Archived Story

Thick as pea soup

Published 6:52pm Thursday, January 16, 2014

The fog crept into eastern North Carolina Tuesday evening. The moisture, suspended in the air, didn’t burn off at daybreak as it usually does. Instead, it hung around until noon Wednesday, making our roadways quite a bit more treacherous than they normally are.

If you happened to be driving on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, then you know firsthand how the fog factored into safe driving — especially Wednesday morning.

At night, drivers are required to use their headlights. Not so during the day. Though many cars’ headlights come on automatically day or night, there are still those that require manual operation. While many drivers out and about there business proceeded with caution, driving more slowly than usual, using their headlights, there were those vehicles that just appeared out of nowhere, completely hidden by the blanket of fog until suddenly that oncoming traffic is right upon you.

That can feel pretty dangerous when it comes to making a turn across a lane of oncoming traffic.

As drivers, we are not just responsible for our own safety. When we are issued a drivers license, we are essentially signing a contract that we will behave in a proscribed manner and obey the rules of the road. But we also enter into a social contract in which we rely on each other to do the right thing, look out for one another, and not just obey road rules because we are required by law to do so.

Fog during the daylight hours is just as dangerous as fog at night. For those drivers who do not turn their headlights on during morning fog, know that you likely startled more than one driver out on the roads. Next time, think about your fellow drivers, or don’t be surprised when you end up broadsiding one of them.

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