American Drivers aren’t Horny Enough!

Yes, the title contains innuendo but for a serious reason!

If those killed by motor vehicles in parking lots, etc., are included, then over 40,000 people are killed each year in vehicular collisions in the USA [NSC]. By comparison, ‘road rage causes a relatively small… percentage of fatalities on U.S. roadways, linked to 467 fatal crashes in 2015‘ which is roughly 1.2 percent of all crash deaths and 2.7 percent of all homicides.

A standard symbol for the horn — a bugle — in the middle of the steering wheel, but most countries except the USA have made the horn control much more accessible to drivers’ thumbs so that nobody need ever leave go of the wheel to use the horn… an obvious safety advantage. (Copyright image, 2019.)
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I was just a few miles over the speed limit, officer!

Even some police officers may be heard voicing the opinion that speed, on its own, does not cause crashes. But in safety terms this belief is highly flawed.

Many drivers resent being fined for speeding and some people say that speeding is not dangerous.

Copyright image but viewers are free to share it at will, as long as the image and text remain intact.
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Why Allowing No Front Licence Plates is Madness

In many American states and Canadian provinces it seems to be a growing trend that vehicles no longer need to have front licence plates, but from the perspective of serious crimes this is madness.

Here just a parked car, but imagine you were a police officer on your way to the scene of a violent robbery and you had a licence pale number for the criminals. This car is coming towards you and you have no chance of seeing its number. Maybe there’s even a kidnapped woman or child in the vehicle, in mortal danger. Some people think that having the front of the car “prettier,” without a license plate is more important, though! (Copyright image, 2017.)
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Are drivers ‘dehumanizing’ bicycle riders around the world?

Some worrying research has emerged about the way that drivers are consciously being careless, or worse, about the safety of bicyclists.

One of our trainees on a ‘silver’ advanced driving course at Advanced Drivers of America had to brake to avoid colliding with this cyclist who, without either a signal or a “life saver” glance over his shoulder, whipped out into a live-traffic lane from the bicycle lane in order to pass the woman in black — not a good way to endear oneself to drivers! (Copyright image, 2018.)

Research:

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Parents Can Dramatically Affect Their Children’s Future Safety by the Example they Set

People with children know how much their little ones like to emulate the things that parents do, whether it is an older sister trying to mother her younger siblings or a son playing ball with his daddy.

I took this photograph with my cellphone a few days ago, while parked and waiting for somebody. The mother has left her distracted little girl behind on what is a busy, parking lot road, with both of them seemingly oblivious to the danger. (Copyright image, 2019.)

For better or for worse, children also faithfully copy what they see their parents do on the roads, whether this is in a vehicle or as pedestrians (and this is research, incidentally, not just our opinion).

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Getting the Scale and Seriousness of US Road Crashes in Perspective

It is effectively inevitable that road safety advocates will use air crash data to try to get people to understand the staggering seriousness of road crashes when compared to commercial plane crashes, but even then the true scale is rarely stated.

Wikimedia Commons: A Boeing 737 MAX 8 ‘G-TUMA’ TUI Airways (46886857481). Copyright-free photograph by Alan Wilson, from Stilton, Peterborough, Cambs., UK
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The Need for Quality Driver Training, Even by the U.N.

Vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for UN staff worldwide, but sadly that can be no surprise because the same tragic scenario often applies to soldiers, even within actual conflict zones. And work-related driving (fleet safety) is in a similar category.

It has become common or perhaps just fashionable in recent years for some traffic safety academics to decry driver training around the world as something that does not work. This frankly is a preposterous belief and a new United Nations report clearly indicates this.

Driving through a busy village in a tourist area can oresent many different safety challenges.
This common scenario shows a whole host of potential hazards which with no disrespect we would challenge the vast majority of researchers to even fully identify without studying the photograph for some time — and even then probably failing to recognize them all — and that much time at one small point of a journey is something which drivers of moving vehicles typically do not have in abundance. (Copyright image, 2017.)

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Far Too Many Pedestrian Deaths on the Roads of the USA, 2018

It is human nature that if we consider it at all, we tend to think only about ourselves when it comes to highway safety, primarily the chances of us or our loved ones being killed or seriously injured in a car crash. But pedestrians represent about one in six of all people killed on America’s roads and we are all pedestrians at times.

Jay walkers crossing a street.
Hands up anyone who has never crossed a road where we shouldn’t have, quite possibly because we just couldn’t be bothered to walk to a crosswalk. As people get older we might get a bit wiser about this everyday occurrence but then age itself can make it harder to walk all the way to a proper crossing and perhaps all the way back on the other side. This, together with worsening reaction times, can turn the simple act of crossing a street into something deadly. Copyright image, 2018.

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Wheelchair Users are at Greater Risk on Crosswalks

While it is clear that crosswalks must be suitably designed for disabled users, it is equally essential that drivers are always prepared to make it safe for such individuals to cross. Unfortunately, however, far too many drivers are oblivious to the things that require their attention.

A study in the USA found that the fatality rate for people using wheelchairs when crossing roads is 36% higher than for regular pedestrians.

Photograph of a disabled person in a wheelchair on a city crosswalk.
The criteria and adequacy of crosswalks must naturally meet the safety requirements of all users, not just able-bodied walkers. (Copyright image, 2018.)

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