We all accept various risks; sports, stocks, card games, walking, riding bikes, surfing and sky diving.
Ride a bicycle with no brakes. Walk on an icy road with no winter boots. Leave the house in a winter storm with no winter jacket. Walk to the store to buy food but forget to check for your wallet.
Accepting various risks when we transport our bodies is a well-known and commonly accepted practice.
When we drive, this public risk is there every day, each time we drive or get into a car.
One cannot change this risk, but we can do is distance ourselves strategically as far away as possible.
Distance is the key.
Do you stand right at the road edge when you wait for a bus, less than a meter away from a 50 kph passing car in the closet lane? Or do you stand way back from the curb closet to the nearest side of the closest building?
Do you drive at 50 kph past a pedestrian standing on the curb corner? Or do you move into the faster lane giving a full lane between you and the unknown pedestrian?
Do you get into a taxi or a ride-sharing car and NOT watch how the driver drives? Or do you carefully observe how the driver moves, where they look, and how they place themselves in the traffic even to the point where you may say something about their choices, or even where you might ask to stop the vehicle and get out?
Have you been a passenger in a car and had a close call? Did you know what actually happened? Have you ever asked to stop the vehicle so that you could get out? Or do you choose to ignore the driver’s behaviour, blindly accepting the risks?
Near all new drivers enter my driving school car and show me their driver’s license. To date, not one driver has ever asked me for the following:
- my drivers license $109
- the expiry date on my license $109
- the insurance on the driving school car $598
- the expiry date on the insurance policy $598
- the policy covering the driving school commercial work $368
- the insurance matches the plates on the vehicle $598
- the plates on the car are valid, not expired $230
- there is an N or L on the back of the car $109
The new driver is both legally and financially responsible for every item on this list. Why has no one ever checked?
Do they not realize they could be fined $1046 to $2719 for this list, not to mention the legal bind they would walk into financially if there was a collision and there was no proper insurance on the driving school car?!
Even worse, we adults lead younger followers into this blind acceptance of risks bringing them in totally unprepared for the responsibilities that lay ahead, most hoping that the odds will keep them safe.
Knowledge is the key.