This week is National Safe Driving Week in Canada. You might ask, what’s the point? We drive every day, and we need to drive safely all the time. Why does the Canada Safety Council need to give a name to the first seven days of December 2014?
Any daily task becomes automatic. If you commute to work, it becomes easy to pull onto the road and ply the same route every day on autopilot, heedless of the fact that the world around you is not on autopilot – it changes. New hazards, new distractions, new events compete for our attention and surprise us. Which is why National Safe Driving Week is here: to remind us of the lives we hold in our hands when we drive. As the CSC says:
“In the rush from Point A to Point B, we may not always be mindful of the responsibility involved in piloting two tons of moving steel, glass and plastic. Given the potentially deadly consequences of doing a poor job, doesn’t it make sense to bring your best self to the task?”
This year National Safe Driving week is focusing on the effects of marijuana, one of the drugs most frequently involved in deadly road crashes. The CSC wants you to know that:
- Marijuana might make you drive slower, but your reaction times are also slower, and your perceptions and judgments will be impaired.
- Marijuana amplifies the impairing effects of alcohol and other drugs.
- It’s illegal to operate a vehicle if impaired by any drug, legal or not, prescription or over-the-counter.
If you do nothing else this week, give a thought to the potentially lethal power of the machine that you are operating. Are you doing your best to drive safely? Are you speeding, running red lights, or taking other shortcuts that could – if only one time in a thousand – cause a crash?
If you are, here’s your chance to make Canada a little safer. Slow down, drive defensively rather than aggressively, and of course, do not drink and drive. It only takes a little thought to understand the importance of safe driving. And this is the week to start thinking that way.