Accidents are far too common

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The sun had just come up on a warm country morning as I was tooling down the road on my way to get my oil changed.

With a full cup of coffee, my attention behind the wheel was focused on the cool morning breeze and the calming aroma of my cup of joe as I came to a slow stop at a traffic signal in town. As the light turned green, I saw a speeding car about to cross my path with the looks of not stopping, despite the red traffic signal ahead.

When my light turned green, I crept through the intersection and was forced to slam on my brakes, replacing the smell of coffee with the stench of rubber.

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As I glanced at the driver, who stopped smack-dab in the middle of the intersection, I saw him lift his phone close to his face.

What could have almost ruined both of our lives seemed to not matter as much to this driver. What did matter was displayed on the screen of his phone. What could be so important that you risk your own life and the ones around you?

Car accidents seem to be a common occurrence, and that is frightening.

Because driving is an activity most of us endure on a daily basis, it seems people have become complacent in their defensive driving skills. Most of us deem ourselves as expert drivers, but the reality is everyone has the same chance of being involved in a collision as anyone else.

Driving a two-ton car should not be treated like a walk through the park. Every time each of us straps into the driver seat, we need to acknowledge the risks and potential dangers of being on the road and take the responsibility of avoiding unnecessary distractions.

Videos on social media about the dangers of driving while texting seems to deliver the important message that could save thousands of lives. But when we drive past an accident, only then do we briefly come to the realization of what could happen if we aren’t paying attention.

Before coming to Picayune, I lived in a major city in North Carolina and in my five years there, I can’t recall seeing as many wrecks as I have here.

The law enforcement officers in this county are doing a great job at keeping distracted drivers off the roads, but they can only do so much.

We as a community need to help each other and keep each other’s safety in mind when getting behind the wheel.