This year has barely gotten a good hold on reality and we’re already noticing a disturbing trend. People are driving through buildings.
Not quite 3 weeks into the year and we’ve already heard of local drivers mashing the gas on their way through a convenience store, a liquor store, a bank, another convenience store, a post office, a restaurant, and a cemetery’s ornate entrance wall. That’s one stationary object plowed into every 3 days. Perhaps just to get on the score board, a brick building fell on 3 cars.
One of those incidents might have been caused by a driver having a heart attack before running into a solid object. And one of those was caused by a nutcase who intentionally drove into a building to escape chasing police. He wasn’t a very smart nutcase. The others were simple cases of mistaking large buildings for open road.
Quite often when we read of these cases we find it involved an older driver who mistook the gas pedal for the brake pedal. We’re thinking now that the over-80 drivers are getting a bum rap here. Not all of these drivers were of the old fogey set. Some were reportedly quite young, all were apparently quite distracted. And then there was that nutcase.
We’re thinking this is a great opportunity for amateur inventors. Everybody dreams of building the better mousetrap. Here’s the chance at building a car-mounted radar system with an auditory alarm and brightly colored flashing warning lights a la the bridge of the Enterprise. Perhaps connected to cruise control, safety cameras, brake assist devices, and those new self-parking mechanisms someone can create a system that will drive around obstacles, not only large buildings but other immovable objects such as guide rails, parking meters, light poles, traffic signals, a parked delivery van, tunnel entrances, trees, over the side of a bridge, and a World War II monument which also have been violated already this year.
It’s time we protect our buildings! Brick and mortar, glass and metal, these things don’t grow on trees. Trees do but they are no match for even a small car barreling through a field taking aim on one. We encourage you to write to building owners in your cities and convince them to erect water filled safety walls around their structures. Petition your state legislature to mandate guide rails that separate when sensing approaching vehicles. And get those letters going to the US Department of Transportation to promulgate regulations requiring solid object early warning signals in all cars, SUVs, and light trucks.
Hmm, you don’t think any of these were caused by people on their cell phones, do you? Maybe we should look at distraction free driving. That might have saved a lot of reconstruction. Well, all except for that nutcase.
Now, that’s what we think. Really. How ‘bout you?