Nasty crashes are the norm in The Villages these days so please be extra careful

If you follow Villages-News.com on a regular basis, then you know that we’re going through an extremely dangerous period in The Villages.

Florida Highway Patrol investigators examine a golf cart that was involved in a crash this past Tuesday in The Villages.

We’re at the height of snowbird season and it’s much colder than normal in the Northern states, so even more seasonal residents are taking refuge in the area to avoid the frigid record-low temperatures at their other homes.

Having so many people in The Villages can mean great things – busy stores, packed restaurants and a booming local economy. But it also can mean something else – more people on the roadways in and around Florida’s Friendliest Hometown, which clearly is translating into more dangerous crashes involving both cars and golf carts.

A Florida Highway Patrol investigator was at the scene of an injury crash on Rolling Acres Road on Jan. 17.

If you don’t believe that, then please consider these incidents:

For starters, let’s take into account that we’re talking about a whopping 13 serious crashes involving golf carts and/or automobiles in less than a month’s time. That’s a very scary fact when you consider how many times each of us is traveling on a roadway in The Villages or a surrounding area at any given hour of the day. And frankly, it should frighten the heck out of each of us who calls The Villages home or works in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.

A driver suffered a medical episode before crashing in the Village of Fernandina on Jan. 24.

As you know from reading the items above, some of the crashes were because of medical issues and one was related to alcohol. Obviously, we as motorists have no control over those issues. But we all should realize the need to be even more careful when behind the wheel in The Villages because, let’s face it, we’re talking about a mega-retirement community with a bunch of bars where a huge majority of the residents are senior citizens.

The older we get, the more health problems we tend to have. And some people just like to drink too much and then try to drive home. So it stands to reason that we each need to be on guard when traveling the various roadways in and around the community.

Firefighters and paramedics provide treatment to a man who was injured in a rollover crash on Picciola Road on Jan. 16.

The bottom line is this: We all need to be much more alert when driving these days. Our community is packed with residents and the roadways are only going to get busier as the multitude of new homes are built in the Villages of Southern Oaks south of County Road 44. Toss in the high volume of construction-related vehicles traveling Villages streets and it just stands to reason that nasty crashes apparently are going to be the norm.

Going forward, we’d like to ask everyone to make a concerted effort to be careful. Be extra-aware of what’s going on around you when traveling in The Villages and the surrounding areas. And leave 10 minutes early if possible so you have plenty of time to get to your destination safely.

Orange tape blocks off the area where a crash occurred at Fresh Market in The Villages this past Monday.

Also, when traveling, please buckle up. As journalists, we’ve covered thousands of crashes and we can tell you that the overwhelming majority of time, seatbelts play a huge role in saving lives. And you are required by law to wear them.

So please be careful out there. It’s a traffic jungle in The Villages right now and being super cautious and driving defensively has never been more important.