Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gifts I am Thankful For

It may sound odd, but two things I am immensely grateful for this holiday season (besides my new Wii fit) are median guard cable and emergency reference markers. The day after Christmas, my family and I traveled to northwest Missouri, and on the way, we counted 40 cars either stuck in the median or off the side of the road in the ditch.

Many of those vehicles were sitting in median guard cable. Sure, they were going to have a big repair bill for their vehicles – but they were alive to make the 911 calls. My husband asked, “How many lives has that guard cable saved already?” That’s the big question. Conservative estimates say we save about 40 lives a year with the cable. That’s certainly worth celebrating.

One of the accidents we came across happened right before we got there. Without knowing if the folks in the vehicle had their cell phones handy or not, I made the call. I knew to look for the emergency reference marker on the side of the road and easily was able to tell the Patrol the exact location of the incident. Located every tenth of a mile, the markers help emergency responders find incidents more quickly, and they also help to mark the edge of the pavement for motorists. As we all know, every second can be critical when responding to traffic crashes.

They don't fit under the tree, but because of median guard cable and emergency reference markers, more people made it safely to their holiday destinations this year, and for those gifts we should all be thankful.