Benton Police Focus on City's Top Three Areas for Traffic Accidents
Reported by: KARK 4 News

Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 @12:50pm CST

Three areas of town are under the microscope for Benton Police when it comes to traffic accidents.

Eighty-four collisions were reported in the following areas during the 4th quarter of 2008.

* Alcoa Overpass - including the connecting service roads. There were 29 traffic collisions in this area during this time period. The main contributing factors were following too close (14), failure to yield (4), foo fast for conditions (4), and careless driving (3).

* The area between the intersection of Carpenter St. and Military Rd. to the intersection of Highway 5 and Highway 35 - There were 19 traffic collisions in this area. The main contributing factors were careless driving (6), following too close (4), failure to yield (3), and too fast for conditions (2).

* Military Rd. between the intersections of Northshore Dr. and Carpenter Street - This area contained the highest incident of collisions with 36. The main contributing factors were failure to yield (14), following too close (9), and careless driving (5). Benton Police say this averages out to roughly one collision per day at one of these three areas.

Benton Police say although there are a number of factors that contribute to collisions, drivers can minimize their chances of being involved in a collisions by following a few simple suggestions:

* Keep your eyes scanning the area ahead. Don't just look at the vehicle in front of you; scan the area in front of that vehicle for possible problems. This will allow you additional reaction time should a problem occur. When you're yielding behind another vehicle make sure they pull out prior to you pulling forward to keep from striking them from behind.

* Do not use your hands for anything else other than controlling the wheel. If you must talk on a cell phone then at least use a hand free device. Also make sure your children are buckled up and have everything they need to occupy them during the trip.

* Beware of blind spots. Don't always depend on your mirrors when changing lanes or backing up. It is best to actually turn your head and look to make sure the area is unoccupied before repositioning your vehicle.

* Keep your vehicle in top working condition. You should occasionally inspect your vehicle for worn tires, old windshield wipers, and defective headlights or taillights.

* When driving in the snow or ice, slow down. If you do not have an emergency, stay home. If you must get out, drive with caution and leave extra space between your vehicle and the one if front of you.

The Benton Police Department urges drivers to think about these safety tips before getting behind the wheel, and to share them with family and friends, especially new drivers.

The Benton Police Department will be closely monitoring these areas and strictly enforcing all traffic laws in attempt to prevent future collisions.

To report erratic driving or a collision dial 911 for an emergency or (501) 778-1171 for a non-emergency.
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