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Editorial: What kind of driver are you in the winter?

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opinion Park Rapids,Minnesota 56470
Park Rapids Enterprise
Editorial: What kind of driver are you in the winter?
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

Winter storms have a way of bringing out the best and worst in people.

When the wind turns the world white and snow stacks up on streets and driveways, people have a way of pulling through it together.


You'll see a neighbor clearing out the driveway of another neighbor whose snowblower is on the fritz.

You'll see people holding open doors at stores for other customers, giving them an extra second or two of escape from the cold.

You'll hear strangers swapping storm stories in a grocery store or sharing information on which roads are the worst to take.

You'll notice many drivers who actually slow down, drive more carefully and adjust to the slippery, low-visibility conditions.

Wintry whiteouts turn some drivers into impatient beasts. When the weather turns ugly, they get uglier. They follow much too close behind other vehicles. If the other vehicle had to stop, there's no way they could stop in time to avoid a crash, no matter how much they paid for their four-wheel drive SUV.

Yet you see those drivers out there in every storm, shining their headlights into the rearview mirror of the careful driver ahead of them, just itching for the chance to pass.

They're the ones who drive 60 in a 50 mph zone, or 40 in a 30 mph zone, no matter what the conditions may be. They're the ones who gun their engine as they pass, leaving other drivers in a cloud of blinding snow. They're the ones who think it's fun to purposely hit their brakes to send their vehicles into a slide that they can steer out of - maybe - before they hit something. "Look what my vehicle can do," they seem to be thinking.

And then there are the drivers who think they're infallible, that no little snowstorm could impede their driving abilities.

The next time a nasty winter storm hits, there will once again be acts of kindness and acts of stupidity. Let's just all try to make sure that courtesy prevails.