They say the first step to managing a problem is to admit you have a problem…. With that said, “diet” might be the four-letter word I hate the most! I have been on some sort of a weight control diet most of my adult life. Let me tell you, a successful diet to lose weight takes work, most of it ahead of time – planning. I need to have a plan on what I am going to eat before I walk into a restaurant, or I will fail. Success also takes commitment. While the success of the planning rests solely in the commitment behind the plan. I have come to believe the success of the commitment is often wrapped up in the convenience of the plan. Normally convenience trumps commitment. I find this true in most areas of life, exercise, housekeeping, work, safety, driving, parking,
Speaking of parking, have you ever purchased a new, or new to you, vehicle and make the decision to park away from the crowd of vehicles to avoid door dings? Hmmm how long does that choice last? All sorts of variables are thrown at us when we make that choice. We may be tired and don’t feel like walking, or it could rain, snow, get cold, or get hot. Few of us keep our commitment to park further out. Like the diet choices, if we don’t plan to park further out as we pull into the parking lot, we most likely won’t.
Remember back to defensive driving in orientation? One of the points mentioned was to plan your departure at your arrival. I liken it to planning the exit strategy for an obligatory family gathering you’d rather not attend. You’ve worked out in advance how you’re going to make your exit.
We’ve noticed an uptick in parking lot incidents at truck stops. Both preventable and nonpreventable. Both are costly to you and to Melton! How does a non-preventable cost you? Time and miles. The longer it takes you to deal with the incident, the more miles you are losing that day (or days). How do we manage or prevent these types of incidents? Sometimes we can’t. There may be nothing we can do, but often, the choices made before the incident can both encourage and discourage the incident. Sometimes we choose the convenient spot rather than the best spot. Like the success of a diet when we enter a restaurant, or the family gathering, can we make an exit plan when parking: are there areas where one can park that are less likely to have another truck hit us? Do we manage our drive time in a way that allows us to get to parking areas before the “rush”? Do we pull through? Back in? Get out and look? Evaluate the exit of the trucks next to us? Oh and let’s not forget our clock. There are a lot of variables and not all of them are up to us! But like my diets, that doesn’t mean we don’t plan.
I admit, I don’t know what you all go through each day, or when finding a parking spot, so I’m just asking questions. Do you have an exit strategy when entering a truck stop? Do truck stop lots have spaces that appear to be safer than others? If so, I’m imagining they are less convenient. Can we manage our clock in a way that allows us to park before 4pm? Do you care? I hope so.
Success often starts by planning ahead. Now what’s for lunch?
Drive Safe, Secure safe,
Have you ever noticed that safety is not convenient? In fact it takes training and effort to work and think safely. Sometimes it is the choices we make long before an incident that determines the outcome of an incident.