Safe Driving Habits

Happy New Year,

Thank you to everyone who brought in personal care items or made monetary donations last month for our Shoeboxes for Seniors drive. Most of the shoeboxes have been going to the same Nursing Home in North County for the past few years. Robert, the director of the nursing home told me most of the residents are wards of the State and have no visitors.  The simple items of body wash, hand lotion, a pair of socks; things we take for granted make their faces light up on Christmas morning. Robert kept expressing his appreciation for these shoeboxes, because they bring so much joy to his residents. Thank you again for your generosity. You helped touched lives in a special way to some lonely seniors on Christmas morning.

As the new year begins, now is a great time to start some new habits while driving. Even if you had some bad driving habits in the past, now is the time to be conscious and make sure you try and change them. Some bad habits to break could be if you tend to drive over the speed limit. This is me too often. Also make sure you are aware how you stop at stoplights or stop signs. Come to a complete stop and not just a roll-through. Look over your shoulder when changing lanes so you know for sure no one is in your bind spot.  Driving too close to the car in front of you. Always leave plenty of distance in between vehicles. If your tires have low tread depth or severely worn out, your stopping distance is highly impaired. 

Besides how you drive on the road, also consider the habits that cause distracted driving. Distracted driving has become one of the major causes of car accidents.  This trend is continuing to grow every year mainly because of cell phone usage while driving. Many people have developed the habit where they can’t put their phone down or turn them off while driving. This includes texting, calling, or using your smart phone for various other things. Take the pledge, “I will put my phone away while driving so I can arrive safely.”

There are some other things that are distractions, that you might think about. If you are driving with children in the back seat, you may want to keep looking back and checking on them. Each time you are looking backwards your eyes are not focused on the road ahead of you. Other distractions might be if you look in the rearview mirror to do your hair, shave, or even put on make up.  Some people might write down notes or ideas as well.  There are even some who feel they can read and drive at the same time. A common distraction to almost everyone is eating in their car and driving. If you eat something, you are distracted because you will not have both hands on the wheel. You may drip ketchup on your shirt or may drop the French fires on the floor.  It is typically an instant reaction to look down and focus our attention to what just happened.

I bring up all these things we shouldn’t be doing while we are driving. We know better, but bad habits take over. Now, with the start of the new year it’s the great time to start new and safe driving habits. Take the pledge, start the change, be committed and before you know it, the new habit has become real.
Wishing everyone a Blessed, Safe and Happy 2019!

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