I’m in the engagement business. No â€” not the romantic kind. Engagement, motivation, incentives. My firm develops systems to improve and sustain healthy corporate cultures, with safety being our primary focus.
Yet, even with my heightened sense of awareness about safety in general, and engagement in particular, I am an occasional bonehead. For example, one busy morning I passed my administrative assistant in the hallway. “Did you know your car is running, Jon?” she asked with a smirk. I’d parked the car and was so distracted with my thoughts that I’d left the keys in the ignition with the engine running…for over two hours.
This means that I was also completely distracted on the drive to the office. And I’m not alone. How often do we fail to remember anything about the drive we just took? We pilot ton-and-a-half hunks of metal down a crowded highway while talking on the phone, listening to angry talk-show hosts, drinking our coffee and thinking about what will greet us at work. And we might be a bit sleep-deprived to boot.
While our brains are miraculous machines that give us the ability to call up past experiences, analyze current situations, predict likely outcomes, form an action plan, and begin execution all within a second or two, we still make mistakes behind the wheel almost every day. I’m not a driving instructor, but if I were, here are my suggestions for the top six ways we all flunk out of Driving 101: