Driving Requires Your Full Attention

I would say that the following infographic is sobering except that Americans don’t care about automobile crashes and traffic deaths. These are the costs of convenience — as long as others pay the price.  If we did care, we’d do something more about it than apply more “engineering” or pass finger-wagging laws.

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Comments 7

  1. Brian wrote:

    What’s fascinating here is that the proposed solutions do not include “build better public transit.” I think people are making it clear that they like their phones better than their cars; my (university) students make it clear every day that they experience time away from their phones as a painful deprivation. The clear solution is to give them excellent bus and train service, so they can keep texting without endangering anybody.

    Posted 01 Jul 2012 at 9:19 am
  2. Keri wrote:

    What Brian said.

    Posted 01 Jul 2012 at 11:28 am
  3. Andy Cline wrote:

    Brian, Keri… Yes. And I’d throw in tighter regulation of automobiles (e.g. congestion pricing) and much stiffer penalties for violations — both of which could provide some revenue for transit.

    Posted 01 Jul 2012 at 11:46 am
  4. Khal Spencer wrote:

    The European model works for me. Violations taking hundreds or thousands of dollars of fines out of your hide, and tougher, competency based licensing requirements.

    Posted 01 Jul 2012 at 2:39 pm
  5. Robert wrote:

    You guys beat me to it. The reduction in driving automobiles *should* be one of the primary goals of public health advocates and agencies. However, you never hear anyone mention such a thing.

    In fact, many of the government funding organizations that I work for will specifically say that they cannot put any “anti-automobile” language in their materials even though for a long time they were the #1 killer of Americans age 3 to 33 years of age. Imagine if that was true of alcohol or guns? My god, the government would be pouring billions into stopping that death mechanism.

    I think this has to do with the notion that most people drive and no one likes to hear that their behavior is “wrong.”

    For example, no one cared about smoking until most people became non-smokers. That automobile puts out tons (literally) more carcinogens per day than a smoker does. Yet, many people will drive to work and then scoff at the janitor out on his smoke break.

    We never see our own behavior as a negative.

    Posted 01 Jul 2012 at 9:18 pm
  6. Andy Cline wrote:

    Robert… Yep.

    Posted 01 Jul 2012 at 10:09 pm
  7. Khal Spencer wrote:

    “…That automobile puts out tons (literally) more carcinogens per day than a smoker does…”

    The coal fired power plants that power a lot of the computers on the web put out more carcinogens and heavy metals than modern cars. Maybe we should ban electricity, too. Not to mention, eating meat and fish. Merely by living in a first world economy, one has pretty much lost one’s right to cast the first stone.

    We have spent the last half century subsidizing car travel, to be sure, and it will take substantial time and pain to back away from that paradigm. Perhaps by withdrawing subsidies and making people pay more of the costs of driving, we can slowly encourage alternatives. LAB wants to dump money into bicycling programs on the Federal level. I think that if we merely withdrew the hundreds of billions we spend encouraging car use, the bicycle and other forms would grow rapidly.

    The rabid anti-car agenda from some on the left merely marginalizes the left. Even nice liberals from Santa Fe dutifully drive their SUVs to Whole Foods, and would howl if their roads and bridges cost more. Andy’s One Mile Solution is a good start to getting people to think outside the box.

    Posted 02 Jul 2012 at 10:46 pm