When a crash hits close to home…
One of the things I enjoy about heading up to the cottage for a vacation each year is the actual drive itself. Spending five hours behind the wheel with family creates good conversation and a relaxing time for me. Time at the cottage is very relaxing as well and we can’t wait to get there, but being patient with traffic during the actual trip is a trait all drivers need to have. That wasn’t the case this year.
While heading to the cottage on a sunny Saturday afternoon a severe collision occurred a mere few minutes behind me on the same highway. There were two campers ahead of a driver of a pickup truck, which seemed to slow them down. At a point on the road, the driver of the pickup truck behind the campers pulled out to pass. Visibility wasn’t good as they were cresting a hill, but they did it anyway. This unsafe pass attempt put them in the path of an oncoming vehicle. The rest was chaos. This particular collision sadly took the lives of two seniors.
The investigation from the police has revealed the driver of a northbound pick-up truck attempted to pass two trucks pulling campers and was forced to swerve to miss a southbound SUV. The SUV swerved into the northbound lane as a sudden reaction to avoid the pickup truck and hit a northbound camper truck head-on. The driver and the passenger of the SUV were pronounced dead at the scene. Such tragedy could have been easily avoided.
First and foremost the pavement markings are guidelines of when passing could be done. If the pavement markings are broken lines, you’re allowed to pass if the way is clear. Solid line pavement makings are put down mainly because visibility is poor; such as cresting a hill or approaching a curve. You really have to think; why attempt a pass over a double solid line on a busy Saturday in the summer? The repercussions of their actions – two fatalities.
I discussed this collision with a few people at the cottage after we heard about it. They each said it hit close to home since this collision happened within minutes of us. We all want to reach our vacation spots but we must also remain patient behind the wheel. Eventually there may be a time you’ll be able to pass slower moving vehicles. But until then; just stay back and go with the flow.
When we hear and read about collisions like this in our own area we tend to think a little deeper about how we drive. It often reminds us to drive more cautiously. But in reality, it shouldn’t have to take a collision like this to make us change our driving techniques, should it? Shouldn’t we always drive in a way that will protect us from collisions? The time we save by making ill-advised passes or by speeding or running red lights is minimal. But people still do it. Many times, like this example, the innocent suffer. Why put other road users at risk?
I’ve often said, if we all drive like we were supposed to, there wouldn’t be any collisions. Life is a journey, not a race. Take the time to enjoy the ride. Our lives depend on it.