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Drivers Need To Be Aware
August 22, 2013 - Al Stephenson
I drive for a local car dealer. My trips have taken me as far away as Augusta, Georgia and St. Paul, Minnesota. It never ceases to amaze me at the number of reckless drivers that I encounter. Some people are ridiculous. I have seen many drivers text while behind the wheel. Also, I have witnessed motorists traveling at an alarming high rate of speed. The potential for disastrous wrecks have been numerous.
That potential also exists for the good driver, as it only takes a split second of distraction for something awful to happen. This past week has proven that fact to me over and over again. It was, to say the least, a miserable week.
It began last Wednesday as I witnessed an accident. I was following a semi on St. Rt. 4 when we came to the intersection of St. Rt. 99 south of Sandusky. The semi driver turned his left turn signal on. A van traveling south on Rt. 4 had his left turn signal on as well. The semi started to turn only to find that the van wasn't going to do the same. The van lost that encounter.
This was not necessarily reckless driving. The truck driver assumed (always a bad idea) that the van was going to turn onto Rt. 99. Now perhaps the van driver did not realize his turn signal was on. A more likely scenario is that Rt. 99 had a road closed sign at the intersection. The van driver may have realized that he could not turn there and decided to proceed in the direction he was traveling. Fortunately neither driver was going too fast and it appeared no one was hurt.
Such was not the case at the intersection of Miami and Nelson streets in Tiffin a couple of days later. There a truck ran through a red light striking a van. A female passenger in the van was killed. I knew the occupants of the van. I couldn't help but think that the fact that the intersection is usually a flashing yellow for Miami street drivers may have been a contributing factor. The light is fully operational for a couple of hours each afternoon as factories let out their daily work shift.
Whatever the reason for the accident, a life was lost and many more lives were affected by the tragedy.
A couple of days later a motorcyclist was killed in an accident that involved a former student of mine. Though she was not at fault, the knowledge that you were involved in a fatal accident has to take a toll.
My week concluded on Tuesday with a scare at, once again, Miami and Nelson streets. A van was southbound on Nelson waiting at the red light. I was stopped behind the van. When the light turned green, the van started forward only to slam on its brakes. A couple of seconds later a young woman who was eastbound on Miami, went right through the red light and turned left onto Nelson. I blew my horn at her and pointed to the traffic light, but she was oblivious. She may still not know that she did anything wrong. What she did however easily could have caused another serious accident.
The view from my seat suggests that drivers must be aware at all times. Driving a vehicle is a full time job. Pay attention to what you are doing. The life you save could be your own.
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