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The News of the Road – 10/30/09

October 30, 2009
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News smallMorning!  Happy Friday!  Its been a couple days since we put up any new content, but there are very good reasons for that.  There have been some technical issues with a new video editing program we’re trying out for the River Road footage.  There have also been some, ahem, technical problems with the blog itself.  Specifically, the irritating issue with it not writing itself whilst Paul and I are watching the world series.  (cough).  So, without further ado, hit the jump for a couple bits of news concerning our Roads and us.

First off:  I reported last week on the NHTSA’s concern over use of “handheld devices” leading to distracted driving.  This week I’ve got some good news to share.  They are now also reported that 2009, so far, has had record lows in fatalities and fatality rate!  In the first half of 2009 there were an estimated 16,626 fatalities, compared to 17,871 for the first half of 2008.  This report also furnished me with an estimate of the total fatalities for 2008, which was 37,261.  This means that the “nearly 6000” deaths estimated to be caused by device-distracted-driving (DDD…patent pending) accounted for approximately 16% of all driver deaths last year.  That’s not a majority by far, but it certainly is worth noting.  Editorial note: to this writer that is 16% that is controllable, as it is a conscious choice to drive while on the phone, using an ipod, etc.

Another bit of news, that same NHTSA is also reporting a record for seatbelt use.  They estimate we Americans to be buckling up 84% of the time.  Correlation does not equal causation, but perhaps this number is linked to those lower fatality numbers.  Two things I’ll mention:

This is based off of 1 survey.  Just 1.  While is undoubtedly is a good survey, the scientist in me would love to see more studies conducted than that, Mr. NHTSA research guy.  I mean, has it been tested for reliability and validity?  What is the sample population??  The public demands explanations!  Ok, well, one nerdy blogger demands answers.

The second thing I’ll mention is, well, a question.  I’ve known people to argue with me about seatbelt use.  Their argument?  That it is their choice whether they want to wear a seatbelt, and the government shouldn’t be trying to force us to wear one.  I assume that most of the readers coming to this blog are driving enthusiasts, so I’m curious what our population thinks.  Comments are welcome!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 30, 2009 8:30 am

    Seatbelts are for pussies… I use duct tape. LOL, y’ins keep up the good writing!

    • Paul permalink*
      October 30, 2009 8:48 am

      If you can make a whole suit of armor out of duct tape, there is no reason you can’t make a seat-belt.

  2. Dan permalink
    October 30, 2009 5:07 pm

    I wear my seatbelt everytime I’m in my girlfriends new mazda 3 because it has the most annoying and high pitched tone that doesn’t go away until you put your seatbelt on lol..

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