Friday, November 21, 2008

Making Sense of Safety

Today we received little desktop cards listing the “Five Keys to Safe Driving.” There’s a little picture of some car keys on a ring. Guess how many? Keys to safe driving! As in car keys!! Get it?!

The actual keys, however, make no sense at all.

1. Aim High in Steering®

What does this mean? And how exactly would you go about it? It might make sense in an airplane: throttle back, there’s a mountain at 12:00! And it’s already 11:59!

But it doesn’t seem applicable in any way I can think of to driving a car – in fact, I’m pretty sure that remaining earthbound is one of the central tenets of automobile safety.

2. Get the Big Picture®

Consider the global economy. It’s not in very good shape, is it? And the automotive industry, struggling under declining sales, is a significant factor. Well, I don’t want to point fingers or anything, but the fact is that it’s entirely your fault. Look at you, all taking care of your car, changing your oil and rotating your tires and driving responsibly. I bet you even wax the damn thing.

A car will last 100K, 200K miles or even more when properly cared for. What are you trying to pull? Redline it, wear the engine out, maybe put a little sugar in the tank sometimes. Try to get in a wreck now and again. It’s the least you can do.

3. Keep Your Eyes Moving®

What, randomly? When I was learning to drive, the rule was to keep your eyes on the road. Then again, a lot has changed since the 80’s, and nobody can say that’s a bad thing. Bad is the new good, brown is the new black, 50 is the new 30; maybe dangerous is the new safe, I don’t know. So look! There’s a bird! Ooh! Was that a sale sign back there? Hey! There’s Jennifer! Here, let me find a better song on my iPod.

4. Leave Yourself An Out®

Since you stopped maintaining it, you never know when your car might suddenly overheat and explode. So always drive with your seatbelt unfastened and the door slightly ajar. Safety first!

The same principle also applies to relationships.

5. Make Sure They See You®

We can’t all drive the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile, but you could try weaving in and out of traffic, making random sudden stops for no reason, and other attention-getting moves to ensure that other drivers give you a wide berth. Either that or dress like Liberace.

Anyway, these “Five Keys to Safe Driving” were brought to us by our Occupational Safety group, and – not to suggest that I’m prone to hanging on to a grudge – these are the same folks who wouldn’t let me have the snake guy at our safety presentation last December. So I suppose it’s in character for them to distribute safety tips that make no sense at all outside the context of whatever materials they were pulled from.

“Make Sure They See You.” Not if I see them first!

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