Summer is here

Slow down and enjoy the drive

Summer is here and the roads are going to be busy. Locals and tourists alike will be on the road in all modes of transport from bicycles to motorcycles to RVs; there will be wildlife ranging from squirrels to raccoons to deer; and there will be construction zones, some with controlled traffic around the clock.

We who live here know the dangers that exist during the best of conditions. We have come to know the curves in the roadways that we travel and know when to accelerate and when to ease off the gas. It will be our job to drive more defensively and to watch for those drivers who are not familiar with our roadways and those creatures that are simply wandering across. Last week’s CHP report was filled with vehicle vs. deer encounters.

We also need to allow more time to drive where we need to go. Driving the Feather River Canyon or around Lake Almanor could be particularly frustrating this summer with the many road improvement projects underway. Add in motor homes, vehicles pulling trailers and boats, logging trucks, and tourists enjoying the scenery, and it means it’s going to take us longer to get where we’re going.

And since the weather is warmer and school is out, there will be more people on bikes and walking along the roadways. There will also be more children at play and we need to pay attention to our surroundings at all times.

In general, we need to be extra careful when driving this summer. There will always be reasons for us to lose patience or draw our attention away from the road, but we have to remain focused behind the wheel — our lives, and the lives of family and friends, could depend on it.

Another suggestion: When taking a leisurely drive this summer, make sure to let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. That is doubly important if your drive will include a trip into the mountains, off of well-traveled roads. If you encounter car trouble or get in an accident and don’t show up when and where you are supposed to, at least someone will be able to point emergency responders in the right direction. As we all know, cell phone coverage is spotty at best. Be sure to carry extra water as well.

Summer is here and it’s time to enjoy all that is best about living in Plumas County. Just take the time to relax and enjoy the drive.

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