Questions surround road stats

Editor, Gettysburg Times,

The Aug. 7 article on the death on roads as being an ‘epidemic’ has discouraging and potentially ominous over tone notes.

The numbers are statistics drawn from data bases, or “Parent Populations,” as number crunches were prone to say. Snack producer Frito Lay helps here with a recent product release noting there will be 22 million bags of snacks honoring past and present heroes who have served our country, of which a search revealed just under 13 million served in WWl and WW2.

The article says 535,000 died in those two wars spanning about 10 years and 624,000 traffic deaths spanning 17 years. A web search showed our 327 million population gets behind the wheel of 276 million cars that travel 3.22 trillion miles per year in the USA, with an average driver doing of 13,476 miles. Yes, getting attention today requires a “stretch.”

A closer examination of the 624,000 shows that of the four pinpointed causes “distracted driving” at 78,000 is a newcomer. The words suggest that it is the cause, when in reality the distraction is the result of the mind/brain operating in multitasking mode. The article suggests that the benefits of technology make travel safer and compared to the “three on the tree” days less mental involvement is needed. The words of wisdom from earlier times “the idle mind is the devils playground” come to mind. Is multitasking while driving one of the unintended consequence playgrounds of later technology? Some things are unchanged — 5280 feet in a mile, 60 mph is 1 mile/min and 60 mph is 88 feet/second. That 2 second multitasking comes to 17 6 ft. of travel, or 6 seconds travel between the 1 tenth mile markers on Rt 15. The ‘examination’ has been open book- the closed book final score is safe arrival for all on the road.

Ralph Lambert,


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