Is telling scary stories a good way to make people safer?

I, tell stories about accidents. I tell stories about disasters because telling stories of disasters is much more fun at parties than telling stories about risk assessments.

The underlying deep reason I do it is because I want people to understand the complexity of accidents. To understand that not that it could be you, but the people who have accidents are not evil people, are not people who don’t care. They are people living and experiencing their work when disaster strikes.

There’s an opposite darker side where people think that the people in accidents didn’t care. And if you could just tell someone a story about an accident that would make them care. As if you weren’t frightened about your car slamming into a wall at 60km per hour into a wall but tell someone a story about and suddenly you are scared about it. As if you didn’t know beforehand that cars were dangerous. And there is very little power in those stories.

People don’t have life-changing experience from hearing someone else’s story about a disaster. People have life-changing experiences from personally experiencing a disaster or from coming to a new and deeper understanding that good people with good intentions can end up in danger. So telling about disasters is fun. Telling stories about disasters can be educational. Telling stories for the pure purpose of scaring people is a waste of time.

Drew Rae | Proudly brought to you by Southpac International.

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