Modeling Mindful Driving


They’re never too old for lessons about safety. Sometimes you can capitalize on that teachable moment with your child, that plum moment when a lesson is right in front of them and the learning opportunity is clear. Other times, life has its own lessons. Like the one where she drives down the highway late at night with her friend on cell phone speaker. There’s a whooshing noise coming from the window cracked open on the passenger side. So she puts her phone down, unbuckles her seat belt and leans over to roll up the window. Five months later she’s still recovering from the ensuing head-on collision with the highway median—she cannot work and undergoes extensive physical and psychological therapy because she suffered a brain trauma. And she’s the lucky one, getting out alive. This is one hard lesson that you never want your child to learn. Unfortunately, this is a lesson our family recently witnessed: one young family member now faces the consequences of an action many of us may take behind the wheel with no repercussions.
 
People often fall prey to distraction while driving. Before cell phones and texting, there already existed a host of other ways to pass the time in traffic or on long drives: eating, listening to music (and all that fussing with CD cases and radio dials), reading the newspaper at lights and traffic line-ups, even applying make-up while stopped! Conversations during driving are even distracting. 

We live in an era of multi-tasking, cramming as much as we possibly can into moments, activities and driving time. Just watch a teenager at the computer—chatting, listening to music and gaming, while doing homework!

What message are we communicating? Is multi-tasking just another way of trying to be ENOUGH? Is there so much pressure on us to be more, do more and achieve more, that focusing on one task at a time with concentration, mindfulness and presence, is novice and trite?

Here’s a thought: no phone call, no text message, no conversation, no hit song or newscast is worth your life or that of your passenger and other drivers on the road. Saying “No” to distractions means saying “Yes” to yourself. Now there’s a novel idea! And in disallowing distractions, you’re being socially responsible.

You’re excited driving off the lot in your new car. And the vehicle you’ve bought reflects your taste in styling and design, backed by car manufacturer safety testing that speaks of social responsibility. You’ve chosen a car known for its safety features and safety ratings; you bought an ideal that aligns with your values. What is your social responsibility moving forward through traffic? How are you modeling mindful, safe, responsible driving for your children?

Empowerment coaching can help you cultivate mindfulness around mental distraction--for a complimentary coaching session, call: 514-996-2414.

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