Article On Highway Accidents Misleading

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Editor:

As ADOT representative Tom Goodman stated, the pure number of accidents on a road "is a little misleading."

Your article, "When familiar roads throw a curve," is a little misleading. Your introductory conclusion, "To many, the stretch of Highway 87 from Payson to Pine is believed to be the most dangerous section of road in Rim Country. However, statistics do not back up the belief ..." is a little misleading.

The most dangerous section of road should be concluded using the highest accident rate per vehicle per mile. You should look at those results and see if your conclusion is proven or a little misleading.

We may be surprised to see that traffic between Payson and Rye is just twice that of the traffic between Payson and Pine. The numbers presented in your article show 66 accidents in 10 miles or 6.6 per mile and 44 accidents in 13 miles or 3.4 per mile on those stretches. We'd like to see the results when you factor in the number of vehicles using the road.

We'd like to agree with Ron Hamric that the road between Payson and Pine is only treacherous to those who don't respect speed limits and road conditions. We wish. The problem for us is "the other guy."

We have to keep watch for the other guy who drives too fast, doesn't pay attention, is on the phone, is impaired or is just a stupid driver who has a wheel drop off the pavement edge, has a distracting moment, or dodges some wild animal or a dead skunk and shoots across the highway into our lane.

Folks who do get a tire off the side of the pavement should just slow down and slowly get back onto the road surface similar to reacting to a flat tire. A hard turn or hard braking at the speed limit will likely end up overcorrecting to the opposite side of the road and a head-on accident or a trip down a ravine or into an embankment.

The conditions on this road with the lack of guardrails and shoulders and the deep drop-offs at the pavement edges, do not allow for much room for evasive action from the other guy or large wild animals other than to slam on the brakes and pray for a miss. That no tax investment is necessary because we can drive safely is a little misleading.

Maureen and Mike Pastika, Pine

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