Safe Workers and Smart Driving Habits: Models of Wellness
A safe workplace is the result of rights that protect workers and protections that benefit our most vulnerable workers: the drivers on the nation’s roads and highways; the men and women who make a living traveling the byways of our small towns and biggest cities; the Americans who, in the aftermath of a car accident, rely on the healing hands of doctors and the helping hands of lawyers.
A safe workplace is, therefore, a haven from the dangers of negligent drivers and the gross negligence of automobile manufacturers. It is a place that promotes health and wellness. It is the place to be, which means it works to improve the safety of the ways—by bus, rail, cab, or car—its employees arrive at work each day.
This goal is as noble as it is necessary because too many people die each year due to automobile accidents and accident-related injuries. Specifically, 90 people die in car accidents every day in the United States; 3 million suffer injuries in car accidents every year; and 2 million drivers suffer permanent harm from car accidents every year, too.
Ending this crisis may be temporarily impossible, but lowering the number of fatalities is undeniably possible—provided we make wellness more expansive by including a greater number of professionals who advance health and safety.
I refer to having attorneys speak to workers by having them work with employers to increase the urgency of enhancing automotive safety. (As someone who has a law degree but does not practice, I know lawyers do more than try and settle cases. Allow me, then, to make the case that lawyers are, to paraphrase John K. Zaid, agents of safety and advocates of better living through better safety conditions.)
When we broaden our definition of wellness, we extend the safeguards of a healthy society to the least among us.
When companies partner with lawyers to do likewise, they further the promise of the good life by honoring the promise of American life: that we can democratize wellness through the democratic process; that we can convert awareness into action and action into measurable results; that we can be happier—and healthier—thanks to the workers who give a corporation its sense of personality, as well as the lawyers who imbue this entity with the legal status of personhood and the smartness of justice.
Thus does the wellness of drivers determine the speed of the forces that drive our economy? A slowdown in one can produce a crash in the other. Fatalities on the causeway can also cause the death of all manner of companies down the road, so to speak.
Let us strive to address these matters, so safety can flourish and workers can prosper.
Let us invite lawyers to join this discussion, so they may clarify our rights and inspire us to remember the benefits of righting certain wrongs of society.
Let us begin this conversation with all deliberate speed.
Let save lives and live well.