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Safer driving is only way to prevent more crashes on highways
Written by Trista Steers MacVittie   
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 00:00

Slow down, put the cell phone away, and pay attention to the road.

If more drivers followed these three basic principles of safe driving we would see far fewer accidents on our highways.

Larson Newspapers Managing Editor Trista Steers MacVittieLast week alone, three motorcycle accidents around Sedona resulted in the deaths of two Sedona men.

The simple way to improve safety on Verde Valley highways is for each and every driver to commit to driving responsibly.

Since those deaths May 9 and Thursday, May 10, I took stock of my own driving.

I don’t text while I drive, and my car has a built-in hands-free telephone.

I don’t put on makeup, brush my teeth, read or do any of the other crazy things I’ve witnessed people doing while driving 75 miles per hour down the highway.

I used to push it a bit when it comes to speed creeping up to five or more miles per hour over the speed limit. Since Thursday, however, I’ve driven the speed limit.

“Safe” drivers can also cause problems if they don’t understand the rules of the road. The most basic rule, which I see violated daily on my commute, is do not drive in the left lane unless you are passing or driving at least the speed limit. If you’re not going 65 mph on the highway, you have no business in the left lane.

Whether it’s a fender bender or fatal accident, the majority of crashes are caused by someone doing something they shouldn’t while driving.

Unfortunately, despite pleading from people like me or crashes of their own, some motorists will always drive poorly, and to deal with them, I say let’s step up enforcement.

I’m OK with higher fines for speeding, and traffic school needs to be a tool frequently used by law enforcement to get the point across.

If a person receives multiple speeding tickets or causes any sort of accident, the infraction should automatically warrant a few days of learning how to drive again.

I take driving very seriously, and it angers me when I see people acting like jerks on the roadway.

I can count more than 10 family members and friends I lost to car accidents before I was 25, including my brother and a few good childhood friends.

So, when I see someone not paying attention, weaving in and out of traffic or tailgating, it makes me very angry, and if you endanger my life, I will call the cops on you. I’ve done it before, and I won’t hesitate to do it again.

Dangerous drivers are not only putting their lives in danger, but their actions create risk for all of us who do drive safely.

 

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