Friday, October 6, 2017

A word to the wise is sufficient

By Dean Harris
Dean Harris
I had a college professor that used to tell me, "A word to the wise is sufficient." It's been 30 years since I have seen him, and over that time these words have proven useful to me. I'm hoping that these few words will find wise folks as well.
I'm not going to act as one who has always made right choices or done the right thing out here. We all can testify, that just is not the case for anyone. I've been driving professionally for over 25 years, and I have made some bad decisions. Only by the grace of God, nothing came of them. We have all driven too fast for conditions, texted while driving, held a cell phone to talk while driving, changed music or read something while behind the wheel. Eating while driving. They are all distractions. I've been so tired in the past, that I couldn’t remember how I got to the ramp I was on. I now have a different view of "power naps." Changing your idea of distracted driving is my hope here.
Recently I had the opportunity to view a crash from a forward-facing dash cam. Dash cams have increased the intensity of my convictions concerning distracted driving. I will not go into the details, except one. When the video was replayed, it stopped a split second before impact. At that very moment, you see the driver’s face. You could see their eyes. You could see the driver's horror. Almost as if they realized they had made a terrible mistake, but too late. They had made a decision they would not return from. No more birthdays to celebrate. No grandkid's celebrations. No retirement. All gone in an instant. Gone! Just that quick.
No matter what your age, you can make decisions on these roads that will change lives forever! Please, please, please, let words to the wise suffice.

Dean Harris is a Kansas Road Team member and a driver for FedEx.


  1. It must have been the eeriest feeling watching the split second before tragedy as it replayed on that video. Our small human lives are so finite and delicate. All it takes is one mistake and it could all be over. The other side of your final paragraph is the loss the ones you surrounded yourself will feel.
    They won't get to celebrate having a grandparent, they won't get to spend time with you in retirement, they won't get to celebrate your birthday.

    They will be the ones who have to plan your funeral and celebrate your life.

    All this tragedy, all this heartbreak and it could have been avoided.

    Thanks for sharing your powerful words, Dean. It really made me think.

  2. We always need reminders like this. It's too easy to lose focus, and I'm just as guilty of the distractions you mentioned. Thanks for sharing, Dean.

  3. As you suggest, we should all weigh the importance of a text or meal while driving against a lost future of birthdays, grandkids and retirement. It's pretty easy to know what to do in that context. Thanks for your candor and perspective, Dean.

  4. Your message is powerful. To visualize that split second when it's too late and it can't be fixed.