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IN OUR OPINION

"It may be one of those erroneous urban legends, like the one about the alligators in the sewers, but we've used a rule of thumb about driving here that might save your life. We were told by a Kitsap County Sheriff's deputy a few years back that we should always assume 20 percent of the drivers on a Kitsap highway don't know what they're doing. Who are those 20 percent? Many of them are new residents to the area, driving on their first icy highway or rain drenched back road. Then there's another bunch of folks who are just passing through on their way to the Hood Canal Bridge, grandma's house in Port Orchard, or the mountains. They don't understand the exits, the merges, and they're bound to make a swift lane change in front of you in the fog during rush hour. In the summer, when traffic is slow, the sky is blue and good moods prevail, we deal pretty well with these 20 percenters. Come winter, throw some showers on the road, add a sheen of black ice, make it dark, be running a little late on a cold morning, and we're in mortal danger from these 20 percenters, as well as ourselves. The driver you pull out in front of on Hwy. 305 or Hwy. 104 on a slippery road might be a 20 percenter---he or she might be the last one you ever cut in front of. Drive as if the person in front of you doesn't know any better. Because there's at least a 20 percent chance they don't. "

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