Safety while driving should be a priority

By Carol Dwyer
February 7, 2011

Three days before Christmas, I was heading home along Naamans Road in Delaware with family when we came up on a traffic jam.  Cars were inching eastbound toward the Foulk Road intersection, only a short distance.  At the point where we first encountered the traffic jam, we were unable to see what has caused it.

Eventually, we could see the lights of numerous emergency vehicles in the distance that hinted at a serious car accident.  When we were about seven car lengths from reaching the accident site near Foulk Road, I heard a helicopter in the area.  My first thought was a news helicopter in the air, until suddenly we saw lights rising up off the side of the road a short distance ahead.

Someone had to be airlifted and a few moments after the helicopter flew right overhead we saw the car that had crashed.

It was sitting on the driver’s side, the driver and front passenger seats up against a utility pole.  It looked to be an average sedan-sized car, but the type of car was unrecognizable from my passenger-side vantage point two lanes away.

Having seen the helicopter carry someone away and the damage to the car, we could only hope that nobody died in the accident.

I later found out through reader comments on an article published by Delaware Online that the worst injury in the accident was a broken leg.  Other reader comments discussed the issue of what the minimum driving age should be, as well as what age group is the most dangerous on the road.

According to Delaware Online, the car had three teens in it, including the 16-year-old driver.

A driver could be 17, 37, 57 or any other legal driving age and certain actions would make them equally dangerous while behind the wheel.  Therefore, I do not feel that younger drivers are always more dangerous than older drivers or vice versa.

Reviewing the minimum driving age and if necessary, raising it, seems better than labeling either all young or all older drivers as the most dangerous. If the minimum driving age had to be raised, I doubt that it would need to go above the age of 18.

The weather didn’t seem to come into play as it was simply very cold out that night and the roads were dry.  There was no mention of speeding, drinking or texting while driving as the cause of the accident.

However, the description of how the car ended up where it did gave way to confusion among reader comments. It seemed to be a freakish accident, thankfully with a good outcome for the three girls in the car.

Although this happened back in December, a car accident is always relevant due to growing volumes of traffic over the years and many other factors. A middle-aged drunk driver crashed into my mom and I as we exited the Concord Mall parking lot one night during my elementary school years.  When I was in the 7th grade, a friend’s 14-year-old brother, along with the 17-year-old driver, died in a car accident caused by 90-mph speeding.

Drunk driving and speeding continues, as we hear of celebrity DUI arrests and witness some cars going much faster than others they barely avoid hitting.

The latest scary trend, of course, comes with mobile technology and using it at the wrong time.  As drivers and passengers in cars, we already face enough dangers between points A and B. That being said, it amazes me that texting while driving became such a big problem in today’s world of driving.

I think of it as, “why die or kill someone else as the result of texting ‘rotf lmao’ to someone?”

However, the ability to communicate and access information without being tied down to a desktop computer easily draws too many people in.  Today’s world is about convenience and unfortunately has its down side, which I hope there is continued awareness for in order to save lives.

As for the 16-year-old driver who crashed on Naamans Road last month, the Delaware Online article stated that she was charged with reckless driving.

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Carol Dwyer

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