POSTED: Thursday, January 20, 2011 - 6:49pm
UPDATED: Friday, January 21, 2011 - 3:58pm
Eight people have died in car accidents so far this year, compared to three people at this time last year. So we wanted to ask the experts - are our roads getting more dangerous?
"It's horrible that we have to see this happen every single day, I mean my walls are filled with articles," said Sandra Marquez, director of SVM Defensive Driving. Her wallpaper is a grim reminder of how dangerous the roads can be.
"We have to remember that driving is a privilege, it's not a right," Marquez said.
There was a crash at Montana and Loop 375. Another at Zaragoza and I-10. Then one at Vista Del Sol and Bob Hope. Another at I-10 and U.S.-54. Then one at Zaragoza and Saul Kleinfeld. And the most recent was at Lee and Turner. That's eight traffic deaths in twenty days.
"In the ten years, maybe five people have told us, 'You know what, it was my fault'" Marquez said. She said El Paso has become a melting pot for different cultures and different driving habits.
"They come from different states, and their driving habits are also different, we have people coming from across the border, their driving habits are different." Marquez also says the majority of the people in her defensive driving classes are teenagers, and she encourages parents and kids alike not to allow distractions in the car.
"I've seen people shaving in the car, I've seen people changing, but it's just amazing the things people do in a car," she said. So while Sandra is reminded everyday of the consequences of poor driving, she says people too easily forget that one wrong turn can change a life.
"Maybe by one report or two reports will not change the world, but definitely we can start with ourselves, and that's all we can do."
Defensive driving instructors say you don't have to take a class to know the basics - wear a seat belt, don't be distracted by things like noisy passengers or cell phones, and don't drink and drive.