IMPROVE DRIVING - DEEP-SIX THE "S"ES

The automobile is a possession today that most individuals and families would find it hard to do without. Whether it is used for going to and from work, going shopping, family outings, evening outings/date nights, running errands, acting as a "taxi" to ferry kids to and from various activities, visiting family/friends, recreation and vacations, etc., the automobile is an integral part of our everyday living and all of us who own a car know how valuable it is for us. In order that we all may continue to use our cars it is imperative to have SAFE driving habits and to incorporate them EACH AND EVERY time that we get behind the wheel of our cars. Hence the reason for this post from the North Tonawanda Neighborhood (NTNW) group.

Why from our NTNW group; why from us? As a neighborhood watch group we want the very best for all of our citizens all of the time no matter where they are or what activity they are engaging in at any given time during the year. Keeping our NT citizens safe is one of our priorities! And that is true whether we as NT citizens are in our homes, at work, walking/running in our parks and on our sidewalks, simply being a pedestrian, recreating in our parks, in general, just plain being out and about in our city. AND THIS INCLUDES DRIVING OUR AUTOMOBILES!

Some people advocate that there are very few occurrences which can be truly labeled as car accidents! They argue they are acts of driving carelessness! (For the remainder of this article we will use "acts of driving carelessness" in place of the word "accidents.") These people will argue that many "accidents" are totally avoidable if we only slow down, take the time think clearly about what we are doing, and as importantly, be mindful of our driving actions and how they impact other drivers/pedestrians. Whether or not you agree, let us explore this thought, and let us first note that the word "carelessness" has the letter "s" four times in its spelling.

One "s" is for speed. Excessive speed kills, and it is one of the biggest contributing factors for many "acts of driving carelessness." NTNW advocates to always follow the speed limit; you certainly do not want to harm/kill yourself, nor do you want to do the same to any passengers in your car or pedestrians that you may hit; you simply do not want to be responsible for their injury or death. PLEASE OBEY THE POSTED SPEED SIGNS AT ALL TIMES! Let us work to keep our NT citizens safe at all times!

Another "s" is for sobriety; driving under the influence of anything impairs your reasoning and safe driving ability. We hear far too many news stories where excessive drinking or other bodily impairment was instrumental in "acts of driving carelessness." PLEASE (and how many times do we hear this every day in our society) DO NOT DRIVE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ANY SUBSTANCE! Let us work to keep our NT citizens safe at all times!

A third "s" is for stubbornness. There are times when we just "won't give in." Maybe it's not yielding the right of way; maybe it's a need that you always must go first, like not letting a pedestrian cross in a walkway before you proceed; maybe you do not let a driver pull safely in front of you - it being for a simple lane change or in order to access an on or off ramp; whatever the situation may be. Being less stubborn behind the wheel will most likely facilitate for the safer flow of traffic. BE KIND BEHIND THE WHEEL. Let us work to keep our NT citizens safe at all times!

The fourth "s" is for sleepiness. Driving while tired is an invitation for an "act of driving carelessness." Whatever you may need to safely do in order to not nod off behind the wheel will save injuries and maybe deaths - for yourself and others. Drive wide-eyed...save lives! Let us work to keep our NT citizens safe at all times!

To conclude, some add a fifth "s" to "carelessness" and transform that word into the "word" "carelessnesses," this fifth/final "s" representing senseless. Often times many of our decisions made behind the wheel of a car are just plain not well thought out - they are sadly - senseless. In fact, some have even characterized them as (a 6th "s") decisions grounded in "stupidity." If we as NT drivers could do all in our power to eliminate these "senseless" decisions, we will reap driving safety benefits in our city. Let us work to keep our NT citizens safe at all times!

Yes, some people will say that there are very few occurrences which can be truly labeled as car "accidents", and that many of these "accidents," i.e. "acts of driving carelessness," are acts that are consciously brought about by poor, maybe intentional, not-well-thought-out thinking.

Whatever the case may be as to how we refer to these "accidents," let us all work diligently each day to make our driving the very best that it can be and strive to eliminate "acts of driving carelessness," thus helping to make NT the safest motoring city in the nation. It's doable; it will take commitment and concentration, but...it's doable, and we NT driving citizens are more than up for the challenge and we are the ones who will benefit! And as trite, but true, as it is, the lives we save may be those of our own residents right here in our city! PRICELESS!

As mentioned above, let each of us, each and every time we get behind the wheel of our car, slow down, think clearly and be mindful of only safe driving practices.

A short note to all moms and dads, we respectfully implore you to kindly consider the following. If you have teenage or young adult drivers in your household and you believe that this article or any parts of it may have some value that you may want to share with those younger drivers, might you please consider to do so? Simply having them read this article and then engaging in a conversation pertaining to specifics mentioned in it may just be some of the best instructional time you spend with them in the hope of helping them to avoid "acts of driving carelessness." It is much better to be proactive before a possible "act of driving carelessness" than to be reactive after such an occurrence and then having to deal with the consequences/aftermath. And similar to as mentioned above, the lives we save with a heartfelt discussion may be those of your own children!

The NTNW wants each NT citizen to be safe AT ALL TIMES EVERYWHERE!

Thank you for taking the time to read the above.

For comments you may reach NTNW at 694-4492 and for more information regarding the North Tonawanda Neighborhood Watch group, please visit our web-site page at ntwatch.org.