Publisher's Perspective: It's An Awesome Responsibility
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Publisher’s Perspective: It’s An Awesome Responsibility

Every day when we send a vehicle back out on the road, it carries with it a tremendous responsibility.

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In the wake of recent current events, I can’t help but think about how they apply to our industry. Many of you are probably thinking, what do nuclear arms treaties or 2016 presidential candidates have to do with our business? Frankly, not a thing. The event that has captured my attention is the loss of the Lufthansa flight March 24th in Europe.

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I’m sure more information will become available over time, and this column may seem a stretch, but the basic premise will remain valid no matter the final outcome of that terrible tragedy. As I write this, it’s believed that the co-pilot deliberately plunged the plane and the 144 passengers and six crew members to its end. To me, that part is out of my frame of reference. I, or anybody else with a normally functioning brain, cannot fully grasp the intensity of these actions. That’s because it’s not normal behavior. Be glad you can’t!

When a pilot or crew gets behind the controls of today’s airliners, it’s a huge responsibility, not one that should be taken lightly or by someone who is not thinking clearly. That job is very technical and requires intense concentration and training. They have our lives in their hands.

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Here’s the similarity to us. Vehicle owners bring us mangled-up messes of vehicles and count on us to return to them fully functioning vehicles that meet all the safety standards they did when they were new. They must drive and look great, all for the price the insurance company is willing to pay. We do this every day, but behind the scenes, there are many technical, training and process issues that need to be dealt with. And yes, this job requires concentration as well. Sound familiar? See pilot requirements above.

Every day when we send a vehicle back out on the road, it carries with it a tremendous responsibility. That vehicle may carry up to seven passengers, but it will also be on the road with many others. What about that school bus beside it on the freeway, or the tanker truck behind it? Any one of these can create a devastating scenario if that vehicle has a repair-related issue.

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I often state that our industry keeps the 252 million on the road. I think from now on I’m going to add, “…and safe.”

We have been doing it for years; I guess it’s just sometimes good to be reminded how important our jobs are and how the country and our customers are counting on us.

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