Road Rage USA!!! Is it ever going to get better? There is no question that incidents of road rage are on the increase. Truckers see it every day. People driving to and from work, are likely to see it, either on the way to or on the way home from work. The comment most used during these situations “where’s a cop when you need one”? Or, “what an idiot”! No question these people pose a threat to the public and create all kinds of problems when they are involved in an accident. Will it ever get any better? The answer could be in the development of Self Driving Cars.
We see aggressive drivers every day. You’ll notice right away speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, improper passing, tailgating, and coming up behind you like they aren’t going to stop in time. Do you ever wonder, what would make a grown man or woman act that way? Tension from work, maybe they overslept one too many times and their boss is at the end of his rope. They had a monstrous argument with their spouse before they left for work and they are taking out all their frustration on you. Or, they are not paying attention, have their foot on the accelerator, arguing with someone on the cell phone, or texting his girlfriend. Anyway, it all adds up to not paying attention or just not caring for other people.
Some drivers can’t forgive another driver for a mistake he might have made. The person in front may have changed lanes too soon and cut the short-tempered driver off. He gets mad and starts following too closely. The guy in front sees what happens and slows down, further infuriating the short-tempered driver. The aggressive driver starts shaking his fist and giving the number one sign, and before you know it we have two aggressive drivers on the road. And we have another case of road rage USA in the making. Forgive and forget is the best plan of action here.
We have had problems with alcohol and driving for quite some time now. I worry, with a lot of states legalizing marijuana and the problems we have with prescription drugs, that we are creating more problems on our highways now. We all know that alcohol is more likely to generate aggressive behavior. Marijuana and prescription drugs slow a person’s reflexes blur their vision and create a host of other problems, as does alcohol. We also have to factor in the fact that we have a larger immigrant population now that does not know how to read English. They will change lanes or slow down because they missed their exit, thus making the aggressive drivers that much more threatening.
Just this morning in south Dallas an off-duty firefighter was drunk, driving erratically and traveling way above the speed limit. He struck a Mazda SUV, being driven by a pregnant, 18-year-old young woman. The force of the impact ejected the woman, killing her and her unborn child. Her boyfriend was also with her and received only minor injuries. A good friend of mine, an older man in his late 60s suffered a heart attack recently. After having triple by-pass surgery, in the hospital for three days, and at home recovering for two weeks had just returned to work. He was hoping to finish up a 50-year career with a major manufacturing corporation in about six months. He was coming home from work and slowed down for traffic. A person driving a large Ford F250 pick-up, not paying attention plowed into him. He had several injuries, a couple days in the hospital and now at home recovering. Are we going to be able to stop aggressive drivers or at the least slow them down?
Self Driving Cars
There is no question, automatic driving cars are in our future. I know all of you have read stories about the development of the Model T Ford. There were many, discussions about the advantages of owning a horse and the disadvantage of owning something that got stuck in the mud all the time, wouldn’t stay running, and made too much noise. It was a lot easier to take care of a horse – all you had to do was feed and water it. At that time there were no decent roads and no service stations. The infrastructure was just not there to support a vehicle that had four wheels and needed gas and oil to run. It is much the same argument we hear today.
Self-driving vehicles are expected to hit the roads by 2020 and by 2040 they expect 95% of cars sold will be autonomous. All the major vehicle manufacturing companies are itching to prove they have a vehicle that will drive better than you. A lot of these cars will work on radar so getting them to crash is near impossible. We already have a lot of the technology in our vehicles today. Things like self-parking, lane departure warning, following too close warnings, cruise control, as well as built-in GPS systems.
In the Future
Self-driving cars are expected to make our roads a lot safer. One needs to ask, “what will the impatient driver do when he has to go with the flow of the traffic?” When a person has to sit behind the wheel and let the car do the driving. There will have to be some major adjustments for most people. You may ask, “can the government make us buy self-driving cars?” The short answer is no, but they will create ways to make you buy them. Tax incentives, fines for creating too much pollution, the high cost of fuel and repairs on a gas or diesel vehicles are just some ways. Like they did with smoking and Health Insurance.
Technology is advancing at a faster rate every day. It won’t be but a few more years and we will be sitting behind the wheel of our truck or car, reading a newspaper, taking a nap, shopping on the internet, or texting our lives away while we drive down the road. Maybe Road Rage will be a thing of the past!! Let me know what you think!! Comment Below!!