Make safe driving choices during National Safety Month

Speed Limit Aloha

June is National Safety Month, and it’s a good time to remind everyone to Share Roads Safely with pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. Make safe driving choices: be distraction free, avoid impairment, check your speed, rest up, and help teens and children.

I thought I’d share a personal story about driving safely. Last year, I got a speeding ticket. I won’t make any excuses. I was speeding. It was a costly mistake only in terms of the fine, but it changed my driving habits as nothing else has done. Maybe having a child shifted my priorities. Maybe those “Drive Aloha” bumper stickers stuck in my mind. Maybe I’m just older.

Today, I try to drive at the speed limit, which may annoy some drivers. I keep a bigger distance between me and the car in front of me – so that I have more time to react to sudden stops, and to let other cars merge into the lane. Those two small changes in my driving habits make me feel much more relaxed when I’m on the road.

But before working on better driving habits, I had to go through five “stages” of getting a speeding ticket.

First, there was surprised chagrin: “Was I really going that fast?” I knew I wasn’t paying attention to the speed limit, because I drive that road so often. Second, there was half-hearted wheedling: “Couldn’t I just get a warning?” Not every infraction has to end up with a ticket. Third, there was the mumbling admission: “I got a speeding ticket. How much was it? (Mumble) dollars.” Fourth, there was petty revenge: “I’ll drive at the speed limit, and everyone behind me has to slow down and feel the pain.” At last, I reached acceptance: “I’m not in a rush. A few minutes won’t make a difference.”

How safe are your driving habits? Do you have a long commute to work or school every day?

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