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Other Voices: Inattentive and wreckless drivers make 49 a hazard

H. K. Francis

The main hazard on Highway 49 between Auburn and Grass Valley are the drivers.

Teenagers have an attitude that they are indestructible (it can’t happen to me!) and drive accordingly. They are especially fond of speed and lack the experience needed to handle sudden changes in situations around them.

There are those drivers who regard traffic laws, rules and regulations as simply guidelines, subject to their own judgment and interpretation. If they deem something safe, it’s OK; go over speed limit, roll through stop signs, ignore the headlights-required rule, etc.

The majority of drivers are those on “auto-pilot.” Conversation with passengers or on cell phones, thoughts or family concerns, or the day ahead at work, dealing with unruly children, eating, looking for something they dropped, etc., takes their minds off their driving. How many reading this will get into their car, take off and arrive at their destination without any recollection of the trip there? They drove on “auto-pilot.” that takes your mind off your driving is a distraction, and the split-second that it takes to get your mind back to your driving may be too late to react to or correct a situation. Highway 49 can be very unforgiving!

As one person suggested, education of drivers may be needed, but most drivers know the rules, etc.; they simply do not discipline themselves to keep their minds always on their driving when their car is in motion; to always be aware of what is ahead of them, behind them, or waiting on a side-road or driveway to pull out. Such discipline is not easy, but essential. Those of us who are seniors must also always remember that our reflexes are not what they used to be and drive accordingly.

It would be impossible to make Highway 49 completely safe when drivers do so many things, while driving, that take their attention away from the main task” driving safely.

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