… means your other foot should be off the gas pedal!! A few months back one of my colleagues was involved in a fender bender with an elderly person. And by ‘involved’ I mean they had the poop smacked out of their car because the lil’ ol’ Biddy behind the wheel was ‘sleepy’ while out driving early in the morning and dozed off behind the wheel and crashed into him. Hard. A witness had already been in the progress of calling the police because of how erratically she’d been driving when she crashed into my colleague. Her reasoning– once a relative of hers showed up because she wouldn’t get out of the car or roll down her window for the police officers who arrived on scene– She thought her dogs wanted to go for a drive.
Now, another colleague of mine got plowed into by an elderly driver…
Not what you were expecting, right? Her and a friend were sitting in Taco Bell on the corner of SW Hall Blvd and SW Scholls Ferry in Beaverton, Oregon when an elderly woman trying to pull into the parking space rammed the building. Fortunately they were not seriously hurt and though they sustained injuries they were not life threatening.
By the way, the driver wasn’t going there to buy food, she was just involved in a fender-bender moments before because she had stopped part way in an intersection when the light turned red, and backed up into the vehicle behind her. Instead of pulling off onto the side of the street they decided to pull into the nearby parking lot to exchange information and the car ‘some how hit the building.’ Police are being nice enough to investigate the vehicle for a mechanical malfunction, but I think we already know that she stomped the gas instead of the brake, and by the looks of the damage to the building she had to stomp hard.
I’ve been to this location and this is a very narrow parking area, you can’t gain a lot of momentum by just driving in off the street.
Now, people of a certain age might be taking offense to my whole cavalier attitude of ‘once you’re old you should stop driving’. By no means do I think all elderly drivers should surrender their driver’s licenses. The problem arises when those people who should surrender their license to drive don’t know when to quit.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) did an extensive review with the Transportation Research Board for addressing the safety issues of younger and older drivers was requested by the Committee on Appropriations of the U.S. Senate in Senate Report 102-148. The report holds a conglomerate of data collected over the late 80’s and shows that while youthful drivers below the age of 24 were mostly likely to be involved in not just accidents, but fatal ones, the next highest category for problems was the elderly above age 65. They go into great detail where you can read more in the different ways the broke the statistics a part for comparison purposes such as; number of licensed drivers, total miles of travel by age group, number of driver fatalities by age group, and fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled by age group just to name a few.
They also addressed various causes of the accidents:
Excessive speed is the primary error in 15 percent of younger-driver crashes, but only in about 5 percent of older-driver crashes, as shown in Figure 16. Right-of-way violations are the primary error in 18 percent of older-driver crashes, but only in about 9 percent of younger-driver crashes. Older drivers also make more errors at signed or signalized intersections than do younger drivers: 14 percent and 9 percent respectively. Driver inattention, which includes falling asleep at the wheel, was about equally likely among younger and older drivers, accounting for slightly more than 5 percent of crashes in each group.
The general flow of the article basically concludes that MOST elderly drivers are aware of their changes in reaction time as well as physical limitation such as being able to see in low-light or dark conditions and adjust their driving schedules accordingly. I wonder how many though make that adaptation after having an accident or near miss?
Biased for the older generation aside for all those times you passed that elderly person who was holding up traffic, it’s really the younger crowd that you have to watch out for. I shall now assault you with some lovely infographics…
This next infographic is specific to Washington State and has data as recent as 2009 and highlights the problems of youthful drivers.
OK, lets move on to some more ‘fun’ and completely different information…
This headlines speaks for itself on why I’d include it in my column. Click the link to read the full story, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison buys Hawaiian island of Lanai.
Planning a trip this summer? See if you can include one of these 10 new amusement park rides.
Now from Chuck Shepherd’s News of the Weird…
Lost in Translation…
Collections of comically poor translations are legend, but the Beijing municipal government, in sympathy with English-speaking restaurant-goers, published a helpful guidebook recently of what the restaurateurs were trying, though inartfully, to say. In an April interview with the authors, NBC News learned the contents of “Hand Shredded A$$ Meat” (sic) (merely donkey meat) and other baffling English descriptions (all taken from actual menus), such as “Cowboy Leg,” “Red-Burned Lion Head,” “Blow-up Flatfish With No Result,” and the very unhelpful “Tofu Made by Woman With Freckles” and “Strange Flavor Noodles.” [MSNBC, 4-20-2012] (click here for the full story on MSNBC)
Mustaches to be envious of…
Competitive facial-hair-growers are revered in some countries, with Pakistan and India featured in recent reports. Pakistani Amir Muhammad Afridi, 42, whose handlebar lip hair extends in an arc almost to the top of his head, told reporters he had to move from his rural home to the more secular Peshawar because of threats that his pride and joy was un-Islamic. And the Guinness Book record- holder, Ram Singh Chauhan, 54, of India, offered grooming tips in an interview with BBC News, revealing that he keeps his 14-foot-long moustache conditioned by cleaning and combing it for an hour each day (treated with coconut-based hair oil) and lamented that he must wind it around his neck to keep it from interfering with his daily activities. [Daily Telegraph (London), 4-9-2012] [BBC News, 5-17-2012]
Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced in April that it would begin a national inquiry over the alarming number of bathtub deaths in 2011 — nearly three times the number of those killed in traffic accidents. News reports pointed out that many Japanese workers relax in tubs at the end of the day, even when they have overimbibed and are vulnerable to drowning. [Daily Telegraph (London), 4-30-2012]
Huh, you don’t say…
Ms. Stormy Moody was arrested and charged with aggravated burglary in Henderson County, Tenn., in May after her next-door neighbor returned from a trip and discovered that quite a few items (from the petty to the more expensive) were missing from the home. For some reason, Moody felt secure enough to be wearing some of the clothing as she chatted sympathetically with the victim about the missing items. [WBBJ-TV (Jackson, Tenn.), 5-23-2012]
Most public officials caught “sexting” immediately turn remorseful, but not Michigan appeals court judge Wade McCree III. In April, when the husband of a female bailiff in McCree’s court saw that the judge had sent the bailiff a shirtless photo of himself, McCree told a curious reporter for Detroit’s WJBK-TV, “Hot dog, yep, that’s me.” “I’ve got no shame in my game.” “I’m in no more clothes than I’ll be at the Y this afternoon when I swim my mile.” The still-irate husband said he would pursue a judicial commission complaint against McCree. [Fox News, 4-24-2012]
Meh, people get shot in movies all the time, how bad can it hurt?
In Stockholm, N.Y., in May, a 24-year-old man became the most recent to have a friend shoot him just because the man wanted to know what it felt like to get shot. The friend, Shawn Mossow, 25, relented, finally, and fired a .22-caliber rifle shot into the man’s leg, but the man is expected to make a full recovery. [Associated Press via WSYR-TV (Syracuse), 5-15-2012]
I’ll go ahead and bring this weeks article to a close. Thank you all for joining and stay safe out there on the roads!
Can you name what movie this screen shot is from? (Click here to watch the clip and get your answer)