The sign says: Drive safely. Indeed, I wonder what qualifies as safely?
Or are driverless cars all the way better?
No, defensive driving does not mean you hit the other guy first. Nor does aggressive driving constitute mere flaunting of biceps and making rude gestures.
According to the Safe Practices for Motor Vehicle Operations, ANSI/ASSE Z15.1, defensive driving skills are described as “driving to save lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others.”
Maintaining a defensive end constitutes adhering to a defined set of principles, ranging from implementing the two seconds rule, assuring clear distance ahead, to following a horde of appreciable driving techniques. A quick way to chart this out is, “driving as if everyone else on the road is drunk.”
People susceptible to aggressive driving are described by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as those who “commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.” Road Rage is a fancy term for the same. It comprises tailgating, running lights and signs, weaving, speeding, and improper passing.
Going by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, a whopping 56% of fatal accidents during 2003 to 2007 was a result of aggressive driving, major of them ensuing from over-speed. It’s also reported to cause harm to the environment as it consumes 37% more fuel and emanates additional toxic gases.
Stanford Law School’s The Center for Internet and Society claims, “Some ninety percent of motor vehicle crashes are caused at least in part by human error”.
And of course, the persistent idea of applying automation to every activity in life fuelled the idea of self-driving cars. The obvious perks are a decline in traffic collisions, increased mobility, low fuel intake, a dramatic drop in parking space needs. The downsides are technology issues, liabilities, redesigning of legal frameworks, and those obvious moral concerns ravaging the automation breed.
Okay, let’s assume whatever driving attitude one has adopted, you witnessed a CrAAAasHHHH!! How to act on the face of emergencies? What are the ingrained safety measures in the vehicle that act to protect its inhabitants? And how far can they restrain the harm?
There are basically two types: “Active” and “Passive”, seemingly simple words that attain a whole lot of importance in automotive safety. Technology governing the mechanism of avoiding a crash is termed as active safety, while the inherent parts of the vehicle like airbags, seatbelts, helmets, and the physical structure of the vehicle, which are designed to protect the inhabitants are called as passive safety.
Active Safety Advancements
The industry is foreseeing more enhancements in the active safety, by experimenting with novel concepts of braking, traffic control, electronic stability systems.
It is a complex fusion of sensors analyzing and predicting driver’s actions. Nevertheless, the vital conundrum of driver’s autonomy and at what point the systems can intervene to manage a likely crash remains to be satisfactorily resolved.
Death Call and An Art?
Across the world, around 1.3 million people have thier last breatheon the road. Road accidents are ranked as the 9th leading source of death. But when common sources of death are observed among teenagers, accidents rank first.
This is so depressingly common that it is the reason behind almost one-half of all teenage deaths. Considering the diverse groups comprising these accidents, motor vehicle fatality retains one-third of all deaths.
Is driving an art? Should there be a sense of autonomy to the driver as he progresses in the art? what kind of restrictions can we impose without constraining him/her? By asking or trying to answer these questions, we are delving into a morally deluded arena. Philosophers, psychologists muse over these gaining an intrinsic perspective into this human invention and passion for faster mobility.
Despite all these grand thoughts, the reality is here to stay. And so like eyes having to return to the ground after great wanderings, this ends with top 3 tips for safe driving. Though repetitive and common, they WORK!
Beware the weather: Bad weather tampers not just with mood, but also with your vehicle.
Passive Safety: Don’t underestimate helmet/seat-belt protection. Ever.
Maintenance of your vehicle: What could snap resulting in what is beyond prediction. A regular check-up/service ensures both vehicle longevity and your safety.
Remember- safety first, and rest comes next!