Store an Image of Driver Safety in Your Minds

February 3, 2021

This picture hits me every time I see it. One word comes to mind: Powerful. This picture tells me there are lives on the line, and families will be impacted because of a poor driving choice.

It seems every day we hear about an impaired-driving crash, a wrong-way driver incident or pedestrian and bicycle fatalities. We seem to accept this as the norm. My question to you is, “Why?”

We are the drivers.  You can’t control other drivers, but you can control your own choices as a driver.

Many people who have been impacted by a crash are affected for life and have a story to share.

Safety leaders who have experienced employee loss also share how deeply they are impacted and how they don’t want to have that experience again.

Why does it take such a painful, personal experience to affect us to take charge of our choices and affect others around us?

I truly am curious how we can get to zero. What can each of us do? Employers can be a big part of the safety solution. A strong driver and transportation safety program transcends into off-the-job behavior and trickles down to your employees’ families and into your communities.

Employers can influence good driving among employees in positive ways. Co-workers are great copilots! Little things, such as a seat belt policy, one that ensures safety for every passenger in every seat and on every ride, can lead to big changes.

How about thinking of safety 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and using a hashtag #drivesafe365 to mark your commitment on social media? Driving safety isn’t just an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. thing; it is a 24-7 commitment to making safety a priority when you are behind the wheel.

Influence those around you to also think of safety first by planning how you will get home before you go out. Don’t let anyone drive impaired, and certainly don’t ride with distracted or impaired drivers. Encourage vulnerable road users to wear clothing that helps them to be noticed by motorists. My list could go on and on, but I will leave you here and hope you will add to my list.

The emotions I experience as I look at this picture are powerful. I think of the people in the crash, the families who may not see their loved ones again and the first-responders haunted by incidents like this.

As I end this blog, I have one more thing to share: the first-responder pictured here is my son. Many emotions were stirred deep inside of me when I came across this picture the first time. Now, each time I look at it, it reminds me that I have a responsibility to make driving a priority, always.

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

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