Awareness: Operational

Are you aware of all the pitfalls and features of everything you use?

Regret in 3…2…1…

Do you have a basic understanding of gravity?

How about chemistry?  Does the kid in the back not know that the ‘gas’ in laughing gas makes it flammable?

Or this guy?

Or many of these people.

Fail Army is making bunch of money off of the unaware.  Could you see how some people with awareness were able to avoid incident while others were not?  How many didn’t know how far they needed to stop?  How many weren’t aware spatially?  How many weren’t aware of the stopping distance of their car?  Knowing how far you need in order to come to a complete stop is being both operationally and spatially aware.  They were all very fortunate that they did not kill themselves. Many less fortunate people are dying and being killed, however.  Just head over to live leak, if you have the stomach for it, and you will find a litany of people walking into traffic and down elevator shafts or driving so poorly or unaware it kills someone.  People on their cell phones while they drive destroying life and property.  I have personally witnessed motorcyclists use cell phones while driving, impairing their operational and spatial awareness, as if riding a motorcycle wasn’t inherently dangerous enough.  That phone call can’t wait 10 minutes to save your life?

Do you walk around your car and do a brief safety check of your vehicle before you jump on the freeway at 75mph?  Do you let your tires go bald and your breaks wear until they screech?  This is part of operational awareness.

If your tire has reached this level of wear you are putting yourself and everyone else on the road at risk.  It’s not funny or cute that you are this frugal or lazy.  You could lose grip around a turn and your stopping distance is likely tippled.  Brew your own coffee for a month instead of Starbucks, a new set of tires is worth your life and the grief you will cause in taking someone’s life. How long have you been driving your car with a funny noise without it being checked?  Do you not worry that the noise could strand you on the highway 100 miles from the nearest gas station?  Sure you have a phone and road side assistance but isn’t your time more valuable?  What if that noise puts your car into oncoming traffic?

The statistics are ugly, but thankfully car safety will become antiquated and relegated to the history books.  Soon a Netflix like subscription to an automated car service through Tesla or Nissan will likely replace car ownership all together.  Automated cars will head home to charge where they will receive maintenance on a safe schedule not at an owners convenience.  Automated cars will likely stop in plenty of time to save people texting in traffic.  This does not mean you have to rely on luck to survive without operation awareness until automated cars arrive.  Get better now, check your breaks, signals, fluids and tire pressure periodically before you jump in your car.  You put your seat belt on before you drive right?

Understanding operational awareness isn’t just for car safety.

Almost 70 patients tested for HIV and hepatitis after nurse is caught REUSING a syringe while giving flu shots at New Jersey offices

Of those 70 people, not a single one insisted that the nurse put a new needle on in front of them?  Every doctor or nurse I have visited opens the needle in front of me.  It would seem entirely out of place if they rounded a corner with a needle ready to go.  I would ask for a new one and they would happily indulge me and open a new one in front of me.  But it isn’t just the life threatening events that require your operational awareness.

Learn how things work.  Use them effectively.

Being operationally unaware is the origination of PICNIC or Problem in Chair not in Computer.

Check out the rest of the Awareness Series:


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Cheers, Leeland.