Reflect | Devil Strip forensics reveal dangerous driving habits

by Pat Worden

Next time you’re walking the streets of our fair city, you might take a moment to notice the many mute testaments to old accident scenes that dot the devil strips. Once you begin seeing them, they become impossible to ignore.

This takes a bit of deductive reasoning, but when you notice scars on the curbside trees, more or less at bumper height, and on the side facing traffic, you can probably assume you’re looking at the remnants of a car-versus-tree collision.

With a keen eye you can discern even more. Has the tree healed and grown? Then the accident was likely long ago. If the wound seems more fresh, you might find broken car parts, not yet swept up, still surrounding the site. You can guesstimate the severity of the damage, and thus the severity of the crash.

We hope in all cases the damage was minor and no one was hurt. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that young trees absorb up to 13 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. As they mature that can increase to 48 pounds of CO2 annually. They’re not just pretty, in other words. They’re busy saving the planet.

So drive safe, Akron. And take it easy on our trees.

Pat Worden is a lifelong Akron resident, currently eyeing the devil strips in Goodyear Heights.