Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I Feel a Rant Coming On...

So, Sunday night at about 10:30, my dad hears a horrible screech and a loud crash and he knows that can't be good. He lives in a nice neighborhood on a nice cul-du-sac, and the main drag is a lovely curvey tree-lined street. And people drive up and down it like idiots. Pulling out of my parents' street onto said main drag is pretty scary because the road curves right there and you can't see if cars are coming until they're right on top of you. And sometimes they are going way too fast. There have been attempts to get a stop sign, but they have failed. So far, there have been three accidents in the vicinity this year, and the one Sunday night was fatal. A 16 year old boy, who had his license for about a week, was going about 75 mph down the main drag. The story goes that one of his friends dared him to see if he could drive that fast without losing control. Hmm... he couldn't very well turn down a dare, could he? So he and his two friends crashed into a tree, leaving the car shaped like an "L." A fifteen year old boy died and the driver now has to live with it the rest of his life, which he is lucky to have. None of the boys was wearing a seatbelt. Now they are talking about a stop sign again, or maybe some speed bumps. Not that a stop sign would have done much good in this case.

You know what makes me really mad, is that people have so little ability to handle themselves in a safe manner that we NEED things like speed bumps. Humans should not have to be forced to drive carefully on narrow streets where kids and pets and squirrels and other cars frequently create obstacles. They should just know better, and stop acting like complete jack-asses. But that's never going to happen.

And I have no idea what to do about teen-agers doing stupid stupid things. It's very sad. I seriously question whether most 16-yr-olds are really ready for the responsibility of driving a real car. Do they really know how different it is from their video games? I read in another blog recently that they no longer require kids to even take an actual DRIVING test anymore, just the written one. Can this be true?

Well, I'm just getting myself worked up...sorry for the negativity. I want this blog to be a happy place.


Robert_M said...

My mom would always cut these stories out of the paper and leave them on my bed.

Did it stop me from acting like a complete jackass? I guess a little, but there's an inflatable Godzilla who may have something to say about that.

john clarke said...

I sometimes wonder if the legal driving age should be raised up from 16.

I was always a fairly responsible driver at that age. I think that had something to do with the fact that I bought my own car.

However, my high school buddy Bryan did some acrobatics with the family station wagon on the first day he got his license. He decided to do 90 mph on a curvy street behind the old K-Mart in Richardson, lost control and rolled the wagon three times in a field. His life was partly saved because he was a dumb ass. He didn't have a seat belt on and was thrown into the passenger's seat. The roof over the driver's side was completely crushed.

So yeah, history has shown that lots of teenagers with licenses are dumb.

Gye Greene said...

Well, if the blog reflects the world, then it won't always be a happy place.

Plus, IIRC, negative stuff is in your mandate.

Too bad about the kid killing the other kid, but at least they didn't take anyone with them. Darwinian selection?


Gye Greene said...

BTW, that's actually rare that yer better off w/out a seatbelt: structurally, yer much better off being bolted in to a steel exoskeleton, and letting that take a beating.

If you're playing the odds, wear a seatbelt! ;)

BTW, I always drive with the windows rolled up at least half way: Tall Guy used to belong to an arm amputee mailing list, and he said that a good chunk of them lost their arms when they got into car accidents and the car rolled or skidded on its side, crushing and/or tearing off the arm. Ewwww...

For the same reason, you should always lock the doors: If you're in a crash, it's better that the doors don't fly open, then chop off your arms when they close again. And don't worry about "they won't be able to get me out": Getting you out of the car -- once it's stopped rolling -- is the least of your worries!