Thursday, April 14, 2011


A friend shared his experience of going skiing for the first time. When he exited the ski lift at the top of a run, he encountered a sign, most likely posted on the advice of a well-intentioned lawyer. The sign read:


My friend commented that upon seeing this message he thought, "this should be on the wristband of every newborn as they leave the hospital."

How true! As parents we need constant reminders that unseen obstacles and unknown hazards do indeed exist at every stage of development, for both our children and for ourselves as parents.

I think of this as it applies to granting a license to drive to a teenager, or a new driver of any age. This warning of unseen obstacles and unknown hazards existing as we venture on to roadways each day is one that should be etched into every dashboard as a reminder that there is much that we do not control when behind the wheel - especially the driving behavior of others.

However, when we have knowledge - such as this warning - we also have the opportunity, or responsibility, to do all that is in our power to do, to heed the warning and adjust our driving behaviors accordingly. What it comes down to is simple; traffic laws are basically written with knowledge that unseen obstacles and unknown hazards exist each and every time we get behind the wheel. With this in mind, we can act on this knowledge by:

-Obeying speed limits in all speed zones, and going slower whenever we encounter pedestrians, bicyclists, and children playing.
-Creating space between our own vehicle and those around us. After all, we are not actually in a race, so it's okay to create space. The life saved may be our own.
-Buckle up every trip, every time, no matter the distance. And make sure all passengers do the same. There are only 2 questions to ask and answer when it comes to buckling up:

1. Who do you love?
2. Who loves you?

It's all about relationships - preserving these relationships with our loved ones. That's what makes the ultimate difference at the end of each day.

-Be Aware! Drive With Care - Don't engage in distractions while driving - this means all cell phone use, eating, fiddling with technology of any kind, personal grooming, allowing pets to ride on our laps (and certainly children as well).
-Stop completely at each and every stop sign (Stop! Take 3 To See)
-Stop at stop lights
-Don't drink and drive or ride with a driver who has been drinking.

Practicing these behaviors allows us the presence of mind and sight to deal with the unseen obstacles and unknown hazards that routinely pop up out of nowhere whenever we drive. Knowing this, and responding accordingly, allows us to heed the warning, knowing that unseen obstacles and unknown hazards are to be expected. Let each of us drive as if we embrace this truth, just as we look forward to returning home from each and every trip to embrace the ones we love.

"Don't let the 2 minutes you 'save' be the last 2 minutes of someone's life." David Townsend - Tia's dad.

In safety,
Tom Everson
Keep Kids Alive Drive 25

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