CRAVE Research Six

Maxwell, Lauren. “What Can Make the Seward Highway Safer?” Anchorage News. CBS. KTVA, Anchorage, Alaska, 10 Dec. 2012. 10 Dec. 2012. Web. 4 Apr. 2013. <;.

Lauren Maxwell, on behalf of KTVA Channel 11 News, in the television news story “What Can Make the Seward Highway Safer?” covers a recent severe accident and discusses the safety problem of the Seward Highway and some proposed solutions. Maxwell uses the occasion of the crash to bring up its serious implications, interviews important community members, such as the DOT Spokesman Rick Feller and Girdwood Fire Chief Bill Chadwick, and speaks of future plans and studies related to the hazards and future costs. Maxwell’s purpose is to reveal the dangers of the road, so that hopefully viewers will become more informed, and thus more likely to help solve the problem that every single person who drives the road faces. This source is useful for my topic as it uses traditional journalistic methods such as interviews to gain insight from the professionals. I know that their testimony can be trusted, and they bring up some important points that might not otherwise have been obvious.

For instance, I thought Chadwick’s comment was very important. Almost all of the accidents are head-ons, which is the deadliest type of accident. He said this was because of the high closing speeds, and thus the drivers have no time to react. This could be the potential angle I could take. Instead of trying to prevent all accidents, perhaps it would be more economical and effective to merely try to minimize their severity. Speed limit reduction is one of the solutions that he talks about, as well as re-engineering the entire roadway to a four-lane divided highway. Similar to my other sources, this says that these improvements could cost $750 million, so I think that number is a good place to start. Also, I thought the statistic that the highway is actually deadlier in the summer by sheer numbers is interesting. I would next like to see the crashes/10,000 cars to see how the probability changes depending on the season. I’m sure the chances are deadlier in the winter, but depending on how much could reveal the cause of the accidents. Maybe poor road conditions are not at fault, but its just the distracted drivers in the summer that are busy looking at the scenery who are the main problem. All-in-all however, I think the whole situation is becoming pretty clear to me.