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A driving culture gone mad

The driver was pronounced dead at the scene

The driver was pronounced dead at the scene and two passengers were injured in a two-car accident that closed at least three lanes of the Long Island Expressway in Hauppauge during rush hour on Wednesday, July 8, 2015. The crash occurred on the eastbound lanes at about 4:10 p.m. near Exit 57, Veterans Memorial Highway. Credit: Evan Rolla

The description of a fatal crash Wednesday evening on the Long Island Expressway was familiar to anyone who drives on our roads.

A 22-year-old woman driving a sport-utility vehicle reportedly steered from the far left lane toward the exit ramp for Veterans Memorial Highway. She crashed into another vehicle by the ramp. She was killed and two passengers in her car were injured. Although not all details of the accident are known, it is believed she was trying to cross the busy highway to reach the exit.

Accidents like this seem to be one part of a driving culture gone mad in the two counties that lead the state in traffic fatalities with stunning regularity, Suffolk first and Nassau right behind.

Police say that earlier Wednesday, on nearly the same stretch of the LIE, a Massapequa Park motorcylist fled them at more than 100 mph, a very dangerous move. Every day seems to bring another story of rear passengers not buckled in; drunken drivers, with or without kids in the car; and road rage, drag racing and crashes through storefronts.

As crowded as our roads are, much of what makes them deadly is bad decisions: texting while driving, excessive speeding, darting in and out of lanes, cutting each other off. If you miss an exit . . . so what? Go to the next one. Buckle up, slow down, be a few minutes late, turn off the phone, let the other guy go.

Life's too short to be aggressive and foolish on the road. And too often, tragically, it's even shorter when we are.