Brush off the snow and use headlights

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, January 20, 2005

We live in Alaska and it snows here during the winter. I know: duh, right? But for some reason, even people who have lived here for a long time seem to forget how to drive in the snow every year. Now that we've had an abundance of snowfall, it's getting even worse. Don't feel bad though ... during all my years of driving big rigs across the U.S. I found that it was the same everywhere.

It still amazes me, though, that some people don't even use their common sense when driving. Things like: turning on your headlights whenever it is raining or snowing. For that matter, there are those who turn on their headlights, but they don't bother to brush the snow off of their headlights or taillights. Not to mention other important things, like their windows, mirrors, license plates etc.

There are many Southern states that have laws on the books that say: If you are using your windshield wipers, even intermittently, then you must have your headlights on. There is a very good reason for this. Other cars can more easily see you during diminished driving conditions. I know ... duh. Especially if you are following a big rig down the road it is important for that driver to be able to see you. Water from the road is thrown up onto the mirrors of the trucks and a driver may not be able to see you behind them. This is especially important when they want to change lanes. Granted, this isn't as bad when you are in a car or pickup but it still applies.

So, use some common sense and clean off your vehicle before you go out on the road. Brush off your lights and windows and the rest of your vehicle. Turn on your headlights whenever you have to use your wipers because of moisture on the road. Do these things to be a safer driver ... and to keep someone else from running into you because they can't see you that well.

State lawmakers, pass a law that requires drivers to do these things and then enforce them. While you're at it, see if you can work on people driving slow in the fast lane and not making way for those who wish to pass them. Wouldn't that be nice. I know ... duh, right?

J. Marc Mulkey

Juneau



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