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Tue, Oct. 15

Bergner: Top 5 tips on how to keep Prescott from feeling like we’re driving on Phoenix streets
Raising Prescott

Every day I arrived home safely from work when living in Phoenix was another day I counted my blessings. The reason being? Phoenix streets are a death trap.

Are Prescott, Prescott Valley and the surrounding areas at that level? Of course not, but sometimes it sure feels like we’re getting closer to that inevitability.

With that, here are my Top 5 ways on how to keep our town(s) from feeling like we’re driving on the streets of Phoenix.

No. 5: Stop driving in someone else’s blind spot

When driving down Highway 69, 89, 89A, or whichever other main route we have in the quad-city area, refrain from driving in the blind spot of the person in the lane next to you.

Why? They can’t see you. Nor, can they hear you (especially in the winter when windows are up and music is on). This means when they want to change lanes, or suddenly make a turn, they’ll go for it, and won’t realize you’re there until it’s too late.

So what should you do? Pass them, as soon as possible, or stay a car length behind them in an opposite lane.

No. 4: When a driver is attempting to turn out of a parking lot, leave space!

Ever sit with your blinker on for an eternity at the local grocery store’s exit near a stop light? We all have. And we’ve all been that other driver who is sometimes unaware, or sometimes doesn’t care, that someone is attempting to turn.

Be aware of people looking to turn into your path and if a stop light is up ahead, give them space to turn in.

No. 3: Avoid launching half your body out a window to flip the bird

You may laugh at this one, but in all seriousness, it’s difficult to drive your vehicle if you’re more concerned about flipping someone the bird. I saw this first hand a few months back when a gentleman (maybe not so gentleman-like, I suppose) put his entire torso outside the window and flipped off someone next to him, almost crashing into the person in front of them since, well, no hands were on the wheel.

No. 2: Move over, please

When driving Highway 89, or on nearby Interstate 17, state law 28-721(B) of the Uniform Vehicle Code says a driver must move over to the right lane when approached by a faster vehicle. Drivers should also be using the left lane ONLY for passing.

Following this rule would keep our highways and interstates mostly unclogged from the domino effect of everyone braking because of one person.

No. 1-A: (I have two No. 1’s) Put that cellphone down, please

First came Yavapai County. Then came its many towns, including Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley and Dewey-Humboldt. And what did they accomplish? Banning cellphone use while driving. Period.

Yes, that’s right, no wiggle room. Hands-free only, folks.

Just yesterday, I was sitting at the light near Bank of America on Lake Valley Road when a driver’s front right tire went up on the curb. The driver quickly adjusted, then drove past me with a phone still stuck in their face.

Really? Put them down and drive. Keep yourself, and everyone else, safe.

No. 1-B: And for Pete’s sake, stop tailgating everyone!

This is probably my biggest pet peeve of all time. Drivers who tailgate like a monster is chasing them from behind. Then, if you brake check a driver, waking them up out of their ridiculous driving tactic (as if it makes you go faster), they get all upset.

Well, how about we give a little more room to people in front of us. After all, you never know what can happen on the road. Sudden stops happen, and if you slam into someone’s rear end, it will almost always be your fault.

Brian M. Bergner Jr. is news/sports editor for The Daily Courier of Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and SoundCloud at @TheEditorDesk. Email or call 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.

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