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Get Your Best Night of Sleep, But Don’t Try This on the Road

Q: How can I settle into better sleep at night this fall?

A: Sleep masks are the perfect way to block out distracting light and drift off to blissful dreams. Unfortunately, too many people try to drive while wearing one.

We don’t mean literally. But the same way sleep masks prevent your eyes from receiving light, looking at your phone while driving prevents your mind from perceiving critical details, like the tractor-trailer braking in front of you or a curve in the road ahead.

In fact, every time you glance at your phone while driving, you’ve strapped a virtual blindfold to your head.

Driving at posted highway speeds, you’ll travel about 513 feet – more than the length of a football field – without seeing the objects you pass as you read a text.

Factor in pushing your speedometer a mile or two over the speed limit, your own reaction times and vehicle stopping distances, and you’ve turned sweet dreams into nightmares.

That’s why Texas passed a law in 2017 that bans drivers from reading, writing or sending electronic messages while their cars are in motion. And it’s also why, in 2015, NTTA joined the Red Thumb campaign to spread the word about the dangers of distracted driving.

We know most drivers agree that it’s not worth the risk, but that’s easy to forget when you hear the ding of a text alert. Wearing an NTTA Red Thumb band will visibly remind you not to reach for your phone. You can also paint a fingernail red, tie a string around your wrist or simply enable a “Do Not Disturb” app on your phone to keep the temptation at bay.

If you’re interested in joining the Red Thumb campaign to help us turn distraction into determined focus, drop us a line at TollTagInsider@ntta.org. You can pick up a free Red Thumb band at any NTTA Customer Service Center.