There have been many fatal car accidents in the Central Oregon area
As this week begins, the Crook County landscape is once again covered in a thick blanket of snow. Feelings about all the white stuff is understandably mixed. Winter sports enthusiasts are probably giddy about the weather and have spent as much time on the slopes or the trails as possible. Others, meanwhile, might groan as they glance outside, grab their winter coat, hat and gloves, find their snow shovel and start clearing the sidewalks and driveway.
But there is one thing that people can probably all agree on when it comes to winter weather. It results in far too many accidents, several of which have been fatal during this past couple weeks. This past couple weeks, Central Oregon has faced a double-digit number of deadly car wrecks on its highways, a development so alarming, the quantity of the accidents was covered by multiple new outlets. In addition, the Prineville Police Department has felt compelled to post a winter driving safety video on YouTube, encouraging people to practice safe driving habits in the snow.
This week, most people return to work and children will once again walk, drive and bus to school. It should be stressed every winter that drivers need to slow down, pay extra attention to their surroundings and account for slick roads, even when they aren't covered in white. But given the alarming amount of fatal accidents and other accidents that fortunately didn't claim a life, and the large quantity of snow we have and are forecasted go get, we feel this message warrants even more attention than usual.
Please, as you drive in the snowy weather, take your time, keep an eye on your surroundings and give yourself extra time to reach your destination. Take extra time to come to a stop and look for pedestrians who may be walking closer to the roadway. A few of the fatal accidents have involved drivers hitting pedestrians.
While we understand that people have places to go and things to do, no appointment, job, or event is so important that people should take unnecessary risks on snowy roads to save a few minutes and arrive on time. It is far better to arrive safe, even if you are a little bit late.
Also, we urge pedestrians and bicyclers to exercise more vigilance than usual. Keep a safe distance from the roads and when you cross the street, give drivers extra room so they don't have to risk stopping quickly and sliding through a crosswalk or intersection.
Here at the Central Oregonian, we come across news releases for deadly accidents that occur throughout the state every month of the year. And unfortunately, the number of such wrecks tends to spike this time of year. We hope after seeing so many fatal vehicle accidents in such a short period of time that people will be inspired to drive safely and return home to their friends and loved ones. Because even one more bad accident is one too many.