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Get the school year off to a safe start

Get the school year off to a safe start Get the school year off to a safe start

Star News


Slow down.

In scientific research there is a rule called “Occam’s Razor” which is that the simplest answer is most often correct. That rule applies in observing the motion of the planets orbiting the sun, determining bacteria and viruses cause diseases, and, when it comes to motor vehicles, speed kills.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, in 2020 speeding killed 11,258 people. This averages out to a little over 30 people a day, or about one person dead due to speeding every 48 minutes. This is just the statistics for fatal crashes. When you add in crashes leading to hospitalization, severe, and often permanent injuries, or the financial impact of vehicle damage and hospitalization expense, the cost of speeding becomes staggeringly high.

The numbers grow even larger when you start adding in contributing factors such as fatigue, distractions from mobile devices or fiddling with vehicle controls, or being influenced by drugs or alcohol.

When it comes to making sure everyone on the road gets to their destinations safely, the simple solution is to slow down and pay attention.

This is especially important to remember as the new school year begins and the roads get more congested with teachers, parents, students and staff heading to and from school buildings. Morning and afternoon commutes to and from workplaces will take longer due to increased traffic. Added to this, school busses will be picking up and dropping off students along their routes, further creating the potential for traffic delays.

Frustration at traffic and delays can lead to poor decisions on the road including the urge to speed in the hope of making up for lost time. At best this might get you a pricey ticket from law enforcement personnel who make a point of patrolling during the busiest times of day.

At worst, it could result in you or someone else getting a ride to the hospital or funeral home.

The simple solution is to plan ahead and give yourself a few extra minutes as you drive to and from work or school. Waiting to leave and rushing to get there at the last possible minute may work for a while, but why press your luck when you don’t have to?

With the start of the new school year, mindsets change from a more easy-going summer schedule to a more frazzled and frenzied fall rush. It is easy to get caught up in the rush from place to place and forget that when it comes to driving, speed and distractions lead to needless tragedy and suffering.

Slow down and make sure you get the school year off to a safe start.