“Momma always told me…”
Forest Gump said a lot, ran a ton, and has been quoted a lot since his movie came to theaters in 1994. But Forest Gump was on to something when he said, "Momma always told me…" Those words have never been more helpful to remember the simple things regarding keeping you, your passengers, and everyone else on the road safe while driving.
When I was growing up, my mother and father were nurturing, loving, and supportive. But there was always that one trait that never suited well with me, that was persistent, which then became bothersome, annoying, and irritating. My mother's persistence in cleaning up my mess has now carried me into hearing her voice when my house is not clean. That persistence from my father to have a great work ethic and do tasks to the best of your ability no matter the outcome has guided me to succeed in the workforce and become a leader in my community. These persistent ideas, such as do your homework, don't be sloppy, or finish what you started, can all be annoying in the moment, but 10 years later, those small tasks will help you toward a bigger goal.
Let’s say this, "Momma always told me to wear a seat belt while driving or riding in the car." This small but huge statement that she repeatedly said at a young age could lead to a life-saving opportunity down the road. Seatbelts in vehicles are not there for decoration or a fashion statement. Seat belts are there for safety…your safety. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 90.7% of Americans use a seatbelt, and they have saved over 14 thousand lives in crashes. So think if that persistent voice came in your head every time you got into a vehicle, would the use rate of seatbelts be at 100 percent?
Let's try this one, "Momma always told me to put all distractions away while driving." This small but huge statement that may have played in your head over and over when you became a first-time driver will lead to the opportunity to save not just your life but also others on the road. One text is not worth someone else's life. Putting on lipstick while driving down the highway on your way to a formal date can wait until you arrive safely at your destination. According to NHTSA, nearly 3 thousand people were killed by distracted driving alone, and they all were not just drivers but passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
"Momma always told me that traffic safety is just as important as anything!" Let the persistent voice that bothered you at a young age be a positive influence for you in a vehicle today. Buckling a seatbelt takes less than five seconds, and could literally save your life. Cleaning your room took 20 minutes as a kid, and even if no one saw it, that task trained you to become neat and organized later in life. Not everything in life can be as persistent and helpful as the same people who annoyed you to be better, to do your homework, or to clean your room. So, I encourage everyone to take those individual voices, mine was my momma's, and make them start saying these things…
"Phone down, eyes up."