Tips to Avoid a Crash
By Sheriff Frank Reynolds
Cherokee County is currently considered the fastest growing county in Georgia. With that growth, we will experience more traffic congestion and vehicle-related crashes. The use of the word “crashes” instead of “accidents” in that previous sentence was intentional because most vehicle wrecks are preventable.
Here are a few tips that may help you avoid being in a vehicle crash:
You may consider yourself a good driver, but not everyone is as responsible as you. In 2017, Cherokee County responded to 34 fatality accidents. A few of these crashes caused double or triple fatalities involving neutral parties. Constantly keep your attention on the road and what the other vehicles are doing around you.
Following too Closely
The No. 1 contributing factor in most vehicle crashes is “following too closely.” This is true in both low-impact and high-speed related crashes.
Keep a distance of two or three seconds of time and space between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. This means that it should take you two or three seconds to reach the same spot as the first vehicle, which should give you time to react to a sudden stop, lane change, or debris coming from the road.
Too Fast for Conditions
The law states, “No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard for the actual and potential hazards then existing.”
This mostly refers to driving in the rain. Drivers often want to resume normal driving speeds after a heavy rainfall but fail to recognize the rain runoff hazards. Too fast for conditions also applies when negotiating sharp curves and steep grades.
This past July, Georgia passed a “hands-free” law regarding cellular phones. Please use a hands-free device such as a headset or Bluetooth. The next time you are stopped at a traffic signal, look around at all the other drivers staring at their laps. You cannot text when stopped at a traffic signal, even if the phone is mounted.
Driving While Impaired (O.C.G.A. 40-6-391)
While we’ve all heard, “Don’t drink and drive,” there are some who still do. The availability of companies like Uber and Lyft make it convenient to ensure your fun evening does not involve the Reynolds Hotel (what some people call the jail).
Also, make sure your medical prescription does not indicate, “Do not operate heavy machinery.” Your vehicle is considered heavy machinery. Even though a doctor prescribed medication, it does not lessen the burden on you. Remember if you consume alcohol, there may be a compounding effect. Consult your physician if you have any concerns.