While there have been many attempts made to ban texting and driving in Florida, in order to really stop car accidents in Homestead and across the state, what really needs to change is the psychology and attitudes of drivers. Beyond mobile devices, there are a number of causes of distracted driving and traffic accidents in Homestead and Florida. Not all of those distractions can be stopped with a new law, and some causes of accidents – such as careless driving – are hard to legislate and enforce.
To make a big difference in reducing the number of car and truck collisions in Homestead and across the country, we need to make some bigger attitude changes, such as:
1) We need to re-define focus. Many people multi-task when driving but are still convinced that they are concentrating on the road and not distracted. All drivers need to redefine distracted driving to mean driving while doing anything that can remove focus from the road. Undistracted driving means thinking and concentrating only on driving. Anything that removes that focus – even for a second or two – is dangerous and can easily lead to a pedestrian accident in Homestead or our community.
2) We need to get more modest about our importance. Many of us try to get everything done and try to do a little bit more. This creates a dangerous situation where we are multi-tasking – even when driving. We assume that the text message, phone call, or drive can’t wait. Doctors have been saying for years that stress is one of the leading causes of disease and health problems, and stress can contribute to traffic accidents, too. We need to recognize that if we let go of some things on our to-do list, we will be healthier, happier, and safer.
3) We need to get more humble about our driving skills. Studies have shown that many drivers are overconfident when it comes to their driving skills, assuming that they can handle distractions and other dangerous situations. When actually tested, however, motorists are not able to handle distraction or as much alcohol as they think they can without becoming dangerous drivers. Being humble about driving expertise and acknowledging that driving needs to be treated with respect and caution is very important when it comes to driving safely.
4) We need to get more polite. Aggressive driving, impatience, road rage, and cutting drivers off is not just rude – it can easily escalate into a traffic collision in Homestead or your community. Slow down and treat other drivers with courtesy and you may find your community’s streets getting a little safer.
What about you? What attitude changes do you think need to be made by Florida drivers to make driving safer in Homestead and across the state?
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