Monday, November 24, 2014

"Ooh Look at Those Pretty Lights"

The twinkling lights of red and blue might have looked pretty from a distance, but if you were one of the many motorists stuck in the big traffic jam on US69 Highway Friday night, pretty was probably the last thing you were thinking.

So what happened Friday? A combination of things or a perfect storm of sorts, when it comes to traffic. The tail-end of a Friday night rush hour, heavy construction, wet roads, highway speeds and tailgating drivers. Bam! Crash number one! One car into another, and another into a guardrail. Oh, it was just too much to pass up without taking a look, and then, Bam!! Crash number two... followed by crash number three... then four... and then five. And not just a simple two car crash either. No, most of them had more than two cars. One of them appeared to have involved six cars, until sorting everything out the officers learned that one was actually two separate crashes.

A simple two car crash ties up one officer for at least 45 minutes or longer. Add additional cars, passengers, injuries or vehicles that require tows, and you can start doubling that time. Get a bunch of cars involved or put a simple two car crash in a high traffic area and the incident will start to tie up multiple officers for traffic control. And that's just scratching the surface of the on-scene investigation. It doesn't even begin to get into all of the costs associated with any property or personal injuries involved. Most folks would consider it an inconvenience to deal with a crash on their Friday night instead of just relaxing. You can reduce your risk of being involved in this type of inconvenience simply by driving defensively and keeping your eyes on the roadway in front of you.

Notice we didn't say drive aggressively, we said drive defensively. That means don't tailgate, reduce your speed in construction zones, don't drive in someone else's blind spot, check your mirrors and check then often. If you ever find yourself involved in a crash that can be moved off of the highway, please move it. Don't give other's something to look at.

Yes, those twinkling lights can be mesmerizing. And the destruction that occurs when one vehicle collides with another is tempting to look at, but avoid the temptation and keep your focus on driving.