Here is a compelling blog post from my good friend Chris Welsh...
The small town of Hooper, Nebraska is grieving over yet another heartbreaking loss at the intersection of US Highway 77 and Nebraska Highway 91.
In 2011, 16 year-old Bryn Dirkschneider died in a crash at the intersection. Today, his memorial cross is joined by two more memorials for young boys, Bryan Huff, 17, and Dalan Brandt, 15.
Both young men were students at Logan View High School in Hooper. They had just met at their work for the summer. Huff was driving with passenger Brandt on a lunch break around 1:00 pm when they crashed into a semitrailer. The driver, Byron Morrow, 51, of Tekamah, was not physically injured.
Local news investigation by KMTV News 3 laments that the memorials are not slowing traffic at the dangerous intersection. The station inquired to the Nebraska Department of Roads about traffic lights and improved safety in response to the tragedies. They have not received a reply.
Dalan Brandt’s grandfather, Jim Brandt, asks what can be done to fix the issue, "I would love to see traffic lights there but it's not going to happen.” Many fear that another accident will happen before the Department of Roads re-evaluates the intersection.
Trucking safety is another concern involving the crash and a potential cause in all trucking accidents. Fatigue and distracted driving are serious problems for drivers, who are paid by the mile. This payment system encourages drivers to make long trips in order to meet delivery deadlines and make more money. In the rush to do so, safety regulations and careful driving are neglected. This is especially concerning considering that for every semi on the road, the risk of accident increases (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/.U5c2m5RdVg8#.U5imIpRdVg8). In dangerous intersections like that of Highway 77 and 91, it is necessary for drivers to be awake and driving responsibly.
In 2012, there were 333,000 large truck crashes that claimed the lives of 3,802 Americans ( http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812032.pdf ) If you or a loved has been injured in a car accident, or you believe that a road in your community is unsafe, speak out for support. Every concern should be heard, especially when it means that your family is safer on the road.