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Editorial: Driver attention goes a long ways

Significant government, public and media attention in recent months has focused on Business 71 North and 23rd Street Northeast intersection near the Law Enforcement Center.

However, this intersection is not the most accident prone in Willmar according to a recent review of local accident statistics.

Year after year, a major intersection -- First Street South and Willmar Avenue -- right smack in the middle of Willmar remains the most accident prone location in Willmar.

The second most accident-prone intersection according to a recent study is First Street South and 19th Avenue.

Many area drivers now use extra caution as they travel Business 71 North near the LEC area intersection, but don't hesitate to rush right through First and Willmar or First and 19th.

Granted, the Business 71-23 rd St. intersection has had fewer accidents, but more fatal ones compared to other intersections.

An accident at any intersection costs both time and money for those involved as well as for law enforcement and emergency response staff responding.

Some drivers at all of these inter sections are speeding, trying to beat a light change, texting, changing the radio station or just not paying attention.

The best driving practice is a simple defensive driving, paying attention and avoiding distractions while driving.

In Willmar, drivers should use a little more caution as they transit First and Willmar, First and 19th or any city intersection.

The same holds true for drivers in communities across west central Minnesota.

The best driving lesson is to look in your mirror and ask yourself a few questions: Have I buckled that seat belt; should I have tried to beat that traffic light; should I make that mobile phone call.

Simply -- buckle up, pay attention, slow down and do not be in a hurry.