Saturday, May 18, 2013
Troopers: Inattention, Distraction Contribute To Driving Fatalities
Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said many fatal collisions are made all the more tragic because so many of them are easily preventable.
On Friday, the 49th state had seen 49 deaths on its roads this year.
On Saturday, that number reached 50.
"Alaskans are dying on our highways,” said Megan Peters, a spokeswoman for the Alaska State Troopers. "Motorists, when they're getting behind the wheels of their cars, they aren't focusing solely on the task of driving."
Peters said the fatal collisions are made all the more tragic because so many of them are easily preventable.
"I drive the highway every day to work and I see a lot of people weaving in and out, getting mad because they can't get around you,” said Tammy Davis, an Anchorage resident who has called 911 more than once to report dangerous drivers on the Seward Highway.
Troopers say drivers are distracted by everything from cell phones and other passengers, to food and plain inattention.
"We've seen instances where people have passed in no passing zones, we've seen instances where people have been exceedingly fatigued while operating their cars,” Peters said. “We've seen people that are just in a rush."
"I just think people think it would never happen to them,” Davis said
Meanwhile, Troopers say they’re still investigating what caused Saturday’s fatal accident outside of Girdwood.
They don’t know what happened when Ronnie Allen’s silver pickup crossed over the center line and slammed into James Ries’ red Chevy.
But now, they say there are no more excuses.
“It’s time for drivers to be accountable for their actions on the roadways,” Peters said.
The next time you hit the road, remember: the highway is only as safe as the drivers on it.
"Just being behind somebody that's going from line to line or from curb to curb, and you try to get around them, you're trying to get away from them, but then, you know in the back of your mind, you're thinking they could hit somebody else, they could hurt somebody else,” Davis said.
It’s not just your life on the line.