As a former Airline Pilot, I’ve carried forward the aviation adage: Aviate, Navigate, and Communicate. Applying this principle to The Villages, where various modes of transportation coexist—bicycles, golf carts, cars, and trucks—can greatly enhance safety.
Aviate Safely: Just as safety is paramount in aviation, it should be our priority for all forms of transportation. Maintaining situational awareness is crucial—always mindful of the route while accounting for other vehicles on the road or path.
Navigate: Prior planning is key. Familiarize yourself with the intended route, and consider having an alternative (Plan B) if the original route becomes unfeasible. On our roads and golf cart paths many types of vehicles use them. We must be mindful of the different speeds, directions and operator capabilities to ensure that we all arrive safe and at the destination we intended.
Communicate: If you’re accompanied by passengers, involve them as extra eyes for potential concerns. An adage applies here too: ‘See something, say something.’ Keep conversations minimal while in motion, reserving detailed discussions for when you’ve safely arrived.
In the context of any transportation method:
– Regular medical check-ups are essential to ensure you’re fit for driving or riding.
– A defensive driving or safety refresher course can bolster your skills.
– Unfavorable weather conditions, especially during hurricane season or heavy Florida afternoon rains, warrant extra caution.
– Planning routes ahead of time allows you to stick to well-lit and familiar areas, promoting safety.
By adopting these practices, we can create a culture of safety and mindfulness among all residents, promoting secure mobility in The Villages.
VHA VP, Central Area