It appears as though Adaptive Cruise Control, Crash Alerts and Blind Spot Warnings are not enough to curb the spike in recent traffic fatalities, which saw a 13.5% bump in Q1 of 2012. CNN reports that approximately 7,630 people died in auto-related accidents so far this year, a significant increase over last year’s 6,720 fatality figure, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
NHTSA claims that it’s “too soon to speculate on the contributing factors or potential implications of any increase in deaths on our roadways,” but I have my very own speculations. Before I get to them, it’s worth noting that Transportation officials are suggesting that the uncharacteristically warm winter attributed to the increase of vehicles on the road during this quarter, but I’m not buying it.
While AAA agreed with the NHTSA on the warmer winter being a factor, they also admitted “there is more work to be done to improve driver safety such as limiting distractions, reducing impaired driving and promoting a culture of safety among motorists.”
Bingo. If we took every moronic buffoon behind the wheel with a cell phone in their hand off the roads, I guarantee I wouldn’t be writing this story right now. For me, distracted driving is number one. Everywhere I go, nearly every earthling is glued to their game of Words With Friends or having a digital conversation, offering less than 50% of their attention to the well being of everyone else on the road. Cars should not be able to start unless any/all cell phones within a 5-foot vicinity are docked in a port in the glove box. If you’re a mobile device-related traffic offender, you should be stripped of your license on the first offense.
Secondly, I think that all of this wonderful “safety” technology like blind spot warnings and lane drift warnings are actually making drivers dumber. They’re enabling a level of complacency that obliterates the need to actually pay attention to the road and the vehicle that is being piloted.
Cell phones, “safety technology” and stupid people are your culprits, folks. What do you think?