February 1, 2010

"Ironically, the part of driving that people fear the most turns out to be the safest part."

"... And here’s an even more striking irony: one of the major things that makes highways scary is also a major thing that makes them safe."

15 comments:

junyo said...

Well, just consider what makes accidents so rare on highways. For one thing, everyone is headed in the same direction at about the same speed. No trucks are pulling out randomly from side streets, no SUVs are throwing on their brakes to make an impulsive left turn.

Someone's obviously never driven through Pennsylvania...

traditionalguy said...

People say the darndest things. That is ironic that deaths actually happen due to bad driver decisions and not due to highways that allow higher speed by limiting driver options to do stupid things.

Fred4Pres said...

Interstate highways are safer. They get safer all the time with buried guard rail ends, bridge abutments with railings, crash tubs filled with water or sand, etc., etc.

Want to experience horror, drive little state highways at night. They unfortunately vary widely. My personal favorite use to be the Tetonic when you drove between New York and Boston (I hope they improved that death trip).

Fred4Pres said...

Tectonic Highway.

ricpic said...

Taconic.

The Crack Emcee said...

Highways are A useless quack device which cannot perform any other function than separating naive persons from their money. It’s a fake, a scam, a swindle, and a blatant fraud. Prove me wrong and take the million dollars.

Deborah said...

For me, it's the speed and the idiots. You can't anticipate what the idiot in the other lane is going to do. Best advice: drive one of these

hocket.

rhhardin said...

It doesn't seem ironic to me.

howzerdo said...

Fred4pres, if you mean Taconic (or Taghkanic), they haven't improved it, still no shoulder, lots of curves, cross streets all over the place, animal hazards. Beautiful scenery though. Built for the Model A!

Adam said...

So, per mile driven, about half as many fatalities occur on interstates than on their non-limited-access counterpart roads. This means that if the average trip length on an interstate is more than twice as long as on other highways, then each interstate trip is more dangerous than on a non-interstate highway. Oh, the irony!

EDH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EDH said...

No, it’s simply the fact that you can’t get off. Presta finds a similar dynamic at work in his patients’ fear of bridges... It’s that they can’t get off.” They’re trapped. And, just as realizing that you have to go all the way over a bridge can trigger a panic attack, so too can seeing a sign that says “Next Exit 8 Miles.”

I remember having a near panic attack on FDR Drive in NYC when it was under reconstruction, probably 20 years ago.

The Jersey barriers gave the car like a foot on each side, with drivers behind aggressively tailgating at high speed. I never felt so tested, drained and exhausted mile after mile as it seemed like it would never end.

I was in over my head. I couldn't slow-down, stop nor get off. I could only race ahead trying to maintain my focus as I avoided scraping or crashing the car.

Ironically, a lot like FDR's New Deal.

Brian said...

If I lived in a large city, I'd probably not drive that much. If the subway & bus system is good, I'd use it more than driving every day. If nothing else, just to avoid the hassle of parking.

But out here is rural states, driving is generally the only way to get around, and is (usually) pleasant enough. As long as you can avoid hitting the deer.

Donna B. said...

The only time I panic on the interstate at not being able to exit is when I have to pee. Other than that I thoroughly enjoy a leisurely 80 mph drive through W Texas.

raf said...

@EDH: Why couldn't you slow down? Too much peer pressure? If I were behind you I am sure I would be fuming, but if I were YOU, I would ignore me.

wv:locte, as opposed to Hi-C tea, I suppose.