The warning signs of a traffic accident

Posted 12/31/17

Here’s a novel thought as we approach the celebratory mood of New Year’s Eve: Traffic accidents can happen anywhere, any time and to anybody — with or without warning.We’ve written about it …

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The warning signs of a traffic accident

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Here’s a novel thought as we approach the celebratory mood of New Year’s Eve: Traffic accidents can happen anywhere, any time and to anybody — with or without warning.


We’ve written about it in this editorial space for the past few years. Perhaps it has helped; at the very least, maybe it has given motorists something to think about.


Although we are already counting down the hours to the close of another year — and with it there will be lively festivities, partying, fellowship, drinking and distractions — such rightful celebrations are expected, but it is our hope they are done responsibly, safely and in moderation.


Besides, New Year’s Eve does not corner the market on good times. Folks also toast the privileges of life on the Fourth of July and Christmas Eve, as well as significant events like weddings, birthdays and graduations.


But here’s our point: Be aware. Stay cognizant of those around you. And understand the warning signs of a potential traffic accident.


“Huh?” some might suggest with a scratch of the head. “How can you know when a traffic accident will occur? What kind of warning can be so prophetic?”


They are good questions. But their answers are not complicated. To borrow from a familiar adage, it’s not rocket science. Instead, it is common sense.


Here are those warning signs of a traffic accident:


When a driver chooses to consume alcohol with the intent of getting behind the steering wheel of a motorized vehicle after those few (or many) drinks, that’s a warning.


When a driver chooses to experiment with, or to abuse, any mind-altering substance with the intent of getting behind the steering wheel of a motorized vehicle after using or abusing those substances, that’s a warning.


When a driver chooses to ignore the caution labels on certain cold, sinus or pain medications and gets behind the steering wheel of a motorized vehicle, that’s a warning.


When a driver chooses to make a cellphone call while behind the steering wheel of a moving motorized vehicle, that’s a warning.


When a driver chooses to text a friend, or read a text, using that same cellphone while behind the steering wheel of a moving motorized vehicle, that’s a warning.


When a driver recklessly acts like a daredevil or involves himself in any type of horseplay with friends in other vehicles, while behind the steering wheel of a moving motorized vehicle, that’s a warning.


When a driver is too involved in conversation with passengers, especially those in the back seat , while behind the steering wheel of a moving motorized vehicle, that’s a warning.


When a driver ignores speed limits because he’s a few minutes late to his appointment, a party or a date, while behind the steering wheel of a moving motorized vehicle, that’s a warning.


When a driver takes needless chances by racing through traffic signals while in their yellow or red cycles just because they are too impatient to await the next green, while behind the steering wheel of a moving motorized vehicle, that’s a warning.


When a driver adamantly refuses to use his turn signal because it’s too much trouble or because he sees no one behind him or because one hand is holding a cellphone and one hand is holding a cup of coffee, while behind the steering wheel of a moving motorized vehicle, that’s a warning.


When a driver fails to obey “Move Over” laws, when it's possible to safely do so, for the protection of law enforcement, road repair, recovery and utilities personnel — as well as anybody — while behind the steering wheel of a moving motorized vehicle, that’s a warning.


When a driver embraces the attitude of aggressive, instead of defensive, driving while behind the steering wheel of a moving motorized vehicle, that’s a warning.


When a driver impatiently passes a slower vehicle on a curve or a hill when the yellow lines are solid on his side of the road, while behind the steering wheel of a moving motorized vehicle, that’s a warning.


When a driver rubbernecks when he sees a pretty girl or handsome guy, while behind the steering wheel of a moving motorized vehicle, that’s a warning.


As we said, traffic accidents can happen anywhere, any time and to anybody … and sometimes without warning.


But, there are warnings. We, who are the drivers behind the steering wheel of a moving motorized vehicle, just need to look for them.


Drive safely, folks.


Lives are a stake, including yours and those you love most.

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