15 September, 2009

A tip that can save lives... perhaps yours

I heard today about a guy who was killed in an automobile accident just hours before he was to get married. In fact, guests who arrived for the wedding were witnesses to a memorial service instead. We can not begin to imagine the shock, the sadness and heartbreak people have endured as a result of this tragedy.

It appears that the accident occurred because some idiot ran a light at an intersection and T-boned the car in which the groom was riding. Unfortunately, the groom was not wearing his seatbelt and on impact was ejected from the car. Yes, my message could be about the importance of wearing seatbelts; a message, of course, which is still ignored by many no matter how many times they hear it.

But there is another important element of the accident I just described which is routinely overlooked. It has to do with traffic lights. Red of course means "stop" and green means "go". Even preschoolers know this, right? It is the code that drivers follow. Unfortunately, what needs to be taught is the fact that while green may present an opportunity to proceed, A GREEN LIGHT DOES NOT GUARANTEE THAT THE INTERSECTION IS CLEAR!

Look both ways until you are absolutely sure that it is safe to proceed through an intersection. (Notice―preferably when you are a passenger and not driving―just how many people are on the gas in a split second and moving as soon as a light turns green, without having first moved their head even slightly to their right and left. On most days this seems to be nearly everyone.). Turn your head and look...to the right and left...until you are absolutely certain it is safe to move ahead. Don't rely on your peripheral vision, no matter how good you think it is.

And don't rely on any gadgets to warn you of hazards. I see now where at least one car manufacturer has come up with a warning light for your side mirror, to show when there is something in your blind spot. How ridiculous! When all you have to do to check your blind spot is move slightly forward in your seat when you glance in the side mirror. I do this without fail EVERY time before I change lanes. Rely on yourself, not some electro-mechanical gadget that is eventually going to fail, anyhow. Be safe...is it not worth the effort?

And when Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Uncle Fred, a friend, a cab driver, bus driver, or whoever, snap at you, because you pointed out that you did not see them check both ways when the light turned green, be comforted by the fact that you have said something, not to be a smart ass, but solely in the interest of saving lives. Sometimes it is good to be annoying... in fact, it might even be perfect.



~PITTSBURGH starts with PITT!~







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