Sunday, October 31, 2010

Why Failure is the Norm

What is the “number one” killer of humans in the United States each year? Cancer? Heart attack? Diabetes?  Stroke?  Pneumonia? Nope.  It is automobile accidents.

What’s the number one cause of all fatal car accidents?  Weather? Mechanical malfunction?  Nope. They are overwhelmingly caused by good old Human error.

Is it not logical to focus the most effort on solving the most “serious” problem at any given window of opportunity?  When your cat is eating from your dinner plate, but the frying pan is in flames on the stove, would you not first put out the fire and then worry about the cat?  Would you not postpone the dentist appointment to instead see a doctor about a strange lump you discovered?

If “life” is what we humans consider most valuable and “precious”, would we not focus our greatest attention on protecting it?  Would this not be logical?

If the greatest threat to our life is dying in an automobile accident, and the overwhelming cause is human error, what is the logical solution to this problem? 

Can we “fix” human error?  Can we install safety systems to thwart the dumbest, or most absent-minded human mistakes?  Can we make the car keep us awake when we’ve not slept in 48 hours, yet we choose to drive on the turnpike at 3:00 AM? Can we make the car refuse to let a drunk person drive it? 

I don’t mean individual cars, because we know this is already possible.  I mean can we fix the problem holistically?  Can we fix this problem entirely, for all drivers?  Fixing this problem by offering solutions to those that can afford them, and are willing to buy them, doesn’t fix the problems that result from the actions of those who don’t participate.  Traffic is a communal, and physical interaction, after all.  The solution has to be all-encompassing or it cannot succeed.

Do we not exhibit concern over perceived threats to life as a whole?  Do we not elicit sympathetic response to help combat threats to life?  Do we not donate money to help fight those threats?

When was the last time you saw an advertisement asking for your “support” to fight Cancer, Diabetes, AIDS, Alzheimer’s, or hunger?

When was the last time you saw an advertisement asking for your support to do ANYTHING about the continuing rise in fatal automobile accidents?

If actions speak louder than words, what does this say to us?

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