Summer driving in N.D.

Breanna Roen, Staff Writer

I am currently sitting outside in the courtyard of my dorm writing this article and boy does it feel great. Having the sun shine on my back, a glass or pineapple mango juice next to me, it’s never felt so great to be outside this year.

A discussion was brought up the other day between my friends and I, while we were having lunch. The topic was on how bad winter drivers were and how we don’t have to worry about them for a few months. On our way back from lunch, we were getting passed left and right along with honks of “go faster” and drivers swerving in and out of lanes without using their blinkers along with many other unsafe driving techniques. When we arrived back we began to question if spring/summer drivers are worse than winter drivers?

I drive down Columbia almost every day for work, to get groceries or to have dinner with friends. Since the snow has melted, I have been more cautious driving than I was in the winter.

I realize it is closing in on the end of the year and we are beginning to be carefree but please, focus on your driving if you are traveling somewhere.

— Breanna Roen

I have had multiple offers trying to drag race down Columbia after the drives next to me revved his engine up. I politely declined because I drive a Ford Escape and wasn’t about to get pulled over for a speeding ticket or reckless endangerment. I’ve also seen many people my age jamming out to the radio and having to quickly stop or almost getting into an accident because they weren’t paying attention to the road. It concerns me every time I see that happen.

I realize it’s closing in on the end of the year and we are beginning to be carefree, but please, focus on your driving if you are traveling somewhere. It’s hard to focus when you are listening to music with friends in the car, so please turn down the radio and pay attention to the road. People’s lives are in your hands.

When it gets hotter outside, the general public likes to sit out on the weekend and have a cold one to celebrate the warm weather arrival. It has been ingrained into our heads since we were teens that you should never drink and drive. It seems like it should be common sense at this point in our lives but many people still do the same today.

When I was in eighth grade back home, there was a girl that was a year older than me that died in a drunk driving accident. I’m not here to tell sad stories, but I believe most people don’t understand the true dangers of driving while impaired until they are in jail or they have killed someone for something that could have easily been prevented.

Now, the real question at hand: are summer drivers worse than winter drivers, or vice versa? After having to drive plenty of North Dakota and Minnesota winters, many of us have learned it’s the season to be extra careful. Reduce your speed, stop earlier than normal, bring snacks and water in case you end up in the ditch, etc. are all tips and tricks we have learned from our driving instructors or our parents in the early years of driving. Many of us may have had to face the treacherous conditions on I-29 once or twice and I am one of them. Very high wind gusts and snow sticking to the road is not fun. Seeing semis littered all over the median is a scary sight if you aren’t even close to your destination. Winter conditions aren’t a walk in the park quite like summer that’s for sure.

Rather than the dangers of the weather at your side, now you have the danger of careless drivers. Ever since I began driving, I have always felt like summer was filled with the craziest drivers around. It seems as soon as the snow melts, it’s time for people to drag race and blare their music more than usual. We have all experienced it a few moments in our life. In the summer, people begin to grow careless, such as not using their blinkers,  merging when there is already no room and  overall carelessness for fellow travelers.

So what do you think is worse? Dealing with the environment or careless drivers? It’s a hard decision. Tell me what you think.

No matter what season it is, make sure you are always following the rules of the road.

Breanna Roen is a staff writer for  The Dakota Student. She can be reached at  [email protected]