I talk a lot about paying attention to hazards and that everybody should be aware. This is great if you can think of them when you need them, react to them and prevent an injury or other carnage.

Lets consider some things that happen in our daily lives that may seem frivolous at first. What is the most dangerous component of operating any vehicle? You, the operator, of course.  We must be competent, physically able, mentally able, without the effect of alcohol, drugs or any other stimulant. At the moment, I will not drive, not because I can’t, not because I haven’t got a licence but, because some heart doctor who knows a whole lot more than I do said so.  I’m not taking that chance. Can YOU learn anything here?

Now, I realize that all parts and pieces of vehicles need to be operating correctly in order for it to be safe but, have you ever considered what particular part(s) is the most dangerous to use? I would have to say the brakes.

Misused brakes have caused some of the most devastating heartbreaks for thousands of drivers and their families. Many happen because people react by jamming their foot on the brake when they should not be touching them at all.Many of us are capable of getting a vehicle going, winding up the speed, keeping it between the lines, and exceeding every safe driving principle that has ever been discussed.  The trouble arrives when something else comes into play and we need to stop safely.

Your vision is probably most important and then, having enough time to react to what you see. Next comes the slowing or stopping of the vehicle, considering all the facts you have such as things like, tire or other component conditions, weight of the vehicle, road conditions, weather conditions, other traffic and so on.

That’s just one of the many scenarios to living your life safely. Everything we do from getting out of bed to getting back in can have safety hazards that we have to circumvent to avoid damage or injury each day. I’ll avoid talking in-bed injuries!

So where do you begin?  In a previous article I stated: Prevent the kid from tripping over his own shoelace first and, in the worst case scenario circumstances, you may just save a life.”

Think about that for a second. Thousands of kids have run with Transforming into the Future Seminarshoelaces untied and got away with it. For the ones that didn’t, there were probably special circumstances like tripping and falling over a cliff, tripping and falling in front of a car, tripping and falling into a wood chipper. These dreamt up situations can keep getting worse and worse but, they could happen. As we can’t predict what may be coming other than, by tying up the shoelace, we can predict that the kid will not trip over it. One simple solution, if acted upon, may be all that it takes to actually save the life of your own kid. The key word there is “act”, right now.

Look at every simple thing you can find to pick out the hazards. Once you realize it’s a hazard, think about it, think what you could do to avoid or prepare for it in the future and act upon it. That carries right on up the scale to things you have to spend money on to rectify. New tires are expensive but, funerals far outweigh those costs especially, if there are several people in the crash.

If we want to stay safe and alive, then we have to be prepared to exercise the brain a bit to locate the faults that could damage us. Look at the mistakes of others to learn from them.  Look at crashes and injuries.  See if you can decipher what happened so that you can avoid it when faced with the same situation.

Sometimes, that’s the only good that comes out of horrible experiences – If you learn from it. Police reconstructionists usually respond to terrible crashes for legal purposes. To me, that’s a sick way of making lawyers wealthy. If we all could learn what not to do from these reconstructions and correct the faults for everyone before it happens again then, good may come out of it. Their reports are available but, you pay big bucks to get them.

I believe far more attention should be paid by governments to preventing future disasters than assessing blame. That’s the wrong thought process!

The millions that will be spent on the investigation and blame naming in the Humboldt Bus Crash for the benefit of legal profession could be much better spent on building a bridge over that intersection.  There are so many, cheaper things that could be done there and all other intersections that governments won’t even consider. That, to me, it is sinful. Now, there’s a place for the legal profession to shine.

Turn your mind toward prevention, utilize it and share it throughout your whole life.

Keep your people safe.

 The beauty of life is in your hands.


About the Author

Your Old Uncle Nicky’s Opinions

Nick Nicholson, is a retired safety practitioner who spent many years researching the human behaviour factors of driver and pedestrian actions. Specifically, he spent 25 of those years devoted to highway crash investigations, regulatory compliance, the design, implementation and presentation of safety programs. Nick enjoyed many hours presenting professional driver enhancement training to adult participants.

As a long time Fleet Safety Council Member (1988) and the Founding Chair (1992-1995) of Council’s Hamilton-Niagara Chapter, he presents his opinions in hopes of improving the safety knowledge of readers. Nick is a firm believer in human advancement through positive attitudes, solution thinking and the understanding that the beauty of life is always in your hands.

Old Uncle Nicky’s Opinions are his own and in no way reflect the opinions of Fleet Safety Council

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