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Safety Pet Peeves

Safety Pet Peeves—Cars edition There are two things that people do everyday around cars that drive me crazy. The first is crossing against the light or crossing busy streets at some point other than at the light. The second is people who don’t drive their cars all the way to the side of the road when they pull over. Both these everyday events are careless behaviors that can easily lead to an accident. Look at these stats on injuries. While I worked as a paramedic in the city we would hear calls for a “pedestrian struck” everyday. Usually, it was not the driver of the car that was at fault but the person who looked left and ran when they should have looked right and waited. I used to date a girlwho would continually stand one or two feet off the curb while she waited to cross the road and it always made me extremely nervous. Stand on the curb. The curb protects you. If a car cuts the corner it hits the curb-not you. Duh. Next time you are trying to cross a busy road wait the extra 30 seconds for the light to change. I know you feel silly sometimes, I do too, but it’s a good safe habit. My other safety pet peeve for this week is cars that barely pull off the road when they have to make a phone call, fix a flat, or exchange numbers with the person they just rear-ended. The number one killer of paramedics and firefighters (after heart attacks and wrecks) is getting hit by a car at an accident scene. Stopping your car along a busy road is dangerous. If you have to pull off the road pull way off the road. Give yourself and cars behind you a big safety cushion. If you ever pull off to help a stranded driver there are two things you need to do. First, position you car behind the stalled car. Second, position your car so the front end is angled 45 degrees towards the road. Then stand in front of your car at all times. Your car is now a 3000 lb shield from cars that are not paying attention to the road and drift to far over. Next time you see a cop or an ambulance at an accident scene look how they position their cars. It is not an accident that they always place their vehicles between themselves and traffic. One of the things I realized after a while working as a paramedic was that people make poor decisions that hurt themselves. Ok, sometimes a piece off the space station falls to earth and strikes some poor SOB dead, but much more frequently we hurt ourselves. Next time you are standing a few feet off the curb waiting to rush across and meet your friends for dinner think of this. Would you rather wait 30 seconds for the light to change or spend the night in the trauma bays having screws put into your hip? Off the top of my head I have seen this happen 3 times. Be patient and protect yourself. info@heartcentertraining.com www.heartcentertraining.com

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