Here’s the thing about safety measures. Often, maybe 99,999 times out of 100,000, they’re unnecessary.
The problem is that one time – that one reason for the rule — the consequences of not following the measure are awful.
Probably every single one of us handles a piece of glass every single day without dropping it. And we might even be able to walk around a pool safely carrying a cold glass of something.
But that one time it slips and breaks, well then the whole thing has to be shut down. Glass shards are hard to find in a pool of water. The pool must be drained, cleaned and refilled before it can be used safely.
It’s annoying to have to start the Mount Vernon swimming pool again. And it’s a simple rule to follow – no glass inside the pool fence.
With no knowledge of what caused the shut-down, it’s pretty certain the person responsible feels awful about it.
Sometimes the consequences of not following a rule are more than awful. They’re devastating.
You can drive hundreds of thousands of miles with absolutely no need for your seatbelts. But you can’t predict the one time you’ll be involved in a crash and it saves your life.
Maybe most drivers think they’re experienced enough to look away from the road for juuuust a moment to respond to a text. And they may be right.
Same for speeding. Or drunk/drowsy driving.
Most drivers might make it home safely after a night on the town. It might not make a difference if you go through a neighborhood at 5 or 10 miles over the speed limit.
But that one time someone steps into the road and you’re looking away, your reflexes are slow or you’re going too fast to stop in time. That one time when it happens, the 99,999 times there weren’t any consequences will be pretty meaningless.