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Drive to survive this holiday season

Posted on December 20, 2013 by Westwind Weekly

When the snow starts to blow into southern Alberta near the end of November, sometimes just after Remembrance Day but many times before or on Halloween in October — the holiday spirit begins to stir in the hearts of young and old. Yuletide carols are heard faintly on radios at offices and through local shops, while celebrations begin to ring in both the gift-giving season and the New Year. Staff parties are plenty, as well as house gatherings in town and throughout rural areas. Liquor is often the guest of honour, which imbibing responsibly, is an accepted form of a civilized society. What isn’t civilized and is downright barbaric is drinking and then driving. Especially in today’s should be “aware” communities from coast-to-coast in Canada.

So why then is drinking and driving still an issue?

Organizations plead with Canadians each and every year to think before you drink and prepare before you head out to celebrate. It’s not rocket science. If you know you’re going to drink (even just a little bit) then either walk to your destination, take a cab or ask a friend or family member for a ride. And/or do the same at the end of the evening. It’s that simple. But why is it so hard to fathom for some?

Not only is drinking and driving an ongoing issue, so is being distracted while driving. Texts, phone calls, fiddling with music on iPhones or changing CDs, reading, watching a DVD, putting on makeup, eating, drinking, smoking, and the list goes on and on. Sometimes drivers will do many of these actions at once, while behind the wheel.

They are professional multi-taskers. Even local farmers tend to think they can get behind the wheel of a big tractor on a highway swerving back and forth, while talking on a cellphone.

Most people, from time to time, seem to have trouble doing two things at once as it is. Why do licensed drivers think they can drive while texting a best friend to offer a spoiler alert regarding last night’s episode of “The Walking Dead”? Can’t it wait until the destination is reached? Does a driver really need to answer his or her cellphone to find out gossip about Janine’s latest pedicure at the exact minute they are changing lanes on the busiest street in town? It only takes a split second that could change a life…forever. But so many play Russian Roulette when driving, while using the latest and greatest technology.

Technology and driving do not mix just like drinking and driving. It’s a shame it takes a tragedy to make people think twice before doing something stupid.

To those who drink and drive or use technology and drive — quit being such a blockhead, as the Peanuts gang would often say to a naive Charlie Brown. It’s a simple mantra.

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