Why Speed Doesn’t Kill: Bad Drivers a Result of NO Government Training

27 Oct

Driving down the 401 in Toronto, you may have come across LED billboards over the highway. Chances are you may have seen one of a few key government messages as well “Speed Kills.” This is a very powerful message conjuring up flashes of NASCAR car wrecks and flaming automobiles strewn across the highway. This poweful message is also wrong.

Speed doesn’t kill. The country with the fastest highway in the world, Germany, has one of the lowest fatality rates on their Autobahn. Therefore speed doesn’t kill: If it did, the Autobahn would be a bloodbath.

Speed is also relative. Whereas 60 km/h  on a highway would be considered dangerously slow – In a school zone it would be just the opposite. Who says at what point someone is going too fast? How was that metric made?

Even if speed is a factor in an accident, this does not prove that speed is the cause of an accident. I could say that Ice Cream is consumed less in the winter because it is colder outside, but unless I test this hypothesis isolating all other potential factors, Ice Cream consumption could go down in the winter because there was a milk shortage and the retailers decided to raise their prices.

But I digress…

Others have postulated that the largest contributing factors to higher car wreck fatalities are drunk driving, poor weather conditions, old people, carelessness or simply not wearing a seatbelt. Strange enough, as I started combing through the available on-line results I found it increasingly difficult to find the reason I believe highway fatalities occur – “Bad Driver Training” due to improper government regulation… and I am usually for less regulation.

In Ontario, a new driver as young as 16 years old can write a multiple choice test and Voila! Here are the keys to your brand new Lambo (albeit with some restrictions). Does the government believe it is the responsibility of fellow drivers to teach new drivers how to drive? Contrast this with previously mentioned Germany, who has an extremely (in comparison) demanding licensing process, involving in-class and in-car training, night driving, highway driving, manoeuvring, and approximately $1,700 Euros. They even teach you how to drive in the snow! Wait, doesn’t Canada have that powdery stuff too? 🙂

Bottom line – If the Canadian government taught the Canadian people how to drive as in Germany, as opposed to relying on some sort of twisted game of driver training broken telephone, our roads would be less clogged, our headaches less severe, our time less wasted, and of course, we would see automobile accident related deaths plummet. Think about it the next time your government tells you why accidents happen. Or better yet, send an email to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and ask them what they are doing to better train Ontarian drivers.

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