Thursday, August 6, 2009

Be alert

There is another lesson we can learn from the tragic accident on the Taconic Parkway in which eight people were killed when a drunken woman traveled the wrong way on that highway. The lesson is, pay attention!

Drivers must always be looking well ahead of the car in front of them, because you never know what’s coming up: a slow-down in traffic (watch for brake lights), a complete stoppage, merging traffic, an erratic or very slow driver on a high speed highway, or activity in the breakdown lane.

When traveling in any traffic, whether on a high-speed expressway or a lower speed city street, we always have to be alert and watching for the unknown. Even pedestrians must pay attention, obviously when crossing the street, but also while walking on the sidewalk. Pedestrians should watch for irregularities in the sidewalk, other pedestrians, and obstacles (trees, parking meters).

Despite this need for safety and alertness, people are distracted constantly. Cell phone use (whether walking or driving) is dangerous, and texting even more so. Texting while driving is the equivalent of driving while intoxicated and should never be done. In cars people drink, eat, fiddle with the radio or CD player, and all kinds of other activities. How about staying focused on the task at hand – driving!

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