Virigina #4 in Hitting Fixed Objects

I read a story this week that said Virginia is #4 in the nation for the “most crashes involving fixed objects” according to the National Highway  Traffic Administration.  That means, we’re not crashing into each other as we move about.  No.  We’re hitting trees and structures and curbs and ditches.

An Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) storing nuts in the bark of a cedar tree at the Oak Glen Nature Conservancy, Oak Glen, California in the Fall of 2021.

As just a fellow motorist who hasn’t done an extensive study of what we’re crashing into, it seems like we’re leading the league in distracted driving.  Now that most of us are driving home after dark, it seems like it’s getting worse.  

long exposure shot – camera mounted to the side of the car

I often see people WALKING along Courthouse road as cars are zinging past.  I don’t know why people risk it but they do, and they walk VERY close to the traffic on roads that have little to no shoulder.  As you might expect, these pedestrians are not sporting any kind of reflector and most wear dark clothing.  I’ve seen some scary close calls.  And the farther out of town you get, the more deer show up.  They seem to want to cross the street using your headlights to see.  Why do they run right in front of my car?  

Axishirsch im Bandhavgarh Nationalpark in Indien

There are so many deer on the roads right now, that when I drive on Robert E Lee or one of our other rural roads, I feel like I’m driving through the petting zoo.  I was told to look for others if you see just ONE deer.  They almost always travel in groups.  It’s rarely just ONE deer. I know a number of people who were thrilled to have missed that one deer only to hit another seconds later.  

Deer Crossing

When I get my new dashcam for Christmas (Hint!!!) I will be sharing videos of distracted drivers texting and driving right into my lane.  It’s sort of a hobby to sit back and watch as their tires cross the center line and they drift over. It’s especially cool if their window is cracked open when I hit the horn as they drift across the line.  Heaven help the people trying to ride their bike home after dark.  All the lights and reflectors don’t help if someone is focused on texting and ignoring the road and its inhabitants.   Let’s all be careful out there. 

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