We are all aware of the numerous traffic incidents on Highway 25E but the question is why are they happening?
When driving on the road it appears that there is plenty of room, great surface conditions and visibility. With this in mind I contacted several sources to get some answers.
When asked about the road Danny Ramsey, an EMT with Claiborne County, said, “I don’t think it’s any more dangerous than any other road in the county. I think people are just too comfortable on it and don’t pay attention.”
Claiborne County Sheriff detective Bob Morelock added, “The road is safe and very open and visible. There should be fewer crashes in the future but if one does occur it will most likely be serious because of speed issues. The better the roads, the faster the public drives.” He went on to say, “Personally I have never liked the turning lane on a four lane road outside the city limits, to me that in itself can be a dangerous thing. Reckless driving and speeding is a county wide problem and always has been. Now we must educate our kids to pay attention as cell phones are still an increasing problem.”
When talking to tractor-trailer drivers they seem to share the same feelings about the road and how it is ultimately all our responsibility to promote and practice safe driving. Truck driver Tony Justice is familiar with the road and travels it often.
He stated his opinion, “There are a lot of places that need a center divider between the north and south lanes. That’s the biggest safety flaw I see. Most drivers in that area drive well. There are a few curves that could use more warning of their sharpness for drivers who are not familiar with the road especially in big trucks. A few of those curves are elevated the wrong way and even driving the suggested speed for those can shift a load. I know the road well and have still had a couple of issues with my load shifting.”
Tennessee Highway Patrolman Bob Brooks works the Claiborne County area and when I spoke to him concerning this matter he had this to say, “It’s the best road we have in this county and there is absolutely no reason to have these crashes. It has lots to do with people speeding and not paying attention, it just makes no sense to me. Truck drivers especially need to be aware of the speed limits and realize that they can’t stop on a dime. We are aware that people are driving faster than the posted speed limits on that stretch of road and we are going to be working on that soon. We do ask that everyone slows down and pays attention while driving.”
After speaking with these people one must conclude that the road is not to blame, we as drivers are. One thing is almost always brought up and that is we are simply not paying attention as we drive. We have become a society that wants everything faster and faster but when it comes to our driving we have to buckle in, ignore our cellular devices and pay attention to other drivers. We as drivers are the only ones in this county that can stop the trend of tragic accidents.
Let’s make it happen Claiborne County, let’s drive defensively with safety and courtesy on our minds just as we all were instructed when we first started driving. If we don’t change this trend we will see more and more tragedy on this stretch of road as well as other local roads.