I seem to have driven a pickaxe into a nerve: My recent rant about the profound degradation in skill, concentration and good sense among the driving public prompted a flood of email. Turns out many people agree that something really disturbing is happening.
Among the comments:
“I spent my adult life devoted to law enforcement and have watched the human condition devolve. Lack of respect for laws and simple social mores, and an almost palpable desire to flaunt (cell/texting) laws are, in my estimation, forefront. It seems some drivers see it as a badge of honor to ignore laws designed with the hope of reducing accidents, or to ensure safety. Engineering may reduce fatalities and/or injuries due to more protected compartments but they don’t address thoughtless individuals who blatantly ignore laws and put the rest of us at risk.
One reason for the decline is that manufacturers are putting technology in cars that has no business being there, especially when it can be utilized by a driver while the vehicle is in motion. No thought is given to the risks these accessories create.
An even bigger reason is that most people believe the basic laws of safe, intelligent driving are too trivial with which to bother. Ten, or even five seconds to come to a complete stop at a stop sign is somehow going to cost a big wad of money or make them late for an appointment? Disregard for what used to be common sense has become accepted. But perhaps the greatest issue is the years of DUI hyperbole, as if this is the only evil a person can do when driving. It seems as if nothing else matters or is important. Some of this rhetoric should be redirected toward other forms of driver misconduct that injures and kills.”
Another: “I believe it is due to the reconfiguration of our highways – driving on freeways. Years ago, most driving was on two-lane roads, which required interface judgment; i.e., judging distance of oncoming cars to pass and making other relative decisions.”
And this: “Car manufacturers should bring back the manual transmission as the standard, offering automatic only at a greatly inflated price. With manual the driver has to pay attention to the road and traffic.”
If only, I say to the last one.
© CTW Features
What’s your question? Sharon Peters would like to hear about what’s on your mind when it comes to caring for, driving and repairing your vehicle. Email Sharon@ctwfeatures.com.