Drive like you give a damn

Brought to you by our Director of Training, Scott Marshall and The Safe Driver.

Growing up, I could tell which teachers I had in school cared that we understood what they taught and which coaches I had also cared about their role in our sporting lives. If I knew the phrase as a young person, I would have said they give a damn. This was reinforced often enough to me that I took it into my adult life. It’s with me in my job, as a parent and every time I drive. When you drive the way you do, is it because you give a damn?

If you really think about it, most serious injuries or fatalities from motor vehicle crashes are based on driver decisions. The driver decided to focus on something other than driving, they were too tired to drive yet they drove anyway, they were in a hurry and expected others to get out of their way or perhaps they thought they could drive after drinking. After all, who would find out, right? Wrong.

As Canadians, we’re perceived as being polite. If we bump into someone we say “sorry”. If someone bumps into us, we also say “sorry”. We’re seen as polite people. But why does all this change when we get behind the wheel? And it’s not just Canadians. It’s the entire driving population as a whole. There’s a lot of selfishness on our roads. It’s time to think about the safety of other road users and drive like we give a damn.

As drivers we have to think of the big picture. It’s not about getting caught, getting a ticket or a warning. It’s about how your actions could affect other people. Putting the shoe on the other foot really helps here. Oh, and driving like this could also mean your own vehicle which you really like, gets all banged up. Deep down you know that weaving in and out of traffic to get ahead only saves you a few seconds – maybe. Deep down you know that tailgating won’t get you to your destination any sooner.

Deep down if you get a ticket now, you know it can increase your insurance premiums for a long time. Deep down you know your family would be very upset if you got injured – or worse – from a traffic crash your actions caused. Deep down, you know your aggressive driving behaviour can lead to a collision. Deep down you know your driving actions could lead to injury or death of an innocent person. Many drivers know all of this, but they’ll do it anyway. Drivers, it’s time to give a damn.

Take a moment to think about what you do behind the wheel. Driving like you give a damn means there’s less of a chance you would be injured. Driving like you give a damn often means you’ll position your vehicle in traffic that can protect you and your vehicle the most from being involved in a collision. Drive like you give a damn means you’ll get there when you get there even though you’re running late. Being angry or annoyed is an emotion, but you can only control so much.

Driving like you give a damn means you not only care about yourself, but those around you. You want others to succeed, just like our teachers and coaches from our youth wanted. Driving with a negative attitude may mean your actions caused someone else to not get home to see their family. And be honest; you want other road users to drive in such a way to not affect you, so why don’t you drive the same way…like you give a damn about you, your family and others.