OBSERVE NATIONAL DISTRACTED DRIVING MONTH

by pat brownlee on April 23, 2014

 April is designated as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Every day we should observe all the ways we need to be safe while behind the wheel. These ideas are for everyone who drives, no matter your age. How many times you have let some sort of distraction cause you to not pay attention to your safety and that of your passengers? 

Here are some ideas, which you all have read before, but we are going to keep trying to let you know how important this is. 

First of all, DON‘T talk on a cell phone while you are driving if you have children in the car. You may use a hands-free device, but you will still be letting your train of thought veer away from safe driving, and you are setting a bad example for your kids. If they think it’s ok because mom and dad talk or their cell phone and drive, someday they will, too. 

Here are some more driving DON’T’s: 

  • Don’t drink and drive, and never get in a car with someone who has been using drugs or drinking.
  • Don’t text and drive……ever! Pull over, please don’t take the chance!
  • Don’t make assumptions about what other drivers are going to do. Just because someone has their turn signal on does not mean they are actually going to turn. They may be like the rest of us, and have forgotten that it is on!
  • DON’T assume that other cars can read your mind, either. Make sure that you use your turn signals and give yourself, and the cars around you, plenty of room to maneuver.
  • DON’T tailgate other cars, pass on shoulders, fail to yield, run stoplights or stop signs (even if no one else seems to be around), or break any other rules of the road on purpose. If you act like you are above the law when you operate a car, you will sooner, rather than later, find out that you are not.
  • DON’T play your car stereo so loudly that you are disruptive to others, or so loudly that you are unable to hear train signals or emergency vehicle sirens.
  • DON’T engage in other activities, while driving, that distract your attention or reduce your reaction time. Eating, changing clothes, or putting on makeup while driving is dangerous. In some states, if you are caught doing these things while driving you can be cited for “driver inattention” and given a ticket.
  • DON’T treat a car like it is a toy. It is not. Don’t use your car to play chicken, race, or give another car a friendly “tap.”
  • DON’T let your emotions and frustrations get the best of you. Don’t engage in road rage, no matter how irritating another driver might be to you.
  • DON’T activate the cruise control when driving in wet conditions. There can be a build up of water under the tires, and could cause hydroplaning. (This is not a distracted driving tip, but an important DON’T to add to your list.)
  • DON’T drive if you are sleepy. Ask your passenger to drive, or wait until your head is clear. Needing sleep really distracts you from your driving responsibility. 

DO DRIVE DEFENSIVELY. If you have a group in your car, let them lead the conversation so you can keep your eyes on the road at all times. Stay safe and take this message to heart. If you let some distraction cause you to have an accident while driving, chances are someone will get hurt and you will be responsible. So “drive friendly”,  as we say in Texas, and drive responsibly!

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Origin of Earth Day

In the 1960s, there were many concerns about the awareness regarding the environment among Americans. During this period, U.S senator and environmentalist, Gaylord Nelson, tried to galvanize the conservation movement through the appropriate creation of a national celebration.

Nelson made many efforts in the Congress to pass legislation to protect the popular Appalachian Trail. He also tried to pass a legislation to ban the use of DDT. In order to organize the first Earth Day, Nelson sought some help from Denis Hayes, who was a graduate of Harvard University.

The first Earth Day was celebrated on 22nd April, 1970. It was specifically designed as an environmental awareness program. Its aim was to educate participants about the importance of conserving the environment. In 1990, Denis Hayes organized a global Earth Day. It was observed in more than 140 countries by 200 million persons. 

Every year on April 22, over a billion people in 190 countries take action for Earth Day. From San Francisco to San Juan, Beijing to Brussels, Moscow to Marrakesh, people plant trees, clean up their communities, contact their elected officials, and more—all on behalf of the environment.Like Earth Days of the past, Earth Day 2014 will focus on the unique environmental challenges of our time. As the world’s population migrates to cities, and as the bleak reality of climate change becomes increasingly clear, the need to create sustainable communities is more important than ever. Earth Day 2014 will seek to do just that through its global theme: Green Cities. With smart investments in sustainable technology, forward-thinking public policy, and an educated and active public, we can transform our cities and forge a sustainable future. Nothing is more powerful than the collective action of a billion people. 

Forty-four years ago, Earth Day began. Great strides have been made through technology by improving water quality, air quality, and recycling. We still have a long way to go, and if you haven’t done your part to make our earth a cleaner place, start today.

  • Dispose of old computers  through the correct channels, as the monitors contain materials that are very harmful.
  • There are ways to destroy personal information by use of shredders. Professional shredding companies contract with hospitals and other businesses to safely remove old paper records.
  • Ride a bike to work, or just simply for the exercise.
  • Teach your children to know the difference between recycling materials and those that we simply toss away.
  • Plastic bottles, plastic grocery sacks are hard on our environment; take reusable bags to the grocery stores,
  • Drink water from a glass rather than a plastic bottle. There are washable cups with lids that you can carry your coffee, tea, or water with you while away from the house.
  • Carry a sack with you when you go for a walk, and pick up debris that others have simply tossed aside.
  • Help keep our lakeshores clean.
  • Plant a tree.

There are so many ways each one of us can do our part, and those small tasks can help improve our little corner of the world.  If everyone would do the same, and businesses would make every effort to comply with environmental laws, what an even greater earth it would be!

For more ideas or to volunteer to help spread the word, check out the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website.

Source:  Earth Day Network; Earth Day 2014

 

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APRIL IS INJURY PREVENTION MONTH, SO PLAY IT SAFE!

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