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Unintended Effect of Fool Proofing
benmlee2   7/13/2012 4:55:10 PM
There has been study done to show high mileage cars waste more gas. You car gets higher mileage, so you drive more, and end up using more gas. Also been well documented that more roads don't solve traffic. More road = faster traffic = more cars.

There is a parallel with this obsession with fool proofing. Like spoiling a child. Cars have air bags, crash proof bumpers, ABS, stability control, roll over control, traction control, auto brake distribution, awd, active yaw control. Drivers are worst than ever. They change lanes without looking, talk, eat, text message, look at gps. They know an accident is just an inconvenience to the shop.

Like flying an airplane. Most of them were made in the 60's. You know an accident will kill you, so you check everything before a flight. You examine every crack and know what a fatigue crack looks like.

Car designs are already highly regulated and standardized for safety. So much that people don't bother to learn how to turn off the engine before going on a freeway! Then they blame the manufacture for using a push button. Would you do that in an airplane, and not know how to operate the landing gear. People do that with cars because they come to expect everything to be handed to them when they need it.

If you were flying an airplane with a floor mat, you would check to see if it interfere with the rudder. Why would people not do that with a car. Because they come to tolerate some risk. We all do. But with 300 million people, that some risk means someone will die. Is a one in a lottery winning chance, but someone will die, then we all say how unsafe everything are.

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