Safety Pro Drives Home Point on Roadside Emergency Preparedness

   One way to drive traffic safety at your workplace is to highlight stories that connect with your employees. They all drive personal vehicles, company vehicles and/or rental vehicles. They all can relate to this tale shared by Betsey Kulakowski, training manager with the Oklahoma Safety Council:
   Betsey woke to a beautiful day recently – sun shining, birds singing. “It couldn’t be any better,” is what she was thinking. And she was right.
Betsey was on I-44 traveling to work when her day took an unexpected turn. Her back tire blew out. She was in the middle lane. She had to make some quick decisions. Fortunately, she was able to signal and get safely to the shoulder.
   The safety professional in her immediately seized on the irony of the situation: “In a few weeks, I’m going to be doing a webinar on preventative maintenance and being prepared for roadside emergencies,” she thought.
   Betsey exited her vehicle and realized she was living a worst-case scenario. While her flat tire was away from traffic, she was still in a danger zone considering morning rush traffic was whizzing by at 60-mph or more. She looked for the spare tire and jack in the back of her SUV and discovered two things:
  • “I can’t get my jack free from the holder that keeps it safely in place”
  • “My spare seems low on air, too”
   Because she subscribes to a roadside assistance program and her husband was 10 minutes away, she was able to quickly enlist help. Her husband arrived, freed the jack from its holder and went to work. But while she was waiting, a trooper with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol stopped. The trooper reminded Betsey she could call star-55 for help.
   “It was a nice reminder that they aren’t just out there catching bad guys,” she said. “They’re keeping us safe.”
   In the end, Betsey’s husband discovered her spare tire was, indeed, flat. He took it to the nearest gas station to have it refilled.
   “Who thinks to check their spare?” Betsey said.
   Eventually, she made it to work – although a little late – but with a few safety lessons learned.