- Special Sections
- Public Notices
The issue: Driver awareness
Our view: Use caution and slow down
As the summer rolls in and the school year comes to a close, it reminds us that our community will become much more active over the next several months.
Kids will darting out into the street to chase a ball and more bicycles will share the road with motorists.
We already know that there will be those who won’t use their turn signals while others will be driving far beyond the speed limit. You already know you’re going to see motorists driving with their knees while trying to consume a cheeseburger on the way to an appointment for which they are more than likely late. If that isn’t enough to scare you, no doubt at some point you will pull up next to a driver swerving from lane to lane while texting a message to their BFF.
This is the time to consciously increase your level of awareness and attentiveness while navigating roads in our community. With the movement of new residents into our county with BRAC and new drivers who just got their license for the first time, our roads will be busier this summer than ever before.
There is nothing more frustrating than to hear of serious injuries resulting from negligence on the part of a driver. In fact, most automobile crashes could be avoided if we all just paid attention to what we’re doing at the time. It also would help if we adhered to safety basics such as wearing a seatbelt.
In a report issued by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, 649 people were killed in motor vehicle collisions in 2009. Of those, 398 were not wearing a seatbelt that is a staggering 61.3 percent. In the same report is the claim that seatbelts worn properly reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat occupants by 45 percent. If you were to make the assumption that the 398 were front-seat occupants that would mean that 179 people in Kentucky would not have died in 2009. The number of vehicle deaths in Kentucky increased in 2010 to 791.
Make the right decision for yourself, your family and your friends, wear your seatbelt.
Of course warm weather means motorcycles on the roads of Hardin County as things heat up. Unless you’re vehicle is a glass bubble, it probably has a blind spot or two. A substantial number of motorcycle crashes happen when drivers of a passenger vehicle fail to check their blind spots. They also happen because some riders are simply careless and push the limits. Remember that everything you do when driving or riding is usually the result of a split second decision.
For those of you who choose to ride your motorcycle without a helmet, take a closer look. If you’ve used a helmet before and you see a bunch of little nicks and scratches from road debris then think how those little rocks would have felt bouncing off your head at 70 mph. It is clear that wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle, ATV or bike is a life-saving choice. All we’re asking is that you consider making the right one.
For some, warm weather also brings on an increased use of alcohol. Regardless of alcohol usage laws, lives will be lost to drunken drivers this summer.
We encourage everyone to drive with a heightened awareness on the roads of Hardin County this summer. Be safe, be careful, be defensive, but most of all slow down. It’s far better to arrive safely than not at all.
This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.