Such simple advice, often not followed, and tragedy ensues.
In Richmond County we have lost four lives in traffic crashes within the last three weeks.
The headlines are stacking up: “Young mother killed in crash, two children hospitalized,” “Wreck claims life of Rock Hill man,” “Gibson man killed on moped,” and “Teen dies in car wreck.”
The two-vehicle crash that claimed the life of the young mother has led to charges against the other driver, according to the N.C. State Highway Patrol.
Erick Jameson Apsitis, 48, of Charlotte, has been charged with misdemeanor death by a motor vehicle and failure to stop at a stop sign, according to the report filed by Trooper Justin Garner. Apsitis is accused of causing the wreck that killed Courtney Deese, 27, according to the report.
A slippery road and speeding were factors in a recent wreck that involved two teenage girls who were not wearing seat-belts, according to police.
Allison Butler, 17, of Rockingham, died in the crash. Mikayla Boone, 17, was driving the car, according to Rockingham police. The accident occurred on Aslington Street in Rockingham at 3:15 p.m. “It appears the driver went off the right side of the road, which caused her to roll several times,” the police chief said. Butler was ejected from the vehicle and died.
According to AAA Carolinas, traffic accidents are the number one cause of death for people age 5 to 30.
Please people: Slow down. Pay attention to the road in front of you. Be careful.
AAA offers these common sense rules to help you driver safely:
• Manage your time, visibility and space on the road. You should always leave three to four seconds of following distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
• Reduce blind spots by adjusting your side mirrors so you can no longer see the side of your car. This will seem awkward at first, but it nearly eliminates blind spots in most vehicles allowing you to drive safely.
• Avoid internal and external distractions while operating your vehicle. Pay attention to the road in front of you and vehicles around you as opposed to the radio, other passengers, mobile devices or activity on the side of the road. Avoid eating or grooming while behind the wheel.
• Never drive drowsy. Get a full nights rest before any long trips and if you feel yourself nodding off, pull into a rest area or service station and move around to wake your body up before continuing down the road. Alcohol affects your judgment, reaction time and motor skills. It is never safe to drive after consuming alcohol.
• Consult your pharmacist for information on driving safely with all prescription and over-the-counter medications.
And finally, consider the weather and road conditions you may experience.
Adverse weather, heavy road construction and traffic can significantly impact your route selection, expected driving time and safety. Be sure to check local road conditions before getting on the road. Each state’s Department of Transportation maintains up-to-date information on current road conditions. While traveling, have a passenger call 511 on a mobile phone for updated road conditions in your area.
Be careful out there.