DRHOOK- Common sense: Think about safety and stay alive

the handsome doctor John Hong of Charlottesville

We all do dumb things at times. It doesn't mean you're dumb if you do dumb things, although some might argue the point. But when doing something dumb endangers not only you but also other people, it's a concern for everyone. 

Have you been keeping yourself safe on the roads?

Recently, while I was driving along a four-lane highway, the car in front of me left his left turn signal on for over a mile. As he drove slower and slower, I went into the left lane. Then when his lane became right-turn-only, he sped up, passed four cars, and cut off the car in front of him. Undalay Areeba! 

I saw a woman who was texting on her phone almost swerve off a bridge– while not wearing a seat belt. Why should I care? Well, besides the fact this woman could kill herself, she could also take others down like dominos.

A lot of folks don't use seat belts. Don't believe seat belts are useful? Talk to a surgeon. You can tell who was wearing one and who wasn't in a motor vehicle accident. The victims who weren't wearing a seat belt tend to have worse injuries– in particular brain trauma– than those who were.

Yet, every now and then I hear a survivor of a car accident say, "The rescue squad people said if I had been wearing a seat belt, I would have died." That might be true, but how do they know for sure? The odds are in your favor if you wear a seat belt.

Also important is being seen– not as a fashion runway model, but on the roads! Another recent time I saw– er, barely saw– four kids bicycling down the street in the dark without reflectors or lights. I suppose they think drivers wear infrared goggles. To top things off, they weren't wearing helmets. Can you say, "hello," to brain injury? 

Later, as a passenger in a car, I saw a slight reflection on the right side of the highway. It was the metal frame of an electric wheelchair that was traveling down the pavement because there wasn't a soft shoulder. Swerve! I almost had a heart attack.

One other time I saw three people walking on a four-lane highway, dodging traffic like dodge ball. Hello, it isn't recess! And I'm not making it up. Again, just a few weeks ago, I saw two guys on skateboards on a dark street filled with traffic. It's just as bad as joggers without reflecting clothes who expect to be safe on dark roads.

Johnny Knoxville did a lot of stupid things on his show Jackass, for fame and money.

Don't be a jackass. Buckle up, pay attention to driving (stop messing with the CD player and cell phone while eating a hamburger), don't drive under the influence, wear a helmet if you bike, be visible at all times, and stop "Dancing in the Streets" if you aren't David Bowie and Mick Jagger.


Dr. Hook cracks a joke or two, but he's a renowned physician with a local practice. Email him with your questions.