Article by Captain Jeff Bagwell
As summer approaches, it’s time to think about roadway safety. Why now? Summertime brings more people driving from place to place and brings potential hazards. A heightened awareness for ALL drivers is important. Not only are more people are out driving, windows are down, radios are turned up causing us to not be able to hear our surroundings as we drive. We would challenge you to be even more aware of your surroundings as you drive from place to place.
Wearing seatbelts is the law, not an option. For good reason, because seatbelts save lives; statistics prove it. And any one of our paramedics can vouch for it, too … they have seen firsthand what happens when people are in wrecks and not wearing their safety belt. Yet we see many people in cars, drivers and passengers, not wearing their seatbelts. We see children not riding in car seats! Please wear your seatbelts and always secure your children in the car.
Summer means kids are out of school. That means there will be more of them riding bikes and skateboards or walking in neighborhoods. Lots of times, they’re listening to something with earbuds in, blocking other sound. Drivers must use more caution than normal and must keep an eye out for them, since they may not be looking for you and may not hear you coming.
There are new teenage drivers on the roads – new drivers with new licenses as well as student drivers. If you are an experienced driver, be mindful that these new drivers are out there. Remember that you were one of those new, inexperienced drivers at one time, so be patient and be aware of your surroundings. As we say, have good clear situational awareness. Pay attention.
Don’t drink and drive! Each summer we see and you hear about vehicle accidents that claim the lives of people who were intoxicated. Worse yet, we see people killed because some other driver was drunk. If you are out and have adult beverages, please be smart and call for a ride. Call a friend, family member, cab or even an Uber driver, but don’t get behind the wheel. Only bad things can happen from drinking and driving.
No matter what happens, we stand ready to assist in a way possible. We have 16 (soon to be 17) fully staffed fire stations across Knox County ready to assist you. We hope you never need us, but we will always be ready when the call comes.
Rural Metro Fire is a division of AMR, the nation’s largest provider of emergency services. Its 200 full-time and on-call firefighters operate from 17 stations serving Knox County since 1977. Rural Metro is member-funded, and its members generally pay far less for homeowner’s insurance because of having a subscription to the Department. Non-members are charged for services and do not benefit from insurance premium savings. Property owners can subscribe to Rural Metro by calling its Members Services Office at 560-0239.