’ll live…during the drive. What happens after the drive is completely up to you as a parent.
Now, the phone. Ask yourself this. Will the phone still be there if you leave it where it is or will it be lost forever? A little distance from your cell phone never hurt you – just think about the 80’s or early 90’s when cell phones were a luxury. You lived right? You’ll continue to live – trust me. Plus, the fact that you are obsessing over your phone already shows that you are not cognitively focused on the drive. Forget the phone, not the rules of the road.
It is very possible that you will never get into a car accident your entire life and you have made ALL of the errors above – you’re lucky – because the odds are against you if you do just one of these.
Above all, think about the destination, not the journey. Arrive alive, and ensure your safety, your passenger’s safety, and filling that billet that so eagerly awaits you at your new duty station.
Follow Geico on Twitter
Like Geico on Facebook
More from Geico.com