Thursday, January 9, 2014

Hey Southeast Texas, you forgot something.

You have hit the new year on fire with a list of resolutions ranging from losing weight to finding that dream job. However, there are a few that probably did not make your list. We may be well into 2014, but that does not mean there is not room on that list for some more resolutions; these could actually save your life. Not the type to make resolutions? Then consider this some good practical advice.

1.    Resolve to let people merge onto the highway whenever possible. Start off 2014 by opening a space for that driver trying to merge into traffic. Sure, you may have the right-of-way. But moving over to the next lane makes for a much safer road not to mention some happy drivers.

2.    Resolve to put down the phone and drive. Talking on the phone without a clue as to what is around you is bad enough. But texting and driving? Reading a text takes your eyes off the road for about five seconds. Traveling at 55 m.p.h. that is like driving the length of a football field blindfolded. Enough said.

3.    Resolve to pay attention in work zones. Southeast Texas kicks off 2014 with some major construction projects along I-10 and US 69. That means you will probably travel through a work zone at least once a day. The majority of people killed or injured in work zone wrecks are motorists. Slow down. Most work zone wrecks are rear end collisions. Keep your eyes on the vehicle in front and the workers around you. Protect your family and the workers.

4.    Resolve not to tailgate. Tailgating someone hoping they will speed up or move over is a dangerous temptation. If the car in front slows even a second, you could find yourself in a pile of twisted steel. Back off. Put some space between you and the other driver. Trying to push them out of the way rarely works: It often makes the other driver even more determined to stay put.

5.    Resolve to stay calm. Driving is not a competition and you are not racing the Indy 500. Aggressive and frustrated drivers fill the highways and roads. Do not add to the mix. If someone uses that special finger to show you that you are “number one,” kindly smile and let them go. They are the one with the problem. As my wife says, “A life well-lived is the best revenge.” 

I am sure there are many more you could add to the list. However, these are some to get you started. Tape them to the refrigerator or write them on the bathroom mirror. Better yet, memorize them.
Statistics show 36% of you will give up on your resolutions after the first month for a variety of reasons. However, the ones listed above take more than resolve; they require a completely new way of thinking. They are more than just part of a wish-list. These are resolutions that just make sense.

-Marc Shepherd


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