My Holiday Wish List Closing Out 2020
By: Gavin Gill | Tennessee Regional Manager
Tis the season for wish lists. For wants to become asks. For dreams to become goals. As a child, I remember sitting at my kitchen table on Thanksgiving with my pen and paper, writing down everything I wanted for the Holidays. When I could not write, I remember taking all of the store magazines in the newspaper and with my marker that my parents gave me, would circle all the toys I wanted. The feeling of writing those items down, some that I knew was never going to happen, and some I knew would be obtainable.
The wish list was the starting point to where I was heading in the new year. Was I moving from wanting Power Ranger action figures to more mature hobbies? Was I asking for G rated movies or moving big time to PG or PG-13 rated films? These lists envisioned growth and maturity in me and where I was heading.
As we are one week away from the Holiday season, where kids worldwide are making a list of gifts for the loved ones to buy them. I wanted to take the time to make a wish list for this next year related to traffic safety. The year 2020 has brought many obstacles, many discussions, and a lot of new technology, but the one thing that stays the same is making sure people get from Point A to Point B safely. But not just for them, but for their passengers and everyone around them. These four wishes can save lives, but more importantly, make the roads safer.
1. Drivers would NOT drive IMPAIRED
A life is lost approximately every 50 minutes due to drunk driving. (Source CDC) Driving drunk is not just dangerous for the driver, but what about the potential car they hit full of people. Or what about the people they run over due to drunk driving. Drunk driving is not the only impaired driving on the rise across the country, so is drugged driving. 16% of motor vehicle crashes have drugs (legal or illegal) involved (Source CDC). Impaired driving is not and will never be safe for the driver or anyone in the impaired driver area. Numerous things can go wrong when getting behind the car impaired, so my wish to make the roads safer is not to drive impaired, drunk, or drugged.
2. Drivers would NOT drive DISTRACTED
In today’s world filled with distractions, a temptation to drive distraction is a large mountain to climb. Technology in the palm of our hands every day at all times is a pro and a con. The pro is that we are in a world built on the up-and-coming technology that will make tasks more manageable and more reachable. The con is that we have become so accessible that we have an urge to read texts when they first come, check social media regularly, or answer your friend or relative that is FaceTiming you. The reality is that people are choosing to partake in all these activities behind the wheel of a car. Which is dangerous for the driver and innocent bystanders. 1 in 5 of the people who died in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2018 was not in the vehicle (Source CDC). Driving distraction-free is another wish this holiday season to help make the roads safer.
3. Drivers would NOT drive DROWSY
As the world has normalized, “should you be driving due to drinking?” We need to normalize the question, “are you awake enough to drive?” Driving drowsy behind the wheel of a car has claimed so lives that, just like the others, are not only the drivers. Every year there are about 1.2 million reported drowsy-driving crashes (Source NHTSA). Sleeping is a vital part of making sure that you are cognitively aware of everything going on the road. When you are driving tired cognitively, you will not be as alert if you got a healthy 7 hours of sleep. Do not get behind the wheel of a car if you cannot keep your eyelids from shutting is another wish to make the roads safer this holiday season.
Food for Thought…
Think about a world if these three wishes became a reality. Think about how much safer the roads would be. Think about how many reported crashes would be significantly decreased. That is the world I would love to drive in one day. But what is that going to take? It will take everyone that gets behind the wheel of a car. Everyone to understand when not to drive. Everyone knows when to call someone. Everyone to take sleep seriously. This world of safer roads takes everyone. As I close this out, I ask one last question….
Is that a world you want to drive in? It depends on you!