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Be alert for driving distractions this time of year

A lot can happen in a second.

If you read enough crash scene reports, you pick up on a common thread. The drivers tell officers they took their eyes off the road for “just a second.”

It might have been to turn up the volume or switch to a different station on their radio. It may have been to see the message on their cellphone or dial a phone number. Just as likely it could be to reprimand an unruly child in the back seat, make a desperate grab for the bag of fast food that tipped over or blink groggily from tiredness.

A lot happens in a second. If you are driving in town at 25 mph, in a second your vehicle will travel 40 feet, about the length of a typical school bus. It will take about twice that distance to come to a sudden stop.

At highway speeds of 60 mph, in that distracted second, you will travel nearly 90 feet, about the width of a typical city lot. Again, it would take about twice that distance to come to sudden stop.

Virtually all drivers have been distracted at one time or another for one reason or another. Blind luck, relatively empty roads and divine providence help keep the number of crashes down.

This gets scarier this time of year. School is out for the summer. Fair weather sees more people of all ages out and about. From children playing catch in a neighbor’s yard or the angler with their rod trekking to their favorite fishing hole, there are more people on and around the roads. More people means more chances for a split second of distraction ending in a tragedy.

With the turn of the seasons, it is necessary to put out the reminder to turn off your internal auto-pilot. It is necessary to stay alert and keep your eyes on the road and not let distractions steal away the concentration needed to ensure that all who travel make it home safe and secure.

A lot can happen in a second.

When it comes to traffic safety there is no room for accidents. Keep your eyes and mind on the road and help ensure a safe and fun summer for everyone.