Driving a car must be easy…


Driving a car must be easy…

Think about it — Millions of people drive millions of cars every day in Los Angeles, or New York, or Atlanta, or Houston — and virtually none get in an accident. Now let’s face it, these aren’t people who for the most part, have any demonstrable motor skills. If you asked them to fly a kite, or shoot a gun, tie their shoes properly,  set the time on their VCR, they would be helpless. Certainly they can’t fix their plumbing or change a light switch.

However, they can drive 3,000 pounds of steel at 75 miles per hour, swerve through traffic with a thousand others who are doing the same, with no planning, no rehearsal, no communication, and make it out alive.  I don’t think its karma.

These same people who couldn’t multi task at work if their lives depended on it, are listening to the radio, putting on makeup, talking on a cell phone, eating a big Mac, drinking coffee, chatting with someone in the next seat, adjusting a baby’s seat belt, answering email, texting, shaving, smoking, setting the GPS, tying a tie, smooching with a lover, picking up a dropped pen, and driving at 75 MPH down the freeway.

The car driving part must be easy. And remember, most of these people had only a few hours of training, passed a test that challenged no one, ( sometimes on the second or third try) and voila, they are allowed to operate a motor vehicle.

Most accidents, particularly fatal ones, have something else involved other than the driver I described above. Alcohol or other drugs are a big cause. youth (inexperience) is another. however, in most cases we survive inexperience, and survive the driving experience.

I can only determine that the folks who design automobiles and the roads on which we drive must be geniuses. If you rent a car at an airport, a car you have never even heard of before, the chances are that you can drive it. You just get in, adjust the seat and the mirrors, and drive off. Sure maybe you can’t figure out how to turn on the radio or set the temperature, but the driving part, its a snap.

Cars are really all the same, and have been since Henry Ford began making them for the masses, well maybe a few years later. Certainly in the last 70 or so years.  There is a key to start it, a steering wheel to turn it, a gas pedal to make it go, and a brake pedal to make it stop. That’s it. what else to you need. Simple. Easy, and, unbelievably safe. We drive 2.5 Trillion (with a “t”) miles a year in the US, and only about 40,000 of us die in accidents.

We get in our cars every day, head out to the freeway, and don’t even think about it.

Someone, somewhere, must be doing something right.


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John Van Horn

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