Summertime driving has roadway and other distractions to contend with

CHP urging drivers to be alert and maintain cars

Traffic will be challenging this summer and drivers have been urged to have patience and a maintained vehicle. (photo: John Palminteri/

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Avoiding summertime driving accidents or high risk situations can often times start with you before you face the unknown on the roads.

That's the message from the California Highway Patrol, local leaders and Caltrans.    They held a pre-summer news conference in the Santa Ynez Valley to alert all drivers to the dangerous behavior or conditions  that is contributing to accidents.
Besides drunk, drowsy or impaired drivers in other ways, there's also the modern day dilemma of managing electronics while driving.
"But there's no design element that can combat the decisions the drivers make,"  said Caltrans Spokesman Jim Shivers

California Highway Patrol Officer Rick Larson patrols Highway 154 regularly and sees the dangers of the scenic yet challenging two lane road.  He said, "be smart do not drink and drive, slow down, take your time and enjoy these roads we have out here especially Highway 154 and the 101."

In Carpinteria,  the roadway is not the same with two bridge projects underway.  The lanes are open but reconfigured which may catch some drivers off guard.  There's K-rail barriers just outside of the traffic lanes, many signs, a reduced speed limit and curves in the roadway where it was once straight.
A bike rider who has seen many roads in Southern California on two wheels and four said the surfaces are not the safest in his opinion.  Doug Stirling said rough asphalt and potholes can be a big impact on bikes and cars.  "Our roads are terrible.  California roads are in dire need of some help and you feel that a lot. It could be scary out there. I know  a lot of friends that have gotten into some wrecks and collisions with cars."
Early Friday morning a 21 year old driver from Goleta was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol after a wrong way head on crash on Highway 217 that injured an on coming driver.

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