Commuting safely

Texting while driving is dangerous and illegal in the state of Nebraska and on base. Remember, DoD instruction 6055.04 and Offutt policy states that only hands free devices can be used while driving. (Photo illustration by 2nd Lt. Carly Costello and Josh Plueger)

Texting while driving is dangerous and illegal on base. Remember, DoD instruction 6055.04 and Goodfellow policy states that only hands free devices can be used while driving. (Photo illustration by 2nd Lt. Carly Costello and Josh Plueger

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Most of us drive to and from work each day on San Angelo roadways.

We each have a distinct responsibility to ensure our personal safety and the safety of others during the trip no matter the distance traveled. We are often faced with a variety of risk factors: such as rain, snow, construction zones, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists and other drivers. Here are a few safety tips from the Texas Department of Public Safety and 17th Training Wing Safety to help you along your commute:

· Always drive defensively, courteously and stay focused
· Eliminate distractions and do not text or use your cell phone while driving
· Slow down, especially in bad weather, construction areas and heavy traffic; the speed limit is the maximum speed in good weather conditions
· Do not tailgate or follow too closely; leave yourself a way out of an unexpected situation
· Obey traffic signs, speed limits and traffic signals
· When rolling through a right-hand curve marked by a yield sign, check twice that the vehicle in front of you has actually moved before moving yourself
· Look for motorcyclists and pedestrians; there are more than 500,000 motorcyclists in Texas
· Buckle up. Everyone in the vehicle must wear a seatbelt - it's the law

The tips above should be no surprise to anyone and, if followed, can make the roadways safer. However, most of us have seen the person who is drifting lanes with the cell phone close to his or her ear, putting on make-up, shaving, texting, eating, reading, fixing the GPS, speeding up to get through the yellow light, etc., and have all thought how dangerous their respective actions were. Likewise, we have all had to adjust our driving in response to them. Prepare yourself for the unexpected, focus only on driving and obey the laws.

The intersection of Chadbourne and Old Christoval Road has received additional attention due to the number of mishaps occurring in the vicinity of the intersection over the last few years. Although there are no defects in the roadway or traffic signals, please take the time to slow down as you approach the intersection and ensure it is safe to proceed.