Saturday, July 3, 2010

Defensive Driving.

So I had to just take a Defensive Driving course back from a speeding ticket WAY earlier this year.

It was a big pain in the butt, but it was absolutely necessary information. I think it may have saved my life. I really have forgotten so many things about driving - the rules: what to do when a police car is on the side of the road, what to do if you hydroplane, Blood Alcohol Content limits, just the reason why attitudes should be adjusted on the road, and so much more.

Driving is probably the riskiest thing I do every day. It's also the area where I'm the most careless, to be absolutely candid. I fiddle with my phone. I adjust my GPS. I look in my purse for something while I'm adjusting the radio. And my attitude with driving is to get from Point A to B the fastest because I'm usually in a rush to make it on time.

The course, in a nutshell taught me empathy. It taught me that hey, the world really does not revolve around me and my desires or wishes. That people come into the car with their baggage. They are late too. They are upset. They just are pessimistic about other drivers. A litany of things. Also, drunk driving happens not to the crooks and bad people who have track records of wrongs, but it's russian roulette. You never know, it might be your first time driving with a little bit of alcohol in your system, but you may kill someone on the road. I know this stuff is heavy, but if this is what it takes to change perceptions, then I'll take it any day of the week than making another bad decision. Or on the flip side, you may be making great decisions on the road, but still be caught as a recipient of someone else's bad decision making. One of my favorite teacher's daughter left the earth this way.

And it's tragic. It hit me, like a bus, that I don't want to be caught in a situation like this. Ever. My work has instilled a huge safety culture within me, so I am definitely ready to change my behavior. I know how it feels to be caught on the wrong side of the law, and it's probably one of the worst feelings in the world. Your reputation means nothing, everything you've done in the past means nothing, just what happened in that present moment.

So I understand that I don't want to be a negative force on the road, any more than do I want to be a negative force in the world with my words and actions.

So even though the gruelling 7+ hours of driving training took a fair share of my day, it was a necessary lesson. I have been refreshed on so many things. Regulations. Rules. But most importantly, I've changed my attitudes to understand that everyone on the road is there for the same reason. We all want to make it home safe at the end of the day, to smile one more time with our families, and our friends. Please do not rob anyone of that opportunity, and don't rob it from yourselves.

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