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About a month before his high-school graduation 27 years ago, John Westhaver was involved in a devastating car accident that left him with varying degrees of burns covering 75% of his body. This experience jumpstarted his life as a motivational speaker and safety advocate, as he continues to emphasize the importance of minimizing dangerous distractions. In this thrilling episode, John discusses techniques to practice that will help individuals become more aware of understanding the possible risks in seemingly safe situations. The importance of leadership within safety culture is highlighted and John teaches the audience how to prioritize physical and psychological conditions so that everyone makes it home safely at the end of the day – tune in!
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Real leaders leave a legacy. They capture the hearts and minds of their teams. Their origin story puts the safety and well being of their people first. Great companies ubiquitously have safe yet productive operations. For those companies, safety is an investment, not a cost for the C-suite. It’s a real topic of daily focus. This is the Safety Guru with your host, Eric Michrowski, a globally recognized Ops on safety guru, public speaker and author. Are you ready to leave a safety legacy? Your legacy success story begins now.
Hi, and welcome to the Safety Guru today. I’m very excited to have with me John Westhaver. John Westhaver is a motivational speaker in the safety space does make excellent work around safety in the road. So, John, welcome to the podcast. I’d love for you to start out, maybe by introducing yourself and then introduce your road safety story.
Yeah. So, my name is John Westhaver, and I am a failed car crash survivor. Burn survivor. I was burnt to the car crash 27 years ago this spring, and right now I am a professional speaker traveling around Canada. Actually, not traveling currently because of the go pandemic and the restrictions and stuff. Right. But I normally travel early. Can the US be talking about road safety and the impacts of Port driving choices? Do a lot of work with schools and organizations and companies, probably just to help people change their conversation around driving so that they become safer driver so that we have safer roadways for everybody.
So, I’ll just kind of go into my story and why I do this. Yeah. So, I was a typical teenage kid in school, average kid, fun loving kid, good grades in school. And I had a zest for life like most of the kids. And it wasn’t a problem child. But on April 29, 1994, I was about a month and a half before high school graduation, when me and three of my friends being my best friend, Jason, two other friends, Jimmy and Aaron, we decided to go to the pool hall in our hometown.
Now we lived in the little tiny town called Saint Stephen and New Bronson, a little border town. But at the time, there’s probably like, 7500 people that live there, so really quiet than being there. Really?
It’s a really quiet town, but not really the time. It’s probably still there’s not really a lot of stuff for used to do other than playing hockey or baseball. If you didn’t do your sporting events like that there. But where there really wasn’t a lot to do for youth. And I was one of those teenagers that love to party, love to drive fast, never drank control. I never got on with somebody who I was drinking. But I love the party. I love to drink. And I loved the thriller Speed.
Like most of the kids that I hung out with. And it was a month and a half before high school graduation full of life teenagers. We decided to go on a road trip to a town about 45 minutes away. Town called McAdam. We heard there was a pool hall there and being typical teenage guys, we loved pools because normally we could play pool there. There was good music there. And there were always girls there. So, we’re like, hey, let’s go check this place out. Four teenage guys were full of life.
Let’s go check it out. Now, the thing was, no matter what we did, we always have to have a sober driver. Okay. So that night, Jimmy decided to drive. He’s like, I’ll drive. It’ll be my thing. I have to work tomorrow. Get up early. So, I’ll drive. I’ll stay sober. I’ll be good. So, it was great because he had a 1980 Chevy Impala. Now, if you’ve ever been in a 1980 Chevy Impala, that’s a boat. That’s a big car. So, we’re like, this is good because lots of room.
And so, the next thing was, we had to find some alcohol now, being four teenage voices on a mission, it wasn’t normally too hard for us to find alcohol. Usually, we’d raise our parents liquor cabinet or find someone older to buy them for us. So, this particular Friday night, we decided to find someone order to buy it for us. So, booze in hand and super driver, we set off on a road trip. We crack our beer. Once we hit the highway, we get to the pool.
All we’re having a good time. We’re floating out the bureaus playing pool. Have a great time until Jimmy, our silver driver. Great guy. Awesome. Got it. Decide to leave now. Being 14 age guys were full of life. It’s Friday night. We’re on a pool hall. There are girls around there’s music. This pool is lots of fun. We’re like, no, let’s stick around a little bit longer. Now, if you’ve ever been to designated driver on a vehicle and you’ve had some drunkards with Chevy drunkards, we everybody had some drug with you.
You know how hard it can be to get some of these guys to come with you. So, yes, like, hey, I’m leaving. And we’re like trying to stick around a little bit longer because we knew from McAdam to Saint Steve. And it was about a 45, 50 minutes drive. God lows. How long the walk it would have been. So, we’re, like, stick around in low music now. So, we get a choice. She needs boys. We could have stuck around and played some pool some more.
Had some more fun. Drink some more beer in front of the girl some more and walked home. We’re trying to figure somewhere at home or we could go a Jimmy, who was our deed. Reluctantly, right. We decided to go Jimmy because he was us did. He was the guy that was supposed to get in some safe. So, we stacked early care. We grabbed another bear. We choose each other being 14 age guys, we Peel out of the parking lot. Chester, we’re flying to the highway like any other Friday night in our home town.
Any other Friday night that we were teenage boys. We’re always doing this stuff, driving fast or party in, never Trisula driving, but just driving too fast. And about halfway back we decided to pull over to parking lot. But halfway back and now we jump out, take a leak, we grab another beer, we choose each other and we Peel out of the parking lot and probably 11:00 at night. And when we left our parking lot, the stereos cranked Jimmy flying on the highway we’re intoxicated. But because we’ve been drinking for a while and we’re thinking nothing can possibly go wrong because we get a DD.
I got everything under control and worth. Are everything’s perfect, not a care in the world. That was the last thing that I remember now. The last thing that care free teenage life. The next moment I recall opening my eyes, I’m looking up and assuming I don’t recognize. I looked around the room and I see that I’m in a hospital room. I have no idea. I am in this hospital room. I don’t know which hospital I’m in. I don’t know why I had all kinds of questions I had.
And where are my friends at what’s going on? And I remember someone told me not to talk together. I can be okay. And I was scared because I wasn’t a sick kid. I never really experienced hospitals a lot. And so, I looked around the room and I see that there’s a vent later. On one side and on the other side there’s a machine measuring my heart rate, my blood pressure be and I’m connected to a multitude of saving devices that I look down and I am completely, completely covered in bandages from my head to my feet.
I’m brown like a mummy and I’m scared because I have no ID was going. Now at this moment I was heavily medicated, so I didn’t feel a lot of pain. Sure scared. And at first, they wouldn’t tell me what happened. They wanted me to folks in the healing. And then as I started to heal and as I got strength and energy and found that strength to keep moving forward, they would reveal things to me that they felt I needed to hear. So, I later learned that the police determined that we’re doing what 140 km on a road that’s posted for 90 on a secondary highway number three highway from St.
Steven to Redington secondary highway. People travel the highway all the time. Sharp corner Andersonville there and we’re just holding with you fast and or silver driver. Jimmy being eight, actually 17 years old at the time. He was young, an experienced driver, sure, but he thought he was a great driver as we all did. We also era and we all love to speed and the inability at such a young age of his driving, the speed of which were travel the commotion inside the car. 14 age guys, three of us are intoxicated the stereos cranked.
You can just about imagine how much commotion is inside that car, how much distraction it is for the driver. And the road took a corner, took a sharp corner, and Jimmy lost control of the car, so out of control, hit the ditch, rolled several times. Our driver was ejected and killed. The car had a telephone pool exploded myself. I sustained Burns to 75% of my body and a broken arm. And my best friend Jason and Aaron were trapped on the back seat. And that’s why they had perished.
That car had exploded those massive Bull fires where I just hit the microphone here. That car had exploded, a massive bull fire. And the thing was, this was four teenage guys in a small town, and there really wasn’t a lot of resources or small police force or able the paramedics, the police, the police were called the one to call articles that crash. It didn’t just impact us and impacted our families, our friends, our school, those witnesses and bystanders the ones that were on scene right away, the cars that came out afterwards, they tried to help out the police, the firefighters, the paramedics, everybody that attended that scene at night was impacted by our actions.
Every choice that we made that night to get into the car, to drive, the choice to drive fast, the choice to not tell the driver to slow down, the choice to be drinking that night, every choice that we need impacted all of those people. I was rushed to the hospital to our local hospital in St. Stevens, and it would be a small town. They really didn’t have a lot of resources. So, they prepared me to be transported to a burning. It about an hour away. And when I was at the local hospital in St.
Stephen, when they were preparing me, they called my parents. And here my parents are home asleep and the phone rings. My father wakes operations. The phone really not knowing who it’s going to be. Maybe it’s one of the kids calling to get a ride home or something or calling to say they’re going to be staying somewhere is or whatever it is. When he answered the phone, police officer introduces himself and proceeds to explain to my father that I was involved in a major car crash. They needed to go to the hospital right away, and he wouldn’t say anything else.
He said Jessica dressed and go to the hospital. Now here. My parents had all kinds of questions, like what’s going on? How bad is a crash? Who was in the crash? Do you know what’s going on? They were not prepared. They were completely unprepared for the nightmare that they are about to walk into. So, my parents got addressed. They went to the hospital. When they get to local hospital, they were greeted at the door by a police officer that my father knew. So, he stopped him and said, before he started to see John, I have to let you know.
He was involved in a major car crash and his badly burnt. And I looked at my mom and said, before you go in to see your son, I have to let you know he is badly Burton, horribly disfigured. I don’t know if you can handle seeing or so in the state. My father bravely went into my room and he walks down the hallway to the room that I’m in and he gets to the room, gets to the door and he looks in and he sees this person lying in the hospital bed.
Nurses and doctors are working on this person. The person is completely naked, but their skin is charred black from the fire and the smoke and their body is swollen and blistered. Right? My head was a size of a basketball. My father’s dad didn’t even recognize it. And when I realized that it was his son, John, I didn’t recognize it instantly. He is going to survive. Is it going to be, okay? And if he survives, what kind of life is John going to live? Like, what quality of life will he live if he survives?
My father fought back to teams and the emotions. He walked in the room and he said, I sat up right away and I started to apologize. So here I am. I’m completely burned. But nurses and doctors are working on me. And I said like, dad, I’m sorry, don’t be mad at me. Don’t be angry. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be in the crash. I’m sorry. My dad looks at me and he’s like, It’s okay. Just listen to doctors. Everything’s going to be okay. He had no idea, right?
What was about to unfold. He just wanted to make sure that I was going to be okay, right? He said the nurses and doctors worked with me for an hour, so to prepare me to be transported to the burn unit and St. John, New Brunswick. And when I got to the burn unit on bronze and that’s when they really assess the extent of my Burns. Now when you sustain Burns to a large front of your body, actually, they give you a survival rating. They say based on what we know about the burn trauma on the body.
And this is your likelihood you’re going to survive. They look at a few different things. They look at how much of the body is burnt. They call that the total surface body area. They look at the degree of Burns they call the degree of Burns. So how deep are the Burns? So, this first to fourth degree Burns, fourth degrees to most severe goes the deepest. It Burns all over your skin, some muscles and sinned, some bones, sometimes and I had first afforded degree Burns covering 75% of my body.
When you look at, are you a smoker? Do you drink? What a general health, how old you are. A few other factors. And they say, based on what we know, based on what we know, how the body responds, this is your likelihood you’re going to survive. And they stop my family down. And they said, based on our experience and what we know about the body in John situation, he’s not going to make it. I need to start thinking about funeral arrangements. You need to start calling family and friends and to come see him because he may not make it through the night.
And if he does, he may not make it through the first week. And you hear my family just heard that I survived this horrific crash. Now they hold in a die. They destroyed. They’re scared. They’re shaking up. Their whole world is turned upside down. A nightmare. Living nightmare. What they did is they actually sedated me. They put me in a drug induced coma so that I wouldn’t experience the pain of the Burns. And they could work on me. So, they said they dated me. They put me to drug induced coma for about a month.
And that’s where they were able to work on me. But when they sedated me my body in the initial stages, it kept shutting down my lost, my liver, my kidneys would fail. I died three times on the operating table. There was no guarantee that I was going to wake up every time I went for surgery, my parents were. They were destroyed. They had no idea that I would make it through. Oh, and what I want your listeners to get is every choice that I need that night to get into the car, to not tell her drivers now down, to decide, to drink, to know where my seatbelt that night, every choice that I need that night.
But my family, friends, community, and school put them through hell like I did that at a human level. When I take responsibility for that, my choices did that sure was Jimmy driving, you know, but it was my choices that contributed this situation as well. That put my family through help and the aftermath of everything that I had to deal with. Dealing with. The burn scars, the surgeries, the dressing changes, dealing with the stairs, people staring at me because I’m a Burns of ever. You can tell them look different.
I have facial Burns, our scars. I have scars on my hands, my body covering my body, dealing with the loss of my friends, dealing with my best friend that dies, the people that you think are going to be there forever at an early age. You never think that you’re going to lose people. And I did lose family members to death because of whatever reason. But you never think you’re going to lose your friends. And how this impacted our school. We’re a month and a half before high school graduation, and it destroyed the student body.
I had impacted a student body for the rest of the year. The graduation was never the same. It wasn’t like the other year. And to this day, we still don’t do an annual reunion.
It’s like nobody wants to talk for graduation. Nobody wasn’t gotten together. And if they do, it’s very low key. It’s not this big celebration like some people do. And it really did impact me quite a bit. The relationship, dating, getting into dating and getting married and working my career, being able to use my hands funny, a career that I could actually do. It really impacts the survivors. We often see when a fatal crash happens, that it’s the people that died, but it’s also the ones that survive.
They’re the ones that really are impacted, you know, the ones that survive in the psychological damage that happens, the dealing with the suffering that accompanies that.
And I think your story is incredibly powerful and really gets you in teams of especially the way you tell the story, in teams of how it happens. But what does it mean for somebody to truly say safe on the road? Because I think what you’re sharing is common. A lot of people don’t think about the hazards when they jump in a car, they don’t think about what could happen. What does it really mean to be safe on the road? You say about your choices, your responsibilities? What are the things I can do to really own how I show up on the road?
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Yeah. So that’s a great question because I said, well, this morning, when I was preparing for this and truly being truly a safe driver, is fun. The rule the road. It’s really that simple, not putting others at risk. And that includes people in your own vehicle. Really be looking at like, what behavior? Driving behaviors are you not following? Like, are you wearing your seat belt? Are you to your heads clear? Are you making sure that you’re driving the speed limit and not using your phone? Things like that there.
I want to share something with you with your audience. One of the biggest things is we going to share your heads clear. And that’s not just alcohol. It’s also drugs, distractions, like smartphones and also your emotions, because we also talk about smartphones and putting the smartphones away. But it’s also your emotions, too. Have ever thought about how your emotions actually impact your driving in today’s society. We are so busy and so behind the gun. Sometimes we’re not even thinking about the road, right? Sometimes you’re late.
You’re rushing through traffic with you’re only focused on not being late. Maybe you’re angry because this is the third time this week and you can’t afford to be fired. So, you have all these thoughts and stresses because you’re legitimately afraid of losing your job. And you may be angry with yourself because you’re always doing this. You’re always late. And maybe you’re angry that your partner because they just caused this big fight about something and it went way too long and now, you’re late. Your focus is not on driving.
As you’re rushing through traffic or rushing around the corner, you rush around the corner, you hit the gases, you’re trying to spell the high the road and someone steps out in the street because you weren’t there a moment ago and you hit the brakes hard. But it’s not enough as your cars in that person, they bounce off your hood and Slam into the pavement. Now, I’m not going to finish the scenario as I want you to understand that the impacts on the world around you when you’re not paying attention to your driving and following the rules of the road and focusing on the road.
Unfortunately, this happens way too often. Please slow down. You could save someone’s life.
I think it’s incredibly important point. I know when it comes to me when it comes to getting into the car, the first thing I reflect on is really the state I’m in and really what really matters in terms of what are the experiences I want to have, the people that I love to really center in teams of the focus because like you said, as we’re late for a meeting or somebody cuts you off in front and really checking, even with the state and how I respond, even if you’re very focused, it’s very easy to get sidetracked to take a path that maybe you can’t return from them.
Yeah. And I’m a human, too. I live in this world, too. I live in a busy city just as well. And I get caught up in this too time. At the time. I have a phrase I say that really has me come to be in check. And it’s a powerful phrase for me because it means a lot to me. It may be nothing to you but find something for yourself and my phrase. And I say, when I am in that moment, I say, Be the brand, be the brand.
And the brand is road safety because I work with, I do a lot of work with the Insurance Corporation of Bridge, Columbia. So, I say be the brand. And what that means is, hey, if I want to talk about road safety, I got a broad safety. And so that simple be the brand phrase. I say it Ops me slow down. I get connected to what I’m doing now. I can’t really talk about road safety.
If I’m being a hypocrite out of the street and then somebody takes a picture of us.
Yeah, right. Weren’t you just talking to my kids last week about road safety, or weren’t you in the office? You how I do on road safety.
I think you talk about being the brand. I think the other element is a lot of our listeners are leaders that want to drive improvements in safety or safety leaders. And the other element is, how do you impart this into others? How do you make sure that your teams stay safe? How do you reinforce the right teams? How are you aware of maybe some of the blind spots you might have that may inadvertently be putting pressure on somebody to just get there on time.
Yeah. So as a leader, you can check in with your drivers to see where they are, how they’re managing the workload. They can drive safely, setting up protocols so that when your employees are driving, they are folks on the road and getting to their destination safely. Create some safe driving culture in your company to ensure everyone goes home safe. Also, create realistic time frame for getting work done. It’s okay to push the envelope for efficiency, to get things done to grow and to increase your efficiency with your job.
But do it in a safe manner. Also agree with employees that they don’t use their phone with the driving, doing all the calling and texting and emailing before they drive or after they drive. When you’re on a call and you’re driving, you’re not 100% on that call. You’re not focus on that call and you’re not focused on driving either. Your kind of like split between the two of them. So, your work suffers because you’re lack of focus that and you’re running the risk of being involved in a vehicle crash as you’re not focusing the road.
So, your customers, your coworkers, the work that you’re doing. Really, it deserves that focus on the call. So, if you got work to do, get it done before and create that environment with your company that you know what? Hey, take ten or 1520 minutes before you drive to do what you need to do so that you can focus on driving and the side benefit of that when your folks in the road and driving and you get a bit of a drive and you know that I can be doing this.
It gives your brain a break. It gives your brain a break. And what happens? There is a lot of times if you have to do problem solving or running a scenario through your head, you can often do that in the back of your head while you’re driving all the time, and it comes easier. So just that unplugging for a moment. Sometimes, you know, like when you’re looking at, you’re trying to find a solution for something. It’s thinking so hard at it, and you just can’t find that solution, and then you take a break and then it’s Ops.
Oh, I should have done that. Or I should do this. So, driving and just folks in the road allows your brain to take a break and really have that background process on your card. It helps reduce your stress as well.
I think very important points, and I think it’s something that a lot of organizations, industries really need to think through in teams of how do I drive that culture? That environment. Would people make the sick choice as a leader? Am I role modeling this? If I’m expecting people not to take calls, what on the highway, am I doing the same myself, or am I setting the wrong message in teams of how I show up as a leader?
Yeah. They can also hire us more like myself or to tell me to talk about road at in the impact of a failed vehicle crash, because oftentimes we’re not connected to the impacts and we drop our guard and we don’t follow the rules of the road, and we’re just not connected. And that’s just because it’s not our everyday life. We don’t live the impacts of every day. And it’s just natural to forget sometimes. And so, if you have somebody come in periodically to talk about the impacts of Throne safety.
And as soon as I stand in front of a group there’s like, people see the real impact, and then I start talking and it just solidifies like, wow, this guy’s been through something horrific. And so, it really allows people to do. And when I present, I like to create no presentation but a conversation. So, when I deliver these talks, I like to really communicate with the people that I’m talking to and really engage with them and inspire thought and inspire case. So, what would this be like if this happened to you?
How would your kids be impacted if you were injured at the job? Or how would your family be impacted if you lost your livelihood because of vehicle incident? And so, I want people just to think about the impacts of the choices, to really focus on being safer drivers. Now, in a perfect world, if everybody followed the rules, it’ll be super easy. It’d be super easy to follow. And if we pointed out, hey, that’s the bad apple. He needs to be punished. You know, it’d be super easy to follow the rules, but we don’t live in that perfect rule.
So, we have to be the brand. We have to put ourselves an issue and, you know, take that stand and be that and be the willingness to stand for something different, stand for something and for the rules to be followed so that everybody goes home safe.
I think it’s important what you do in teams of speaking to groups, to organization is very important because a lot of people don’t think that this is necessarily dangerous.
We all drive almost every day, maybe a little bit less during the pandemic. But most of us spend time, lots of time in the car driving. And so, we figure we’ve done this for decades. We’re okay. And if you think about certain high-risk profession, it’s not uncommon that you have very high-risk profession. And there’s more injuries that happen driving than there is doing the high-risk job because your attentions on the job when you’re doing a high-risk job, and then when you’re driving, you assume I’ve got us covered.
Yeah. I totally agree. I talked to Coalition in Texas last fall just about the transport, driving and things like that there and just live out, like how as drivers, we get so wrapped up and getting to point A or point B that we kind of forget about the safety aspect. And we need to really focus on, like, even though our job is when we get there, we still behind the wheel. That’s our job to being seen. And the financial cost of a crash. You know, the cost of the company at a brand level, like somebody drives by a crash where there is a fatal vehicle, fatal crash where there’s somebody had died.
And there’s this company’s logo. I don’t want to say it’s like somebody’s across the side of the vehicle. There’s a social impact. A branding impact on that company is.
And I think it’s an important point. And I think the other element is really how do you start shifting some of the industries that spend a lot of time on the road, a lot of windshield time. Take it seriously when it comes to road safety, because that needs to transpose into behaviors into how leaders show up in terms of expectations, in terms of what features you put in your cars, your trucks, whatever vehicle you’re driving on the road to make sure that you’re as safe as you can be.
Yeah. And we really need to look at the real cost in society when a fatal vehicle crash happens, detach them a couple of times. There’s the financial cost. There’s the physical cost. When I say physical, I mean, if somebody is injured or hurt in a crash, the physical cost, their ability. Like me, I lost my use of the enemy fingers are limited use on my arms. There’s a physical cost when a crash happens. And then there’s also the financial cost to the company. And also, there’s the emotional cost.
Like, how does this impact the people involved and the people that witness and say, for example, we’re getting back to going back to the office soon. So, most people have gone back to the office. And some people are getting back into going back to the office. And there may be some anxiety about going back to the office. And that plays a part in how you drive on that trip to work. You’re like less. It’s going to be like, Am I going to be safe and I’m going to be okay.
This whole pandemic is really shaking everybody. And so, it just adds a different element. So, we can work with our drivers to look at what are some of the impacts of some of the possible challenges that they’re going to face when they drive. And if we can combat those and put into place strategic strategies to help with these situations, then we can make our drivers safer and we can make sure that our drivers go home.
I think you also bring a very important point for really in teams. As people start coming back to the workplace. There’s also an element of people hasn’t had the practice. People that were traditionally maybe spending three or 4 hours commuting in big cities, back and forth between home and work have worked from home, and maybe he went to the grocery store here and there. But that’s a significant decrease in teams of windshield time. And in terms of practice of the road.
I take my daughter to preschool and I’m kind of lazy sometimes and I drive two blocks. That’s a different commute than it is to be a difference, very, very different.
And so, your exposure and a lot of cities have had a lot less traffic. So, a lot of the elements of people cutting you off the stress, I’m going to be late those bottlenecks even if you were commuting. Look, we’re going to look different in short order on really appreciate you sharing your story. I think it’s an incredibly moving story, very impactful. Hopefully, it helps people resonate on the importance of driver safety, both personally in teams of the choices they make, how they show up, but also as leaders in terms of how are they driving the right culture, the right environment where people making a I’d say choices that there isn’t enough.
There isn’t too much production pressure where people feel rushed to drive a certain place. You obviously share your story help motivate people to really reflect on how they say save. How can someone get in touch with you?
Yeah, they get in touch with to visit my website. John Westhaver. Com that’s J-O-H-N-W-E-S-T-H-A-V-E-R. Com. They can also email me John. John Westover. Com they can find me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, all that stuff and also YouTube. But the best way to do is to visit my website or to email me. That’s the best way to reach out to me. We are booking in person’s presentations, but also a lot of virtual presentations. Because of this pandemic, I’ve actually been able to create a studio in my house where I can deliver remotely, so I can come into your company and deliver a talk to your company at various different locations, virtually from my own place.
So, there’s no travel cost, which is great because it reduces the costs of having someone like myself come into the workplace and deliver talk. And I tell you I’m really engaging and we can also create custom packages for companies to bring safety messages on weekly level to their drivers so we can create all kinds of different things that really drive home that road safety message and being enrolling about it. My whole philosophy around all the stuff that I do is try not to preach to people because when we preach to people, the message gets lost because I’m telling you know what to do versus if I can share with you and enroll you and something possible when you become a safer driver, that’s going to drive change more and faster than if I preach to you and tell you that you’re bad and wrong for what you’re doing.
So. John, thank you so much for joining me today and for sharing a story and really giving some thoughts around how can I choose to be a safer driver and how can I influence my teams to be safer on the road? Thank you.
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ABOUT THE GUEST
John Westhaver is masterful at driving home the importance of Road Safety. He uses his life experiences of surviving a fatal car crash at the age of 18, where he lost three friends and sustained life-threatening burns to 75% of his body. He has been speaking to audiences since 2002 and has impacted tens of thousands of people across Canada and the USA. He is a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers and is also a certified Virtual Presenter. On or off stage, he is a master at engaging and empowering people.
John’s focus is that road safety is everyone’s responsibility, and the choices you make in a vehicle impact everyone in your workplace, company, family and community. He motivates and drives home just how important it is to be a safe driver, not only at work but outside work. Masterful at empowering people to change their driver behaviours, John leaves the audience with lots to think about.
John works closely with ICBC (Insurance Company of British Columbia), educating youth about road safety for almost 15 years. His focus is on driver safety with companies and organizations of any size. He brings a fresh view and conversation to road safety, speaking from his experiences dealing with life as a burn survivor and all the trauma and suffering that ensues being the sole survivor. He is a living reason to become a safer driver and is masterful at driving home the importance of road safety.
His passion is helping others, and it shows. He volunteers with the Firefighters Burn Fund Victoria, BC Burn Survivor Support Group, helping others who have experienced burn trauma to navigate life after the trauma. He also serves on the board of the Firefighter’s Burn Fund Victoria, BC and the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers BC Chapter.
He has also been awarded for the work he does in the community. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II, Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2017, he was also awarded the Coast Mental Health – Courage To Come Back Award.
Remember, it’s everyone’s responsibility to be a safe driver, and their choices impact how safe your workplace or school is. John is looking forward to driving home the importance of road safety with your company, organization or school. Connect with him today and make your company, organization or school the safest on the roads. Let’s ensure everyone gets to go home safe. Connect with John at https://www.johnwesthaver.com