If this letter saves one life, it will be worth more than you will ever know.
In light of the fatal car crash on Tuesday that my husband witnessed and helped out with, I ask those of you who have four-wheel drive vehicles to please use the four-wheel drive when driving on all slick roads, whether in town or on the highway, and be conscious of your speed.
Most of the car accidents where someone has lost control going up a hill between Soldotna and Sterling in the last couple years have involved a four-wheel drive truck that probably was in two-wheel drive, driving faster than road conditions deem safe, lost control when/after accelerating up the hill and slid into the oncoming traffic lane causing a head-on accident or into the ditch.
I know this will not solve all car accidents, but if it helps to save someone's life in the future then that is one less life lost to something that could have been done to help.
Educate your kids who are driving, too, please. Accidents do happen, but most are preventable. Knowledge is so very important. Thank you.
It is rare that you'll see a letter to the editor in the editorial column, but Ms. Gagnon's letter struck a note with us.
Tuesday's accident had a tragic ending. We'd hoped it would be the only one on the Kenai Peninsula this winter, but another Sterling Highway traffic fatality was reported Thursday night.
Barely a month ago we had out first snowfall stick and cause numerous fender benders. It wasn't until this week that we were again reminded of the dangers that lurk on our roads. In this case, snow covered a layer of frozen rain.
Accidents will always happen. Drivers become distracted, animals run out in front of us and vehicles can fail in one way or another. We can't prevent these things from happening, but we can reduce the number of times they happen. It's up to us.
A month ago we printed tips that are worth repeating. We hope you'll take the time to read them again -- or maybe for the first time:
* Common sense is the best defense against accidents. This means slow down and increase the distance between your car and other traffic. Slowing down not only drops your chances of locking bumpers, it also saves you fuel, which saves you money.
* Four-wheel drive does not protect you from accidents. It may help you maneuver through snow, but it absolutely will not help you stop on a slick road.
* Moose appear out of nowhere. Slow down and glance the road's edges help eliminate problems.
* A winter survival kit can keep an inconvenience from turning into a catastrophe. It should contain a flashlight, blankets, booster cables, a warning device (flares or reflective triangle), a small bag of abrasive material (sand or cat litter), a cloth towel or roll of paper towels, a small shovel, water, some emergency food and a book of matches.
* An ice scraper and good windshield wiper blades are a must for good winter visibility. Don't try to save time by scraping just a little hole in the ice off your windshield. A credit card is no substitute for an ice scraper. Avoid those drivers who have not cleared their windshields -- they can't see you. Also, don't forget to clear the snow from your headlights and taillights.
* No matter how short a trip you're making, dress for the weather. If you have car trouble or are involved in an accident, you'll be glad you took the time to don your boots, coat, hat and mittens. At the least, keep some winter clothes in the car for an emergency.
No one thinks they're a bad driver, but none of us know how we'll handle a situation until it happens. The best we can hope for is to be as prepared as we can. It's up to us.
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