What if we all practice driving aware not distracted?
One afternoon as I was driving James to a friend’s house, I found myself behind a very large truck that was driving s-l-o-w-l-y down a road in Pittsford, N.Y. Annoyed at the pace, I was thinking of passing the pokester, until I noticed the sign on the back of the truck. It read, “Caution Stool Bus.”
I laughed and announced that we’d better keep a safe distance behind the “Stool Bus.” James wanted to know what was so funny. I had to explain that the “bus” in front of us wasn’t transporting kids to school, but transporting poop to a different kind of school. “That’s a lot of poop,” said James. I agreed and was glad I didn’t speed things up, but instead elected to stay in the moment, share a laugh, and practice a little patience.
Seeing the Stool Bus made me start thinking about my own driving habits.
Lately, there have been a lot of stories and discussion in the news about driving distracted and accidents involving serious injuries and fatalities. This is especially timely since it’s the beginning of the school year. We all know that nothing good can come from driving distracted such as texting, talking on mobile phones, changing the radio station, reading a map, and putting on mascara. These kinds of activities, in addition to other unsafe behaviors such as not wearing a seatbelt, aggressive driving, and speeding can lead to serious injury and even death. It also sets a bad example for our kids. I believe that we’re so interested in getting a move on, that we forget we’re driving a 3-ton bomb that requires our full attention. We’re rushing around, driving to school, to work, to the store, to soccer practice, to a meet-up, to somewhere-very-important-we-just-gotta-get-there-now! We’re all late for something, and it’s hard. I don’t like it anymore than everybody else. So what should we do?
Watch for the Stool Bus.
The Stool Bus reminded me to drive aware. I’m human and I make mistakes, but often I’m transporting the most precious cargo in the world – my son. I wouldn’t want to harm James or myself by driving unsafe. In being aware of the Stool Bus, I’m also reminding myself to drive smart, obey speed limits, wear a seatbelt, and practice other safe driving principles. Being patient and mindful behind the wheel takes practice. I think it’s worth a shot to slow down and enjoy the ride.
What do you think?
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P.S. The Stool Bus was operated by T. McKenna Plumbing.
Great article Kris. Sometimes a funny story is what it takes to drive home a serious issue. I’ll always remember the stool bus. I also wanted to thank you for bring awareness to an issue that is important to many people. My daughter is turning 16 soon and I continue to worry about her driving, especially since she can’t seem to ever put her phone down. The following information graphic seemed to drive the point home a bit:
Oh so right, Kris. I’m currently teaching my 16-year-old to drive, and what a wake-up it was to hear his reply, “that’s the way you do it” — after I corrected some things he did that seemed very dangerous. Not just one thing but many things! Really, we are far too comfortable in our cars, so used to being there, and so used to multitasking in every facet of life, we do forget we’re driving a “3-ton bomb.” (good one, by the way) How about some new bumper stickers … be patient and mindful behind the wheel…slow down and enjoy the ride…