Bus accidents a reminder to avoid distracted driving

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, September 23, 2015

As you have seen on the front page, there was one more bus accident in Pearl River County.

This is the second accident this month.

We hope the 25-year-old driver of the Dodge Dakota involved in Tuesday’s collision on Highway 43 South recovers fully and quickly.

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We’re also thankful that none of the school children onboard the bus were injured too badly. So far, neither bus accident this month caused any injuries to children but it seems both accidents could have been prevented. Both accidents occurred on clear days, on dry roads and in places of reasonable visibility—public highways.

In Tuesday’s collision, the bus was stopped, presumably with its brake lights lit up, and yet someone still slammed into the back of the bus.

Perhaps these ideal driving conditions led to a false sense of security—nothing very bad can happen on a mild morning in late summer.

But obviously tragedies and near tragedies can happen any time on any day whenever a driver is distracted. In fact, the National Safety Council reports that, every year, 1.6 million vehicle collisions are the result of texting and driving. To put that another way, in 2011, nearly a quarter of all crashes were due to texting and driving. There are already laws in the state that forbid drivers from texting and fumbling around with digital devices, but these laws are hard to enforce and, no doubt, many drivers assume they won’t get caught if they send one quick text message.

But the fact is, getting a ticket is not the worst thing that can happen to you if you’re texting and driving or simply distracted and driving. The worst thing that can happen is, you kill someone, or you kill yourself.

Of all the stories we report, the most tragic are the stories of senseless accidents, the stories that if but for one brief momentary loss of reason, would not be in the paper at all.

Please remember, even on the sunniest of days, safety means remaining alert and remaining in control of your vehicle.