We humans have a remarkable ability to know that something is true but at the very same time ignore that knowledge. A recent study on traffic safety drives that point home.
Because Interstates 210 and 10 go through Lake Charles, we are often a stopping place for drivers from Florida on their way to Arizona, or vice versa, and for drivers from Alabama and Mississippi on their way to Texas or New Mexico. There are many other permutations of starting points and destinations, of course.
As the end of Mardi Gras nears and Shrove Tuesday approaches, the final parades and events are in full swing. Music and event venues swell to beyond capacity and maximum occupancy limitations are often ignored. Caught up in the fun of the festivities, patrons are not concerned with swelling crowds. But overcrowding in bars and other establishments can make safe exits nearly impossible in the event of an emergency.
It has been nearly a year since a drunk driver slammed his pick-up truck into a crowd gathered to watch a Mardi Gras parade. The 26-year-old was recently ordered by a judge to spend about three more years behind bars for the crash that injured more than 30 people.
It's a common sight as you drive around Lake Charles: people talking on their cellphones while they're behind the wheel of their moving vehicle. Young, old and in-between do it, often unaware of the risks involved.
It is customary in the first days of a new year to look both backwards and forwards in time. So let's take a quick look at how auto safety has improved in the recent past and what we can expect in the days ahead.
As Lake Charles motorists head out onto Interstate 10 to visit friends and family for the holidays, they will share the road with the most dangerous things on wheels: tractor-trailers. Among the most deadly motor vehicle crashes are truck underride accidents that take place when passenger cars collide with 18-wheelers.
For car accident victims, one of the most pressing questions after the crash is, "How will I get my medical bills paid?"
Lake Charles sits between two of America's great cities: Houston, Texas, and Louisiana's own New Orleans. So it is not surprising to see holiday travelers on Interstate 10 headed from one to the other, and to see thousands more coming here to spend Thanksgiving with friends and family.
There are no bigger, heavier, more dangerous vehicles rolling through Lake Charles than the 18-wheelers roaring along Interstate 10. Because big rigs are slow to stop and difficult to maneuver, the behemoths are unwieldy; especially so at highway speeds. Two factors that make giant commercial vehicles even more dangerous to be near: fatigued or distracted truckers.