Being an Alert Driver

The following story presents a common experience that we can learn from to avoid this type of situation in the future:

A few months ago, a police officer pulled me over and told me that I was driving 55 mph on a street where the speed limit was 40 mph. I confessed to the officer that I didn’t realize I was driving faster than permitted. Since I had just purchased a new car, I wasn’t used to driving it yet. The police officer told me, loud and clear, “You should not be driving at all!”

The police officer was right. We need to check the speed limits frequently and try not to drive over them. It can be easy to lose track of the speed limit while focusing on other things behind the wheel.

Take a look at these possible activities we do while driving:

Reaching down for our cellphone in our purse, which is always at the bottom; changing the radio station; using a hand to put on lipstick or smoke; adjusting the seat; taking notes of things we can’t forget; eating a granola bar because we didn’t have time for breakfast; drinking coffee we brought for the drive; and, if our children are in the back seat, explaining to them why keeping our eyes on the road is more important than turning to look at whatever they have to show us.

More pressing distractions can come from problems in the workplace or at home. In these cases, the driver may be unable to concentrate, paying more attention to the issues of a looming or past conflict instead of the road.

All of these different examples may inhibit our ability to keep track of the speed limit. Everyone must obey all transportation laws and respect the speed limits, and limiting our distractions in the car can help increase our awareness out on the roads.

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