backtop


Print 77 comment(s) - last by The Raven.. on Apr 6 at 12:49 PM


New England saw over 18% more fatalities in 2010 than 2009  (Source: Detroit News)
Less deaths thanks to safer cars and other factors

Despite all the warnings and talk about traffic fatalities related to distracted driving and texting while driving, many continue these unsafe activities. Despite the continued ignoring of law in many states by many drivers, the death rate from traffic fatalities has declined in 2010.

What's impressive about the decline in deaths from traffic accidents in 2010 is that it happened despite the fact that more driver miles were reported in 2010. This is the fifth straight year that a reduction in fatalities on the nation's highways has been recorded. In 2010, the number of deaths in on the roads in America dropped to 32,788. That is the lowest number since 1949 according to federal regulators.

Fatalities also declined 3.2% compared to the number from 2009. The highway miles increased in 2010 to about 20.5 billion miles more than in 2009.

However, there are three areas in the U.S that saw an increase in traffic fatalities in 2010. The areas include New England and the Midwest with fatalities up 18.9% in New England and 3.9% in the Midwest. The figures are based on projections with final numbers to be released this summer.

The 2010 fatality rate is expected to be 1.09 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled; the rate was 1.13 per 100 million miles in 2009.

"Last year's drop in traffic fatalities is welcome news and it proves that we can make a difference," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Still, too many of our friends and neighbors are killed in preventable roadway tragedies every day. We will continue doing everything possible to make cars safer, increase seat belt use, put a stop to drunk driving and distracted driving and encourage drivers to put safety first."

LaHood is one of the driving forces behind the bans on texting while driving and the push to hands free technology. However, LaHood isn't opposed to seeking bans on hands free tech as well if it is found to contribute to accidents on the nation's roads. The reduced deaths are attributed to better policing of drunk drivers and safer cars among other things.

David Strickland from the NHTSA said, "NHTSA will continue pressing forward on all of our safety initiatives to make sure our roads are as safe [as possible]."



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

"We don't care"
By The Raven on 4/1/11, Rating: 0
RE: "We don't care"
By theArchMichael on 4/1/2011 12:37:32 PM , Rating: 5
I wonder if people were saying the same thing about the government making 'their' decisions about seatbelts 50 years ago and airbags 20 years ago... Yet here we are with vastly more cars on the road and fatality levels that predate both those implementations... interesting.


RE: "We don't care"
By ClownPuncher on 4/1/2011 1:03:08 PM , Rating: 2
I can't wait until talking to your passenger is illegal too. LaHood isn't opposed to banning hands-free... essentially the same thing.

Actually, I'd prefer having a State Trooper accompany me everywhere I drive, as long as he didn't speak.


RE: "We don't care"
By mcnabney on 4/1/2011 1:23:28 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, having a radio 'on' in the car or a passenger have all been shown to increase the odds of an accident. I don't have a problem requiring passive restraints and design adjustments, but eliminating freedoms is a problem.

If you want to eliminate the most important risk factors raise the driving age to 25 and ban all mind-altering substances.


RE: "We don't care"
By sviola on 4/1/2011 1:36:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you want to eliminate the most important risk factors raise the driving age to 25 and ban all mind-altering substances.


Right...because that has worked very well in preventing people from using them in the past (banning alcohol) and continues working nowadays (banning drugs).


RE: "We don't care"
By FaaR on 4/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: "We don't care"
By Kurz on 4/1/2011 2:35:28 PM , Rating: 3
It also has a strong effect of increasing Violence, Crime, Proverty, more people in our prison systems which just come in to join the crimial club for the rest of their lives.

Legalization of all drugs (besides Antibiotics) is the only sane solution.


RE: "We don't care"
By The Raven on 4/1/2011 3:08:07 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
besides Antibiotics

Say what? I'd hate to see a black antibiotic market lol.


RE: "We don't care"
By theArchMichael on 4/1/11, Rating: 0
RE: "We don't care"
By Kurz on 4/1/2011 3:34:12 PM , Rating: 4
I just hate Bacteria that are immune to antibiotics because some moron didn't follow the directions.

Antibiotics are probably one of the few drugs that can effect others besides yourself.


RE: "We don't care"
By The Raven on 4/1/2011 5:26:06 PM , Rating: 2
I don't follow you, because many other drugs are very dangerous to society. Ever heard of someone killed by a drunk driver?
Plus I just hate bacteria that are immune to antibiotics because some moron who did follow the directions as well.

We can't take away someone's freedom just because WE think wanton AB abuse is bad and others don't.


RE: "We don't care"
By ClownPuncher on 4/1/2011 6:14:24 PM , Rating: 1
Driving under the influence is already illegal. Being under the influence is not.

Banning the use of anything is a fundamentally flawed ideal.


RE: "We don't care"
By TSS on 4/1/2011 7:53:40 PM , Rating: 2
Freedom is far *less* important then the prevention of creating anti-biotic resistant bacteria.

I just had a bowel infection for a week. Had to go to the bathroom every 10 minutes in constant pain. No more then 3 hours of sleep each night, in 1 hour intervals. If there is anything i'd call the opposite of free i'd say that.

6 pills, 2 a day for 3 days. Cleared it right up. Pre-anti biotics, it would've taken 3 months, if it didn't kill me.

And that pain didn't even register compared to the tooth infection i had 3 weeks ago for 10 days. Anti biotics took care of that within a week as well.

I sincerly do not want to think how much pain i would've had with both infections concurrently, nor how long that would've taken.

If we lose anti biotics medicin is back in the dark ages. And all it takes is 1 smuck who took anti biotics every time he had a runny nose because his busy schedule didn't allow him to be sick, and when the real thing hit, he had too much of a tolerance.

Hell even killing 40 million people would be justified if that would forever prevent anti-biotic resistant bacteria. That would be a blip on the amount of death there would be with a outbreak of a new super bacteria. Especially with todays crowded population centers.


RE: "We don't care"
By ClownPuncher on 4/1/2011 7:57:18 PM , Rating: 4
You're supposed to wash the carrot before you put it all the way up there.


RE: "We don't care"
By wordsworm on 4/2/2011 10:28:31 PM , Rating: 2
Did it ever occur to you that it's the people who take antibiotics at the drop of a hat that are the problem?

I don't take antibiotics. Most of the time they serve no purpose and do more harm than good.

Let's see... last week, no bowel infection. Actually, I've never had one.

Tooth infection... well, I keep my gums clean. I've never had a tooth infection either.

Maybe you're the problem because of all the antibiotics you take.

I know folks who will take them for any illness at all. They get a common cold or a flu, the doc gives them a shot and he or she gets his enormous fee for his secretary to administer the shot. Meanwhile, there's no telling if what's making them sick was a bacterial infection or a viral infection.

Antibiotics are heavily abused. It's those people who are causing antibiotic resistance. They're the problem. Did you know that antibiotics kill not only the bacteria that make us sick, but also the bacteria that makes us healthy? How do you know that the antibiotics that you took for your toothache didn't kill helpful bacteria in your bowel which made it vulnerable to a bacterial infection? Often it's about balance, and when you use those drugs, your system goes into a bacterial imbalance.

In any case, since you clearly need more antibiotics than people like me, who rely on good diet, exercise, and hygiene to stay healthy, perhaps you ought to volunteer yourself as one of the 40 million to be exterminated.

In any case, just so you know, there are alternatives to living in metropolises. There are also rural areas. If you think that there are too many people where you live, go find somewhere else to live.


RE: "We don't care"
By Kurz on 4/2/2011 10:59:55 AM , Rating: 2
People are still held accountable for their actions by getting wasted and driving. If they kill someone while being intoxicated they should be punished as such.

Antibiotics effect more than yourself, they effect society at large if they were taken incorrectly. Bacteria has the amazing ability to adapt to whatever situation they are placed in. Eventually we'll have these super bugs (we already do) that no one can treat or it'll be very diffcult to.

I can't think of any other drug I would restrict. You can snort coke, it doesnt bother me. Though your actions under the substance is still your fault.


RE: "We don't care"
By The Raven on 4/4/2011 10:07:06 AM , Rating: 2
I still don't get you, because if a drunk driver crashes into you, he kills you and himself. How is that different than the guy who takes ABs and kills you and himself?

I know you might be looking at the bigger picture where many people are killed by the superbugs, but for that one person or family that the drunk kills it is no different.

Still, I would rather have the Abs distributed in a relatively professional manner than just having people trading them on the street with incorrect instructions for use. That will get us to the superbugs faster than the current state of affairs. In theory, it only takes one moron to get an epidemic started.


RE: "We don't care"
By Kurz on 4/4/2011 1:57:17 PM , Rating: 2
I think you misunderstood me... I am not saying Anti-biotics are going to be illegal to take... I am saying that it should be a controlled substance, while all other drugs should be legalized to take with or without doctor recommendation.

If I bust my foot I should be able to go CVS and pick up an Opiate pain killer.

Though you are blaming the drug and not the individual.
I hold the individual accountable for their own actions.

However, I hold the exception for Anti-biotics because even now Bacteria are becoming resistant to our best efforts.


RE: "We don't care"
By Samus on 4/4/2011 4:02:45 PM , Rating: 2
I smashed head-on into a concrete wall in my SVT Focus auto-x'ing and yes, I had a 4-point harness, but it still felt like a cloud colliding with a pillow . The door opened, I got out. The car was completely totalled. In retrospect, well worth it.

Thank you, governing bodies of the world, for pressuring automotive manufactures to make safer cars. I've been in a similar accident in a 80's Fox-body Mustang, and lets just say I've had a limp since the dash smashed my knee. The irony being the hood was 16" longer than the Focus, and the Mustang actually weighed less.


RE: "We don't care"
By Kurz on 4/5/2011 9:57:34 AM , Rating: 2
Sad... Last time I checked 4-point harnesses were not stock.


RE: "We don't care"
By The Raven on 4/6/2011 10:15:33 AM , Rating: 2
I hear you now. Though if I were to buy ABs from someone in that case I would still want to do it on the black market and just get advice from my doctor friend instead of having to put down a copay and miss work, etc. You could make it illegal to do such just as long as you don't hold the doc liable. I would break that law (if I wanted ABs).

But I did not misunderstand you... you just said it completely wrong.
quote:
Legalization of all drugs (besides Antibiotics) is the only sane solution.

But we all do that sometimes. Its all good now.


RE: "We don't care"
By drycrust3 on 4/1/2011 2:38:48 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Right...because that has worked very well in preventing people from using them in the past (banning alcohol) and continues working nowadays (banning drugs).

The sad fact is too many people accept road deaths as inevitable, that is the tragedy: they shouldn't happen.
Everyone on this website is scientifically minded. Death is not "an accident", it is a statistical probability related to the quality of driving, and that is related to the tolerances drivers are allowed. If you have loose tolerances, then statistics tells you you will have more deaths than if you have tight tolerances.
There are several important indicators as to the quality of driving: 1) Collisions; 2) Injuries; and 3) Deaths. Each of those is an indicator of driving quality. The easiest one to measure is deaths.
The fact that America achieved its lowest death toll since 1949 tells us the drivers now are better than at any other time in the last 60 years.
Because hallucinogenic drugs and alcohol affect a driver's brain, they affect their ability to drive, thus they make the driver drive with more tolerance than normal, which lowers the quality of their driving, which means there is an increased probability of a death.
As much as you think policing these is stupid, the fact is people are alive today because the policing those factors saves lives, and policing them will save more lives.
If you want to save more lives, then people weaving in their lanes, driving even a fraction over the posted speed limit, or driving too close to the car in front should also be stopped and ticketed.


RE: "We don't care"
By Gzus666 on 4/1/2011 2:55:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The fact that America achieved its lowest death toll since 1949 tells us the drivers now are better than at any other time in the last 60 years.


Whoa there scoots, let's take another second to think about this. Correlation does not equal causation. The more likely cause of less deaths is higher safety as many have stated. People are clearly not better drivers, they are terrible in fact just as they have always been. It clearly says less deaths, not less accidents. On top of that, many active accident prevention systems are making their way into cars. When we take the idiots out of the equation, the problem will go away.

The worse driver you are, the more unsafe vehicle you should have to drive, that would clear out the morons.


RE: "We don't care"
By drycrust3 on 4/1/2011 5:36:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
People are clearly not better drivers, they are terrible

quote:
The more likely cause of less deaths is higher safety

The problem with your arguments is you don't want to change a driver's driving habits. Poor driving isn't because people are stupid and can't learn, it is because they have been allowed to drive with poor discipline. One easy way to help people with poor driving discipline improve is to punish them.
My argument was, and still is, that when we allow people to drive with poor discipline that means we give them a wide range of tolerance, thus we get a poor quality of driving. The consequence of that is more crashes, more injuries, and more deaths than if we required everyone to drive within a narrow tolerance.
An Australian study showed that the chances of being involved in a fatal crash doubled with every 10km/hr increase above 50 km/hr.
Part of the narrow tolerance is requiring cars to be safer, part of it is designing better roads, part of it is better street lighting, part of it is requiring people to pay for petrol first, part of it is smaller engined and lighter cars, etc. All of those contribute to better safer roads, but the most important factor is the driver.
Go to a place where there is a well known speed camera and you will see everyone ... Ok, when I say "everyone" I mean 99% or better ... driving at the speed limit. When 99% or better of drivers drive without going more than a little bit over the posted speed limit, it shows they have responded to discipline. Also, they are driving within a narrow tolerance, which means the quality of driving has improved, which will mean there are less crashes, less injuries, and less deaths than would otherwise be the case.
It is also proof that your argument assumes people are stupid and can't learn, but the well known red light cameras and well known speed cameras prove people are just undisciplined and have acquired bad habits, and that people can change if given sufficient motivation.


RE: "We don't care"
By Gzus666 on 4/1/2011 11:05:51 PM , Rating: 2
You won't change people's driving habits. Believe it or not, a large sum of people are really just dumb as hell. The average IQ in America is 101 last I checked. There are tons below that obviously.

quote:
An Australian study showed that the chances of being involved in a fatal crash doubled with every 10km/hr increase above 50 km/hr.


Once again, correlation does not equal causation, how are you not getting this? Do they not teach logic in any school? Studies like that are flawed because most people who get into wrecks speed and drive unsafe. Speeding is not the major problem, you can go as fast as you want as long as you give yourself proper distance to stop and don't swerve all over. If speed was the issue, the Autobahn would be littered with wrecks.

quote:
Part of the narrow tolerance is requiring cars to be safer, part of it is designing better roads, part of it is better street lighting, part of it is requiring people to pay for petrol first, part of it is smaller engined and lighter cars, etc. All of those contribute to better safer roads, but the most important factor is the driver.


Where are you getting this garbage? You are just babbling and not going anywhere with this. The issue is people are bad drivers cause they think it is boring. Talk to any bad driver and that is what they tell you. They made cars safer so we could coddle the idiots and try to save the people who are bystanders.

Every near wreck I have is with someone not using a signal, swerving in and out of traffic, slamming their brakes for no reason and driving under the speed limit. In fact on my way home from work today, I had someone swerve into my lane with no signal 3 times within about 300 feet. No speeding involved, just stupidity. The other one was some jackass going 55 in a 70 and then everyone swerves around them to go the speed limit.

The real fix is taking the driver out and replacing them with a computer. That will be the day we no longer have to deal with wrecks.


RE: "We don't care"
By rdeegvainl on 4/2/2011 1:43:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The issue is people are bad drivers cause they think it is boring. Talk to any bad driver and that is what they tell you.

I will quote you on this one, correlation does not equal causation, and to one up you on this, he cited a study, with research, and you cited... nothing. Those drivers that are bad because they are "bored" obviously do not have a respect for driving, as it is supposed to be about quickly getting to a destination, which implies safety by default, as accidents stop you from getting to your destination. The roads are not a race track, and as such are not about alleviating your boredom.

quote:
Every near wreck I have is with someone not using a signal, swerving in and out of traffic, slamming their brakes for no reason and driving under the speed limit.

Take a look at it from the other perspective, every near accident has been because of
1) swerving,
2)someone not keeping a safe distance or paying attention to drivers in front of them
3) drivers not respecting the speed limit as what it is, the MAXIMUM speed, not the minimum.

quote:
The other one was some jackass going 55 in a 70 and then everyone swerves around them to go the speed limit.

I'm going to assume this was a highway because of the high speed limit, and unless the posted minimum speed limit is over 55, the slower driver is within his rights. The problem here is the people swerving to pass. How about they pay attention to the road conditions ahead of them, so they know that they need to pass before they are on someones ass.

quote:
The real fix is taking the driver out and replacing them with a computer.

Completely agree here.

Again people, posted speed limits are the MAXIMUM allowed speed, not the minimum.


RE: "We don't care"
By lyeoh on 4/3/2011 2:11:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The average IQ in America is 101 last I checked. There are tons below that obviously.


That should not be too surprising given that IQ tests are made so that 100 = median score. While median is not average, the tests are designed so that most people end up a certain distance from 100.

A better indication of intelligence and ignorance is the fact that George W Bush got re-elected :).


RE: "We don't care"
By BZDTemp on 4/3/2011 10:41:58 AM , Rating: 2
If you really want people to drive better then replace the steering wheel airbag with a visible spike.

Many people drive to a certain perceived level of danger/comfort level. This is why people in big cars tend to drive faster so what is needed is to make people feel less safe even though cars are getting safer. It's the same thing with crash helmets and motor cycles which is why the crash helmet has less of a positive effect in the statistics than you would think.

The danger effect is also seen in the traffic death statistics when you look at the effect of snow and ice on the roads. When it's clearly visible to people that driving is hazardous due to slippery roads there is actually fever accidents per driven mile even though it should be more logical the effect was the opposite.

Of course taking away the airbag and putting in a spike is absurd but other things could be done. Imagine a car where the gas pedal gets heavy if the car is speeding or a radar in the car senses the safe distance to the car in front is too small.


RE: "We don't care"
By The Raven on 4/1/2011 5:54:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
As much as you think policing these is stupid, the fact is people are alive today because the policing those factors saves lives, and policing them will save more lives.

Yes we know policing these things saves lives. That is why we want SOME policing. But many people think that it has gone too far (especially when mandated).

The reason we think this is stupid is because as our forefathers before us, we subscribe to the motto, "Live free or die."

If preserving your life was your aim, you'd never get on the road. You'd just stay at home.


RE: "We don't care"
By drycrust3 on 4/1/2011 7:19:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"Live free or die."

I am sure that when they said "Live free" they didn't mean "Live at the expense of others" e.g. robbery, burglary, etc. Everytime there is a collision, injury, or fatality there is a cost incurred by society, just as there is when there is a murder, a robbery or a burglary.


RE: "We don't care"
By The Raven on 4/2/2011 12:40:48 AM , Rating: 2
No they did mean live free at the expense of others...and yourselves. Freedom is messy and a struggle but it is a hell of a lot better than anything else. Ask any elderly person who gets checked into a home. It is so nice to have all those people waiting on you to the extent even where you don't even have to wipe yourself. Right?

No they did mean live free at the expense of others and yourself.

Gleaning from the words of Samuel Adams...
The " animated contest of freedom" is better than "the tranquility of servitude." Where animated = chaotic, haphazard or difficult, and tranquility = simple, guaranteed or easy.
(He said it much better of course...http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/American_Independenc...

From your point of view, if you are binding yourself with laws, you are also binding others. Do you want to make that decision for them? May be they would rather risk their lives than give up the freedom that you don't care about.

Let's think of some other laws that would "definitely" be a great idea that increases meaningfulness of life and preserves said life:
a) Banning video games (clear waste of time, right?)
b) Banning candy (very little to no nutritional value, increases risk of diabetes, cavities)
c,d,f) Mandating alarm, OnStar, and Life Alert systems on your home and cars.
g) Banning 'the Bachelor'
h) Banning gangsta rap (it leads so many down the wrong path)
i) Banning free speech (do you know how many people have been killed because of free speech? It is dangerous to speak you mind sometimes.)

Of course, I am no anarchist. We make laws to minimize the chaos of freedom. But there is certainly a point where those laws do more harm than good. It seems like most people don't think we've gone far enough. But I believe these ridiculous safety and fuel efficiency laws illustrate so clearly that we have gone way too far.

The purpose of the US gov't should be a way for us to protect our freedom (from people like King George III and people like the burglars you mentioned). It's purpose is not to make sure that we live to 120 whether we want to or not, or ensure that our 401k will cover us during retirement.

I am a scientifically minded individual and I love seeing technological advances. I have personally embraced and use seatbelts, airbags, and anti-lock brakes. But I do not want to force people to use these technologies, and I certainly don't want to force people to buy implementations of them.

(And BTW, your example is inaccurate. You are assuming that people who get in accidents do it on purpose as the burglar does with his burgling?)


RE: "We don't care"
By drycrust3 on 4/2/2011 2:12:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The purpose of the US gov't should be a way for us to protect our freedom ....

Since I'm not American, I'll take it you mean the purpose of every good government, and I agree with that. The problem is that just as robbers and thieves don't just steal our property, but they steal our freedom as well, so people who disregard the road rules steal our freedom to travel.
Just as we accept that incarcerating people is the lesser evil between denying a person their right to freedom or the loss of freedom they imposed on society by their actions, so telling everyone to follow the same set of rules (or face the consequences) is the lesser of the two evils between that or having drivers each follow their own sets of rules.
quote:
No they did mean live free at the expense of others and yourself.

Well, they weren't just stealing what others had earned by their own hard work, they were stealing the futures of others as well. As such, I think they have little reason to complain if society limits their freedoms and their future, even if it has just a temporal effect.


RE: "We don't care"
By quiksilvr on 4/1/2011 1:36:09 PM , Rating: 2
Or just have a national Driver License and National License Plate. And have more stringent driving tests with a retaking of driving test every 5-10 years.

Some people suggest making 18 the driving license legal age, but I believe 16 is better because you are under parent supervision and not in college going nuts right away, driving a lot more than you would at home and increasing accident risks.

If they can just make these tests more efficient, more stringent (especially for newbies and over 65s) and have a repeated test every decade, we will see a drastic reduction in traffic accidents and maybe car manufacturers can have more freedom in their car designs.


RE: "We don't care"
By BZDTemp on 4/3/2011 10:30:16 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I can't wait until talking to your passenger is illegal too. LaHood isn't opposed to banning hands-free... essentially the same thing.


Talking to a passenger and on the phone is very different. Of course some passengers will not respond to the surroundings but mostly a passenger will follow the traffic, more or less, and therefore basically shut up when appropriate.

And anyway where does it say you have a right to drive while letting your self being distracted. You're supposed to pay attention and to drive according to the road and traffic conditions.


RE: "We don't care"
By Reclaimer77 on 4/5/2011 9:52:55 AM , Rating: 2
The Government didn't invent those or implement them in vehicles, the private sector did. If you're claiming that just because they were made law, that today in 2011 we wouldn't have them, you're off the deep end.

I swear some of you think we couldn't breath without government permission to do so.

All the government does is add cost and red tape. Safer you are not.


RE: "We don't care"
By Flunk on 4/1/2011 12:37:59 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately that's not how capitalism works. It's not profitable to pander to the minority.

Remember this when Toyota launches the 80HP 75MPG Safety-Mobile entirely encased in Styrofoam.


RE: "We don't care"
By Spuke on 4/1/2011 1:37:53 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
All of a sudden, this car turned into a cannoli.


RE: "We don't care"
By The Raven on 4/1/2011 2:57:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Remember this when Toyota launches the 80HP 75MPG Safety-Mobile entirely encased in Styrofoam.

LMAO! QFT.
quote:
Unfortunately that's not how capitalism works. It's not profitable to pander to the minority.

Not only is it not profitable to pander to the minority...it is forbidden in this case. Since the the legislators are under threat if they vote against the majority. Want to be voted out of office? Just "imply that you don't care about people" by saying that you don't think we should make people choose the safest auto features (and use them).

Well at least the gov't gets the constitution correct...
quote:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more profitable Union, establish regulations, insure dormant thought process, provide for the common defence <stomp,stomp> defense, promote the general...err, just provide welfare payouts with reckless abandon, and broadcast the Shores of Jersey to our jeebees and Y-fies, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

And besides, if someone wants profit and wants to accomplish it in this way, then they should read up on the Soviet Union, or pre-capitalist China.

Trust me, barring some great awakening amongst the proletariate, the safety of our cars, homes, coffee (looking at you ambulance chasers) will NEVER be good enough. Reason being that technology will always get better as long as there is some measure of motivation. And the gov't will impose forced purchase of those technologies (e.g. seatbelts, airbags, carseats, bluetooth, and much much more).

Commercials with car manufacturers touting the best safety ratings and fuel efficiency ratings will go the way of the dodo.

Pretty soon everyone in the advertising industry will be out of a job...but that is ok because the gov't will hire them to make sure people are using the gov't mandated technology.


RE: "We don't care"
By Lerianis on 4/2/2011 7:49:37 AM , Rating: 1
Apparently, you have never tried to get welfare payments. It is fucking HARD TO GET! Time period is severely limited today to max one year as well.

Now, assistance programs to take into account that some people are underpaid while you are working? THOSE are easier to get and we wouldn't need them if people were paid a LIVING WAGE!


RE: "We don't care"
By The Raven on 4/6/2011 12:07:09 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Apparently, you have never tried to get welfare payments. It is fucking HARD TO GET! Time period is severely limited today to max one year as well.

I'd suggest private charity then. I know through a friend who was on "private welfare" that the the Mormons have a much better program. I'm sure there are many others that are equally as good if not better.
(Sorry I don't know the details, but that is just what I heard.)

I was on WIC (we qualified and I was curious to see what it was like but we didn't NEED it. I was appalled that we qualified.) That was easy to get into though as you said.

Most full-time jobs would be a living wage if the minimum was abolished. Goods would suddenly be affordable and rent would be lowered if housing subsidies for those who don't need it (first-time home buyer crap) were also abolished.

To much trouble is caused when the gov't does stuff in the name of alleged 'economic growth' or raising Living standards.

Why do you think anyone in the US is unemployed when our demand for crap is so high? Because we price ourselves out of the market with artificially high wages.

It is nice that we have a high standard of living utopia going on over here in the US where we don't have to look at the what we consider exploitation if it were happening on US soil. Well one of the side effects of that is unemployment.

And it should be hard to get welfare assistance if you don't have a job. It shouldn't be easy to take someone elses money if you put no effort into getting a job or refuse settle for a job that you are over qualified for.


RE: "We don't care"
By BSMonitor on 4/1/2011 4:22:09 PM , Rating: 2
Better the government than your horrible driving skill ass.


RE: "We don't care"
By Pjotr on 4/2/2011 7:26:46 AM , Rating: 2
If you trust your fellow citizens so much that you don't think we need laws and safety measures, then shouldn't we also start trusting our fellow citizens enough to get rid of our guns too?


RE: "We don't care"
By The Raven on 4/6/2011 12:49:23 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't imply that we need NO LAW. I was trying to imply that it will NEVER BE ENOUGH at the rate we are going.

And I personally use all (or at least most) of these new technologies to various extents VOLUNTARILY because though I trust that 99.99% of the population does not want to die in an auto accident or be responsible for the death of another if they do. But accidents will happen on the road. And that is why it is sound thinking to use the various safety devices.

Basically the question should be: Who do you trust more? Your fellow citizen at the wheel, or your fellow citizen at the ballot box/checkout line? Because the gov't is controlled by the results of what the citizenry chooses to do. Be it drive while rocking out to the stereo or watching Charlie Sheen unravel instead of paying attention to our troops dying in Afghanistan.

We can't get away from trusting our neighbors. We should make choices to mitigate the resulting risks, but what I choose to do that might be different than what you choose.

Personally I trust my neighbors enough that I do not choose to own a gun right now. But someone else out there might be in a different situation/neighborhood and I leave that choice up to them as they have me. (I have jumped through the hoops and ponied up the fees to now be permitted to have a CCW in case I do though).


collision numbers?
By Talion83 on 4/1/2011 12:30:45 PM , Rating: 5
While decreased deaths is always a good thing, the number of collisions I believe is the more pertinent statistic. The drop in deaths could be a result of many other variables (ie: more newer cars on the road and better safety ratings).

The true question of if texting/talking on a phone being the cause of distracting drivers which is leading to more accidents isn't really going to be shown by death numbers.




RE: collision numbers?
By StraightCashHomey on 4/1/2011 12:45:26 PM , Rating: 2
This is exactly what I was thinking. Fatalities may be down, but what about the number of collisions?


RE: collision numbers?
By therealnickdanger on 4/1/2011 1:14:17 PM , Rating: 3
Ultimately, the total number of crashes isn't nearly as significant as the number of fatal and "life-altering" crashes. For example, one of the reasons roundabouts are becoming so popular in the U.S. (they've been in use in other countries for decades) is because they all but eliminate fatal and serious injury crashes. However, property damage crashes increase dramatically after installation. So then we have to ask - do we want people dying or do we want crumpled fenders? The choice becomes clear.

To answer your question though, overall crash numbers are down as well:
http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811363.pdf


RE: collision numbers?
By mcnabney on 4/1/11, Rating: 0
RE: collision numbers?
By therealnickdanger on 4/1/2011 1:45:10 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Why is the choice clear?

It's not clear to you because you don't have all the facts. Crashes carry a societal cost which factors in "wasted hours" as you put it such as emergency services, funeral costs, car repairs, roadway repairs/maintenance, lifetime earnings, hospitalization, etc. These range from ~$12,000 for a property damage crash (no injuries) all the way up to ~$7.1 million for a fatal crash. These are called "crash costs". These crash costs dictate funding for projects. It's a balance between reducing fatal and serious crashes while reducing the cost of projects and being accountable with taxpayer dollars.

quote:
Roads are meant to be efficient methods of transportation first with safety concerns being a secondary goal.

I can tell you from my 10 years of DOT experience that that is not true. From the ground up, roadways are built according to standards that hinge on safety.


RE: collision numbers?
By Solandri on 4/1/2011 2:05:03 PM , Rating: 2
Accident rates are difficult to track because not all accidents get reported. If you get into a minor fender bender with your neighbor which just scuffs your bumper, you're probably not going to call your insurance company about it.

Fatalities are nearly always reported, which makes it a pretty reliable comprehensive stat. Injuries requiring hospitalization is also another stat that NHTSA tracks.
http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pubs/811172.pdf

The auto insurance industry probably has some data on financial losses from accidents, but I wasn't able to find it in a quick search of their site.
http://www.iihs.org/research/default.html

quote:
I can tell you from my 10 years of DOT experience that that is not true. From the ground up, roadways are built according to standards that hinge on safety.

I can attest to this. I've driven in many other countries, and the roads in Europe and the US/Canada are simply better designed from a safety standpoint. Little things you won't notice until they're gone, like how the highway is tilted just right on a curve, or how a road is angled against a hill to maximize visibility as you're approaching the peak, or how a road is curved in such a way that a vehicle losing brakes going downhill is directed away from oncoming traffic.


RE: collision numbers?
By FaaR on 4/1/2011 4:09:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why is the choice clear?

Because most sane people would not weigh being personally mildly inconvenienced in a roundabout versus other people dying in a regular straight-on road crossing.

quote:
Would that be trading one death for 300 additional accidents with moderate to no injuries?

300, why stop there when you're just pulling numbers out of your nether regions with nothing to support it, why not go for 3000, or 300,000,000?

quote:
Roads are meant to be efficient methods of transportation first with safety concerns being a secondary goal.

Sociopath much?

Whatever gave you that impression of roads?


RE: collision numbers?
By therealnickdanger on 4/1/2011 1:32:28 PM , Rating: 2
I realized after posting that link is for 2009, but 2010 will echo similar drops. Most states aren't even finished compiling 2010 crash data yet, but all signs so far point to decreases overall. I've been in this field for 10 years and the trend for everything has been reductions across the board, year after year.

The cars are safer, the road designs are safer, emergency services are better and faster, even education and public perception about safety is better. These all play a part.


RE: collision numbers?
By VahnTitrio on 4/1/2011 5:04:24 PM , Rating: 2
I think you are correct here. In the MSP area a lot of cable barriers have been put up on the highways to prevent crossover accidents (which almost always lead to a fatality). Now you just hit a cable barrier. I'm guessing accidents were up, particularly with how rough the winter has been (particularly here where November/December was the worst of it). The good news about winter around here is nobody can get going fast enough to have a serious collision.


In related news...
By sorry dog on 4/1/2011 12:31:00 PM , Rating: 2
Secretary LaHood proposes 35 miles per hour national speed limit and crash helmets for all drivers. He is quoted as saying,"We are making a difference, and please think of the children."




RE: In related news...
By Shig on 4/1/2011 2:03:22 PM , Rating: 2
Don't joke about that. Spain just reduced their highway speed limits 10mph (or w/e the kph is) in order to 'save' oil / gas.

Personally I think driver's licenses should be a lot harder to get.


RE: In related news...
By samspqr on 4/2/2011 4:25:56 AM , Rating: 2
and they say it's reducing car accidents very significatively (I think there's still no hard data, though)

and using mobile phones while driving, even with bluetooth headsets, is banned, too

and cars are generally ultra-tiny compared to the US, which many american drivers consider less safe (side collision tests, etc)

and roads may be worse, given the difference in wealth and GDP per capita

and the car related deaths per million people is nearly a third of that in the US; sometimes you just need a government to protect you from your stupid self


RE: In related news...
By Solandri on 4/1/2011 2:14:27 PM , Rating: 2
Statistically, aside from health problems and disease, the one thing most likely to kill you in your lifetime is your car. About 1 in every 90 people alive today are fated to die in a car accident.
http://www.nsc.org/NSC%20Picture%20Library/News/we...

So there's a very good reason to try to make cars safer.


RE: In related news...
By GTVic on 4/1/2011 3:07:34 PM , Rating: 2
The other 89 are also fated to die...


RE: In related news...
By Solandri on 4/1/2011 5:22:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The other 89 are also fated to die...

You're not seriously saying we should do nothing to prevent deaths, are you? If you want me to connect the dots for you: The amount of money we spend on preventing death should be proportional to the risk and preventability of the cause.

We spend a disproportionate amount of money trying to make airliners safer, because like nuclear power, each accident gets disproportionately large coverage in the media. An optimal strategy for how money is spent to prevent death should be based primarily on how many deaths each activity causes, and how easy it is to prevent those deaths. By that standard, funding for disease prevention and healthy living should be the #1 priority, followed by improving auto safety.


RE: In related news...
By The Raven on 4/1/2011 3:21:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So there's a very good reason to try to make cars safer.

Yes there is a good reason to make cars safer. But there is no reason for the gov't to get involved with it. Who would voluntarily purchase a death trap?


RE: In related news...
By chick0n on 4/1/2011 3:51:20 PM , Rating: 2
so you're saying the other 89 people will never die from other causes ?

Way to go jimmy.


RE: In related news...
By Camikazi on 4/1/2011 5:00:36 PM , Rating: 2
Well they said 1 in 90 fated to die in a car accident, never said the other 89 will not die, just that they won't die in a car accident according to the numbers.


By drycrust3 on 4/1/2011 2:01:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
and other factors

In New Zealand, where I live, we had the lowest amount of road related deaths for 50 years in 2006. What surprised me was that everyone didn't get excited about this. It surprised me even more that this went right over the head of the Government and that they didn't try to recreate the environment within which that low death toll was obtained in the hope of doing it again.
Here are some of the factors that I believe encouraged people to drive better:
Petrol pumps on "pre-pay" (pay in advance).
High petrol prices.
Free rides on public transport for the elderly.
Caution while driving advertising on TV.
Don't drive while intoxicated advertising on TV.
Having someone who hasn't drunk alcohol drive you home after a night out.
Speed cameras.
Less tolerance towards drivers who drive above the speed limit by the police.
Safer cars.
Less tolerance to cars modified for high power.
Less tolerance to "attitude problems" driving (e.g. "wheelies").

It was interesting that you stated some states have had more success (which they should be proud of) and others have "less successful" (which they should be ashamed of) in getting your lowest death toll in 60 years.
I think a list of the "driving environment" differences (such as listed above) for each state would show why some states have achieved better results than others.
That alone, if picked up and acted upon by states and governments, would be a big contributor to saving lives and injuries on the roads.




By Solandri on 4/1/2011 2:20:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Here are some of the factors that I believe encouraged people to drive better:
Petrol pumps on "pre-pay" (pay in advance).
High petrol prices.

These fatality stats are almost always calculated per vehicle mile or passenger mile, so fuel prices and inconvenience have nothing to do with it.


By Keeir on 4/1/2011 3:09:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
These fatality stats are almost always calculated per vehicle mile or passenger mile, so fuel prices and inconvenience have nothing to do with it.


Extreme hypermiling is not really good for safety.

But mild hypermiling -is- good for safety.

IE, keeping acceleration and speed down. Paying more attention to driving (to save gas). Pre-planning trips to reduce gas also reduces stress/distraction.

Unforuntely, I think this would be a relatively short term effect. I've estimated I "save" around 2 gallons per extra hour spent driving by employing mild hypermiling. Thats really only paying myself ~8 dollars a hour. Even at Europe (or NZ) elevated fuel rates... its not really a winning proposition, especially with 2/3 people in a car.


By drycrust3 on 4/1/2011 8:25:56 PM , Rating: 2
Those factors are what I considered to be part of the driving environment that made a difference. As I said, go and look at the states with improved safety and compare them with those that are worse. My guess is that the factors listed are prevalent in those states with improved safety, while they won't be in those with poor records.
One factor that no one seems to have picked up on is that fatalities are a consequence of the driving environment. That is the reason why the way each state presents its driving environment is important, because small changes may have big payoffs in terms of safety.
quote:
Petrol pumps on "pre-pay" (pay in advance).

The reason I believe this is important isn't because of convenience or inconvenience, but because it makes those who would otherwise steal petrol behave themselves.
As a bus driver I often deal with people that want to challenge my authority, and I have found that a small display of authority is all that is needed to get a suitable level of behaviour.
I believe people that successfully steal petrol will also be likely to not care about how they behave when driving or that they may cause an accident.
By having to pay in advance it shows a level of authority to those with an attitude problem, so I believe they will drive better than they would otherwise have done.
In addition, it limits the distance people who stole a car can drive to just what is in the tank.
quote:
High petrol prices.

I believe this discourages people from seriously high speed driving.

Those are my beliefs. I welcome anyone proving me wrong.


By Gzus666 on 4/1/2011 11:14:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I believe this discourages people from seriously high speed driving. Those are my beliefs. I welcome anyone proving me wrong.


Flawed logic, you are required to prove your assertion, not the other way around. Otherwise it is merely what you think and is not based on any reality. Negative till proven otherwise, that is the world of debate and logic.


By drycrust3 on 4/2/2011 12:22:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Flawed logic, you are required to prove your assertion,

True, I would love to prove my assertions, but for the most part I don't have the time or the money.


It is time
By sleepeeg3 on 4/1/2011 7:02:36 PM , Rating: 3
...to raise the speed limit! Who is with me?




LOL
By HeavyB on 4/1/2011 1:11:09 PM , Rating: 2
I was going to make a spoof post about how I want the government's hands off my car, but a bunch of real-life bruncle tea baggers already beat me to it. LOL.




The Wizard of President's Park
By The Raven on 4/1/2011 3:05:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We will continue doing everything possible to make cars safer

Ok Edison. Let's see what great inventions you have to save lives?

Nincompoop. Engineers at GM, Toyota, and other PRIVATELY held companies will make cars safer. Because that is what consumers want.




By Lazarus Dark on 4/1/2011 3:19:51 PM , Rating: 2
when I see one.

And I know what your driving at, the Challenger is a tank. Sure, the plastic bumpers will fall off if you look at them wrong, but there have been very few deaths, even in high speed wrecks, cause this car is a tank. And I like it that way. (as opposed to the other "muscle" cars, that fold like a tin can)

Give me a two-ton land-boat any day.




<no subject>
By Scabies on 4/2/2011 2:25:06 AM , Rating: 2
its probably just that people cant afford to die anymore. just sayin.




Evolution in action.
By Azethoth on 4/2/2011 1:42:29 PM , Rating: 2
Finally we have proof of evolution in action. Those with bad driving genes are slowly but surely removing themselves from the gene pool.




By Philippine Mango on 4/2/2011 9:15:40 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not too surprised the death rate went up in 2010 in the midwest and I think it's because of the decline in gasoline prices. The midwest had the cheapest fuel and cheaper fuel allowed more people to drive their SUVs. It also allowed those in the groups with a high death rate such as the young/poor to drive more and get into more fatal accidents. The death rate will continue to decline so long as those who are disproportionately affected by fuel prices continue to not drive and the economy continues to flounder. You guys might not be aware but when the economy hit its peak around 2005-2007, that was when we had the highest death rate on the roads and after that, there was a sharp decline due to the recession and cost of fuel.

Maybe the first thought about gas prices is wrong and the second thought which I've known all along is that "it's the economy stupid!" The areas that saw an increase in death rate are the ones that are recovering and the areas that saw a decrease are the ones that aren't recovering..

Safety standard improvements would NOT account for the huge drop in death rate from 2007 to 2008, yet of course the NHTSA will claim responsibility for the improvement.




By jmunjr on 4/3/2011 2:25:56 AM , Rating: 2
I've gotten in a few wrecks in my life. Every one of them was when I was driving the speed limit and just being as nice a driver as possible. Finally I figured out what it took to make me a safer driver. I learned to drive aggressively.

Driving aggressively means I almost always drive over the speed limit, sometimes 40% over. I also treat driving like it is a race to some extent as I am constantly trying to race my way out of packs. Do I "cut" people off? Well, sure I do but I am always going faster so I don't force them to slow down nor put them in danger of hitting me, but I do usually try to have a decent amount of room to not scare the crap out of them.

Basically I drive in a manner that requires me to pay attention way way more often than if I drove the way most people drive.

The result? Zero accidents in 20+ years driving this way. Because I am actually paying attention when I drive significantly more than normal even with the aggression I am much more likely to avoid an accident. Oh and yes I have gotten in accidents in those 20 years but each time was when I was driving like everyone else and not paying attention as much.

FWIW I also exclusively drive manual/stick shift transmission cars. That is another component that imo actually increases awareness for a driver, at least one who is very comfortably with a manual.




Unsurprising.
By shortylickens on 4/3/2011 10:22:11 AM , Rating: 2
I have no doubt in my mind there are fewer deaths in traffic than ever before. But that has nothing to do with how people are driving, it has to do with all the BS safety nonsense forced on us by an overbearing government. If people drove better we wouldnt need all the extra safety features and fatalities would still be low.

Anybody know how the Peltzman effect works?




Thank seatbelts and airbags
By Beenthere on 4/1/2011 2:53:25 PM , Rating: 1
Reduce FATALITIES are due to seatbelts and airbags. The number of FATALITIES is not the number of ACCIDENTS which increases daily due to distracted drivers. People need to get a grip on reality and not be duped by slanted news stories, unless you desire to remain a clueless sheep being treated like a mushroom.




"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki