This morning a video feed came up on my social media. It showed a petrol tanker on a motorway go into the rear of stationary traffic. There was a big explosion and I would conclude a massive loss of life. The poster of the video concluded the problem had been the following distance of the lorry.
I noticed a comment from a very learned individual had been posted which challenged the assumption that the following distance was the cause of the incident. It was suggested that the cause was more likely to have been distraction or driving fatigue.
Following distance is important because if you cannot stop safely in the distance you can see to be clear then your risk of not stopping and colliding with what ever is in front of you is increased. A very simple rule.
However, you can leave all the following distance you like but if you are not paying attention to what is happening because you are day dreaming, on auto pilot, on the hands free, tuning your radio or still in a rage from earlier then you are not going to see the problem ahead develop until it is too late. Also, if you are tired and cannot keep your eyes open how can you be alert to what is happening all around you?
Here is a very simple exercise which relies on your honesty and self awareness.
Last time you were on the hands free or thinking about strategies for the business meeting you are going to, or focusing upon the fact that you are now running late because of the traffic, or you are having a quick bite of your sandwich or a slurp of coffee…..can you remember all of the journey or did you ever wonder where a couple of minutes disappeared to?
Last time you were nearly falling asleep at the wheel and doing the nodding dog…did you ever think, ‘Have I just dropped off?’
Those of us who have experienced journey loss or the nodding dog will know exactly what I am talking about.
Distraction and fatigue could kill you or someone else.
Take responsibility - Stay Alert and Stay awake