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Trooper discusses safe driving tips

By Alison Parker
Published On: Feb 18 2013 04:55:10 PM CST
JACKSONVILLE -

State Trooper Shannon Whaley sees a lot of bad driving when he's on patrol.

"Folks will run off the road, and turn back on," Whaley said.

And it's not just civilians he sees getting distracted behind the wheel. On Sunday, troopers say Onslow County Deputy Zaire Duckett got distracted and lost control of his patrol car on Highway 24. They say he began to run off the road, and then overcorrected, crashing into a fence and delivery truck.

Duckett had minor injuries.

Trooper say they see about five accidents every week in our area that are a result of overcorrecting.

"As the vehicle drops off the roadway, it startles that particular driver,
they jerk and cause the vehicle due to inertia to spin out of control to
the right," Whaley said.

Sgt. Whaley says there are two main reasons why overcorrecting can
happen: fatigue and distracted driving. If you're tired and have to go
on a long car trip, he recommends cracking the window for some fresh air.
As for distracted driving, put the phone down.

"Most of them are simply being a distracted issue," Whaley said. "It scares or startles people. They're engaged in lighting a cigarette, they've taken their eyes
off the roadway for a brief second or two. We're all humans, we can make a
simple human mistake."

Whaley says it's all about easing off the accelerator, not slamming on the brakes. That's the best way to avoid an accident.