After a morning that began with rear-ending a truck at a red light while driving my son to school, I was having a bad day that seemed to only get worse. I was running late for school and my gas light came on to indicate that I was on empty.
I WAS on empty. I was up late the night before, working. I woke up early in the morning, to make breakfast, coffee and lunches. I struggled to get four people dressed and ready to go in less than an hour. There were dishes in the sink, toys scattered all over the floors and laundry piling up. I had a list of calls to make and an even longer list of things to do. I was tired and a bit frazzled from the morning chaos with my children. I rushed to get into the car and on my way while multiple thoughts went through my head about my tasks of the day. But the one thing that I should have been thinking about was being a safe driver.
After the incident with the truck, I paid special attention to how I drove the remainder of the way to school. I am happy to say that my son made it without being late and we didn’t run out of gas. And for once, I didn’t jot down notes, make any phone calls or attempt to hand my children snacks, books or toys.
As I focused on my driving, I noticed that there were a lot of other distracted drivers on the road. About a third of the drivers that I saw were on their phone. About the same number had kids in the car. It made me very aware that people have all kinds of things that can keep them from paying attention to driving. It really makes me wonder how more people don’t bang into other cars. During that morning drive, three people cut me off in traffic. All three were on their cell phones.
I was determined to be the most attentive driver, for the very least, safety of my kids. Thankfully, my morning mishap was the only thing that went wrong but it taught me a valuable lesson. I will make an effort NOT to multi-task when driving. I will always make sure that my kids have drinks, snacks, toys and books before I leave the driveway.
It is tempting to make a phone call, or check a text message or write something important down. These are all things that can wait.