DPS Shares Tips on Avoiding Head On Collisions

Published 07/18 2014 05:11PM

Updated 07/18 2014 05:27PM

By: Meredith Hillgartner 

LUBBOCK,TX- Sergeant Bryan Witt, with Lubbock D.P.S. is sharing his tips for keeping drivers safe on the roadways. 

Sergeant Witt urged us to share these tips, after 62 year old Patricia Mendez and her 8 year old granddaughter Ava Lucia McWhirter were killed Monday morning in a head on collision on Highway 84. 

Mendez was driving east on the highway when the D.P.S. office said she came up on Jeffrey Howard from Wolfforth, who had been driving west in the eastbound lane for several minutes. 

Mendez and McWhirter were dead before emergency officials arrived, Howard was taken to UMC after witnesses said they pulled him from his burning GMC SUV.

"You want to avoid a head on collision because the force is so tremendous," Sergeant Witt said. "You [can] imagine two vehicles going in the opposite direction at 70 miles per hour. If those vehicle collide, it's like running into a brick wall at 140 mph." 

Sergeant Witt's first tip to avoiding an accident is to get rid of any and all distractions. 

"You need to put down your cell phones," Sergeant Witt said. "You need to be watching the roadway, because you might just have a split second to react to one of those situations."

Also, keep your seat belt on, and regulate your speed. 

"If you do experience somebody on the wrong side of the roadway, the first thing you should do is immediately get off your gas," Sergeant Witt said. "Start slowing your vehicle down." 

Sergeant Witt said if you want to move out of the way, always move to the right. 

He said, if you are on the left, and the driver tries to correct themselves, you could be in the way. 

Plus, the right side of the road usually gives drivers more space to move. 

"If the vehicle continues to come at you, you can actually continue to drive off the roadway," Sergeant Witt said. "Control your vehicle ,in a straight line, not slamming on your brake and start a slide and not jerking your steering wheel. You want to let your vehicle go in a straight line drive off the road, slow down and eventually get back on the road." 

Sergeant Witt said the main thing to remember is to stay calm. 

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.