Thursday, November 02, 2006

Real Terror

Suppose terrorists killed 35000 people a year.

Think about what a blow that would be to this country. Thousands of innocents dead every year. Maybe 10 X that many hurt. Many paralyzed, or losing a limb. What rights would we give up then?

Suppose the war in Iraq cost 35000 lives a year. We'd be approaching, what, 150000 deaths? What support would there be in this country for that? And what if many of them were children? Pregnant women?

We have a ban on Euthanasia.

Yet, the automobile does what the above cannot, and we sit, and we do nothing. 35000 dead. There were two pile ups on the I 74 bridge. Thank God, no one was hurt.

Hey, here's a test...who do you know who died in a terrorist attack, or in a war, or was hurt in either. Now...who do you know who died in a car accident or was hurt in one.

Given today's technology, our car addiction is a crime. Wrecking thousands of lives and costing the economy billions. Given the computing power that can be brought to bear, we should be able to have a personal, public, computerized, safe transportation system. But we absolutely refuse to put our money or give up our "freedom" to suport such a thing. We are like a primitive tribe. Sacrificing to the Gods for our self involved desires.

Would you be a Christian if it meant giving up your car?

Look, and I'm not even getting into the environmental damage.

We can go there too.

What do you think? Defend your transportation choice to the mother of a dead child.

5 comments:

cruiser said...

I was thinking of doing a similar post. Let's hope it makes people think for a moment.

Robbie C. said...

your logic makes no sense... driving, along with basically any action on this earth is deadly. everytime americans eat a cheeseburger they are killing themselves... everytime someone smokes they are killing theirself and those around... so yes driving is a risk... but so are other activities we do daily. the difference? most of the things we do take their toll over a long period of time... but with driving its a matter of seconds...

the benfits of personal travel are great. at any time i can get in my car and drive all over the country. i dont have to worry about train schedules, airport schedules, or anything... at my destination i can still get to places... almost anywhere in this country is accessible by car. if i would like to go see the ocean, or the mountains, i can drive. it has made the world easily accessible to most people.

NoMorePinocchios said...

The bigger dangers in traveling the road is that people abuse the rules and common sensibilities needed to get from point A to point B. One problem is that they are all too often distracted with cramming too many activities into what should be a singular activity. Driving a vehicle, that approaches and in some cases surpasses a ton of unforgiving metal when mistakes are made, should be just that driving. The driving task should not be spent dancing in the seat to your favorite tune, applying makeup, playing cell phone tag (one of the worst) or any myriad of other distracting activities that create danger for you and your fellow road warriors. But one of the biggest problems (and related to all the distraction roots) is the unnecessary “need for speed”. There are speed laws for a reason. The faster you go, the less time and ability you or other drivers around you have to react to a potential problem. The faster you go the less your or your fellow road warrior’s vehicle is capable to perform the duties it needs to do. The faster you go the less your and your fellow road warriors’ vehicle is an article of personal conveyance and transformed into more of a deadly weapon.

I think most everyone understands but just ignores the problems related to distractions but because they mistakenly feel that they have such superior driving skills they can react to anything. That is not so as there are always to many unknown factors in any potential accident to allow those distractions to steal your alertness and ability to avoid those situations. But my post is going to lean more on the speeding problems.

Like the distractions people are so convinced that their driving skills and safety devices will save the day when trouble arise. And sometimes this will be true. But it is not always true and your driving skills are not the only exponential in the equation. But my post is not going to focus, as much on the driver’s ability or inability to react, there are already many (driver ignored) studies that focus on that. People just tend to ignore them. I am going to focus on the needless reasons that lay at the root of the problem, ignoring the lack of time differential between the person zooming down the streets ten MPH or more versus the individuals traveling what is the legal and safer speed limit.

We all have seen the numbers one time or another that shows the reaction problems that drivers face as the speed they drive increases. Simply put the faster individuals drive the more carnage and destruction increases when things go bad. Yet we still “feel the need for speed”! Most trips the average driver takes are across town, or fifteen to twenty minutes. Now my math skills are rusty, and a couple of work related accidents have scrambled my once above average math solving skills, but these simple equations do not involve advanced calculus skills. I am sure those more proficient in math could hammer out better numbers but this will suffice for my post. Assuming our Road Warrior feels the need to travel to his/her favorite hang out or has to travel to work and that just happens to be fifteen miles (pretty much an average one-way trip in town) away from their castle. If our Road Warrior friend travels 30 MPH (which is for my purposes is going to be the base figure I plan to work with plus which is considered a safe driving speed and probably the most posted speed in town) then (not taking in things you cannot predetermine) that trip should take them about 30 minutes to travel that 15 miles. Now if our friend decide to plow faster down the road I bet they are going to save a lot of time. Yet if you do the numbers they are only going to save about ten minute on fifteen mile trip if they jump from 30 mph in town driving to a very unsafe in town driving rate of 45 mph. So many of our Road Warrior friends (and don’t fib to me or yourselves I have had many of you cut me off to turn right from the left hand lane because you didn’t want to travel the posted 30 mph limit even for the short distance between blocks) are willing to risk their lives, their fellow Road Warrior’s lives. Pedestrians lives, old women, children, favorite escaped pets, the corner of my house (you also know who you were, as the inept police inspectors were clueless) and assorted wildlife to save that ten minutes. Now that is something I have a problem with! You don’t even save much time on long trips by speeding. If you take a 200 mile trip you save less than an hour by traveling the old 55 mph speed compared to whizzing down the road at the illegal, unsafe and very often traveled 75 mph speed. So because someone is too lazy or careless to budget 10 minutes time locally or an extra hour on a long trip they instead CHOOSE to risk all their lives and property plus everyone else’s lives and property. And that is something that is totally unnecessary. Time management saves lives it is that simple. And whether ten minutes or just an hour, it is a very callous act to risk so much to gain so little.

DookOfURL said...

Are you serious schqc? I enjoy hyperbole as much as the next person, but do you really believe that cars are the "real terror"?

How likely is it that the government will develop the futuristic transportation system that you envision? Especially when we can't get a grip on basic entitlements like SS and Medicare/Medicaid. Please spare me your rants about the Defense budget, it is but a drop in the bucket compared to entitlements.

And what should we make of your challenge to "defend your transportation choice to the mother of a dead child"? This rhetorical trick can be extended to the absurd:

Defend your choice of candy to the mother of a child who choked on a jawbreaker.

Defend your choice of toys to a mother whose child has died from swallowing a jack-----or died from head injuries using a skateboard.

Defend your choice of window coverings to a mother whose child was strangled by the chord on blinds.

Defend your choice of sports to a mother whose child died of head injuries playing football.

You see where I'm going here? Emotional arguments are just not convincing to anyone except the emotional.

Socialist Christian Hippie said...

Your quote about toys makes perfect sense. Toys are pulled when they cause but a few deaths or even cause the "risk" of a few deaths. Yet, there are cars killing 30,000 a year. 300,000 every ten years.

Yes, the last line is a little over the top, but I've heard professors compare driving to ancient blood sacrifice.

There used to be a great public transportation system in this country. The car companies helped destroy it. They still fight against it, as their creation destroys the environment and continues killing.

Obviously, some form of personal transport is needed. Yet, sane policy should be urged upon our leaders. America, and a lot of the world, seem totally blind to the damage automobile transportation does in the world.

It would be simple to put a chip in cars that would stop them from being able to go over, let's say 80 MPH. Adaptive cruise control could be mandated for use on interstates.

A magnitic strip in the side of the road, and GPS monitoring combined with both of the above should produce safer interstates.

Computers can fly airplanes, now. How much more computing power do we really need before auto drive cars that are 10X safer than the current system could appear? Imagine...10X safer? Maybe 3000 die a year. Insurance, 1/10th of the cost?

Yet, it seems, the desire to have a car that could go 120 MPH is more inportant. The desire to actually steer and push the accelerator more fun than saving lives.

Is going fast more important?

When someone needs to wake up, you need to shout a little louder