Friday, October 9, 2020

Texting friends and family can wait

Put the Brakes on Fatalities is a national campaign focused on traffic safety. Whether you are in a vehicle, on a motorcycle/bicycle or even walking, the goal is for you to safely get where you are going. The official day is Oct. 10, but it’s an important message to remember all year long.

To highlight Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day, two blogs from past years' blog series will be reposted today and Monday.

The article below was published in the Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day blog series on Oct. 8, 2018.

 By Karah Bosmeijer

It was almost the end of my senior year. Five days earlier I had joined the cheerleading team at Garden City Community college, and in two weeks, I would graduate from high school. I had just finished cheer practice and was headed home to Deerfield, a small, rural community on U.S. 50 in southwest Kansas. A list of everything I still needed to do before graduation was running through my head as I passed the U.S. 83 truck stop.

I texted friends and family, asking if they were going to attend my graduation ceremony. As I started to receive their responses, I looked up to see a semi with a flatbed trailer rolling to a stop in front of me, as the driver waited for traffic to clear so he could turn.  At 65 mph, there was little time to hit the brakes. Crashing into the flatbed was just the beginning of one of scariest experiences I have ever encountered. 

The force of the accident was great enough to destroy the front half of the car and shatter every window, but the driver of the semi was oblivious to the crash.  The semi started to turn, dragging me with it. Panicking, I honked my horn and was eventually discovered by the driver. 

There I sat, feeling the heat from the asphalt, sitting next to the rumble strips and holding a towel full of blood to my forehead. I watched as strangers, firefighters, EMT, police officers and friends recognized my car and stopped to help me. Being young and invincible, it took me years to realize how amazingly blessed I am. Thinking about how many people’s lives I put in danger, and how my friends and family could easily be dealing with my thoughtless actions in a much different way is terrifying.

Today, I work for a company that is extremely invested in their safety culture. As I learn and grow every day I am constantly reminded to TAKE TWO. Taking two extra seconds to Stop! Think! Then Act!  The three key principles that are implemented into our daily routine are:

     ·      Do it safely or not at all.

     ·      There is always time to do it safely.

     ·        Care for each other’s health, safety and security.

Ten years have gone by and I continue to be amazed by what life has to offer. I challenge anyone reading this to “Take Two” into your daily life. Take two extra seconds to send that text before you drive. Two extra seconds to buckle your seat belt. Two extra seconds to check that the intersection is clear. Two extra seconds to say I love you to yourself and your loved ones!

Safety. Always. Everywhere.

Karah (Miller) Bosmeijer is the Administrative Coordinator / Division Trainer for Nutrien Ag Solutions in Garden City.

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