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Seeing clearly and driving safely

Last week, my Southern Eyes became the Southern Eye. And a mighty pitiful sight it was - literally.

An eye injury left me totally blind one day, and partially blind the others. It was quite an experience as I realized how much I take for granted my ability to see.

I also never realized how much my sight affected my sense of balance until I was stumbling around like my publisher, Jason, did when he over-dosed on pain medication while waiting for a root canal a few weeks ago.

While walking through a parking lot, I called out "I'm dizzy," to which my sons responded, "We already knew that." It wasn't until I ran into a parked car that they realized I was serious. Now I am happy to report that I have two eyes again.

When I returned to work after my recovery, I was saddened to learn of the car accident which claimed one young person's life and seriously injured several others. I did not have the privilege of knowing any of them, but I know that their loss is tragic to everyone in the community. I offer my condolences to all their friends and family members, although I know no words can ease their pain and grief.

While writing this column, I have no idea of any details of the accident. So don't think I am placing blame with what I am about to say. I'm just asking others to please remember there are other drivers on the road.

I am reminded of an incident from a few years ago when another driver recklessly passed me on the shoulder of Bobby Jones Expressway in Augusta. I followed the driver to a nearby shopping center, where I let the teenager behind the wheel have it - much to the embarrassment of my own teen who was a passenger in my car.

While I may have been more aggressive than usual in my confrontation, I hope I gave the other driver cause to think of their actions. It is often unsafe driving that causes accidents, and it is accidents that needlessly take lives. And it is the loss of lives that has a negative impact on so many other lives.

I know that what I am saying is common sense. Just like wearing your seatbelt. Or using your signal lights. Or coming somewhat close to the speed limit. Yet we see folks disregarding those ideas every day.

Again, I'm not casting blame or dispersions on the recent local tragedy. I just want all drivers to be extra careful from now on, and extra courteous. It'll certainly save lives.

And if I'm involved, it could save your ears, too.

Web posted on Thursday, August 23, 2007

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