Wellness Pathway #231 Drive Attentively

After all we have written on the importance of proper nutrition, exercise, rest, and relaxation for optimal well being, it will all be for naught if we are injured or killed in an automobile accident. Yet that is one of the most common causes of injury and death. What can we do to minimize the risk? We can minimize distractions while driving.

Perhaps you noticed the recent op-eds taken out by ExxonMobil in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the National Journal. The company announced a new rule banning its employees and contractors from using cellular phones while driving on company time. Given that ExxonMobil employees and contractors drive about 1.5 million miles per day, the new rule will have a big impact on both the company and the driving public.

Why did they do this? Because after a thorough study of the available research, including nine independent reports on cellular phone use safety, ExxonMobil concluded that the use of a cell phone while driving “significantly degrades driving performance and contributes to an increased risk of vehicular incidents.”

This applies to both hand-held and hands-free devices. The problem is not holding something in our hand, its dividing our attention between driving and something else. To that end, ExxonMobil now requires all incoming calls to be answered by voice mail, which can be retrieved and responded to once employees and contractors have parked in a safe and secure location.

If it’s absolutely necessary for you to talk and drive, the American Automobile Association recommends the following safety tips:

  • Before you get behind the wheel, familiarize yourself with the features of your cell phone.
  • Ask a passenger in the car to place the call for you and, if possible, speak in your place.
  • Plan your conversation in advance and keep it short.
  • Inform the person you’re calling that you are speaking from the car.
  • Hang up the phone as soon as possible, especially in heavy traffic and hazardous weather conditions.
  • Secure your phone in the car so that it doesn’t become a projectile in a crash.

Coaching Inquiries: Do you talk and drive? Do you do other things while you drive? How could you become more mindful and less distracted while driving? What value do you place on protecting your life and the lives of others?

To reply to this Pathway, use our Feedback Form. To learn more about our Wellness Coaching programs and to arrange for a complimentary wellness coaching session, use our Contact Form or Email Bob.

May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Bob Tschannen-Moran

President, LifeTrek Coaching Internationalwww.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformationwww.SchoolTransformation.com
2010-2011 President, International Association of Coachingwww.CertifiedCoach.org

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