A United Kingdom transportation company has created a website that allows anyone to track road fatalities in the United States by location, including in Elmira, Corning and the Twin Tiers.
You can find the exact scene of an accident that led to a death between 2001 and 2009. I drilled down to the local fatalities in Elmira, Horseheads, and Corning and learned that I handled a large number of the wrongful death cases displayed on the local map.
I have worked on many cases in the last 26 years, and each of the little dots is a reminder of what I know to be devastated family and friends. … The 14-year-old cyclist mowed down by a hit-and-run driver, the elderly pedestrian hit by a driver who admitted she was busy adjusting her radio and on and on ….
It’s very unsettling and sad.
But it’s important that everyone take a look at the map of their community. Notice where people died when you look at the map of Chemung County — Lower Maple Avenue in Elmira, County Route 64 in Big Flats, Interstate 86 and the Miracle Mile (Corning Road) in Horseheads. Look at the grouping of fatalities, on I-86, Route 352 and Route 64. Those are high-traffic areas where everyone should be their most vigilant. Those should be no-distraction zones, and that means turning the radio or CD down, too!
Some of the fatalities were pedestrians, some were drivers or their passengers, and some were on motorcycles or bikes. Yes, it’s important to know where the most dangerous spots are in Watkins Glen and Southport and Pine City, then south to Towanda, Sayre and Athens, Wellsboro and Mansfield.
But there is a larger lesson here.
The maps serve as a stark reminder to all of us to SLOW DOWN and PAY ATTENTION TO THE ROAD. Shut off the cell phone. Cut down the chatter. Be vigilant. Live in the present.
Respect the lives of others, and be mindful of the dangers around you. Distracted driving kills. Next time you’re on the road, think of the people lost in accidents on that map.
Please have a safe and joyous holiday season free of heartbreaking accidents.