Bill Kirby

Online news editor for The Augusta Chronicle.

For safe driving, avoid Columbia

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Baseball is like driving; it’s the one who gets home safely that counts.

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– Tommy Lasorda

Maybe Augusta’s highways aren’t so bad, but if you’re going to any events at the University of South Carolina, look out.

Here’s why.

Earlier this week, Men’s Health magazine reported it had set out to determine the most dangerous American city in which to drive. It did this by tabulating the rate of fatal car crashes; the percentage of fatalities involving alcohol, speeding, or hit and run; and the rate of seat-belt use (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). It also factored in the average number of years between accidents (Allstate) and laws on cellphone use while driving (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and city governments).

The result? Of the 100 cities it rated, the most dangerous (No. 100) was St. Louis. But the alarming thing was Columbia was No. 94.

Other dangerous places to drive were Dallas; Charleston, W.Va.; Houston; Billings, Mont.; Providence, R.I.; Durham, N.C.; Orlando, Fla.; and Austin, Texas.

The least dangerous drivers (No. 10 to No. 2) were: Aurora, Colo.; Madison, Wis.; Chesapeake, Va.; New York City; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Reno, Nev.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Boston; and Lincoln, Neb.

The safest city to drive in is St. Paul, Minn.

P.S.: Atlanta was 24th-safest, so maybe the whole list is suspect. You can see the complete list at: www.menshealth.com/best-life/you-can-crash-here.

YOUR MAIL: Speaking of driving, Barry and Lynn Martin, of Jackson, send a postcard from Key West, Fla. “The 17-hour drive here was well worth it! The water is ‘glowing’ blue green colored and the drive over bridge after bridge – scenic. We also went to the ‘shell capital’ Sanibel Island, Fla.”

Also, Pat and Wayne Fuller, of North Augusta, sent a card from Memphis, Tenn., on Feb. 29 to tell us “Memphis has great food and history.”

TODAY’S JOKE: Bill Wood, of Hephzibah, shares this one:

A man and woman were having a quiet, romantic dinner in a fine restaurant. They were gazing lovingly at each other and holding hands. Their waitress, taking another order at a table a few steps away, suddenly noticed the man slowly sliding down his chair and under the table, but the woman acted unconcerned.

The waitress watched as the man slid all the way down his chair and out of sight under the table. Still, the woman appeared calm and unruffled, apparently unaware her dining companion had disappeared.

The waitress went over to the table and said to the woman, “Pardon me, ma’am, but I think your husband just slid under the table.” The woman calmly looked up at her and said, “No, he didn’t. He just walked in the door.”


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