By Lori Bredemeyer, Managing Editor
During every school break, I hold my breath and monitor myACU for mass e-mails from Dean Barnard, hoping that everyone returns to school safely. It seems that more wrecks and more deaths occur during school breaks, so I’m always nervous until Monday when most students are back in class.
As a student, I always pray that my classmates and friends will be protected. As a journalist, I always hope that my co-workers and I won’t have to cover another story about a death.
This holiday season, however, the roads seem to contain some new obstacles, especially involving animals.
A story by the Associated Press on Thursday announced that last year, 210 people died in collisions with animals, which is 40 more people who died than the year before. The wrecks peaked in November and mostly involved deer; this month is mating and hunting season, so deer are more active.
Another report by the Associated Press said this week a 44-year-old woman was hospitalized after a group of teens allegedly threw a 20-pound frozen turkey through her car windshield while she was driving down the road. The woman is in critical condition, and police are looking for the teens so they can question them.
Whether dead or alive, frozen or still breathing, animals and other road hazards create a perilous environment on the highway, and accidents readily occur.
But many of the wrecks and the deaths can be prevented. Simple things like driving the speed limit and paying attention to surroundings can prevent collisions. And the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said most of the animal-related deaths last year could have been prevented by wearing a seatbelt in a car or wearing a helmet on a motorcycle.
So during these holidays, whether driving 30 minutes to grandma’s house or 10 hours to see friends, be careful on the road and watch out for animals-of the live and the frozen kind.