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NewYearsResolutions STCK

By Rhonda Oaks

Two weeks into 2024, and I had not made a single resolution.

I was going about my day when I heard about a terrible crash. I didn’t know the people involved, but I hurt for their families. As I thought about the facts of the crash, I realized the ones involved were just going about their day too, just like I was.

As I mulled over in my mind the reason the crash occurred, I thought how sad to be starting a new year with such a sad tragedy. It caused me to think back over the years when I made New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions that, while I could have kept them, for whatever reasons, I didn’t. Out of all those resolutions, not one single time did I make a resolution to try to change something that was profoundly important to me or my family.

My resolutions consisted of losing 10 pounds when I turned 30, to losing 20 pounds the year I turned 50. I finally decided to stay healthy and smile when I had dessert. Those kinds of resolutions rarely work. Hold on and hear me out.

TxDOT has not yet released final fatality statistics for 2023, but they don’t look good. I can say that looking back at 2019 when 75 people died on the roadways, to 2021 when the numbers swelled to 118, the increase caught our attention. And then we celebrated in 2022 when the numbers fell to 76. But looking at 2023 statistics, they are high enough that it should make us all wonder what is going on. It’s no big secret. If we all resolve to bring those numbers down, they will come down. Here’s how.

Many times, after TxDOT researches the cause of a fatality, the only thing we are left to do is support our seat belt program, support not drinking and driving, or support the distracted driving message. But it really takes you to make a real difference in the numbers. If we all make only one resolution this new year, I hope you resolve to be a better and safer driver.

Yes, I made my resolutions. They are to pay more attention behind the wheel. To always buckle up, never drink and drive, and never text or read text messages when I drive. I hope you join me in those same resolutions. Because they really work. They are resolutions that make a real difference. Resolutions that will save lives.

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