Monday, 16 February 2015

Driving Safely

A few days ago I read of a situation of a driver driving over his toddler. This situation was outlined to me when I did an advanced drivers test some years ago. The traffic officer who outlined the situation was very strong about the fact that this can be prevented. How? That is a habit that ALL drivers need to get used to. 

The habit is of course part of the K2 style of driving which is to drive defensively and sensibly.

In the advanced drivers course we were taught that when you are about to get into your car, walk around the car the long way. As you do so, check for anything that might be interfering with the path of your car. It could be a rubbish bin, it could be an item you have forgotten to put into your car, it could be shoes or a pet or a child. Check your tyres to make sure they are still in fit condition to be driving. Check your exhaust to make sure it is still in it's correct position. Check your lights. Check your doors, the angle of your wing mirrors, in short have a very good look at everything around, next to and under your car, both the car itself and other items.

If there is anything of concern, move it away before you get into the car or take the necessary steps to rectify whatever the problem is.

If you are already driving and are coming home and about to come into your driveway, what are some ideas you can do to make sure your driveway is clear? 

Firstly, you need to know your area very well. If it is safe to park your car, get out and check your drive way, then do so. If safety is an issue, you can either call home prior to starting out on your trip and notify those at home that you are due home in 10 minutes, 20 minutes or however long it might take and to make sure the driveway is clear and all pets and children are indoors.

If you have a hands free option to call, you can call as you get a few blocks away and make sure the entrance way is clear to come in. 

Better than this, if you have an area for pets and children to play that is safely away from the driveway and preferably with a wall or gate or some barrier, make it a habit that small children, pets etc are not permitted in the line of traffic. Just like they should not be permitted on the road on their own. 

I hope this post helps to remind you of a few safety tips to make a habit if you are a driver. Remember, being in a hurry is never an excuse. It takes a few extra seconds or a minute or so to make sure nothing is in the way of your driving. Those extra seconds or minutes can be the difference between your loved one or you being in hospital or worse. 

The Rambam teaches us that prevention is better than cure. The best way to prevent accidents is to develop healthy habits that will prevent incidents of this nature from occurring. To give yourself some additional protection, I would add to put a coin in a Tzeddakah box before you set off to drive or before your Tefillah each day. As you give the Tzeddakah, ask Hashem to guide and protect you and keep you and your loved ones safe. 

Do you have any other ideas that can help to prevent an accident or injury? Would you like a talk or presentation on the topic? If so, please post your comments below or send them via my website.

This post is prepared for you by 

Occupational Therapist, Healing Facilitator
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Certified Kallah Teacher
Artist, Photographer and Author

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