Authorities Urge Oklahomans To Drive Safely On County Roads As Well As City Streets

Thursday, September 16th 2010, 7:46 am
By: News On 6

By Jamie McGriff, The News On 6

TULSA, OKLAHOMA -- According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office there were 646 reported deadly traffic accidents in Oklahoma in 2009.

Some of those happened in rural areas on county roads.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol wants to remind motorists the importance of being just as careful while driving in the county as you would in the city.

One of the mistakes drivers make while out in the county is to think you don't have as many dangers to worry about, but Oklahoma Highway Patrol says that's not true.

There are unseen dangers that could pop up at anytime.

A 2009 report from the U.S. Department of Transportation says 44 percent of all traffic deaths happened in urban areas. That number nearly doubles to 86 percent when you include a rural area within 10 miles of the city's boundary.

The OHP says some of the reasons behind the crashes are because people think its okay to speed out in the county.

"The number 1 crash that we see that we investigate that causes injury on county roads are one single vehicle crashes, where someone goes off on the right side of the road over corrects and ends up on the left side of the road and maybe rolls the vehicle," said Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Lt. George Brown.

Not drinking and driving is another way to stay safe was driving in a rural setting.

When it comes to drinking and driving Lt. George Brown says some people think if they had too many drinks, they can just take a county road to get back home. But driving while drunk is dangerous no matter where you are. However, there are drivers who think county roads are the exception.

"Big mistake and I'll tell you why. We focus a lot of roadblocks a lot of driver's license check points, a lot of DUI checkpoints on those county roads. You never know when you'll come around a corner and there will be a state trooper there. Drive sober and drive safe," said Lt. George Brown.

Brown says troopers try to patrol the county roads as much as possible, but there are a lot of road systems to cover in Oklahoma. It's just a good idea to drive safely, because you never know when a state trooper will pop up.