It's summer driving season, a great time to think about safety. We don't want to become human crash test dummies.
What were drivers doing when fatal car crashes occurred? Making turns? Driving fast?
Cause And EffectHere are findings using US data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) in the current issue of Wired.
You've heard of the 80/20 rule. Here, the two riskiest activities --- going straight and negotiating a curve --- account for 83.7% of the fatal car crashes. Add turning left and the total reaches 89.8%. Even if you guessed at the risks correctly, did you expect such skewed results?
Why?Statistics tell us what happened but not why. Maybe most accidents occur when we're going straight because that's what we do most of the time. Some long stretches of highway are straight to the point of boredom. So designers add curves, which has other consequences.
You've probably heard that most accidents occur near home. Maybe that's because that's where we start or end our trips. Maybe we're less attentive in familiar surroundings?
By ExtensionGoing straight to our destination without any obstacles can be dangerous. It's difficult to know what to do. Turning right is safe (relatively speaking) but keep doing that and you won't get far.
What about the financial world? We don't have paved roads with large signs to our destination. Instead, we take a Financial TRAIL and face many obstacles
- external: such as economic downturns, investment returns, inflation
- internal: such as self-control, health, ambition
- Dashboard: Crash by the numbers (Wired, p68, issue 18.07, Jul 2010) [no web link]
- Small cars: Is 'safer than ever' safe enough for you?
- Lease or buy? How life insurance compares with getting a car
- What happens when you call 911 for a medical emergency
- The financial crash: Dumb Money 2009
- Image courtesy of Ads of the World (Mercedes, Sep 2008)
Podcast 74 (3:30)
direct download | Internet Archive page
PS Please drive safely.