Get gas, think safety

Published 9:41 pm Wednesday, December 12, 2018

There are some great gas prices on the boards around Suffolk, but don’t let that distract you from road safety.

According to AAA Tidewater Virginia, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded was $2.14 a gallon in Hampton Roads as a whole. Several stations in Suffolk have had gas under $2 for a few days now.

But we encourage you not to get so giddy about the comparatively low gas prices that you forget all about safety.

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This week, unfortunately, the Safety Tree got a red light when a fatal crash happened on Whaleyville Boulevard. The head-on collision killed one man and sent four other people to the hospital with serious injuries. Police are still working to locate the man’s next of kin so that he can be publicly identified.

The hectic nature of the holiday season combined with longer hours of darkness, more people potentially drinking and driving and the possibility of winter weather affecting traffic means that more people may be more at risk while driving. The Suffolk Police Department recently gave some tips for safe driving during the holidays:

  • A year-round risk to safe driving is distracted driving, which is causing more and more accidents. The holiday season usually means more communication with loved ones, but you should never text, surf the web or try to operate your smartphone while driving.
  • The holiday season also can increase the amount of fatigued, pressured, and drowsy drivers trying to travel long distances. You should get a good night’s rest before traveling and remain extra vigilant.
  • And finally, never drive under the influence, and never allow someone else you know is under the influence to drive. Plan a sober ride home before you go out, and don’t be afraid to intervene if someone else attempts to get behind the wheel drunk. Call a cab or rideshare on their behalf, take away their keys, or call the police for assistance. When hosting a holiday party, have plenty of alcohol-free choices available. If you see a suspected DUI driver, call 911 to report it and tell the operator the vehicle description and direction of travel.