Last weekend, I watched one of my favorite movies, “Top Gun,” twice! If you haven’t watched it, there is some great classic music…including Otis Reading’s “Sitting by the Dock of the Bay,” the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling.” I know at least a few of you are humming along now. The movie has the typical plot: a little romance and a big, personal crisis. Tom Cruise plays the role of Maverick, the pilot who is expanding his skills and in the course of learning, there is a tragic accident. The Navy then must measure, was this Maverick’s mistake. The life of Maverick’s partner and a very expensive plane have been lost. He is found not guilty but suffers with guilt.
This movie reminded me of the story I heard about a US company. As a consultant was waiting to meet with a leadership team, the team was reeling from the death of a worker at the plant that morning. The consultant learned that the job was considered “dangerous.” Maybe, they thought, they could set the goal to have fewer people die next year. The consultant was struck speechless. Why not set the goal to be that 100% of the workers were safe.
Accidents, by definition, should not include events where, if we knew better, it wouldn’t have happened. Accidents should be a place to learn, to study to see if there is some way we can influence the future. Otherwise we should all be doing our best today to avoid the unnecessary mistakes we sometimes call accidents.
For example, we know that it we drive too fast, and the car in front of us brakes hard, we are likely to hit them. So the lesson would be don’t drive too close or too fast. Here is a set of letters and prevention strategies for drivers everywhere. To help you remember them, I have given you a sentence:
All Good Kids Love Milk.
A: Aim high in steering. Look ahead to see what is happening. You may need to slow down or move soon.
G: Get the big picture. Keep at least seven seconds between you and the vehicle in front. Use your mirrors.
K: Keep your eyes moving. Don’t focus on one object. You may daydream or act on autopilot instead of being prepared for the unexpected.
L: Leave yourself an out. Think space cushion (in case someone does something out of the blue, you can escape).
M: Make sure they see you. Use your turn signal. Are your lights on? Use the horn as needed.
The goal for KenCrest vehicle safety is to reach 100%. For more information on these concepts click here: 5 Defensive Driving Strategies To Become A Safer, Smarter Driver — YouTube
All drivers should plan their routes, anticipate weather changes, drive with caution, pay close attention to changes in traffic, and avoid hard braking incidents. All of these actions help to reduce major accidents and save on fuel costs. Studies say that people are able to save an extra three miles per gallon by eliminating hard braking and quick acceleration. Driving with care will also reduce unnecessary wear and tear to our vehicles’ brakes and tires. Most importantly, by following this guidance, everyone in our vehicles are safer in reaching their destinations.
When it comes to driving, picking the number of accidents we want to have each year, it’s easy: ZERO. Drive within the speed limit, avoid hard braking or quick acceleration, and pay attention. If we do those things, we can achieve our goal of ZERO accidents. As we think about our goal for safety, let’s be on the lookout for other commitments we can make to the number which gives us all equal opportunity and security.