The North Carolina Highway Patrol is not among the state agencies that fills journalists’ email inboxes with press releases and requests for news coverage.
That makes it all the more notable that the Highway Patrol reached out last week to local media in an effort to promote safe driving.
In the two-county district that our local Highway Patrol covers – Person and Caswell – there have been seven traffic fatalities so far this year. Only one of the seven deaths has been in Person County, but that doesn’t make the Highway Patrol’s message any less important.
We are in the midst of what the Highway Patrol refers to as the 100 deadly days period – that time between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when many fatal crashes take place.
There are probably a million reasons why this period is so much more deadly, but clearly, more young drivers have free time during this period, which encompasses all of summer vacation. And, people are traveling more during this time for that same reason – it’s vacation season.
We think it is helpful to know that there are times when tragedies like this happen more than others. For the wise driver, it’s an important reminder to slow down, pay attention to your surroundings as you drive, make sure you buckle those seatbelts and give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going without acting like you’re Jeff Gordon.
Traffic accidents are preventable. Poor decisions by drivers kill people every day in this country.
The problem has reared its head in unusual proportions this year in our backyard.
But we are smart enough to put an end to it. If we will only let our wiser heads prevail.