Monday, November 07, 2005

Depressing highway statistics forced into my brain (its not like I can choose not to read them)

Everyday I drive to Kentucky to go to school in Ohio. Over the bridge and around and over the bridge again. In the mornings, once I get on the highway in Kentucky the drive is beautiful. The best part is driving over the bridge back into Ohio, it is very country still and the trees are changing now. Each morning is different. On some days the fog is so thick I can't see the river or even most of the bridge as I drive back over. On other days the mist is thin and the river and surrounding trees look set for a film. It is a gorgeous way to begin the morning and if I didn't stay in bed so late each morning I would be more tempted to pull over and take photographs to document the changes I see each day.
Unfortunately, the drive back in the afternoon is bleh. The sun is bright and bleaches out the landscape and the worst thing is the electronic signs in Kentucky. Most days they proclaim the 2004 Highway deaths in Kentucky compared to the 2005 deaths. This seemed interesting in September, maybe gave me something to think about...then the 2005 numbers began to climb. It started out in September as something like this
2004-976 2005-630
this didn't bother me too much I kind of figured that it would work out to be statistically about the same for 2005 as it was in 2004.
As of today I think the 2005 number has climbed into the mid 800's. Now I know that this year is not going to end on the low side what with all the drinking holidays coming up. So each day I drive past and wonder what the Kentucky Highway people are thinking about when they program these huge electronic signs. Do these depressing statistics make people slow down and start using turn singles or something? Because I certainly haven't seen that around here. In fact I feel that I get passed by speeding SUV's that are swerving from the left and right lanes indiscriminately with no signal while I am speeding along at a good pace or I am moving along and I get stuck behind a decrepit car without a muffler that is chugging along about 10 miles below the speed limit oblivious to other traffic in the far left lane. I don't want any stupid "have a nice day" sign, but I could use some more optimistic statistics. So far the only break I get is for Amber Alerts and that certainly doesn't help my mood.


Upset Mother said...

I will be honest. I never knew of Kentucky to be such a State ravished by death. That all changed on July 31st, 2005. My daughter's father was moving to Florida. My fiance and the kids were to be following him 2 weeks later. But we never made it there, nor did he. He was killed in a accident on I-65 at mile marker 53. I've come to learn that the localers call it "Death Valley." The Coroner stated to us that he would be alive if there was some type of barrier up seperating the highway's north and southbound lanes. If so many people know that this would prevent a lot of fatalities, how come the State Highway Department doesn't do anything about it? Don't tell me there is not enough money. Refigure your calculations and rebudget some other projects. Kentucky is tied for 5th in national rankings for most highway fatalities. I'm sorry, but if that was my reputation, I would do something about it!

Anonymous said...

"Ravished by death?!?"