anon wrote: We don't need safer cars, we need better trained drivers.
IMO we just need to enforce safe driving practices and take the driving privilege away from unsafe drivers. This would have the wonderful side-effect of producing more demand for good public transportation, something that would benefit all of us.
@betajet: This would have the wonderful side-effect of producing more demand for good public transportation, something that would benefit all of us.
I grew up in Sheffield, England -- I think the city was about 400,000 strong at that time. We had amazing public transportation -- predominantly busses (it used to be trams -- my great grandfather was "Chief Inspector Shorland" -- he came up from Bristol circa the very early 1900s with a team of men to introduce the electric tram system to Sheffield -- this was an important position in those days -- working men used to "doff their caps" to him as they passed him in the street -- but we digress...)
You could also catch trains that made local stops. When I was really young, like 6, my mom and dad and I woudl go down to the town center on Saturdays -- sometimes we caught a bus and sometimes my mother drove us in our little car -- sometimes as a treat, me and my dad would take the train back home (we'd get off at the station at the end of Millhouses Park at the bottom of our road).
The bottom line is that I didn't get my first car until I was 30 years old -- I didn't need one because of the great public transportation systems in the UK.
Technology appears to have the effect of dumbing down a certain percentage of the drivers. Even with 4WD or AWD, ABS brakes and stability control, those are the very vehicles I see in the ditch after the first two inches of snow hits the road. Why is that? My belief is that these systems instill a false sense of confidence in the 'non-driver' and they believe this technology keeps them on the road no matter what. People who are 'drivers' make the effort to understand what is going on with all the dynamics of driving, may actually practice their driving skills in a controlled environment before needing to use those skills in an actual driving situation. Eventually we will 'dumb-down' automobiles to the point where we don't need to drive the car at all. Google is already taking us to that kind of lowest common denominator utopia. Our species is devolving.
@betajet: ...we just need to enforce safe driving practices and take the driving privilege away from unsafe drivers...
Ideally with a public flogging :-)
One thing that never fails to amaze me is how few people use their indicators here in Alabama -- they stop dead in the middle of the road to turn without offering a clue as to their intentions to the rest of us.
Of course, beinh an anal retentive, I go the other way -- I indicate all the time (it's automatic -- I even find myself indicating when I turn into our driveway, and we live in a cul-de-sac :-)