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On Saturday, August 27, 2009, the Birmingham News reported two wrecks which killed two people. The first involved a motorcycle and a pickup truck. This occurred on Second Avenue North in Jefferson County, Alabama. According to the News, the pickup truck driver did not see the motorcyclist and turned left in front of him.

How do these happen? Typically, motorcyclists are very careful drivers (not always, but in many cases). The problem, however, is motorists do not see motorcyclists. Given their small size and, many times, dark colors, cars have difficulty seeing them. Usually, the motorcycles have to have their headlight on. I’m not sure about this situation given the story, but what we need to learn from this is people need to be more careful when they are on the roads because motorcyclists and bicyclists have just as much right to the road as cars and trucks.

The second death occurred when a woman was getting her mail in Grayson Valley. An SUV collided with a car, flipped, and hit the woman. This collision happened on Watson Road. The drivers of both vehicles were sixteen years of age. Apparently, the driver of the car didn’t see the SUV and pulled out in front of it.

What can we take from this collision? Maybe teenagers need more training before we give them the keys to a car. Many states have differing laws for teenage drivers. Some have to continue their training after getting their license. Some states don’t allow teenagers to drive at night. With cell phones and texting proliferating, it is inevitable that teenagers will use poor judgment and use those devices in their cars. How can we stop that? I’m not saying that that was the cause of this fatality, but it is sure to happen in the future, and we need to consider these issues.

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