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Distracted Driving Month?
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Distracted Driving Month?

In the midst of your busy schedule, you may have missed the announcement that this is national Distracted Driving month. As far as I can tell, this does not mean we are supposed to go out and become even more distracted while driving. We surely don't need to create distractions: they are everywhere - the cell phone rings, the radio channel needs changing, oops, just spilled Dunkin on my new pants...and did someone just ding me with a text?

Actually, I was distracted while researching this topic. The real title of the national program is "Distracted Driver Awareness month." In other words, if we become more aware of our myriad distractions, we might do a better job of focusing on the job at hand - in this case, propelling a vehicle down the road toward our destination.

We are never going to return to a simpler time, when there were no phones in the car, when the radio just played AM stations, and when navigation involved paper maps; our kids will never know the challenge of folding up the map after the trip is concluded. There was no air conditioning; for fresh air - we had to turn a crank to lower the window. Now we follow the directions of our smart-phones as we jockey for position among the not-so-smart drivers routinely tailgating, rubbernecking, mysteriously applying their brakes and weaving in and out of traffic. We are, in the words of the poet T. S. Eliot, "distracted from distraction by distraction." We may be connected 24/7, but there are many moments when we don't feel connected at all.

So don't be distracted by Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Be aware. Be awake. Ignore the tweets and texts. None of our myriad distractions is worth the pain, suffering and loss that may result from a single moment of inattention.

Jon Coppelman
Senior Workers Compensation Consultant

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