OUR VIEW: Slow down on the interstate

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, June 2, 2021

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Over Memorial Day weekend, we know of at least one wreck in this area of Interstate 85, somewhere between the Chambers County line and Hogansville.

On Sunday, a 2016 Kia Soul crashed into a tree in Harris County near Exit 2, according to Georgia State Patrol SFC Jay Thompson. The car then overturned, and the driver was taken by helicopter to Midtown Medical Center in Columbus, Thompson said.

We hope everyone involved in this particular accident is OK and fully recovers from any injuries they received. As is the case any time a wreck occurs on I-85, traffic was backed up miles down the interstate. We saw traffic stopped back into Valley.

This wreck, along with the number of others we’ve covered on the interstate in recent months, really got us thinking. For whatever reason, we see a lot of wrecks in this area on the interstate.

Life moves so fast in 2021, and people are always in a hurry to get where they’re going. They need to get to work, get home, get to the store — get wherever someone is waiting on you. That often means illegally driving over the 70 mile per hour speed limit. Unfortunately, for some, it means zig-zagging through traffic, cutting off other motorists or using the interstate as a drag strip.

Sometimes, wrecks just happen and aren’t really anyone’s fault. Those things do happen, when two vehicles are at the wrong place at the wrong time and everyone is following the law — or doing their best to follow it.

But a lot of wrecks can be avoided by slowing down and being careful of your surroundings. If you’re going slower than traffic around you, then stay out of the left-hand passing lane so that others can pass.

If you see someone pulled over in the emergency lane, get over and give that vehicle space. If you aren’t able to get over, at least slow down.

A lot of times poor driving is driven — no pun intended — by other poor life choices. Examples are leaving too late, not planning accordingly and not checking traffic information. Another, much more serious reason, is alcohol. Never get behind the wheel of a car if you’re under the influence of alcohol. You could kill someone, including yourself.

With a major manufacturer nearby and hundreds of thousands of people driving through every day in various directions, it’s not surprising that we have accidents on our interstate. It’s where we allowed to legally drive the fastest, often when we’re the busiest.

But with that in mind, we encourage you to slow down, watch out for others and plan ahead. We know life happens and stress happens.

But if you get in a major accident, it only complicates things for your family, your job and your life. Slow down. Nothing is worth losing your life.