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LETTER: Slow down and use headlights

To the editor:

"Tis the season to drive safely, Fa la la, la la la ..."

Last week I was involved in a two-vehicle collision in which my car was rear-ended while I sat at the stoplight at Third and Broadway in Alexandria. I believe the young man who hit me incorrectly estimated his car would stop before it did when he applied the brake.

Besides making me more paranoid about driving in Alexandria (which on most days I detest anyway), this crash inspired me to write yet another letter begging people to please adopt safer driving habits. For this time of the year, and all year long.

When my parents were teaching me to drive, I learned the concept of "defensive driving," for which I'm quite grateful. It has saved me from a number of crashes because I was watching the other drivers who otherwise would have hit me. When I was teaching my son to drive, I told him, "Never, ever trust other drivers. Keep an eye on them and their potential boneheaded driving behaviors."

Accidents frequently happen because of driver inattentiveness. Besides my plea to you all to pay attention, I offer this advice: Be familiar with your vehicle and how it handles on snow-packed and/or icy roads. Slow down in poor driving conditions. Never follow people too closely. Keep tabs on your tire treads, as traction is very important right now. If you must go out in blizzard conditions, use your headlights! Last, but not least, when driving, please put down your phone! This may save someone's life, or at least spare someone from suffering the injuries that often result from a car crash.

That said, I want to wish you all and yours a safe and joyful Christmastime season.

Carlene M. Dean

Osakis, MN