It has been 19 years since Texas could claim a day where there were no fatalities on our roads. The fatalities add up to nearly 70,000 people killed on Texas roadways over the past 19 years. Every day in Texas nearly 10 people are killed in traffic crashes. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) the leading causes of these deadly crashes continue to be failure to stay in one lane, alcohol and speed. TxDOT is promoting the “End the Streak” campaign to help end motor vehicle fatalities in Texas.
What if we all drove like the driver we would want in front of us, beside us and in back of us. Ending this streak of needless tragedy on Texas roadways is a shared responsibility.
What if for one day everyone took responsibility for themselves and their friends and there were no drunk drivers on our roads. And there was not one person driving somewhere to drink without a plan for a sober ride home — and no underage drunk drivers were to be found anywhere.
What if there were no distracted drivers on the road. No teens were riding with other teens, which is the main source of their distractions and against the law according to the Graduated Driver License Law. What if no youth or adult was driving while using a cell phone and totally concentrating on their driving.
What if there was no driver speeding down the road and all were driving within the speed limit, including slowing down for construction and emergency vehicles, and driving more slowly and cautiously when weather conditions are bad.
What if we all took time to put on our seatbelts and make sure that all of our passengers were also buckled up. And, that all children were riding in the correct car seat for their age, weight and developmental stage. What if the car seat had been inspected by a certified child passenger safety technician to make sure it was being used correctly and installed correctly.
What if there were no drowsy drivers on the road and every driver, including commercial drivers, made sure they were well rested and prepared for the trip.
What if every driver made sure their vehicle and tires were in good condition and everyone drove defensively and civilly so that every car was treated as if the lives of the people inside were important. What if all drivers were looking out for each other.
What if all of these things could be done on the same day and Texas could once again enjoy a day where there was not one fatality on our roads? Then, we could put an end to this terrible streak of roadway deaths in Texas — and it would bear repeating!
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Community Health Educator Courtney Parrott, Brown County reminds us that these do not have to be just rhetorical questions. For information on the End the Streak campaign visit: http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/media-center/psas/end-streak.html