Like with most of my past uni assignments that required written prose (as opposed to calculations hehe), I spend all my time thinking about what to write and can’t actually get it down on paper (or word draft) until right before it’s due – and surprise surprise this post is no different!

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An unfortunate event happened recently which I witnessed: I was driving along Wynnum Rd at night, minimal traffic, and saw two rear lights of a car travelling in front of me… on the other side of the road. Only had enough time to digest that it was driving on the wrong side of the road and that something dreadful was about to occur when BAM! two cars hit the guard rail. There was no suitable location for me to stop and help, and by the time I saw a U-turn location, several motorcycles had already cut across the median to the site.

Nevertheless, I was a bit shaken by how, for the unsuspecting motorists travelling on the opposite side to me, being a ‘safe’ driver was not enough to keep them from harm. We all pay rego, we all share the road, we all are imperfect.

Most of us have been fortunate enough not to have experienced severe vehicular crashes  – though I dare say most have sat in lines of traffic as a result of accidents (just think, though, if you’d left earlier – that could have been you). Driving is one of many everyday tasks I certainly take for granted – yet it is also one of the most dangerous.

I’m reminded of a course I attended- among other things, Perceived Risk vs Actual Risk

Now, I’m not going to lecture everyone about risk management and mitigation, but the presentation was certainly interesting as the speaker had the class rank a list of “risky activities” from least risky to most risky. The media, our factual knowledge, and frequency of occurrences certainly played a factor in what we perceived to be safe vs danerous (sugar in my tea? shark attacks?). Here are a couple of colourful graphs to illustrate my point:

725c8efa5e93e053782a103ff0974882risk-perception-6-638

Ahh… the wonders of our human brains (and the media)

Although I cannot control everyone else on the road, I can certainly reduce the risk of traffic accidents, as last week’s Fatality Free Friday campaign implored: Stay alert, Drive to conditions, Keep a safe distance.

It may sound basic, but it’s these simple behaviours that could potentially save your life.” RACQ spokesperson Lauren Ritchie

 

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In other news, I’ve twice been stuck without bread for breakfast on the weekend in as many weeks. In addition, once was without eggs, the other time was without milk. Good thing taste.com.au came to my rescue!

pancake

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4 thoughts on “Stay Alert – Stay Alive

  1. Thanks for sharing this very important message! I, for one, am sooooo guilty of being not 100% vigilant when I’m driving. I realised that a while ago and I’m trying really hard to change some of my habits.

    Also, is that pancakes?? Looks yummy.

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  2. Those graphs are pretty cool! (and just pretty too) A good reflection on “scare-mongering” in the media.
    I once saw a car smash into the right side of another at an intersection, but luckily the other car was only hit towards the back. I always think it’s lucky that (1) there was no one sitting in the back (it was a ute, after all), and (2) that, because of the timing, the car was hit at the back and not the front, where the driver was.

    Also, the pancakes look good! Nice and golden brown 😀

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  3. I don’t personally drive much (G does most of the driving and I happily sit in the passenger seat), but I do a lot of cycling these days to commute to work. My current place is very close to an establish bike lane which is very safe separated from roads), but I do have to ride on a little it of road. I try to be VERY careful when I do.

    I once saw a crash scene where a car apparently hit a cyclist. A colleague also showed me a photo of what he looked like after getting hit by a car – broke his nose, even though the car was only travelling 40km/h…

    But you get the gist, when you’re a cyclist, you’re even more vulnerable because you’re not wrapped around by metal.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing! 🙂 I enjoyed your post very much! Love the graphs!

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  4. As someone who is getting back into driving after years of putting it off due to anxiety and fear, this is refreshing to read. Thanks for the post!!

    Like

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