Words are Powerful, Speak Up

Speak-UPBy Ashley Brandis, CHES, Salt Lake County Health Department Health Educator, Injury Prevention

Lina Nguyen once said “One word can change everything.” Words are powerful and can change how we perceive other people and the surrounding world. Words are used to express emotion. Imagine not being able to communicate with words. Not being able to understand another person. It would be difficult to know how other people feel or why they may feel a certain way. Without communication, we may mistake tears of joy for tears of sorrow. We are so lucky to be able to communicate with others, but sometimes we are afraid of what another person may think. We would never want to offend a friend or family member, but what if one word could save your life?

Teen-Driver-MaleDriver-Web700wWhen you are a passenger in a car make sure to speak up when the driver is not being safe. As a passenger, you have more influence than you think. Too often we hear about tragedy on the road where multiple people have been injured or killed because the driver made an unsafe decision.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S. The good news is that most teen motor vehicle crashes are preventable. Making a few smart decisions can lower your risk of serious injury or death.  Most of us know the basic rules of car safety. We should always wear our seat belt, follow the speed limit, don’t drive distracted and never drive impaired. These are all great ways to stay safe in the car, but we often forget to speak up.

The driver is often blamed for the crash, but what about the passengers? Did the passengers in the vehicle tell the driver to slow down or not drive distracted? Did they tell the driver to pull over and let them out of the car? We cannot blame another person for something if we never attempted to intervene. Lina knows the impact one word can make. Click here to hear Lina’s story.

For more information about Injury Prevention you can visit the Salt Lake County Health Department website at www.slco.org/slcohealth or call 385-468-3877.

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