Speed, ignorance can kill

USI Shield Staff

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The time has come for me to go a little didactic on you kids. USI students are tough, I believe you’re grown-up enough take this.

With every ounce of authority I do not technically posses, I’ve decreed that this week should be a week of safety awareness. Now that we’re four weeks into the semester, there are some basics that need reviewing.

We all have a fun time trying to hit 15 mph exactly on the campus speed trap, but there seems to be a little bit of slippage in campus driving recently.

I’ve personally witnessed multiple vehicles—usually unnecessarily lifted trucks or cheap sports cars with aftermarket tailpipes—pull onto University Boulevard late in the afternoon and slam on the gas, lighting up campus with the sound of wasted fuel and lawsuits waiting to happen.

If a person has enough speed to shift up twice before you hit a crosswalk, they’re going too fast.

This topic is of particular importance to me because Evansville—hands down— has some of the scariest drivers I’ve ever encountered. Be it lack of experience or attention, Evansville has some of the most frequent and terrifying accidents of any city I’ve driven in.

Two days in Chicago: one accident on a major thoroughfare

One day in Evansville: two accidents, including emergency medical assistance.

It’s easy to think “that’ll never happen to me, car accidents only happen in movies,” then it happens to someone you know.

The Shield’s Ellen Cooper was on the receiving end of Evansville’s poor driving record Aug. 3. While stopped at a stoplight on the Lloyd Expressway Cooper’s vehicle was rear-ended. The momentum from the other drivers’ 50 mph impact sent her spinning across the highway until coming to a rest in the grass near O’Charley’s.

“I began screaming the moment I hit my head on the steering wheel. I didn’t stop screaming until a nice lady came to my car door and helped me open it because it was jammed,” Cooper said.

Luckily, she escaped with only minor injuries and a totaled vehicle.

I bring this up as a reminder that this stuff happens on our doorstep. Accidents on the Lloyd are an almost weekly occurrence. The student body cannot stop the maniacal drivers of Evansville from being as horrible as they are, but we can make our own campus a safe haven.

Don’t speed, don’t turn left on the roundabout, don’t lurch through crosswalks while people are still on the road.

“If you’re late to class and speeding through campus, the couple minutes you’re going to be less late isn’t worth the safety you’re losing,” Cooper said.  “Getting to class on time isn’t worth injuring or even killing someone on your way to get there. Be considerate. Be careful. Be safe.”