Here lies the body of Jonathan J.,
Who died maintaining the right-of-way,
He was right, dead right, as he rode along,
But just as dead as if he had been wrong.
(“No Excuses!” – Ch. 9 of Flipping the Switch
Bill is a professional driver. Bill drives people all around. Bill drives a lot. Bill picked me up at the Detroit airport and drove me an hour north to a hotel for my “Personal Accountability and the QBQ!” speaking engagement. Bill and I have a bunch in common:
Born in 1958, married, kids, dogs, 1976 “Bicentennial” high school grads, survived disco—and each got a driver’s license at 16 in 1974.
And one more thing: In our 40 years of driving, we’ve each been handed a speeding ticket or two.
Bill’s last ticket, though, didn’t add any penalty “points” to his license. When I asked how that could be, he shared, “I avoided the penalty by attending a day-long, driver training session.”
I exclaimed, “What? You had to take a driving class … in your fifties? What could you possibly learn after driving all these years???”
Without skipping a beat he said, “That I needed it and everyone else does, too!”
I got it. Just because we’ve been driving a long time, doesn’t mean that …
A) We don’t make mistakes
B) We aren’t cocky and careless
C) We haven’t developed bad habits
D) WE ARE ANY GOOD AT DRIVING!!!
Two days after meeting Bill I was thinking about how to use his experience in this space. Blog themes came to mind like the need for ongoing training, the truth that being “tenured” at something doesn’t mean we’re good at it, and Bill’s humility that spoke so loudly to me.
But then, in one scary moment, “blog fog” lifted when the Miller family narrowly avoided tragedy on Saturday night.
As he was just entering an intersection with a green light, daughter Molly’s husband, Ricardo, was broadsided by a teen driver speeding recklessly through his red light.
Amazingly, our son-in-law survived with no injuries, but his beloved 2000 Ford Ranger, affectionately nicknamed “Walker,” is gone forever (photo above). The other driver was not hurt either. Can you say miracle??? (Yet another moment of perspective!)
So when a shaken Molly, wife for only a year and suffering from the clear realization of what might have been, called and told us about the accident, clarity came. I decided to publicly share (below) a Miller family document for the first time titled QBQ! Rules for the Road.
And, like Bill said, everyone needs them. Including me.
Since May 28th my tongue-in-cheek mantra has been “55 and Still Alive!” The “55” is not a speed limit but my age. It’s my hope to change out the 55 with 65, 75, 85, etc. I want to be here for a long long while. So I need these guidelines for safer, more accountable driving.
Maybe you do, too. Or someone you know.
So, in the form of a PDF that can be downloaded, enjoyed, and shared—first created for Miller teen drivers—here are the …
Rocket science? No. Worth sharing? Absolutely! So please post this piece on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or your blog. Print the PDF to email/snail-mail to a friend—or hang on your family’s fridge. Above all, though, put QBQ! Rules for the Road into practice. When we do that, we exponentially increase the odds that down the road of life we’ll be able to say … “95 and Still Alive!”