Car Accidents Increase As School Year Begins

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The first month of the school year brings more than just new students. It also brings young, inexperienced drivers to college towns like ours. Police officers and students like Lauren Wallace are preparing for the annual increase in car accidents.
“I honestly thought I was going to die.” Wallace was riding on the back of a motorcycle as the school year started in 2010. She and a date were crossing an intersection when a car smashed into them…dragging them down the street and sending them both to the hospital. Two years later, she hasn’t been back on a motorcycle and is telling her tale to new students at BYU.
“It drives me nuts when people don’t wear their helmets. Absolutely nuts. Because I just think if I wasn’t wearing my helmet I woud be dead now,” said Wallace.
Provo Police say they see an increase in car accidents at the beginning of the school year. Most are just small accidents…but some are as life-threatening as Wallace’s. Intersections are common places for car accidents because on coming traffic is coming in all different directions. Another factor is that people underestimate the amount of time they need to make their turn before oncoming traffic hits them. Provo Police are advising people to exercise special caution this time of year.
“Ninety percent of our traffic accidents are fender benders. One thing people do far too often is follow too close. They follow too close and they get too busy in their car and they don’t pay attention,” said Lt. Matt Siufanua.
Police say accidents like Wallace’s are rare…but she says they happen far too often when new students come to town.
“Alot of people think that they’re really good drivers and they don’t realize it’s not just them, it’s other people on the road,” said Wallace. Provo Police say pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bikers are the most at-risk for fall student accidents. They also say that using basic caution on the road is the best defense.

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