The Most Popular 5 Posts in the First 8 Weeks of the New ADoNA Website

To help new visitors to this Website save time by seeing just those posts that have gained the most interest, here is the first of what will be a series of periodic lists, and on this occasion these five are from the 71 topics posted so far (use the ‘Archives’ or ‘Categories’ in the right-hand sidebar to view more):

1. It’s Mirror-Signal NOT Signal-Mirror, Despite Bad Advice for 100 Years!

The car with a matched pair of rear, high-intensity fog lights will clearly remain more visible than even cars nearer the camera that have only their regular rear lights to rely upon. Copyright image.

2. Rear Fog Lights for Driving in the USA? What ARE They?

3. USA: Highway Fatalities by State, and by Percentage Changes Since 1975

4. Misleading Highway Safety Info from the NTSB – Part 1

5. Teaching Drivers How to Get Out of a Skid or do an Evasive Swerve Can Result in More Crashes Afterwards, Not Fewer!

Is this page useful, and will it be so, updated at intervals in the future?  Please let us know in the Replies/Comments section, below.

NTSB Safety Compass has not Published my Reply to their “Best Days of Their Lives” Blog, but it’s Important

One week ago, on July 10, 2017, the National Transportation Safety Board [NTSB] published their periodic “Safety Compass” blog.  The post in question was called “Best Days of Their Lives” and is very good, in relation to the safety of young drivers.

Photograph of two roadside memorials, on opposite sides of a rural road, and from two separate crashes.
Not one but two memorials for young people, from two separate crashes on either side of the road at this location in Illinois. Photo: Copyright 2012.

Excerpt: “… [This is] the beginning of the ‘100 Deadliest Days’—the driving season in which crashes involving teens ages 16 to 19 years old increase significantly. Youth drivers are getting behind the wheel with cellphones in hand or drowsy from long, summer nights.

“Our Most Wanted List strives to end alcohol and other drug impairment, distraction, and fatigue‑related accidents, and calls for stronger occupant protection; during the 100 Deadliest Days, young drivers are often faced with many of the challenges included on the Most Wanted List, which makes the collaboration between the NTSB and youth‑serving organizations so vital…”

These are, of course, extremely valid and important points but given how astonishingly far the USA is behind the road safety performance of virtually every other developed nation in the world, I would respectfully suggest that even more needs to be done, so that areas where America is very clearly a long way behind international standards and best practices may be swiftly improved and so that U.S. road deaths — which are currently increasing at an unprecedented and terrible rate — may be turned around and significantly reduced.

This is my reply that, for whatever reason, did not make it through ‘moderation’ and onto the NTSB blog page:

“Very valuable, but in addition it really is high time that all state drivers manuals in the USA were brought fully up to date with global best practices so that young drivers no longer have their heads filled with archaic, inaccurate or even dangerous ‘advice’. It is now over ten years since the paper “State Drivers Manuals Can Kill Your Kids”  was published by the SAE at their 2007 World Congress, in Detroit (and won an ‘excellence’ award from audience feedback) but precious little has changed in that time.”

 

Eddie Wren, CEO & Chief InstructorAdvanced Drivers of North America

The Unmatched ‘Driver Safety’ Resume of ADoNA CEO & Chief Instructor Eddie Wren has been Updated

Photograph of a large semi-tractor-trailer coming the other way on a gravel road.
If your team has to work in rural areas — as many of our clients’ personnel do — then amongst other things we teach safe driving on gravel roads, even if you meet a big truck like this coming the other way! (Copyright image.)

Advanced Drivers of North America’s CEO & Chief Instructor, Eddie Wren, has an entirely unmatched resume within North American road safety and driver training circles, and it has just been updated.

See how ADoNA, either through consultancy or driver training, can best help your organization.  Contact us.

USA: Police Chief Attacks Proposed Increase in Size of Big Rigs

Excerpt: [A chief of police in Wisconsin] has serious concerns with proposals in Congress that would allow heavier and longer rigs on  highways because these proposals would dramatically increase the danger faced by everyday drivers.

Photo looking down on a fast-moving semi-tractor-trailer.
Semi-tractor-trailer. Copyright image.

The proposal calls for increasing trucks weights nationwide from 80,000 to 91,000 pounds, and another calls for increasing the length of double-trailer trucks by 10 feet, to 91 feet in length.

…Bigger trucks may mean increased profit margins for the handful of companies that would benefit, they also pose substantial safety risks to motorists…

Read the full opinion-piece from the Gazette Extra on this important topic.

ADoNA Comments

Already more than 4,000 people are killed each year in the USA in crashes involving large trucks.  One factor in this bad scenario is the long hours that drivers are allowed to work, behind the wheel, each week — far more than in other countries that have much lower road-death rates than does America.  Making trucks larger and therefor even harder to stop should be seen as an extra factor that is likely to increase the number of deaths even further.

Eddie Wren, CEO & Chief InstructorAdvanced Drivers of North America

Comparing the Evil 9/11 Attack to U.S. Road Safety is Awful

Some people think it is wrong to make the following comparison so I will apologize now to anyone who is offended, but the ongoing situation is so pointless and so crucial to the well-being of Americans that I hope you will forgive me for doing so:

Photo of the Freedom Tower, a symbol of defiance and a great nation. (Photo by Phil Dolby / Wikicommons license)
A symbol of defiance and a great nation. (Photo by Phil Dolby / Wikicommons license)

Quote:

“September 11, 2017, will be the 16th anniversary of the evil attacks on four planes, the World Trade Center, and the Pentagon, but did you know that for every single person killed on that truly awful day, over 200 people have since been killed on America’s roads?  Yes, a total of almost two-thirds of a million people slaughtered in U.S. highway crashes, plus around 40 million injured, in just 16 years.  And almost all Americans, including supposedly responsible politicians, completely ignore this hideous and  unnecessary travesty because what?”  Eddie Wren, Advanced Drivers of North America, Inc. — July 13, 2017.

 

Also see: Ranking Countries for Road Safety – the ‘Per Capita’ Rate, 2015  (2015 being the latest figures available as at July 2017.  Figures for 2016 should become available within weeks.)

FIA, Motorsports’ Governing Body, Lets Down Safety Standards

July 9, 2017

In Formula 1, by far the world’s most prestigious motorsport, the recent Azerbaijan Grand Prix was marred by an overt display of road rage by four-times World Champion Sebastian Vettel who, in front of millions of spectators around the world, deliberately rammed an opponent’s car, wheel-to-wheel while all of the cars were driving slowly in accordance with — ironically — a temporary, safety speed limit.

Photo of the FIA logo

Having untruthfully claimed that three-times World Champion Louis Hamilton had “brake checked” him  and “caused” him to collide with the rear of Hamilton’s car, Vettel moved up alongside Hamilton and flagrantly turned into him so that Vettel’s front right wheel struck Hamilton’s front left wheel.  In reality, engineering  telematics transmitted by all F1 cars showed beyond any argument that Hamilton had neither braked nor even slowed down, so Vettel’s claim was entirely untrue.

Anyone wishing to view the incident on video can do so on YouTube at the following link, but for copyright purposes I am not prepared to post the actual clip here.   https://youtu.be/Cx4AartWhg4

The spanner in these works, however, lies in the fact that the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (i.e. International Automobile Federation, or FIA) is a huge supporter of global road safety and has established the FIA Foundation for this very purpose.

So, around the world, young motor racing fans, including countless children and young teens, saw one of their sporting idols have what can only be described as an infantile fit of road rage and commit a safety travesty by ramming somebody else’s car, yet Vettel got away with just a ten-second pit lane penalty instead of a much more appropriate ban from one or more races.

The thing is that the FIA had the power to override the race stewards’ decision regarding the punishment even after the event, and impose a ban, but undoubtedly politics — a regular anti-Christ in the sadly lethal world of road safety — won the day because the mega-money businessmen behind motor racing didn’t want to ‘spoil’ the season’s championship battle between who else but Vettel and Hamilton.

I hope and suspect that the team at the FIA Foundation were suitably embarrassed by this ludicrous inaction by their parent body in the face of such an outrageously bad example to all young drivers and future drivers around the world….. Sure! Go ahead!  If you don’t like someone else on the road, just ram them!

Hang your heads, FIA; hang your heads.  This wasn’t worthy of you.

Eddie Wren, CEO & Chief Instructor — Advanced Drivers of North America

A Classic Example of why Lies about America’s “Good” Highway Safety must Stop!

I would very much like to stop writing about the repetitive lies told about the USA’s alleged success in cutting road deaths when, in fact, the country does very poorly in this crucial situation compared to the other developed  countries of the world.  But the lies continue and therefore so will my rebuttals, in order to give the American people a more accurate picture.

.                                            Link to YouTube ’17 Deadliest US Highway Crashes’

Let me make the vital point once more:  If you, the government departments and major road safety organizations of the USA, keep peddling false propaganda telling the people of this great nation that ‘we’ are doing well in the fight against highway fatalities, when the US has in reality, long been effectively the worst-performing wealthy country in the world, with a rate of deaths over four-times worse than the leading nations, the public will believe you and say nothing when, in fact, they should be yelling at the Government to stop the unnecessary slaughter!

Some government-level people have made the excuse to me that it is simply mistakes, or ’rounding,’ or ‘simplification’ of the data, but apart from being an egregious understatement this is unacceptable.  The facts are regularly being twisted far beyond the context of those words.

Here is just one illustration of how far and wide these very misleading ‘inaccuracies’ are being spread:

On June 18, 2016, David Frum, a “lifelong Conservative [who] campaigned for Ronald Reagan and wrote speeches for George W. Bush,” appeared on the BBC HardTalk television show, around the world, and repeated some of the wildly erroneous propaganda about American road safety.

As part of his argument about banning assault rifles in the USA following the Orlando shooting massacre, he said this:

“One of the great public policy successes across the developed world and in the United States has been the reduction in automobile fatalities.  It’s just dramatic what’s happened over the past generation. That isn’t because we did one magic thing that one nefarious industry had been blocking.  Seat belts helped, yes. true.  So did better cars.  So did making it more difficult for 17-year-olds to get drivers’ licences… So did the crackdown on drunk driving.”

But this one short comment is full of gaping holes.  Of the ~thirty member-nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD] — in other words, the world’s developed countries — the USA has the second-worst death rate and has made by far, by FAR, the least progress of any of the long-term members in reducing road deaths, over at least the last three decades and possibly much longer.  Indeed currently, based on year-2015 figures and year-2016 estimated figures, the annual number of road deaths is truly rocketing back up again after the expectable slump caused by the global recession which started around 2008 — and America, rather predictably, is suffering a bigger rate of increase than in any other developed country!

If the USA could match the per capita road-death rate of the world’s two long-term, most reliably-performing road safety countries — Sweden and Britain — almost 30,000 American lives could be saved every year and a much higher number of people would be spared from serious injury.

Some U.S. professionals are pinning their hopes almost entirely on self-driving cars, but while such autonomous vehicles might eventually take away the embarrassment of the current reprehensible state of road safety standards in the USA, they are not even close to full fruition yet.  (But then may come the quietly-ignored problem and dangers of criminals or terrorists hacking those vehicles!)

So when are U.S. politicians and people responsible for road safety going to stop perpetrating or silently accepting the lies and the propaganda about something that has killed more than a million Americans in just the last 25 years?

There have recently been discussions here in the U.S. how to emulate the greater successes and much greater road safety achieved by other countries — most notably the two most consistent, long-term leaders in this field, Sweden and Britain — but I have yet to see anything significant put into action as a result.

There are many good people working in different branches of U.S. highway safety and I hope that you will stand up against the tidal wave of misleading garbage that is poured over the American public.  It’s time to tell the accurate truth and let the people of this wonderful nation know so that they can vote for those who will help protect their children and their grandchildren from this massive killer.

Inter alia, I hope that people in the USDOT, NHTSA, FHWA, NTSB, GHSA, State Governments, DMVs & RMVs, NSC, DSAA, ADTSEA and others will take this message to heart and will stand in the way of the liars, propagandists, and exaggerators who are hiding the full extent of this very dangerous, long-term situation from the public, and are thereby letting the American people down.

Eddie Wren, CEO & Chief InstructorAdvanced Drivers of North America

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Also see: