No laughing matter By Mark Weisseg
Every year some 30,000 people die in car crashes- Many of those- about 10 percent according to the NHTSA -are the result of driver texting, falling asleep, or otherwise being distracted from the task of driving while behind the wheel. I gathered this data from the December addition of Motor Trend magazine. Page 38.
It hits home for me as I lost a niece in a car accident years ago and that nightmare follows everyone to this day. What really is bothersome is the amount that could have been avoided. Ten percent of thirty thousand is a big number folks. But we all see it everywhere you drive. It's not just the knuckle headed teenagers this time but all ages. The cars today appear to be so safe many drivers have become to think that if they are about to crash the automatic brakes will kick in and save them. After all that is what all the TEE VEE commercials show right? Some idiot day dreaming and all of a sudden his or her car just stops on its own and saves you. It's a great feature from the car companies but I think it's a bad idea. It provides false hope that it is almost impossible to have an accident now that your car has cameras and automatic brakes and Lane distraction features. If all that works so well why so many morgue appointments? Well? The answer is for now there are so many older cars on the road that do not have such features and it will take years to get them all off the roads. The cars built today last longer than the cars of yesteryear. If you are old enough you can recall that when you approached 100,000 miles your car was close to the bone yard. Today we have people driving cars 200,000 miles and up without major incident. I have two vehicles that are daily drivers that have over one hundred thousand miles on them. And they run as strong as ever. They don't have these new bells and whistles. Crazy thought but driving is still a privilege and when you start driving you are expected to be a defensive driver. Offensive would mean texting, talking, reading the paper, sleeping, day dreaming, racing, sex, and much more. You cannot blame anyone else most of the time. I had a co worker many moons ago that had a brother in law go to jail for driving while drunk. He hit and killed a lady who was also driving drunk. But, she died and he didn't. He got five solid years behind bars. He lost his job, his wife, his house, all of his money and has a frayed relationship with his own children. Nothing will bring back the dead so he must live with what he did many years ago. Once a rising star at his company and now he has minimal paying jobs, and lives in a cramped apartment. No pity for this dude but his life took a tailspin for one bad decision. Now, the lady he killed had a family as well. They found out she was driving drunk as well but she is still dead and they miss her very much. Nobody won here except attorney fees. Please, think before and during your drive. Please do not make it the last one for you or for someone else.