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Seeing Red

February 19, 2013 - Heather Ziegler
It's not just my imagination and the Ohio State Highway Patrol backs me up. I've noticed that many drivers are running red lights, stop signs or failing to yield to traffic, especially when entering the interstates. The State Patrol says there are way too many crashes as a result of this behavior behind the wheel every year. They say these types of violations are the second highest cause of fatal crashes in Ohio every year. Here are some stats: Failure to yield violations can be deadly – in 2012, 37,475 crashes in Ohio were caused by a driver failing to yield – killing 187 people and injuring 23,353. Young drivers, age 16-25, were at-fault in 30 percent of these crashes. This is nearly twice as high as those aged 26-35 – with 16 percent. They recommend drivers avoid failure to yield crashes by: · Slowing down and taking their time · Looking both ways before entering an intersection · Signaling every turn and lane change · Making a complete stop at stop lights and stop signs · Yielding to other drivers and being courteous I think many states have done away with yield signs and that's too bad. The signs were red for a reason. It meant if you did not have a clear right of way into the merging lane you needed to stop and not just plow into the lane of traffic. Some may argue, in bigger cities, that you have to be aggressive while driving or you'll never get anywhere! I try to avoid big city driving for that reason. A couple of really bad places where yielding is a problem are the Washington Avenue on ramp to Interstate 70 west and the on ramp to I-70 east from Wheeling Island. I pray a lot at those locations and try to avoid them when possible. I don't know what I'm supposed to do if I am in the right lane and there are vehicles on my left and then someone coming on from a ramp tries to get in my lane. If I slow down too much I could be rear-ended. If I can't move to the left lane, I have to stay put and maintain my speed. I don't understand why some drivers think they are entitled to force you into the car next to you or cause you to slam on your brakes at 55 mph. While I am on my high horse (power trip), the other day I watched as a vehicle in front of me on National Road weaved left into the other lane a couple of times. When we pulled up next to the car, the woman behind the wheel was texting as she drove. There were two young children in the backseat. I wanted to be Gomer Pyle and scream "Citizen's arrest. Citizen's arrest," but all I could do was scream at her through the closed window of my car. Some people don't deserve the PRIVILEGE to drive let alone have kids. Can you tell I'm fed up with driving --anywhere!

 
 

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