Safety in Today’s Hurried Environment


(2/19/2006)

What a wonderful world we live in today. The competition to succeed is overwhelming, and many of us get caught up in the race. I believe it's not just the competition to succeed that keeps us running from one place to the next" it's sometimes just the normal tasks to ‘get through the day'. Have you ever found yourself rushing to get something done? Something that is important to you? Of course! We all have.

Now, think about this".How many times have you used your vehicle during this "rushed" time? I'd say many of us have. We see these people do many unsafe things while they are trying to keep up with the world. It is often funny to hear the reasons why people are rushed. We in law enforcement hear them all the time. The reason may be of great importance to one person, while the next person could care less if it got done or not. The bottom line, there in no reason, no valid reason at all, to put yourself or other people at risk because you are a "little behind" in your day.

The basic truth is: we all get caught up in this busy world once in a while. Now that we can recognize that, and maybe even admit to it, what do we do about it? First, we should recognize WHO is affected by our sometimes insensitive and selfish urgencies behind the wheel. The answer is: you, your passengers, and innocent bystanders, pedestrians, and other drivers.

Getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of today's world can have many negative consequences. Are you breaking the law? Police officers have pulled people over who were rushing (obvious by driving too fast or not fully stopping at stop signs), driving aggressively, or very distracted. If you are in a hurry or running late, getting pulled over will only make you very late. Is that worth the risk? Then, the officer will probably talk with you about your unsafe actions, and point out that your driving antics can be deadly. Many times the driver will admit "I know".I wasn't thinking." Then another question: Are you going to get a ticket? Are you ready then for fines, money, or court? All because you were in a hurry.

Let's move to other consequences. Do you have any passengers? Are they friends, co-workers, or your own family? What are you showing them? Should you be a role model? "especially towards your family? How about keeping them safe? It is your responsibility, as a driver, to keep your passengers safe. I have seen many examples where a driver got into a wreck and injured a passenger or another person. Sometimes it can be shown that the driver was being unsafe (in a hurry, driving aggressively or distracted). Are you ready to deal with the feelings that will come if it was your fault? All because you were in a hurry.

Were you wearing your seatbelt? Were your passengers wearing a seatbelt? This should be a no-brainer. However, I am amazed at the people I still see driving around not wearing a seatbelt. If you see someone in a vehicle not wearing their seatbelt, do them a favor and ask that they put it on. Click-it! It could save their live.

Be watchful for other people, bystanders, pedestrians, and other vehicles. A good rule of thumb: EXPECT that someone may walk out in front of you, or pull their vehicle out in front of you. If you drive watching out for other people, you will find that you can't drive too fast. You are too busy being safe.

Follow some simple rules: 1) Drive the speed limit, no matter if you are late or not. 2) Do your best to do things on time, or ahead of time. Be a step ahead of the world. 3) Always wear your seatbelt, along with everyone else in the vehicle you are in. Children should be in properly installed car seats. 4) GET OFF THE CEL PHONE. Pull over to the side of the road when chatting. This can be very distracting for any driver, and a new law even supports the dangers, which prohibits anyone with a provisional drives license (under 18) from using a cellular device while operating a vehicle. 5) Drive with your headlights on, at any time of the day. This will make you more noticeable when on the road. 6) Do not drive after using alcohol, or any other drugs (including prescriptions) 7) Be aware!

If you find yourself in a hurry, or being rushed for whatever reason, be aware of the extra pressure you are under. Keep focus on your driving, and not on all of the things you have going on in your day. It is very easy to believe that you will not get into an accident, or cause one, or whatever. You will certainly and quickly be made VERY aware of if you do get into an accident. All because you were in a hurry.

 

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