Unexpected Consequences

04 May Unexpected Consequences

A young man has a few beers with friends and heads home to have dinner with his family. He is confident that he can drive home safely. He does not expect to get in a wreck. Wrecks are not planned, though, and he has been working hard lately. He is tired, especially after having a few beers. He doesn’t feel drunk, just a little tired. When he regains consciousness sitting in the back of the ambulance, he is confused.

It slowly takes shape in front of him. The fire truck is putting out the fire in the other car and working to get someone out of it. Police shine a light in his eyes. He is not hurt badly, but the other car is on fire. It is real. He fell asleep and hit another car head on, and it is on fire with the driver in it. He is shocked.

In the following weeks he learns that the other driver survived the crash but will be extremely disfigured for life as a result of the burns. Her face will not resemble a human face, and her hands are blunt knobs. It was his fault. He caused her and her family a lifetime of pain.

This is a real story. Would you want to live with the guilt? What if the young man were driving a company vehicle? Could you afford to pay for someone’s life, not just financially, but emotionally?

It is important to realize the most dangerous thing we do every day. We get in a car and drive around thousands of other cars. The drivers are unpredictable and sometimes confrontational. Adding a few drinks to the mix, even one drink, could be the difference between getting home safely and changing your life in a bad way.


Scott Mastley, SPHR, MBA, is the Vice President of Human Resources for Resource Alliance. Scott is a consultant, not an attorney, so he shares his opinions, not legal advice, about increasing performance and limiting liability.