Editorial: Too many car crashes on our roads

06/20/2013 6:00 AM |

With the Strawberry Festival this past weekend and a series of afternoon thunderstorms that drenched our area, it seems like summer is in full swing on the North Fork.

With summer, more vehicles flood our roads as residents and tourists alike travel to the beach or into town to enjoy the sunny weather or relax at a local winery. And, like clockwork, the number of serious car accidents increases. This year is no exception, and we’ve already seen too many.

First came tragedy when a 79-year-old man was struck in the crosswalk near Our Lady of Mercy school in Cutchogue last Tuesday and later died of his injuries. Police said the driver of the truck that hit him drove around two other vehicles that had stopped to let him cross. She struck the victim as she drove down the shoulder of the road.

On Friday, a similar tragedy was narrowly averted when a 4-year-old boy riding a bike in Mattituck was hit by an SUV. Thankfully, the child was wearing a helmet, and he was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital only as a precaution.

Then on Monday, a driver speeding on Sound Avenue hit a puddle and swerved off the road, striking a utility pole. He and his passenger escaped the crash unharmed.

Hours later, a young woman struck a pole in Greenport and had to be airlifted to the hospital.

All too often at this time of year, we hear about serious car crashes in our hamlets. Some accidents over the past two weeks were just that: unavoidable accidents.

But others were avoidable and, as students across the North Fork get out of school for the summer, it’s even more important that we take extra care on the road.

Reckless driving shouldn’t become the norm for our area.

The seconds you shave off your trip by speeding down Sound Avenue, cutting around cars on Main Road or driving through crosswalks aren’t worth the danger in which you put yourself — and others.

Summertime traffic has become a part of life on the North Fork, but the rise in dangerous accidents we’ve seen so far this season shouldn’t become the status quo.