DURANT -- Last month the City of Durant showed a significant increase in traffic crashes citywide. Since the start of construction on University Street, traffic crashes have increased more than 21% over the same time period last year. In March alone traffic crashes increased from 52 in 2006 to 70 this year.
The closing of streets because of construction has no doubt been a contributing factor to the increase in traffic crashes. Drivers are forced to take alternate routes that they may not be familiar with. As a result, drivers are being delayed in their efforts to arrive at their destinations.
Remember that traffic has been re directed through residential neighborhoods where traffic speeds are slower than that of main thoroughfares. Streets are narrower and there are more traffic control devices such as stop signs, not to mention the severe congestion of the cars alone. These conditions tend to make the motoring public agitated and could lead to aggressive driving.
As the City strives to improve its infrastructure, there are some things you as motorists can do to help alleviate the traffic problem, thus decreasing the likelihood of a traffic crash.
• Leave early for your destination
• Slow down
• Take alternate, less congested traffic routes
• Be polite and courteous to other motorists
• Be a defensive driver, not an aggressive one
• Do not follow too closely
• Pay attention
• Don't be distracted by talking on a cell phone
• Wear your seat belt