Increase In Accidents

by Christa Lollis

Keeping your eyes on the road ahead is what drivers are taught to do but Lufkin police officers say it's not always what happens. "It's not unusual at all to see someone eating now or shaving or doing 2 or 3 things at once while they're driving," Lt. David Young says.  "Driving is an important task and your taking someone else's life in your hand every time you get behind the wheel and that should be the main focus of what you do when you're behind that wheel."

Fatalities in Angelina and Nacogdoches counties have been common in the last few weeks. Just yesterday there were two accidents at the same intersection. Young explains, "The accidents this week are just an anomaly. It's very unusual to have an accident involving a bus and yet we've had 2 in 1 day now."

The root of the problem seems to start with increased traffic on the roadways because of Summer vacation, and construction on many of the East Texas streets. "We've seen a slight increase of rear end collisions. In construction zones it's a little hard to find your way around. The entrances tend to sneak up on people because of all the barrels and it's a little difficult to see," Young said. So officers are asking drivers to slow down in congested areas, pay closer attention and drive defensively. Especially in construction areas, breaking the law is something they aren't taking lightly.  Lt. Young tells KTRE, "We take it very seriously. They're out there putting their lives in the line sometimes, working that close to moving traffic and we owe them the responsibility for us to slow down and watch out for those people."

The traffic flow hasn't been as high as past years which officers think is due to high gas prices. But Lufkin police say the risk of an accident is always there when you're on the road.