Unfortunately, the North Country has seen a number of tragic, deadly accidents recently involving vehicles and pedestrians.

What You Need To Know

  • There have been several fatal car/pedestrian accidents in Jefferson County recently

  • Driving Instructors say it's imperative to put away the phone and other distractions and ensure a car's upkeep

  • While in some situations pedestrians have a role in their own safety, some say the full onus is on the driver

Now, once again, this community is trying to remind drivers of what they need to do behind the wheel to ensure everyone's safety.

Anthony Garcia owns Freeway Driving School in Watertown. The recent accidents involving pedestrians in, and around, the city have him trying to get out and spread the message that while not 100% preventable, these fatal accidents can often times can be prevented.

"Now, while many times things can be unexpected and things can happen very quickly, if you are paying attention, if your car is properly maintained, it'll give you a much, much better chance of being able to anticipate and react to danger," Garcia said.

Garcia says distracted driving is the number one issue he sees and the number one distraction is the cell phone.

"Cell phones, put them away. There is absolutely no reason to have your cell phone out," he added.

Freeway's customer base is typically those looking for lessons before ever getting their license.

Garcia doesn't think refresher courses are a bad idea, but he says, in most cases, people will always have the skills to be a safe driver, they just need to remind themselves to be one.

"Remember that you are driving a very large vehicle, you are driving a very dangerous device and we sometimes forget about that fact," he said.

While in some situations pedestrians do have a role in this, Garcia says the true onus is on the person behind the wheel.

"A pedestrian never hits a car. A car always hits a pedestrian. Which means it happens in front of the driver," he added.

Garcia says the car's upkeep is a critical aspect as well. That means good tires, clean windows and proper mechanics because after all, it's all of our families walking around.

"Not only am I a driving instructor, I have a seven year old who just got a brand new bike for his birthday. So, coming at it from a father's perspective, not only a driving instructor's perspective, it's about keeping everyone safe," he said.

In the end, that's all anyone wants.