February 13, 2016. Fatal pile-up in Lebanon County. Three dead. Seventy-three treated for injuries. Over fifty vehicles involved. Road condition – snow white-out.
Grrrrr! – vent, severe soap-box alert! –
Yes, the fatal pile-up situation was/is terrible. Yes, it’s horrible. Yes, it’s terrifying.
But! – grrrrr! – The question that looms like a huge black cloud in the sky – how can this type of vehicular/roads tragedy be prevented?!
With all this technology that we have, that we use for socializing and games and on and on, where is that technology when it comes to preventing these disasters?!
I’ve always feared driving on the highways/freeways. And since the collision my Jeep and I suffered (02/09/16), I’m even more fearful than I was before and now, to top it all off, I’m thoroughly pissed off as well! (And, yes, for the fellow philosophists out there, most of the time anger is born out of fear.)
I cannot tell you how many times, on every kind of road condition, drivers have been so close to my bumper that I may as well have been towing them!
I drive the speed limit – period! And when weather and road conditions warrant it, I drive ~slower~ than the limit, as slow as it takes to get from point A to point B in one piece.
And it’s rarely the roads that’s the most dangerous. It’s the other drivers ~on~ the roads that believe the weather and road conditions don’t apply to them that make driving perilous.
I am sick to death of drivers who drive absolutely ignorantly. Ignorant of weather and road conditions, and of any other beings on the road. These are the drivers who regard others on the road as mere obstacles to speed up and get around so they can go even faster than they were dangerously going before! And these sorts of ignorant drivers are far too many.
I’m now to the point of feafulness that I’ve developed a new policy when I drive. If anyone is behind me and I cannot see in my rear view mirror their front wheels on the ground, I throw my hazard lights on. In fact, that kind of close driving ~is~ a hazard, so it’s a completely legitimate act to turn those lights on. And if or when a police officer pulls me over, I’ll be glad to tell them why and hopefully in the process snag that ignorant driver behind me.
Those wretched ignorant drivers who drive like their cars are actually airplanes speeding up as they taxi down the runway to lift-off. They whip over roads and around corners regardless of road conditions, whether there’s snow or whatever on the ground, regardless of any one else, and some even laugh it off, thinking it’s fun!
These are drivers who drive as fast as they can possibly go, ever on the look-out for police and scanners which only at that point do they slow down and as soon as they can after that, speed up again to resume their break-neck speeds.
These are the drivers who outright refuse to plan their time on the road correctly. That is to say, plan the time it takes for a route driving ~at~ the speed limits ~and~ consideration of road conditions!
And then there are the companies who push the drivers they employ to drive as fast as they possibly can go “without getting caught.” These companies are so desperate for profits and will say that speed is the only way to stay competitive, that customers would not pay for their services if services weren’t basically deadly fast and cheap. What good is all this speed when people could or do end up dead for it?!
It’s like we’ve rigged our Nation’s entire economic system against ourselves, stripped it completely of any practical sense or care! Have we, as a society in general, become so selfishly uncaring that we just simply do not care what happens to others just so long as we get our products?!
Or are these companies responding and catering only to a few careless consumers? Only a few consumers seems unlikely to sustain the profits these companies claim to need. The number of folks who are uncaring must therefore be considerably larger than a mere few. And so the damning “we” as a society in this case sadly applies; and, yes, it is shameful that it should apply.
With all this technology we use for silly things like games and socializing to the point of narcissism, why aren’t we using the technology with more absolute determination to keep ourselves and those we care about safe and alive?
Why are we permitting ignorance on the roads and of ourselves? Why are we allowing ourselves to be ignorant and careless of just how long it should take to ~safely~ deliver goods and services?
And all this doesn’t even begin to discuss the far too many distracted drivers, the ones who ~still~ text and drive! That’s death just begging to happen not only to their own ignorant, dumb butts but to other beings on the road that would far rather survive the drive!
At the very least, there’s got to be ways to prevent these terrible, tragic pile-up accidents, to learn and anticipate when weather conditions will make roads treacherous. Slow traffic down ahead of time instead of reacting after the fact, slow drivers down to a crawl if need be. Better to crawl to your destination and arrive in one piece, then arrive either in pieces or dead.
True, there are many drivers who are like myself, safe drivers, who drive with respect to limits and care of other beings on the road. But what do we do about those dangerous drivers who don’t care? Yes, we create laws and make Public Service Announcements. And while these are good, they don’t seem to be doing what is needed to be done – and that is, prevent tragedies.
What if every driver had speed-scanner-reporters in their cars, so that when some driver breaks the speed limit and whips around them, that speeding driver can be reported right away. This would not be “narc’ing” or tattling. It would be acting to save our and others lives.
And if those careless, ignorant drivers in their attempts to break the ground speed barriers, have scanner detectors in their vehicles that constantly blare out detection alarms, maybe, ~finally~ they will slow down?!
Or are we as a society content with the reactions to tragedies with spoken expressions of sorrow, the sometimes silent feelings of gratefulness that it wasn’t themselves or their loved ones that were harmed, and the shrugging of shoulders of supposed helplessness, saying things like, “Well, the roads were bad and things happen.” Is that any comfort or help to the injured or dead?
We cannot dump all the responsibility of our safekeeping on other folks, like law enforcement and so on. We do need to be more involved in our own safekeeping. We do have the abilities to do so. Further we have the technologies, we just need to construct, leverage and use them more in ways to keep ourselves and others safe and alive.
~aggravated sigh! shaking head with anger and sadness~
Sending prayers out for Blessings of Healing and Light…
p.s. Thank you, dear Blog, for being this place where I vent and rage!