We like to think that every month here at Drivemode is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, but April is the official campaign led by the National Safety Council to recognize and eliminate preventable deaths from distracted driving. Next month, we'll be adding some new features and integrations to Drivemode to improve the driver experience while making it safer and more efficient.
But you don't have to wait until April to start a conversation with your friends about distracted driving. Have you ever asked your friends about how they handle messages when they are in the car? Have you seen their behavior in the car and been surprised?
People don't like to police their friends' activity, but a few words could actually save a life. Here are some ways to address distracted driving without it feeling like an after-school special.
When your friend is leaving a gathering or event, give them a gentle reminder to use autoreplies or set their phone to "do not disturb." Don't assume that they are setting their phone up for safety while driving.
Try not to message your friends if you know they are on the road and let them know you will be avoiding it. If you receive a "do not disturb" response when you've messaged a friend who is driving, tell your friend later that you are glad they were set up that way.
If your friend is driving while you're in the car with them and they are texting or otherwise messing with their phone, offer to help and text on their behalf. Then save the more direct conversation about it until you're not in the car.
If your friend doesn't already have one, give them a dashmount for their phone. For the cost of two coffees, you are investing in your friend's safety.
For those most squeamish about having a discussion, a really easy way to get a friend to be safer while driving is to just send them a link to Drivemode and let them download it and try it out themselves. Your personal recommendation will go a long way.
Overall, the most important message for you to send is that you care about your friend and you want them to be safe. It's not about judgment or shaming someone you care about, but ensuring that they have your support. Be a Safety Superhero and help your friends drive more safely- you might save a life!