Once again I am reminded of how COMPLETELY unfair Life/America/Fate (all terms equally interchangeable at this point) is. This Sunday morning I am shamed into admitting that my life is just TOO DARN GOOD. (I need to work on this...)
Why? Because, of course, I am 'more equal' than others (and SHOCK... You may be too!!!).
Oops, sorry, here I go again, beginning a post in mid-stream. I guess that I had better fill in a few details so that you can get to the middle (where I already am) and then we'll trudge together through to the end where you too can decide if you're 'more equal' than 'most Americans'.
HINT: You probably ARE ' more equal', but perhaps The Washington Post just hasn't told you (in the past fifteen minutes) that you are. If they haven't, have no fear, your equality-guilt awaits!
Okay, so here goes... (I'll type slowly - you know, so that you can keep up - since I may be even 'more equal' than you are... Come on, that's a JOKE - don't get weird on me now)
The Washington Post, October 1, 2015:
The hidden inequality of who dies in car crashes
.Traffic fatalities in the United States have been plummeting for years, a major victory for regulation (strict drunken driving laws have helped) and auto innovation (we have safer cars). But that progress obscures a surprising type of inequality: The most disadvantaged are more likely — and have grown even more likely over time — to die in car crashes than people who are well-off.
.New research by Sam Harper, Thomas J. Charters and Erin C. Strumpf, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, finds that improvements in road safety since the 1990s haven't been evenly shared. The biggest declines in fatalities have occurred among the most educated. As for people 25 and older with less than a high school diploma, fatality rates have actually increased over time, bucking the national trend:
.The underlying issue here is not that a college degree makes you a better driver. Rather, the least-educated tend to live with a lot of other conditions that can make getting around more dangerous. They own cars that are older and have lower crash-test ratings. Those with less education are also likely to earn less and to have the money for fancy safety features such as side airbags, automatic warnings and rear cameras.
.The number of trauma centers, the researchers point out, has also declined in poor and rural communities, which could affect the health care people have access to after a collision. And poor places suffer from other conditions that can make the roads themselves less safe. In many cities, poor communities lack crosswalks over major roads. The residents who live there may have less political power to fight for design improvements like stop signs, sidewalks and speed bumps. As a result, pedestrian fatalities in particular are higher in poor communities.
(There is more, of course, but you can read the rest of it HERE , you know, if you really want to - I read it for you, so you don't HAVE to... I don't want you to feel bad about yourself like I do.)
Key Take-Aways from the above 'article':
- They claim that older vehicles have lower "Crash-Test" ratings? According to the iihs, they began testing vehicles back in 1995 - the authors claim blaming accidents on 'lower crash-test ratings' is ridiculous, as everyone KNOWS 20+ year old vehicles with (200,000+ Miles) are JUST AS SAFE as new ones built today. Shoot, I'm sure that the 'less-educated poor' are keeping up with their manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedule as I type this!
- Perhaps the Federal Government should mandate that Owners Manuals be written at the Fifth-Grade level so everyone (well, almost everyone) can understand the importance of proper vehicle maintenance: "Change your oil every 3,000 miles and make sure that your brakes and lights work before you leave your home to drive to Colorado to buy pot. Failure to do so can generally mess up your day and NOT allow you to access your necessary herb... Seriously dude, not kidding. Just keeping it real... Make sure to check your lights, because the Po Po is on the lookout for you."
- The authors also state that less-educated / poorer people buy (steal?) cars which are older and do not have 'fancy safety features' like side air-bags, automatic warnings, and rear-facing cameras. Hey, Sparky, my 1998 Volkswagen had side impact air-bags, and that was, um, at least, (taking off my socks to count) yeah, like almost twenty years ago!
- And yeah, regarding those necessary and wondrous 'automatic warnings' systems? Here's an idea for you "less-educated / poorer" drivers, how about you turn down that 1,200 WATT AM/FM/CD/USB/Bluetooth-connected radio (with active sub-woofer, built-in GPS & Satellite Tracking system) that vibrates 'under-carriage rust showers' from beneath your 10+ year old vehicle? Then, why don't 'cha lower the windows a little to let the cigarette smoke and engine exhaust fumes out, so that you can hear the sounds of other terrified motorists screaming, "Oh, God NO!!!" as you ignore the STOP sign / RED Light while you plow through the intersection at 46MPH without so much as a HINT of braking? Yup, this could have a real impact on your (and everyone's ability) to live long enough to spend working peoples' tax dollars on the hearing aids which the government will provide you with because you had that 1,200 WATT... Ah shoot, never mind.
- Next the authors delve into something which is NOT EVEN the subject of the article: Pedestrians - BECAUSE poorer communities do not have Raised Cross-Walks above streets. HORROR: The poorest among us have to cross streets which may have... (Da da da!!!) CARS / TRUCKS on them!?!?!?! What the Heck is going on in America??? Can't we please just elevate crosswalks for the less-than-average (according to the authors, not ME) Americans who do not have the political 'clout' to make this happen for themselves? Thank you, thank you very much... If we keep them up on crosswalks, we'll know who they are, now won't we? [Evil laugh]
- I'm not even going to address the 'number of Trauma Centers', because as everyone KNOWS, with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, any criticism of healthcare in America is completely and totally UNFOUNDED. These authors CLEARLY have no idea what's going on in America today (perhaps they were born after 2009?). So I will say no more about this vicious attack on the President of the United States (um, this is still Obama's Reign, right?) and the Democrat Congress which passed this legislation without a single Republican vote. No, I will NOT sit idly by and have them cast aspersions on my President! The authors are nothing but a bunch of Racists...
So I wonder... (Wondering Sequence begins in 3, 2, 1...)
- How do the authors of the article feel about the Federal Government giving tax breaks to the more-equal Americans who are purchasing the majority of Hybrid / EV / Alternative fuel Vehicles? Sure, they've got ALL the bells and whistles in those new 'safer' cars for the Rich, AND average Americans are helping to subsidize this? Hmm? The authors can't like that, can they? They seem to want ALL Americans driving Cool cars or ALL Americans driving Old crappy cars, you know, just to balance things out on the highways of America.
- Might these authors be the 'PR Crew' to suggest that have a do-over of the 'Cash-For-Clunkers' of 2009? You know, a 'little money' (according to TIME Magazine we lost BILLIONS on this deal which 'patriotic' (a.k.a.: Rat) Democrats tied to a Military Spending Bill supporting our troops in harms way overseas) from the Federal Government? Might this 'prime the pump' for the poor / less-educated among us to have their CHANCE of moving their 1,200 WATT sound system from their Plymouth Neon into a spiffy new 2016 Dodge Dart? That sounds really fair, doesn't it? It's always fair when you are using OPM (other people's money) - unless, of course you are one of the 'other people' actually paying for this fairness).
- Perhaps they would like the Federal Government to design 'Safe' Vehicles for the poor & less-educated among us. What might these Transportation Wonders look like, I wonder?...
|Body by GM - Design by the NTSB|
- And within 20 years, future generations of the still poor, less-educated Americans will take these vehicles, add some after-market accessories and turn them into... Death rides of the future (but they'll SOUND awesome!)
Once again, your tax dollars CAN be at work, relentlessly altering our future by providing for the less-educated and the poor - so they won't have to do it for themselves. [Sigh]
Drive Safely folks! The life you save will 'most likely' be your own (from a purely statistical perspective)...