Because of COVID-19, my life looks different today than it did yesterday. I would imagine almost everyone’s life – everyone’s world, in fact – is somewhat different than it was just a couple of months ago. No one could have predicted how quickly this pandemic would spread, nor how much it would mirror a rollover car crash in the sense that it has turned almost everything we do upside down.
Crashes happen in a blink of an eye and have many of the same life-altering effects as this virus, not only for the victims, but also their loved ones. As we focus on our health and how we return to work, we also should focus on items we once took for granted, such as driving, and view them through a different lens. I think we can agree road safety should move up a level or two in our hierarchy of what’s perceived as important.
I tend to view things through a safety lens, whether the task is driving or something else involving work or my personal life. What lens do you use? How can you take advantage of these circumstances to build a better tomorrow? Let me suggest you double-down on safer driving choices and work to promote safe driving behaviors during meetings or conversations with friends and co-workers.
We know that total injury costs from crashes drain hundreds of billions of dollars from the U.S. economy annually, including medical expenses, wage and productivity losses. Now more than ever, I see this as a needless waste, and as we try to find our way moving forward, I see an opportunity for change.
When you are a passenger, let me suggest that co-pilot rights become a part of your mantra.
- Prevent distraction for the driver: Set the GPS, operate the radio and climate controls.
- Speak up: If you see something (another vehicle lurking in the driver’s blindspot?), say something.
Get our free poster and share it in an e-blast or on your social channels: Co-Pilot Rights.
Slow down. Live in the moment. There is no need to rush on a long-haul delivery, to-and-from work or while out running errands. Driving too fast makes it harder to react in dangerous situations and increases the force of impact during crashes. Buckle up – every person, every seat, every time. It’s your best defense against an impaired driver. Talk about risks associated with fatigue and the importance of sleep-health.
Losing two hours of sleep is similar to the effect of having three beers. Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep to reach peak performance levels. Today, it is more important than ever you are on top of your game, whether working from home, in the office or sitting behind the wheel. Think of safety as a compass leading you on a journey. There is no reason to get lost or to even crack open the door and let more risk seep into your life.
– Lisa Robinson is a senior program manager with the National Safety Council