My friend told me about a recent tragedy on a local freeway. A man rear-ended another vehicle on the freeway, causing the death of a child.
How did this happen? The man was distracted by a movie he was watching on his car’s video/computer screen!
There used to be a time when a car was simply for transportation. Somewhere along the line, someone decided cars should have radios. Back in those early days, there were some accidents caused by drivers fiddling with their radio dials. Then came the radios that included 8-track players, cassette players and c.d. players. More accidents. Let’s face it; people are idiots when it comes to choosing priorities, especially when a favorite song competes for attention with the safety of their fellow humans on the road.
You would think the car manufacturers would get a clue about distracted driving from these early innovations in on-board entertainment. But no. Today’s vehicles come with so many bells and whistles, technical innovations and complicated gizmos that they have become rolling deathtraps for a whole new reason than simply bad drivers. Despite the many safety features installed in today’s cars, the “Distracted Driver” is the one thing the manufacturers cannot control.
Life today is faster paced and more complicated than ever in our history. Understandably, the car manufacturers have answered this condition with what are intended to be conveniences and on-board personal safety features such as Internet access to road conditions, GPS, telephone service (really intended for emergencies), dash-cams, etc. These are well and good until the driver takes his attention off the road to access these features.
Which brings me back to the issue at the beginning of my diatribe: Why, oh why, did the driver who killed that child think it was safe to watch a movie while behind the wheel on a busy freeway? Why, oh why, should the ability to watch a movie or any visual entertainment be furnished by those who design today’s vehicles? It is absolute madness. Are human beings so pressed for time that they can’t wait to get home to be entertained? Is the life of another human being worth that convenience?
My friend told me this is why driver-less cars are now the next innovation. Some genius has decided the best way to make cars safe is to eliminate the driver completely. What the fudge…? Take away the driver’s responsibility? Take away the driver’s control? Take the fallible human out of the mix?
Is this really the solution?
Think, think, think about this. Draw your own conclusion.