Motorists need to get a reality check about the time of year it is and that they will be sharing the road with people driving less noticeable types of vehicles. Remember its spring and that means motorists are now sharing the road with pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists. This week we've had several accidents involving all three.
A 50-year-old teacher from Laruens-Marathon Community School District, training for RAGBRAI was killed when he was hit by a car on Highway 10 three and a half miles east of Marathon. The report indicates the setting sun was a factor. He was heading west and the accident happened at around 8:00 pm. He was out riding his bike while training. Remember sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
And in Hamlin a 32-year-old man while out riding his motorcycle was struck and killed while on U.S. Highway 71 at about 1:00 p.m. The 17-year-old driver of the car pulled out from a stop sign striking the motorcyclist. Avoiding accidents is all about anticipation, participation and observation. Participation is paying attention to your driving. Anticipation is being aware of the time of year, how that changes road conditions and watching to make sure there isn't a motorcyclist coming. And observation is about hey, stop, look and listen.
And as I reported on Monday, a pedestrian collision involving a Hummer H2 and a Des Moines woman did not result in any charges being filed against the driver. The pedestrian died from the injuries. Most people's initial reaction is one of anger and wanting to punish the driver of the Hummer, but in this instance no criminal charges were filed against the Hummer's driver.
A simple measure we can all take to heart is putting down the cockpit distractions like cell phones. As the Des Moines Register reported on May 27, 2010, Is an Iowa cell phone ban in the works? "Iowa, starting July 1, will implement a texting ban for all drivers. In addition, people with intermediate licenses - mostly those younger than 17 - also are prohibited from talking on any hand-held devices."
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