Sunday, July 29, 2007
Every 120 minutes in the U.S., a person or vehicle is hit by a train. These incidents result in thousands of deaths and injuries each year. But the train crew involved in a fatal collision with a vehicle or a trespasser is also a victim. The train crew is often renders emergency to vehicle occupants. The impact of a vehicle-train collision has been measured by Canadian Pacific Railway to exert a force of 300gs of gravity. This force far exceeds the limits a human body can withstand in a collision. The train crew must deal with the tragic consequences of a collision that they have little or no power to avoid. Many crew members are unable to work for a time following a fatal collision. Some have even left the industry due to the cumulative effect of multiple collisions.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Today, we were out running errands, on the way home we got caught at a train crossing waiting for the train. We sat there for a good five minutes, the grossing lights flashing, the guard rails down – but no train. I watched 3 people zoom around the guard rails while talking on the telephone. I also saw a man with a child safety seat (looked empty but could have been a small baby), and a SUV full of teenage girls driven by an adult. It was like Stupid Saturday – these fools were taking not only their lives in to jeopardy, but also the train conductors (and any other people on the train), my life because if the train derailed I was right there watching and then who knows what hazardous materials the train may be carrying that could be spewed in to the neighborhood or near by creek.
These people all should get hefty fines for such an egregious violation of human life. But, what do they get? Their errands done faster. Pity.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
P.U.T.S.: Please Use Turn Signals!
One of these rules (since the late 1950s) is the use of turn signals to indicate your intention to make a movement on the road, street or highway...
Didn’t use your turn signal? That’ll be $1050, please!
-get a ticket for jaywalking or speeding, and now ‘reckless driving’ for failing to use a turn signal, can be interpreted as “a danger to himself or others” ...
Howstuffworks "How Turn Signals Work"
To most drivers, turn signals seem pretty simple: There’sa lever that makes your signal lights flash. But there’s actually some cool technology at work.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Monday, July 2, 2007
In transitioning from the UK to US driving, the lack of signaling by US drivers was probably the hardest thing to get used to. Traffic moves so much better when folks signal their intent. I do not buy, at all, the 'I don't need to signal when no-one is around'. There is more effort in evaluating if you have immediate company or not, than there is in just signaling. And signaling, everytime, without fail, quickly becomes an effortless, automatic task that requires no conscious effort.
If I could wave a wand and improve the US driving experience, this would be it. Ubiquitous signaling. Its safer, its more considerate, it makes it easier to accommodate your fellow motorists.
Was it perfect in the UK? No, of course not. But the difference is this: 5-10% of lane changes in the UK might be without signal; around Philadelphia - my main but not exclusive experience - about 25% signal changes of lane, turns, and pulling over to park (actually I'm being generous with the 25%, methinks). I see this difference
routinely with monthly trips back to the UK.
This differential dramatically changes your awareness of the intent of the drivers around you.
Brian in Valley Forge
Thursday, April 26, 2007
This blog is not about me. It is my ode to awareness. It is my personal belief that the downfall of society can be summed up in the lack of blinker usage.When I was a child I believed in the “all for one, one for all” theory. “Live together, die together.” And most importantly, “do one to others as you would want done to you.”
It is for this reason that I have begun this blog. To bring awareness to blinker usage. To remind others that we are in this world together and we need to work together to survive.
My warning to you is that if you are not using your blinker daily. You are part of the problem.