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Let’s Rely on Safety to Shape the New Normal

In many states, COVID-19 restrictions have been eased. Restaurants, retail shops, offices and plants are beginning to re-open. Employees are going back to work. Let’s pull together to ensure the new normal is different than the old normal.

Just as there are many public health safety issues yet to tackle, there are a number of transportation safety challenges to confront as the roads once again become more congested. Many personal cars and fleet vehicles have been sitting idle for more than 30 days. Vehicle maintenance should be a part of every safety plan. Safer cars = safer roads.

Be sure to keep up-to-date on:

  • Tune-ups
  • Oil changes
  • Battery checks
  • Tire rotations

Many drivers have been sitting idle, too. What is they say about your skill set? If you don’t use it, you lose it? Make sure to review driving basics and have answers to questions such as these:

  • How does summer heat affect my car or truck?
  • What do these two things have in common – your boss and your vehicle dashboard?

I can help if you are stumped by that second question. The answer is both can deliver safety messages that should not be ignored.

Our world looks different. The rules of the road have not changed. Mental distractions have taken hold because of worries over items all of us have taken for granted, chief among them our health, our jobs and the security that comes from having a roof over our heads and food on the table.

Many have lost loved ones to coronavirus. Nobody should lose a family member, friend or co-worker in a crash. You cannot drive safely if your mind is engaged elsewhere. Find ways to practice mindfulness, so you are present when you drive.

You should maintain 100% attention on the road 100% of the time. This is our chance to apply a fresh coat of paint on the new normal. Buckle up. Every person, every seat, every time. I like to use this hashtag in communications: #DriveSafe365.

As the COVID-19 lockdown ends, let’s not just get back on the saddle. Let’s resolve to ride tall in the saddle because we have a firm grip on the safety reins.

– Lisa Robinson is a senior program manager at the National Safety Council

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