Thursday, April 20, 2006

And Knowing Is Half The Battle

It’s official: Distracted drivers are dangerous

Thanks for the tip. That was the headline for a news story on CNN.com about a study on how distractions affect driving.

Do we really need to waste money on this stuff? Can’t this money be spent on cancer or AIDS research or be given to some starving kid in Africa? Common sense would tell us that not paying attention to the road is obviously a bad thing.

What are some of their findings?

Drivers dabbing on makeup, chatting on cell phones or eating breakfast are three times as likely to be involved in a crash as more attentive motorists.”

- No way?! You mean putting on makeup while driving can cause a crash? At least now I know. And knowing is half the battle.

"All of these activities are much more dangerous than we thought before," said Dr. Charlie Klauer, a senior research associate at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

- Did you only think they were semi-dangerous before? Are you going to stop eating breakfast on the drive to the institute now that you know that eating breakfast is much more dangerous than you previously thought? Maybe you should donate the money you save from skipping McDonald’s in the morning to all those starving kids who got deprived because of your silly study.

“Drowsiness is also a problem, the researchers found. They said drowsy drivers are four times as likely to have a crash or near-crash.”

- So being on the verge of sleep is bad for driving, huh? Hmmm. I guess I’ll have to take that into consideration from this point forth.

“The study said any look away from the road ahead -- even a glance in a rearview mirror -- could be deemed a distraction.”

- Don’t they teach you in drivers’ education that as a safety precaution, you should periodically check your rearview mirrors and sideview mirrors just to be aware of your surroundings? Don’t they? Don’t they?

Why are studies like this approved? Isn’t there an internal review board at every university in the country that has to approve all studies? At least you could’ve given the money to NASA. Even though no one cares for their missions anymore and it somehow seems like 73.2% of their missions fail, at least new technology is being developed that can improve our everyday lives—perhaps even save our lives in the event of a car crash.

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