Op:Ed- Car Crunched Under Semi Highlights Importance of Drivers Being Patient and Vigilant

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With the summer months upon us, we are in the throngs of everyone’s worst nightmare. Auto and motorcycle accidents (many of which result in death) are far more common than they used to be in our magnificent state.

It seems every day now (especially in the news) we see two topics being reported on multiple times a day: fires and vehicle/motorcycle accidents.

Montanans who’ve lived in the state for many years didn’t see much of either of these in the past, but with the State’s population growing in leaps and bounds, gaining nearly 100,000 people every decade, it was unfortunately inevitable.

There have been several motorcycle accidents, with some resulting in death in Flathead County as of late. Many folks claim it is the cyclers’ fault (not watching for traffic or driving recklessly and not looking); others claim the car isn’t paying close enough attention to cyclers.

Whatever the cause may be, people are dying on account of this carelessness, and both parties need to be extra vigilant. Statewide there is an enormous increase in tourists, traffic, and SMOKE. The prevalent haze doesn’t help things any as we are in a constant state of “dusky” and grey. Vehicles aren’t as clear or sharp, and our senses are dulled due to the toxic floating debris.

The picture below is a perfect example of why paying particular attention to your surroundings is essential. This was taken right in front of Walgreens in Kalispell. When turning the corner, the car became “trapped” under the humongous Semi truck!

Here’s one resident’s analysis of what possibly took place.

“It would appear that the truck was making a right-hand turn, and the other vehicle in a rush tried to weasel in on the right side and got caught under the truck as it made its turn. That’s just what I see from the picture. How else would that vehicle end up under the truck while the truck is making a turn at a stop sign? “Never assume” is correct. Most truck drivers are very safe; it’s the impatient other drivers around that don’t pay attention to blinkers or allow space for turns or lane changes. Again, I wasn’t there, just putting in my .02 based on the picture and what i see from my experience.”

In all fairness though seeing that the semi is a “dually” it could have turned haphazardly and pulled the car underneath itself.

Many cities and towns in Montana have transformed almost overnight, it seems. Bozeman, Kalispell, Whitefish, Missoula, Helena, Billings, and more are just so inundated with extra drivers on the road, whether it be incoming residents or tourists.

Know your traffic laws and rules, be patient with pedestrians and other drivers and always be on the lookout.

Be safe, Montana. Be aware. Be alert.




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