Lifesavers 2013 ConferenceI’m in Denver, Colorado attending the Lifesavers 2013 conference. It’s the largest gathering of highway safety professionals in the US. So why am I here? Because Toyota, one of the conference sponsors, thought my readers, along with the readers of 10 other bloggers from around the US, would like to hear firsthand what’s going on in our cities, towns, and across the nation in regards to child safety, distracted driving, driving under the influence, and other timely topics.

Lifesavers 2013 Conference

Toyota gave us each a conference pass and allowed us to put together our own path. Today I chose to learn more about designer drugs and their impact on everyone as well as spend some time listening to people whose lives were changed in an instant because of the poor choice someone else made – to use a cell phone while driving, to drink and drive, or to be under the influence of drugs while driving. What struck me was how very normal these people are. They are our neighbors, our friends, and the people from church but in one instant they became part of the statistic of car crashes on our highways and roads. A moment that has defined their life ever since.

As the wife of a fire fighter for 30 years I thought I knew the impact on the first responders. These sessions are helping me understand my husband’s world a little bit better as well as that of the police officers in the field and honestly, I don’t know how they do it. What they face every day is incredible. I just want to thank them all.

I’ll be sharing so many other safety-related items over the next few days while I’m here at the conference and over the next few weeks. I can’t tell you want an impact being here has made on me. I’ve always been on the cautions side, but I can tell you, after today, I’ll never, ever, talk on my cellphone while driving; even hands-free. Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s safe. Studies prove it (I’ll share those too).

For now, follow the hashtag #ToyotaSafety on Twitter or follow me on Facebook.

Special thanks to Toyota for being so helpful in making this about the process and not the brand. I’m so impressed with their commitment to safety. They truly believe in their slogan that everyone deserves to be safe.