Driving Must Be Easy
When you think about it, driving a car must be easy. We drive billions of miles each day in the US with around 32 000 traffic fatalities a year. That’s down from 54,000 in 1972 and we have 100,000,000 more people today than 40 years ago.
When you consider that many (maybe most) of the people you see on the road you wouldn’t trust to mow your lawn, the fact that we can drive a couple of tons of metal over 70 mph 20 feet from others doing the same and walk away it seems miraculous. AND many of those people are talking on the phone, putting on their makeup, eating, drinking (coffee, soft drinks), or daydreaming at the same time. Plus many barely passed their driver’s test, on the third try.
I propose that all this is due to a lot of people involved in transportation doing their jobs very well. That includes the people who design and build cars, the folks who are in charge of the roads and signs, and the police that keep it all under some kind of control.
I haven’t purchased a car in nearly a decade, but I rent often. New technology is amazing. The best part is that a Luddite like me can safely negotiate the new electronics and get from point A to point B safely and in relative comfort. That tells me that those designers in Detroit, or Tokyo, or Stuttgart think about not only what the car is supposed to do, but also about the nincompoops that have to drive it.
I wonder what would happen if the folks that built the latest Ford or Chevy used the same engineers that built my Sony Vaio. Consider
How would it be if your car just suddenly stopped working and you had to turn off the key and then turn it back on to get going again, on the freeway of course? What if you went to your garage and found that you couldn’t start your car until it had been ‘upgraded’ and that could take half an hour. I suppose newer cars would have a different ‘dashboard’ than older ones and it would take two week’s training to be able to turn on the radio (By the way this is true today, but then I found out the Radio was provide by Microsoft so I understood immediately.)
Yes cars are easy to drive, safe, and useful. So when you see that guy in front of you texting and not moving at the green light, remember, it could be a lot worse.