By Trooper Gary Cutler, Colorado State Patrol
Each month I usually write about topics to help you and your families stay safe on the roadways. This month I would like to touch on why that is so important. There is a hidden scar that goes on under the radar of public perception. So this time, I would like to help everyone understand the effect bad driving has on everyone else not directly involved in traffic crashes.
Any time there is an injury or fatal crash there is a ripple effect that happens. Those directly involved of course are the victims, but have you ever thought of what affect the trauma has on the witnesses, families, friends, police, fire, paramedics, and hospital staff from that point on. The list is so large it’s hard to make sure everyone is listed when there is a serious crash. Each one of these people affected has to deal with what they have seen and experienced long after the incident. Sometimes they never get over what they have experienced.
The Colorado State Patrol has produced a series of videos aimed at explaining the lasting effects after the crash is over. The videos are entitled “Hidden Scars”. The short videos touch on the emotional hurt people endure from crashes caused by texting, driving under the influence, and distracted driving, to name just a few.
At the time I was writing this, there have been 561 fatal crashes covered this year by just the Colorado State Patrol alone. With the increase of people coming to the state and the continuing challenges to keep people from driving impaired or being distracted with cell phones, we need to make a change so we are not losing so many lives to crashes.
This means we need to look at things differently. We change perceptions. Help people to put the phone down when driving, get that ride after drinking or smoking marijuana, or to just slow down on the roadway. These are small steps that can have huge impacts, so others don’t have to have their own hidden scars.
Please take a moment and watch the videos with your family and friends. Hopefully, these videos will have that message needed to change behavior. You can find our videos on any of our social media outlets.
As always, safe travels!