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Roses Are Red, Crashes Turn Me Blue; Road Safety is Sweet and So Are You!

Chocolates and flowers are two traditional Valentine’s Day gifts. Want to break from tradition this year? Why not give the gift of road safety?

Frame the discussion at your workplace like this: Love your loved ones enough to …

  • Buckle up: Every person, every seat, every time
  • Silence your phone: Calls and texts can wait
  • Stay alive: Don’t drink and drive
  • Get enough sleep: Fatigued driving is impaired driving
  • Drive to conditions: Normal speed meets every need

Co-workers, friends and relatives typically celebrate special occasions by going to dinner or a movie. Going = driving. And driving is one of the riskiest things we all do every day. One person is killed every two hours, one person is injured every two minutes and one reportable crash occurs every 58 seconds on Texas roads.

Prepare for date-night road safety with my five-point checklist:

  1. Schedule an eye exam: Night vision is the ability to see well in low-light conditions. A 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year-old.
  2. Be an active co-pilot: Program the GPS, pick a radio station or music playlist, watch for traffic signs and landmarks to prevent driver distraction as you travel.
  3. Combine words with action: In a survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than 1 in 8 drivers admitted to driving when close to or over the legal limit in the past year, despite believing that drunk driving poses a serious threat. Impairment begins with the first drink. After two or three drinks, which corresponds to a BAC of .05 for most adults, drivers are at a 40% higher crash risk than drivers who are sober. Plan ahead for a safe ride home.
  4. Cool your jets: Speed was a contributing factor in nearly 28,000 crashes in Texas in 2018. That’s more than 75 crashes every day. Your date is counting on you to make good on that reservation.
  5. Spread the love: Be sure to show your car a little tender loving care, too. Make sure regular maintenance such as tuneups, oil changes, battery checks and tire rotations are up to date.

I love chocolates and flowers. But I can live without them. I also love my husband and my kids. But I can’t live without them, not even for a minute.

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

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