Georgia police officer dies in traffic accident in Columbus

Drivers often overestimate their driving ability. As the tagline from the radio program says, all drivers believe they are above average. Combine this overconfidence bias with the familiarity of driving the same roads every day, and it can lead to tragic results. This is why people use a cellphone, send text messages or eat while driving. They believe they can handle it.

The truth is, driving is an immensely difficult task, with the brain receiving hundreds of inputs every second for things that could be significant or important. Sometimes our brains our sidetracked by other activities like reading a text or changing radio stations. Most of the time, it does not matter. Nevertheless, at the wrong moment, that inattention can be the trigger for a tragic car accident.

Even highly skilled and trained drivers can suffer that one unlucky moment. Yesterday, a crash occurred in Columbus that killed one undercover police officer and left another in a medically induced coma, recovering from traumatic brain injuries.

Their police vehicle, will sirens and warning lights operating, struck another car during an emergency call. The cause of the accident is under investigation, and the law enforcement agency was mourning the loss of a 32-year veteran of the department.

Driving demands our full attention every time we get behind the wheel. You never know when a vehicle is going to pull out in front of your car unexpected, or when an emergency vehicle will shoot through an intersection. Your awareness may save your life and the lives of others. 

Source: WTVM.com, "Undercover officer killed in traffic pursuit of suspect," Curtis McCloud, August 1, 2013

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