Our View: To anyone driving in Eagle County, ‘we have to do better’ | VailDaily.com

Our View: To anyone driving in Eagle County, ‘we have to do better’

Vail Daily editorial board

Hundreds of members of the Eagle and Gypsum community turned out Sunday to honor the all-too-brief life of Megan Lodge, an Eagle Valley High School senior who was killed Dec. 26 in an auto accident.

Other communities around the state are also grieving those lost in traffic accidents.

In a video message posted Dec. 27 to the Colorado State Patrol's Facebook page, Patrol Chief Matthew Packard issued a heartfelt plea in the wake of nine traffic deaths in the span of less than 72 hours right around Christmas. Those accidents were only the ones the State Patrol investigated. One of them was Megan Lodge.

"We have to do better," Packard said.

He's right.

New Year's resolutions generally aren't worth much, but being better on the roads is one of the most worthwhile pledges you can make, to yourself, your family and your community.

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If you live here and haven't yet bought snow tires, please do it now. Snow tires are expensive, but even a $1,000 investment is likely cheaper than a single-car slide off the road followed by a full-price tow and the inevitable repair bills.

If you're a visitor and aren't familiar with snowy roads, do yourself a favor and take alternative transportation. If you have either your own car or a rental, please make sure the tires pass the quarter test. Stick a quarter into the tire's tread, with Washington's head pointed down. If the tread covers any part of the first president's head, then your tires are adequate.

If you're driving in a snow storm, please, please, slow down. Give everyone around you plenty of room, particularly snowplows.

Giving plenty of room is a good idea all the time. Tailgating the rear car in a line of traffic doesn't do anyone any good.

If you're alone in the left lane and you're passed on the right, you're the problem.

Finally, please, please, please stay off your phone, especially the apps. Hands-free voice calls let you keep your eyes on the road. But texting or, heaven forbid, social media are, frankly, an invitation to disaster.

We all want to get where we're going with a minimum of fuss. As Colorado's roads get ever more busy, we all need to help those roads become safer places to travel.

The Vail Daily Editorial Board is Publisher Mark Wurzer, Editor Nate Peterson, Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart and Business Editor Scott Miller.