By John Halikowski / ADOT Director
'Tis the season … a familiar refrain we hear now with the holidays upon us. It comes with the hustle and bustle of shopping for the right present, attending holiday parties, decorating, and the list goes on. If you are like me, the stress level goes up because there isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. Instead of worrying about the to-do list, I would like to propose that we take a step back and give the gift of ourselves to others.
One way is to be a mentor or role model, especially to a teen or young driver. Let’s exhibit good driving behavior as parents. Put down the cellphone while driving – don’t drive distracted. Use turn signals. Buckle up. Obey speed limits. Avoid exhibiting road rage. Be courteous to one another in parking lots. By all means, don’t drive impaired.
Think of the benefits when teen drivers drive defensively – lives can be saved. I’d like to turn the tide that car crashes remain the leading cause of death among U.S. teens.
If you plan to travel in-state or out-of-state, make sure you are prepared to face any type of weather. Make sure you drive safely as the road conditions warrant. Pack extra clothing, blankets, food, water and medications in your vehicle for those situations where you might have to wait out a storm. Make sure you have an emergency kit, flashlight and fully charged cellphone. Stay on paved roads – that shortcut might not work out as you thought it would. If you see a stranded motorist, see if you can render assistance to them. A blanket, bottle of water or granola bar can make all the difference in helping others.
I’m sure you have heard the concept “paying it forward.” It’s the simple gesture of giving thanks and ourselves to one another. I encourage everyone to look for those moments when you can give of yourself whether it’s your time or talent to a neighbor, military veteran, health-stricken friend or total stranger. Whatever the situation, to me it’s the true meaning of the holiday season.
This post originally appeared on ADOT Director John Halikowski's
LinkedIn page. He has led the agency since 2009.