Rumble strips help |

Rumble strips help

There seems to be a question of whether spending $500,000 on rumble strips on SR-49 would be worth it. Well, consider the nasty little secret is that falling asleep at the wheel is a major cause of traffic deaths. Estimates range from 4 percent (1,700) to 30 percent (12,600) of traffic deaths. For comparison, about 39 percent (16,400) are caused by drinking and driving.

The reason sleep-caused traffic deaths are a secret is because it is all but impossible to determine that a given accident was caused just because the driver fell asleep. By contrast, drunken driving is easily proved with a simple chemical blood test.

If we project those figures, up to half of sleeping-driver caused deaths could be prevented with rumble strips, the result is 800 to 6,000 lives saved nationally per year. If we included that some of the less severly drunken drivers would be awakened by the rumble strips, even more lives will be saved.

So it seems to me that the cost of rumble strips is well worth the effort, especially since they are there 24/7, the full length of SR49.

A merely sleeping unconscious driver is just as dangerous as a drunk one.

D.B. Cameron

Nevada City

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