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Summer Safety Success for You and Your Family

This summer can become a great memory or a terrible tragedy.  Research shows that the more families will create some wonderful memories while some will experience tragic accidents on the road to and from vacation.  I would like to take this opportunity to tell you that you can help reduce the risk by mitigating the hazard that can lead to unwanted memories.

Before anything else, preparation is the key to success. ~ Alexander Graham Bell

Traveling to and from vacation spots can become hazardous because many trips will begin after a hard day of work.  The day is hard because you have all the last minute issues to complete so that you can enjoy the trip.  You know the drill.  Everything is packed up in the camper, RV, boat, or car ready for the break away to the open road.  Kids are excited, mom and dad have been promoting this getaway for months.  Mom and Dad may be working all day and spent half the night getting packed and are already tired.  With this kind of activity comes a lot of adrenaline and ultimately a crash physically.

You can already imagine where I am headed with this narrative.  You are now on the road and everyone is either sleeping, texting, or playing video games and you are driving.  Soon the lines in the highway begin to put you in a trance.  This is when you wake up because drifted off the road and the wake-up slots cut in the road shock you back to reality.  Not all roads have these hazard warning devices to bring the driver back to consciousness.

Years ago we left on a ski trip to Breckenridge Colorado.  We left Tulsa at 3:00 PM and headed north to Salina Kansas, then on to Colby Kansas where we would stay the night.  From there our plan was to arrive before noon the next day, check-in to the condo and begin to ski.  The trip was almost over when we were between Salina and Colby.  By longtime friend was driving and I was navigator in the right seat.  We had been talking but the road was taking it’s toll and conversations stopped.  As we road along I noticed that the vehicle was drifting to the left.  I looked over and my friend was sitting straight up and driving but his eyes were closed.

Knowing that he might over react when suddenly awaken I leaned over and held the wheel turning it back to the right slowly.  Then I calmly said his name and his eyes opened slowly… at first.  When he realized what was happening he tried to whip the steering wheel.  Its easy to see that we could have driven on to Breckenridge the rest of the night without him falling asleep.

When preparing to travel to you vacation destination, make sure you mitigate the hazards.  Get some rest and plan frequent stops along the road.  Your journey may take an hour more but the goal is to make it without incident.  Remember this is a vacation and not a marathon. Yes the kids may want to get there quicker, but if you plan a stop that includes a swimming pool at the hotel they will likely have great memories.

Make it a safe journey and enjoy some much-needed time off this summer.

Be Safe!

Carl Potter


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