Dying Made Easy
Six lane highways, faster cars, and the misconception that seat belts and air bags will keep passengers safe if the vehicle becomes involved in an crash. They help but do not prevent traffic deaths. There is more to it than just safety devices that are standardized in vehicles. Statistics tell a different story all too well. Every day there are news reports of rollover and head on crashes while the death toll continue to climb to astounding numbers. Americans are fighting more than one war. The traffic war is being fought on the home front in all our major highways, and no one realizes the cost to the nation.
Injuries resulting from motor vehicle crashes remain a major public health problem. These injuries cause unnecessary burden of increased taxes and insurance premiums. They can be prevented, or reduced by being a more compassionate and enlightened public with the knowledge that laws prevent excessive costs in the long run. One of the biggest causes of traffic deaths is the roll over crash. This chart from the National Center for Statistics and Analysis shows the highest increase in traffic deaths ballooned from 504 million SUV deaths in 1982 to 2,448 million in 2002. Drivers of SUV’s feel that because their vehicle is oversized they are much safer than the typical automobile. Standard automobiles had the highest number of rollover crashes in 1982 and decreased in 1992 and 2002. The commute and rolling businesses create a lot of the problem. Commuters are in such a hurry to get nowhere they tend not to see the financial burden this puts on society as a whole.
The days of defensive driving are gone Drivers no longer look out for the other guy as in years past. Speed demons and tailgaters are the norm today. No longer do drivers know the meaning of courtesy on the road. Road rage and impatience rules the highways. The number of vehicles traveling the interstates and surface roads continues to explode every year making the highways more and more dangerous to travel on. According to the National Department of Highway Safety, the number of fatalities between 1994 and 2002 increased from 36,254 to 38,309, which goes to show the enormity of the situation.
It has taken years for society to get into the position it finds itself in. Traffic lawlessness is a small but serious repudiation of traffic laws such as not stopping for a stop sign or a traffic light and smacks of anarchy. The mind set in this situation is that “what does it hurt if I don’t stop, there’s no cop around to ticket me, besides they are too busy hunting down drug dealers and I’m in a hurry.” Laws are laws no matter how big or small and every law set by the ones we elect to make them is just as important as the other to formulate the mortar that holds a society together. Tailgaters seem to not know or do not care that it is against the law to follow the car ahead of them to close. Cutting another driver off in a lane of traffic is both dangerous and against the law.
Why then do most drivers, young and old, ignore the rules of the road? It is a mindless action. When asked, “Why are you in such a hurry,” most drivers can’t give a good answer to this question. It is a terribly scary situation when consciences commuters find it necessary to venture out with the knowledge that careless drivers find it necessary to shoot the Brooklyn Salute to another driver who gets in the way or use verbal expletives it make known their displeasure. Road rage has become ramped and out of control. Society cares less what someone else needs or does unless it gets in the way.
Take stock America our society is falling apart at the seams! We need to step back and consider the consequences of our actions and learn to give way when necessary. Our fellow travelers are part of what this country is about, and the golden rule applies here. ”Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” They are not in your way nor do they need to be brandished in a situation that is totally unnecessary. Have a little compassion for others who share the roads!