Basic Vehicle Safety

Basic Vehicle Safety

Growing up, my dad passed along his love for cars to me. For my 16th birthday, he bought me my first car. A 1:18 scale diecast model of a ’57 Corvette Stingray (very funny dad).

Every Christmas since then, my gift from him is the duPont REGISTRY Holiday Edition of Fine Cars. When I was younger, I would study it and try to decide which car I wanted to buy. The downside to this daydreaming was I thought a $50k car was cheap. Spoiler alert, it’s not.

My childhood was also before kids had electronic distractions. In order to keep my siblings and I from fighting in the back seat, he would have us play “guess the make and model” of the cars around us. This game was especially tricky at night when all you could see for clues were headlights or taillights.

All of this fueled (pun intended) my love for cars. I wanted to know everything about them. How to check fluid levels, change the oil or a flat tire. How to control my actual first car, an ’80 Caprice Classic with rear-wheel drive, on icy roads. I love roadtrips and have done quite a few 12-14-hour drives. When an opportunity to ride 180 mph around the Charlotte Speedway with the Richard Petty Driving Experience presented itself, I was all in.

This passion for vehicles made me comfortable in and around all vehicles. That confidence helped thwart quite a few service technicians who were eager to tell me all the things that needed fixing on my vehicle, even though I was only in for an oil change.

My company, The Diamond Arrow Group, is all about helping women gain confidence to live life on their own terms. Helping women learn and understand how their vehicles play a role in their personal safety is an important piece of the puzzle. According to AAA’s American Driving Survey, 2014-2017:

“On average, drivers spent 51 minutes driving approximately 31.5 miles each day, making an average of 2.2 driving trips. Nationwide, drivers made 183 billion trips, driving 2.6 trillion miles, in 2016 and 2017. In 2016-2017, all driving metrics increased when comparing statistics with the previous period measured, 2014-2015.”

Americans have increased the average minutes spent driving per day by 6.3% since 2014-2015! Incorporating vehicle safety with our personal safety skills is important. Here are 5 key things to start practicing today.

  • Verify that pushing the unlock button on your key fob once, only unlocks the driver’s door.
    • If your key fob is not set up this way, grab the owner’s manual and change it or ask your trusted service technician to do it for you.
  • Every time you get in a vehicle, make sure all the mirrors are adjusted for the best sight lines with you in the driver’s seat.
  • Once you and any passengers are inside the vehicle, lock the doors.
    • I can’t stress this enough. Any time you are in your vehicle, make sure the doors are locked!
  • Before putting the vehicle in drive, make any adjustments to the radio, plug your phone into the charger, connect to bluetooth, start any driving directions, choose your heat or cooling settings, and buckle up.
  • Pay attention while driving.
    • Converting miles per hour to miles per feet, if you are going 60mph and take your eyes off the road for 3 seconds, you drove 270 feet blind. That’s almost the length of the playing field in football!
    • In 2018 there were 2,841 people killed and an estimated additional 400,000 people injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. (NHTSA Summary of Statistical Findings, April 2020)

These are simple daily habits you can start practicing today. After a short period of time, they will become automatic and you won’t have to consciously think about doing them, you just will. As with all changes you make to improve your life, even the smallest things done repeatedly with intention, can have a huge impact.

For more tips on how to incorporate vehicle safety with your personal safety, make sure to get on the DAG VIP list by signing up here.

Actionable Confidence

Actionable Confidence

Gaining confidence in yourself and your abilities is not something you can manifest through positive thinking. You have to DO. You have to reach beyond your comfortable routine and try something new. It doesn’t have to be a grandiose move, a giant step or leap into uncertainty, sometimes it’s doing something you’ve never done before in a small way.

 “When we stay in our comfort zone protected from these experiences by the familiarity of routine activities, we live life unaware of our ability to grow and develop new strengths and skills.  The less we experience opportunities for mistakes and failure the more scared we become of what could happen if we were to step outside of our comfort zone.”

-Courtney E. Ackerman, MSc.

I watched Carol Sankar’s Tedx Talk, “The Confidence Factor” the other week. One of the many things I took away from the talk was her line, “Confidence is an applied science, not a learned science”.

You need to take a step and DO something to gain confidence. Here are 5 steps to building actionable confidence.

  • Pick A Goal – What is something you’ve always wanted to do? It doesn’t matter if it’s work related or a personal goal, it only needs to be a goal you haven’t reached before.
  • One Thing – Now that you have your goal in mind, what is ONE THING you can do today to move towards the goal? Keep in mind, it doesn’t have to be a big action, it only needs to be forward motion.
  • Do It – Stop overthinking it and do it! You picked a task that you could accomplish today so stop procrastinating and get it done.
  • Kudos To You! – You crossed that task off your to-do list, congratulations! Take a few moments to celebrate and acknowledge you did something new. Recognizing the action of growth also helps build your resiliency. You can try new things and be successful!
  • Next Up – Rinse and repeat. What ONE THING can you do tomorrow to keep forward momentum towards your goal?

You can sit and dream all day and night about something you want to accomplish, but if you don’t take action, your dream will never come to fruition.

Take Action

Is there something you’ve been wanting to do for a long time, but it hasn’t happened yet? Take a moment right now to ask yourself why. Be honest with yourself and don’t slip in to feeling bad about what you discover. Gaining confidence is a process that happens through constant movement forward. You got this.

“Courage is relaxed by delay”

-Aldrude