Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Preventable crashes

My name is Technical Trooper Chad Crittenden. I am the Public Resource Officer for south central Kansas. I have worked for the Kansas Highway Patrol for 17 years and have been stationed in Sedgwick County my entire career.  I have responded to thousands of preventable crashes over the years, many of which resulted in injuries or fatalities.

Motorists underestimate how dangerous it is to drive a car. They hop in, start the car and head to their destination, failing to understand how important it is to follow a few simple steps on the road: buckle their seat belt, obey the speed limit and not drive distracted. I see firsthand what happens when avoidable human error behind the wheel occurs. Many lives are affected during and after a crash.

As we drive on Kansas roadways, we encounter a lot of construction and maintenance zones. Though these zones are an inconvenience to some, they represent improvement and safer roadways in Kansas. But remember, the road is also “another day at the office” for maintenance workers and first responders. They put their lives in the motoring public’s hands every day, trusting they are attentive and aware.  We expect motorists not to drive distracted, drunk or even drowsy. Please don’t violate our trust.

When you see the next work zone ahead sign please remember: watch for workers, obey the traffic laws and please put the phone down. These easy steps can ensure our workers go home safely at the end of their shifts.



  1. I agree that many motorists underestimate the dangers of driving because it's something they do every day. It almost becomes a little like auto-pilot. Thank you for the reminder that we need to focus on driving safely, and especially in work zones.

  2. Chad! Thank you for your comment. The point you make about how work zones are just another day at the officer for highway workers is so on point. I can't imagine what it would be like to have people crash into my work area and no one should have to.

    At the end of the day it is up to all of us to keep each other safe. No one should be hurt or killed.

    Thanks for your message!

  3. Chad, thank you for your dedication and that of all law enforcement and KDOT crews
    We appreciate you!

  4. It's a sad world when getting somewhere now is more important than someone's life.

  5. As a KDOT Highway Maintenance Supervisor and a worker for the last 29 years I have seen my fair share of distracted drivers. Each and everyday that I send my crew out on my roadways I am haunted by the thought of some "bonehead" not paying attention or refusing to move over when we are out working and having one of my crew seriously hurt or killed. This is a thankless job that pays very little for the hazards we face, the verbal abuse from motorists and some times objects thrown at us each and every day because we are slowing these drivers down and are in their way! We provide a valuable service to the traveling public and if it wasn't for us Highway Maintenance workers maintaining our roadways the millions of dollars of commerce that travel along state highways, essential services and goods, along with emergency personnel will never reach there destination without us to keep the traffic flowing smoothly.

  6. So many people think "it won't happen to me" so they take unnecessary risks that endanger lives. Thanks for being part of this week and for all the training you provide. Your efforts and dedication are so appreciated.