A 3 Hour Tour

 In 2021, Tip of the Week

Back in the mid-1960’s there was a TV sitcom named Gilligan’s Island. The premise was that a tour boat captain and his hapless crewman were giving a three-hour tour of Hawaii to a group of mismatched tourists. An unexpected storm came up, and they were shipwrecked on an deserted island, where, according to how long the series lasted, they stayed for about three years. If anyone wants a little nostalgia, take a look at the show’s opening.

A year ago, we were warned of an impending pandemic. And we were all advised to stay-at-home for three weeks. The world shut down. And now we know that the advised isolation of three weeks has lasted way longer than planned (just like a certain three-hour tour)!

We are now starting to return to a new “normal.” New categories of workers were created, such as “front line” and “essential.” Some of us are returning to offices, wearing masks and staying far apart from friends and co-workers. And even those of us who don’t like needles are excited about getting vaccinated. It has become common place to start a conversation with “Have you gotten your shots yet?”

As we return to work and to “normal,” we are starting to venture back out on the highways. And we have noticed that not everyone has driven much lately or remembers how to drive safely. So we are going to focus on some driving safety pointers here. Briefly, when driving, we need to remember:

1. Turn signals. Other drivers need to be made aware that you are planning on turning or changing lanes. Especially if they will need to slow down. When driving 35 mph or less, use the turn signal at least 50 feet in advance of the change. When going faster, use your turn signal at least 100 feet before planning on making a turn.

2. Undistracted driving. It is a myth that we can multi-task. If you are skeptical, read this blog from Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/creativity-without-borders/201405/the-myth-multitasking. So put down the cell phone, sandwich, coffee, or anything else that can distract you. Ask the kiddos in the back seat to relax. And pay attention to the road and other drivers.

3. Speed. Vehicle codes, the regulations that officers use to issue citations, states that you should travel a safe speed for conditions. The signs along the streets, roads and highways use the term “speed limit.” That is the maximum speed you should be driving. But that may not be the safest speed to travel, based on weather or other conditions. Drive the safest speed for the conditions.

4. Stop and Go. Driving experts tell us that the average driver expects to go and is surprised when they have to stop. But those that have been taught safe driving techniques expect to stop and are surprised when they get to go. Expect the unexpected, pay attention to the other drivers, and you will be less surprised by having to stop, and pleasantly surprised that you are able to go.

Want to learn more? SCM’s online learning site, hazmatschool.com, has a Defensive Driving class. It takes about two hours to complete and is offered for only $20. However, through the end of March, use the discount code “safetytip” and receive an additional 10% off!

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