We like to leave you laughing, preferably from jokes and some sort of twist on news about Volkswagen.
Traffic collisions and injuries aren’t light topics, but a safety study from AAA says that Americans’ driving behavior isn’t getting better these days—if anything it’s getting worse—so we’re here to talk about safety again.
But here’s the thing: you already know the stats. You know that being on your phone vastly increases the chance of you hitting someone.
You know that driving drowsy makes you just as physically disabled as driving drunk, and you definitely know that driving while intoxicated is as sensible as smoking while pumping gas.
So why do we keep doing it?
The reason is something called cognitive stupidity. Scientists at Leith University (not a real place) conducted a study on 50,000 drivers in Raleigh. Drivers were asked to drive 10 feet. Upon completion, drivers were quizzed on whether they experienced a collision. 100 percent of respondents reported not experiencing a collision, and the same 100 percent said they felt more confident about not experiencing collisions in the future.
“I was amazed that nothing bad happened,” said Darryl Carter, a vending machine stocker for Aramark. “At first I was nervous, but after about nine feet I felt a lot of tension leave my body, and I just kind of relaxed all over.”
Participants cited feeling “like a pro,” “better drivers than their parents,” and “not some snot-nosed teenager,” while behind the wheel.
Stephanie Aranofski of city said her ability to multi-task while driving has totally changed.
“People with their hands at 10 and 2 like a gold-star boy scout don’t know me, and they don’t know my life. I’m a great driver, and I have things to DO. Do you have to make dinner after the gym while emailing your boss? Stay out of my lane.”
This is a silly example (thanks for indulging us), but is also how we actually think.
We run multiple errands a day, don’t get collisions, and think we’ve found a better way. We have reinvented driving. Safety is old-fashioned. Emergency rooms aren’t going to happen. Crashes happen on TV.
So do us a favor. Remind yourself that you’re a human. Tell your family to get off your back. You have to drive like Grandma if you want to reach Grandma’s age.
- AAA’s 2015 Traffic Safety Culture Index says that 81 percent of people say drowsy driving is totally unacceptable, and yet 3 in 10 of us do it. Two out of three people say speeding is unacceptable and 44 percent admit doing it. Voice-texting is 21 percent more logic-intensive than regular texting. And regular texting while driving is just dumb.
Get your vehicle in shape by taking it in for service, or be bold and step up to something better, like a VW Passat right here in Raleigh. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have along the way.