Staying Alert While Driving - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Staying Alert While Driving

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As a safe driver, you have to be prepared and alert for all types of driving conditions. Whether that's snow or other drivers on the road, many could be faced with some tough situations.

"I heard a loud crack," says Cheryl Ott of Minot.

Ott was put to the test when she was driving down County Highway 83 in Bottineau. 

"And, I don't startle real easy anymore just because I've been driving for so long. But, I looked over and saw that my window had just completely dropped out," says Ott.

Leaving her covered in shattered glass. Shortly after, she realized her window had been hit by a stray bullet and there was only one thing she could do.

"Keep going. As the glass was falling in on me. The wind was blowing and it was really cold. And, I just thought I just have to get to where there are people and make a report. Get this cleaned up. And, just on the off chance, be safe," says Ott.  

Maintaining control of the vehicle no matter the circumstances is something Captain Gary Orluck of Highway Patrol suggests. 

"Be aware that something could happen but don't get so startled that you lose control of the vehicle or swerve into another land and then cause a crash." 

Ott drives for a living and travels about 300 miles every day. And, she has experienced her fare share of surprises behind the wheel. 

"I'm used to a sound of a rock hitting the windshield. And, I'm used to an animal jumping out in front of you. And, part of being a safe driver is not having an emotional reaction to those things happening and stay level headed," says Ott.

And, that's exactly what she did. But, once she reported the situation, that's when reality began to set in.

"It wasn't until I actually called my boss to get a replacement truck that my heart really started pounding as I actually said the words, 'I think a bullet just broke my driver side window," says Ott.

Ott says even while focusing on the roadway, you can't prepare for a stray bullet hitting your car. But, you can only hope your driving skills are ready to handle the challenges of the road.

Once again, if you find yourself in this type of situation, Orluck suggests staying calm and contacting your local law enforcement.

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