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Foggy mornings shouldn’t obscure safe driving

The past few weeks we’ve had several foggy mornings, which isn’t too unusual for the weather around here this time of year.

I’ve always greatly enjoyed the eerie look of fog spreading across the land. It always makes me feel like I’ve jumped into some kind of movie. Everything just looks a little more unreal as it becomes visible through the fog, so that even trees and houses you see every day seem like something new. It’s all about a change in perspective.

Maybe I’m not the only one out there who doesn’t mind the fog so much. I’m sure plenty of children are always excited when they get those one- or two-hour delays in the morning. It certainly can break up the monotony of a regular school day. But perhaps some parents who take their kids to school are often less than thrilled about the change in their normal commute. I can’t blame them for that!

But no matter whether a foggy morning fills you with excitement or dread, we all still have to deal with them in some way or another. I know I still make the trek from my home in Northampton County to the News Herald office in Ahoskie despite whatever amount of fog is hanging around in the morning.

I’ve noticed recently, however, some cases of reckless driving on foggy mornings. I’ve seen people speeding through intersections without slowing or stopping to check for oncoming traffic. I’ve seen people driving through heavy fog without headlights, making it much more difficult to spot their vehicles before you’re right on top of them. The limited visibility is what makes traveling through fog more dangerous than a typical drive, so it’s frustrating to witness all these instances of easily correctable recklessness.

I realize many people are just trying to get to their destination on time, sometimes maybe they’re even running behind and a bit rushed, but is it really so hard to drive safely? If you can’t drive safely in foggy conditions, how much worse is it during a clear sunny day?

The reality is that we’re all on the roads a lot. There’s almost no public transportation to speak of here in the Roanoke-Chowan area, and everything is so spread out that it’s impossible to walk anywhere fast. That translates to spending a lot of time in our cars, our trucks, our motorcycles, our tractors, our 18-wheelers, and whatever else we drive. Maybe we’re singing along to the music on full blast in the car, maybe we’re making an important phone call, maybe we’re discussing the meaning of life with the person in the passenger seat, or maybe we’re just enjoying the scenery as it whizzes by.

But whatever we’re doing and whatever we’re driving, we should, at the very least, make an effort to do it safely. For our sake and for the sake of the other people on the road simply trying to make it to their own destination.

Please wear your seatbelt. Please use your headlights in fog and rain. Please pass vehicles when there’s no oncoming traffic. Please use turning signals. Please just drive the speed limit. (Seriously, you’re not going to shave much time off your commute by racing the devil to get there.)

If you can’t be safe on the roads, then you might as well just keep your driver’s license to use for ID purposes only. Save your reckless driving for video games.

Holly Taylor is a Staff Writer at Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at holly.taylor@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7206.