I am not a great driver.
I know and accept that, and because of that fact I often wonder if I am doing enough to keep myself and everyone else on the road safe.
I am certain I have mentioned the fact that I drive the same route from home to work and back again every single work day, and there are days when I pull into the parking lot or the yard and I wonder.
How did I get here?
That can be a sinking feeling to say the least. In more recent days I have been much more intentional in how I drive simply because of recent reports of car accidents that have left people in dire physical circumstances or worse.
I know there have been times when I have pulled up to the same intersection knowing full well that it is my responsibility to check both ways before I proceed, but I often find myself only recognizing I just blew through a stop or yield sign after the fact.
Bad habits on the road are not just shake your head moments. They can have very serious consequences – the kind you have to live with for the rest of your life.
No, I am not criticizing any one person or recent event, but I am offering a reminder to you, and to myself, that it is all too easy to get into a pattern and not put our full attention into what we are doing.
So, what have I done?
In the morning I have intentionally been seeking out places I know along the way, and then I start consciously thinking about families who live there – their names, what they do, how we may be related, or I will specifically look for landmarks. That could be anything from a tree to a sugar beet piling station.
Then after I arrive in town I will stop and recall what I remember from the trip. It does get harder for me much of the time simply because I am often driving during the early morning or late evening hours when the sun’s light is not available.
There are also times, because I am driving east in the morning and west at night, when I am staring directly into that same sun. In those cases, I have been driving a little slower than the posted speed limit. I have also been thinking about changing my route every once in a while just to ensure my attention is focused where it needs to be.
Oh, and by the way, with the summer days upon us it is important for all of us to remember that vehicles on the road are not limited to those with four wheels. Please keep your eyes open for motorcycles.
While my plan may not be foolproof I think the effort is making a difference. At least it is making me feel a little bit better about it.
I got a call recently from a resident who lives along DeKalb Street. While the detour has kept cars off of the street now under construction, there still is quite a bit of pedestrian traffic that is crossing, sometimes in dangerous places.
Please remind your kids of the dangers of being in a construction zone, and also help them to remember the yards along the street in that area are like anywhere else in town. Crossing them without permission is trespassing.