Meanwhile, as we discussed last week, new automobiles continue to get safer. Late models have better airbags, more driving assistants, warning lights and sounds, cameras, and sensors that all should decrease someone’s margins for error. Newer cars tend to have good infotainment dashboard systems that phones normally can easily pair with to make a nearly seamless hands-free experience.
There are numerous auto insurance discounts given for policyholders who take driving courses and behave properly behind the wheel. And, in general, we have more information and warnings at our fingertips than we ever have.
Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft may be having similar labor issues as other industries, but they still offer fairly timely, effortless ways for inebriated passengers to dispatch ways home, as opposed to driving drunk.
And yet, just as is the case with smoking, dietary habits or even gun safety, people still continue to run the proverbial stop signs and worsen highway safety numbers. As a society, we are absolutely micturating away the highway safety gains that we ourselves have made.
Not long after the hype and awareness around Georgia’s distracted driving rules-revamp, phones started popping back into hands more often. Drivers have since become even worse about trying to hide their palmings of smartphones to make calls and type messages.
Speed demons in 2021 are still having their way with traffic, whether conditions are heavy or not. And when a missile meets a wall with brute force, the fallout is often tragic.
But more insidious than distracted and inebriated driving or reckless speeding and maneuvering is the selfishness that all of us at least somewhat possess
That voice inside that tells someone to drag race or to look down and dial that call or to try and drive after staying through last call is the same murmur that creates a real-life RPG right behind our eyes. That’s the human condition, no matter what we tell others we believe. We are fallen because of our egos — because of our constant prioritization of our own desires.
All that said, imagine how much worse these fatality numbers would be if we didn’t have the same advancements in laws and technology. Then imagine how much better the numbers could be if we could just take a breath to consider the fallout from our driving selfishness.
In this season and Christmas holiday of giving, one gift we could give to strangers around us that doesn’t cost a penny, but potentially provides an invaluable gain, is the gift of putting their safety ahead of our own wants and vices. By doing that, we put all human lives first.
Doug Turnbull, the PM drive Skycopter anchor for Triple Team Traffic on 95.5 WSB, is the Gridlock Guy. He also hosts a traffic podcast with Smilin’ Mark McKay on wsbradio.com. Contact him at Doug.Turnbull@cmg.com.