According to the Pensacola News Journal, an empty school bus was involved in a wreck early last Tuesday morning at the intersection of U.S. 29 and Detroit Boulevard. About 7:30., a.m., a Pontiac Vibe driven by an 81 year old male from Pace was traveling westbound on West Detroit Blvd. A school bus driven by a 67 year old male was traveling northbound in the inside lane on U.S. 29. The bus’ front right side collided with the Vibe’s front left side, according to the report. There were no children on the bus at the time of the wreck. Charges are pending at the conclusion of the investigation.
This is a deadly intersection. According to NorthernEscambia.com, nine intersections along Highway 29 were identified as high crash locations – having more than eight crashes per year, or 40 over a five year period:
- Highway 97 – 38 crashes
- Ten Mile Road – 61 crashes
- Nine One Half Mile Road – 34 crashes
- Burgess Road – 68 crashes
- Diamond Dairy Road – 58 crashes
- Broad Street – 68 crashes
- Hannah Street – 49 crashes
- Hood Drive – 43 crashes
- Detroit Boulevard – 68 crashes
It will be interesting to see why this collision occurred. It is no wonder that so many crashes happen at intersections where multiple drivers and pedestrians are engaged in different, often conflicting, motions: Crossing over, turning left or right. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, about 40% of all crashes nationwide – and 21% of all fatal crashes – occur at intersections. In Florida, nearly 29% of statewide traffic fatalities between 2006 and 2010 were related to intersections. In that five-year period, 4,719 people were killed and another 50,408 were seriously injured in intersection related crashes.
Here are some quick Do’s and Don’ts for navigating intersections, avoiding accidents, and arriving safely at your destination:
1. DON’T drive aggressive. Speeding up to “make” a red light is a dangerous practice. A yellow light means to prepare to stop; by the time a light is red, you should be stopped or slowing to a stop.
2. DON’T drive distracted. Talking on the phone and texting are obvious distractions are illegal in almost all states. But there are many other examples of distracted driving, such as shaving, applying make up or looking your GPS.
3. DON’T drive impaired. Driving after drinking or taking drugs (illicit or prescription) is an obvious “do not do.” Inadequate sleep also can impair drivers, sometimes as significantly as drinking and driving.
4. DO Raise your caution level. Demonstrate extra caution during congested traffic times such as rush hours, in construction zones, and while passing accident scenes.
5. DO maintain your vehicle. Malfunctioning warning lights (turn signals, brakes, headlights, etc.) make it difficult for other motorists to predict your actions.
6. DO be patient. Impatience increase emotions and decreases attention.
As a driver, planning ahead can avoid the rush, reduce the stress of traffic, and help assure that you get where you’re going, on time and safely.