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Road Safety: ‘I forget that others don’t actually want to die’

The title of this piece may at first seem a little strange; you could even say that it is such a logical statement that it really does not need to be said at all. It is this exact point that I wish to expand upon in this post. A few years ago I was out driving with a friend of mine and as we approached a roundabout they appeared to recoil slightly as if something bad was going to happen. It was as we cleared the roundabout in complete safety and control that they uttered to me the very quote that you see now heads this article.

When you first see a quote such as this sitting right there in front of you, it may at first seem hard to process. Of course others do not want to die on the road, why would anyone feel the need to say that? But on the other hand, if this was truly the case it does beg the question of why on earth are there some people that drive on the road as if they have a death wish hanging like a dark cloud above their head? When my friend first said that to me I found it rather amusing, but the more I think about it the more they may actually have a point. It is the view of this author that as the years go rushing by, the effects of Newton’s Third Law are becoming visible than ever before. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. For it would seem that with the increase of technology that makes both cars and the roads safer places to be on, actual driving standards are decreasing.

Road safety is taken very seriously, but does everyone heed the message?

Road safety is taken very seriously, but does everyone heed the message?

Over the last few months I have felt increasingly unsafe on the roads, down in the most part to the other drivers on the road. For all I know it is localised to my little slice of earth in which I inhabit. However, I then come to realise that every time I open the newspaper or turn on the news I see yet another fatality as a result of dangerous or driving. People say you should not always believe what you read in the media, so it is lucky that I have also had first hand experience of sharing the same slab of tarmac as some downright lunatics. There are not enough accessible appendages upon my body to count the number of times I have had a car pull out in front of me with barely enough time for me to hit the brakes to prevent an accident. I am fully aware your jumped up Vauxhall Corsa may have a decent enough acceleration and you wish to show this off to all the girls around you while you blast out the latest RnB offerings; the crux of the situation however is not the performance of your car but the quality of my reactions to enact what is essentially an emergency stop to prevent a dangerous accident.

Yet another example I can draw from the dark chasm of idiocy is the pure insistence of many impatient doughnuts who believe that bullying their way down the road is the best tactic to get home. If I happen be pootering along down the motorway at 70mph (because I would never dare go over the speed the limit…I promise…) I really do not want to have some little bottomfluff driving less than 5 meters behind me. His logic is simple; by intimidating me with his dangerous driving I will move out of his way. There is but one flaw in this plan; what if I have to apply the brakes suddenly? The result of that can only be a trip to hospital and many phone calls to insurance companies.

And finally we come to those people who are comparable only to a spinning hamster wheel but no hamster on the inside. I am fully accepting that there are many people who waltz around with their head in the clouds, but this should not be while they are driving. When you are behind the wheel, it is only just that driving is your top priority. Chatting to your friends, doing your hair or dreaming of far off plans are not acceptable excuses for driving like a complete and utter spanner. It may well be a very important phone call in your fancy BMW but that does not excuse you driving straight over a junction and nearly T-boning me right in the drivers door. Last time I checked my life was slightly more important than your business deal. I would hope anyway.

As I touched on at the start of this post, it would seem as safety based technology increases, driving standards begin to decrease. I do have a theory that there are some that believe because road safety is improving, in-car safety devices are getting ever more developed and of course medical care is forever more advanced, it means that they feel more comfortable driving at a lower standard; they feel they are better protected and will be better looked after. On a similar tilt to that of progressive safety measures, we are living in a world of increasingly intense devotion to insurance, claims and of course suing. There are some characters I have had the mispleasure of meeting who have given me ‘top advice’ in the world of road safety and insurance claims. They genuinely told me that if it looks like I will be involved in a crash that I should not try and stop it and let it happen, as long as I make sure it is the other persons fault. Apparently I then get ‘free money’ as a result. They claim in good confidence (..so I am told) that because of all the increased safety devices on the road, that the rewards are greater when things do go wrong.

…there really are just no words. It says so much about the modern world that some people are actively encouraging accidents as just another excuse to make some money.

Interesting insurance claim that would have been...

Interesting insurance claim that would have been…

Maybe all that time ago my friend was actually on to something when they said what they did. There are those that drive with the appearance of one who may be open to serious injury or death. Why else would they act like they do I wonder? And of course more worryingly there are those who seem to be open to possible injury for nothing more than a small financial gain. Maybe it is the ever advancing technology surrounding safety that is to blame. It is almost poetically ironic that the devotion to safety is the one thing that may be making our roads less safe. The one fatal flaw as it always has been appears to be the human element. If this proves but one thing, perhaps self driving cars are the best option for all of us. Maybe they are the answer to the question no one realised really needed to be answered.

Whatever I may have said, do not forget to keep driving people!

Follow me on Twitter @lewisglynn69

Peace and Love!

One comment

  1. Desmond says:

    Safe driving is really very important and as the title says no one wants to fail without any intellect and just because a mortal is not abiding by the traffic rules can cause one person to stop his life without cause. We necessitate to observe all traffic regulations while driving and foremost importance is the “Drink and Drive” issue. No one must be allowed to drive if drunk. Take care of yourself as well as of the people on the road. Have a safe drive.

    October 18th, 2014 at 6:49 pm