Brought to you by our Director of Training, Scott Marshall and The Safe Driver.
Throughout social media, many of you may have seen or heard the line “You only had one job”. It often came up when someone made a simple, yet unreasonable error. I do think of that when it comes to drivers. When you get behind the wheel you only have one job – to allow you and your passengers to safely reach your destination. Trying to do more than one job at a time doesn’t always work out as well as many may think. This is especially true when it comes to distracted driving.
Can you imagine other occupations where the individual would constantly keep checking their phone while they did their job? How safe would you feel if an airline pilot was texting while they were trying to land the plane? Would you be all upset if you found out they were texting while flying? Would you feel at risk? Of course you would and you would file a formal complaint because you knew your life was at risk.
What if you were put under anesthesia during an operation and while the surgeon was doing their finest work, they answered text messages. Would you be upset once you found out? Would you be concerned if they did the surgical procedure correctly? Of course you would and you would file a formal complaint, perhaps enough to get them barred from practising medicine again.
Could you picture fire fighters standing around texting instead of fighting the fire in your home? What if you were trapped on the second story of your home with flames getting near and the fire fighter stopped their climb up the ladder to check text messages or social media, would you be appalled? It would be shocking if you saw this or found out this happened and you lost your home and all of its contents.
If you believe these comments are out of line, think again. Their job is to help others. Whether it’s to help others continue their way of life or to help others reach their destination such as a pilot, they all have one job. So do you when you’re driving your vehicle. You have one job – driving. Sure, you may look at it as something that is mundane and not life or death, but in reality, it IS about life or death.
To give you just a few examples; in the US in 2016, there were roughly 40,000 fatalities involving motor vehicles. That doesn’t include another roughly 4.6 million people who were seriously injured. This comes from the National Safety Council (NSC) http://www.nsc.org/NewsDocuments/2017/12-month-estimates.pdf. Canada also had enough fatalities due to motor vehicle collisions that should make drivers take driving a little more serious. There were almost 1900 fatalities and over 160,000 injuries in 2015. https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/motorvehiclesafety/tp-tp3322-2015-1487.html In the UK, the fatalities associated to motor vehicles in 2016 rose to almost 1800 and injuries were at roughly 180,000. It should be enough to take driving seriously. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/648082/rrcgb2016-02.pdf.
So, tell me again how your ability to drive doesn’t affect anyone else’s life? When you’re driving, you only have one job – driving. When you’re sitting behind the wheel, put all other “jobs” away and focus on the one job at hand; driving. It’s the only way to lower those alarming statistics.