With a terrible accident on Route 114 that injured two local students and a separate high speed motorcycle crash in Montauk that took the life of a 19-year-old female passenger, this week has served up a frightening reminder of how things change here once the weather heats up.
It’s something of a tradition — to laugh and complain as we share terrifying but true tales of the many bone-headed maneuvers we’ve witnessed on local roads. From drivers pulling illegal u-turns and backing up in traffic for a second shot at that side street, to those who inexplicably slam on the brakes or coast through stop signs as if they were merely suggestions, we’ve all seen it, we’ve all cursed it.
But it’s no laughing matter. As more visitors, contractors and delivery trucks join us on the same limited number of roads we’ve had to ourselves all winter, we need to approach every intersection and every vehicle with a wary eye.
With this increase in cars and trucks inevitably comes a certain percentage of bad drivers behind the wheel. As we’ve seen all too often, bad driving kills. So give these drivers a wide berth. Though it’s tempting to tailgate and get aggressive when someone is poking along, stopping at every driveway to check the number, or, conversely, hit the accelerator like Mario Andretti when some speeding jerk in a new BMW is an inch off our bumper on a winding, deer-infested stretch of Northwest Woods, we urge you to stay calm. Take a deep breath, relax and, yes, pull over if that will help put some distance between you and the source of anxiety. While you’re there, call your therapist if you like, or make an appointment for a massage. Because summer’s just beginning, and in the end it’s just not worth it.