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Traffic, distraction and a Holly Springs intersection

Susan Miller pulled over to the shoulder at Main Street and Ralph Stephens Road in Holly Springs and directed her phone’s camera at the intersection in front of her. Within mere seconds, she caught one driver after another running the newly installed two-way stop signs.

Frankly, she wasn’t surprised. Miller had just been involved in an accident at the very same intersection, caused in part because she herself hadn’t seen the new traffic sign.

"I just saw a big, black blur and then I slammed on my brakes as hard as I could. I just heard a clip, I clipped the back of his truck which was very lucky," she told WRAL.

That same day, Holly Springs police say they pulled over 18 cars for committing Miller’s same mistake. Within the first 10 days of the opening of the Main Street extension, five crashes and many close calls occurred at the intersection.

Holly Springs residents demanded that the DOT install stop lights to prevent further damage and injury. The department complied, and plan to get the traffic signals up in the next two months.

Part of a bigger problem

The Triangle is growing at an unprecedented rate, with roads seeing more drivers and congestion than ever before. According to mobile technology firm INRIX, Raleigh drivers spent 18 hours in congestion in 2016, the third-highest in North Carolina after Charlotte and Wilmington.

While projects are underway to alleviate the congestion, drivers must be hypervigilant on the roads, especially in newly developed areas, streets under construction or roads with which drivers are unfamiliar. Here’s how to navigate congestion in a safe, smart way.

Drive defensively

This means to continuously scan the road for threats, following the flow of traffic and using your turn signals. Allow space between you and the cars around you so you have sufficient reaction time, and maintain calm in stressful traffic situations.

Take note of traffic ahead

When you see traffic in the distance, take your foot off the accelerator and coast, helping to moderate your speed and stay gas-efficient.

Don’t get distracted

You’ve heard it before, and we’ll say it again: Put your phone away. A distracted driver is a dangerous driver, both to fellow motorists and themselves. Set your playlist before you get on the road and hold your calls and texts until you are parked. Silence your phone so you aren’t tempted to check it.

Injured in a car accident? Contact the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood for personal injury representation by clicking here.

This entry was posted in Car Safety, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury.