Safety first!

Watching the news about a recent horrific automobile accident inspired me to write this article.

The holiday season is upon us and we all want to have a joyful time as well as remain safe. So here are three dumb things that I’m sure you have seen people do over past holiday seasons and it’s still worth reminding everyone to avoid them.

Dumb Thing #1 – Drinking and Driving

This (of course) should be general knowledge by now, but it’s still shocking how so many people from all adult ages still drink and drive! The incident I saw on TV involved a young driver who slammed into another vehicle on a city street, not a highway. Yet this guy must have been going really fast — his car ended up completely upside down.

It’s a miracle that this driver and his passengers got only very minor injuries but unfortunately those in the vehicle that was hit were not so lucky. A woman in that car had minor scratches but her baby was in critical condition. Even worse is that her husband did not make it.

So a young wife lost her husband and a baby will never get to know her father because some drunk driver was stupid enough to get behind the wheel after a night of heavy drinking. His friends were also irresponsible for allowing this guy to drive in the first place.

This is no way to celebrate the holidays for all parties involved. While it’s perfectly okay to have a good time, have the common sense to know when not to drive. Don’t destroy somebody else’s life (or lives) as well as your own because of this major act of irresponsibility.

Dumb Thing #2 – Giving Pets as Gifts

I know that it might seem wonderful to see the faces of absolute joy on kids or a significant other when they hold that cute little puppy or kitten they just got as a holiday gift. But let’s face it folks: live animals, no matter how cute, are not stuffed toys.

Animals, particularly young ones, need a lot of training since they will chew up everything in sight and use the entire house as a toilet. It’s a real tragedy how many cases there are involving unwanted dogs and cats abandoned at animal shelters because humans did not foresee just how much effort it takes to care for a pet.

As a dedicated dog owner since 1979, I along with many other pet owners will claim without hesitation that pets contribute immensely to happiness. However, the reality of pet ownership also involves getting educated enough to be a responsible owner willing to put in the time required for training.

If you are not sure whether a prospective recipient can be a responsible pet owner or not, please don’t give a live pet as a gift. If you are planning to give into your kids’ wishes for a dog or cat, get ready to take on the bulk of the actual pet care responsibilities yourself. Young children will not be in a position to properly care for a pet no matter what they say. Teens, on the other hand, may be able to prove themselves since pets can teach responsibility to them — but use your discretion.

Dumb Thing #3 – Trying a New Sport Without Lessons

The holiday season is a time when many folks in winter regions try out snow sports like skiing and snowboarding for the first time. In the warmer regions, people might try out their new surfboards or another piece of sporting equipment they got for Christmas.

A dumb thing that many people will do is try out some new sport without taking a lesson from a qualified instructor. Instead, they try to copy what their friends are doing but the attempts are unsuccessful.

Although many look hilarious as clumsy beginners, some unfortunately end up with injuries. One thing to understand is that just because a friend happens to be good at a certain sport, it does not mean that he or she is qualified to teach you safely. Qualified instructors, on the other hand, can teach you without skipping any important steps to keep you safe while learning new skills.

Waiting in the emergency department and going home in a cast is no way to spend your holidays. You need to take extra care — especially if you happen to be a late bloomer in any sport. So if you are going to take up a new sport this holiday season, do the right thing and take a beginner lesson from a qualified instructor.

Be Safe Over The Holiday Season

I’m sure that there are other dumb things that people do out there during the holiday season. The whole point is to enjoy the holiday season with your friends and loved ones without putting a danger to another life, whether human or animal — or to yourself. I realize that much of this is common sense, but it’s still mind-boggling on how many incidents of dumb acts still occur. That’s why it is still worthwhile to remind us all that such acts are totally preventable.

If you know of any other dumb things that people should avoid this holiday season, please share them below to remind us. Have a wonderful and safe holiday season!

(Photo credit: Retro Silver Metal Trunk via Shutterstock)

Love this article? Share it with your friends on Facebook