A Powerful Road Safety Reminder
by Juan Alonzo Miranda, Source Refrigeration
The following is an excerpt from an employee’s first-hand account of a highway accident — reminding us all about the importance of driving safely.
One of the most dangerous things we do every day in life is driving! Today, on my way home, I witnessed the aftermath of a roll-over accident. Driving on the highway, I saw a headlight. What I first thought was a motorcycle turned out to be a vehicle on its side. I quickly called 911 and stopped to check on the driver. Judging from the stickers on his windows, the driver was a Marine veteran. He seemed in shock, but he had no apparent injuries.
The driver was trying to open the windows to escape the car and couldn’t get out. I went to my van to get a hammer and when I came back, he was struggling to open the passenger side door. Together, we were able to get the door open. About 10 minutes later, a state trooper arrived on the scene. When the trooper asked the driver what happened, he admitted that he had fallen asleep at the wheel.
The lesson: It is important to know your limits!
I had just pulled over myself and slept because I did not want something like this to happen to me. I spoke to my lead earlier in the day and let him know that I wasn’t feeling well, thought I had the flu and was heading to see a doctor. Now, I’m very thankful that I rested for a while.
I’ve seen the dangers of the road many times before. In 2011, I was almost the victim of a head-on collision with a wrong-way driver when I was on my way to my oil field job. Luckily, my quick reflexes saved me, and I was able to switch lanes to avoid being struck. The driver had fallen asleep and drove off the highway into the access road, and up a concrete bridge, flipping 180 degrees. The wheels were spinning and his truck was at risk for catching on fire. It was scary.
What happened to me today and that day in 2011 reminds me that driving is the most dangerous thing we do, and we must always be vigilant and stay aware of our surroundings and situations. Just thought I would share this with you to pass along to our fellow coworkers. If you must pull over — do so and take a break. Stay safe on the road!
From our Safety Director:Thank you, Juan, for stopping to assist a fellow driver in need. This actual event shows how important it is to be mentally and physically prepared to get behind the wheel. According to Federal regulators, the accident risk from drowsy driving is comparable to driving drunk. The AAA study found drivers who miss two-to-three hours of sleep a day more than quadruple their risk of getting in a crash, compared to drivers who sleep for seven hours. This should serve as a reminder to make sure that you get the proper amount of rest before getting behind the wheel. Know when your body is telling you that you are too tired to drive, then get off the road to a safe location and take a rest break. Staying alert and focused will get you home safely.