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Is the Traffic Death Spike, Like the Homicide Increase, a Ferguson Effect?
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From the New York Times:

U.S. Traffic Deaths Rise for a Second Straight Year
By NEAL E. BOUDETTE FEB. 15, 2017

Last year, traffic deaths increased 6 percent, to 40,200, according to estimates released on Wednesday by the National Safety Council. The two-year increase — 14 percent — is the largest in more than a half a century.

… According to its estimates, 40,200 people died in accidents involving motor vehicles in 2016, a 6 percent rise from the year before.

… The 2016 total comes after a 7 percent rise in 2015 and means the two-year increase — 14 percent — is the largest in more than a half a century. …

Part of the increase is believed to stem from the improving economy, which has led Americans to drive more miles for both work and pleasure. But safety advocates say that explains only part of the trend because the number of deaths as a percentage of miles driven is also increasing.

They also point to data suggesting an increase in distracted driving. While cars and phones now offer advanced voice controls and other features intended to keep drivers’ eyes on the road, apps like Facebook, Google Maps, Snapchat and others have created new temptations that drivers and passengers find hard to resist.

“It’s not just talking on the phone that’s a problem today,” said Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association. “You now have all these other apps that people can use on their phones.”

Another concern I have is that the high tech safety equipment on new cars might be backfiring for some reason. This could be tested by looking at what kind of cars are having these fatal accidents.

Government officials and safety advocates contend, however, that more than anything else, the increase in deaths has been caused by more lenient enforcement of seatbelt, drunken driving and speeding regulations by authorities and a reluctance by lawmakers to pass more restrictive measures.

Okay, but that just sounds like officials saying what they are officially supposed to say.

A patchwork of state laws leaves many areas where drivers can choose not to buckle up, with little likelihood of being stopped.

Okay but would be a more prima facie plausible argument for why death rates on the roads aren’t falling as fast, not why they have been going up relative to 2014.

Only 18 states have laws requiring seatbelts for both front and rear occupants and categorize not wearing them as a primary offense — meaning drivers can be pulled over for that alone. In 15 states, failure to wear a seatbelt in front seats is only a secondary offense — drivers cannot be given tickets unless they are pulled over for other violations.

“It’s still the same things that are killing drivers — belts, booze and speed,” Mr. Adkins said.

No doubt, but why the change since 2014?

In Alabama, steady budget cuts have resulted in a decline in the number of troopers patrolling the state’s 103,000 miles of highways.

Okay, there’s finally a change in inputs. But, say, governments in California had a lot more money in 2016 than a few years before.

…“I think speeding is the No. 1 problem. There are times of the day when we only have one or two troopers on duty in a county, so you can speed, and there’s no one there to deter it.”

Maybe what’s happening is that we’re seeing another manifestation of the Ferguson Effect. As you’ll recall, as the Obama Administration’s narrative about Ferguson turned out to be Fake News, the Administration ran a massive investigation of the Ferguson Police Department and found … that Ferguson was a Speed Trap!

For awhile this was the worst thing in the history of the world and the Justice Department used their Speed Trap to take over the Ferguson police department.

So, if the Obama Administration is out to abolish Speed Traps, the cops have a remedy: America has plenty of donut shops.

With the huge rise in homicide rates since 2014, it’s quite clear that the spikes are often centered in cities with massive Black Lives Matter agitation. In contrast, I haven’t seen any data about where road deaths are up. But it deserves looking into.

Whatever the causes, they shouldn’t be a mystery for too long because insurance companies have a lot of data on vehicle fatalities.

 
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  1. “Another concern I have is that the high tech safety equipment on new cars might be backfiring for some reason.”

    People might be becoming dependent on it, and either not knowing how to cope if it fails or just getting mentally lazy.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Or maybe it is too new and hard for older people to learn?

    I don't know.

    Insurance companies must have the data available to falsify various theories.

    Five thousand more deaths per year is a big number.

    , @Steve Sailer
    Or maybe it is too new and hard for older people to learn?

    I don't know.

    Insurance companies must have the data available to falsify various theories.

    Five thousand more deaths per year is a big number. Somebody ought to look into it.

    , @Hapalong Cassidy
    I will never get used to those back up cameras. I still turn my neck around to look. At least the beeping from the camera will warn me if I get too close, so that's a plus.
    , @White Guy In Japan
    The Perils of GPS and Obedient Japanese
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/19/gps-tourists-australia_n_1363823.html

    [The three Tokyo students trustingly followed their GPS system’s instructions to drive directly through Moreton Bay to the island, forgoing real roads.

    The low tide was partially responsible for making the bay look more passable, according to the Evening Standard. Yuzu Noda defended their decision to attempt the drive, saying, “[the GPS] told us we could drive there.”]

  2. @Jesse
    "Another concern I have is that the high tech safety equipment on new cars might be backfiring for some reason."

    People might be becoming dependent on it, and either not knowing how to cope if it fails or just getting mentally lazy.

    Or maybe it is too new and hard for older people to learn?

    I don’t know.

    Insurance companies must have the data available to falsify various theories.

    Five thousand more deaths per year is a big number.

    • Agree: Travis
    • Replies: @anonguy

    Or maybe it is too new and hard for older people to learn?
     
    It is my understanding that it is conventional wisdom that adding safety devices causes people to act riskier.

    So there is probably a mismatch in how much safer people feel driving and how much safer they actually are.

    I know my backup cameras, which are new to me only since 2.5 years ago, have made me much more cavalier about backing up, something I've noticed recently and consequently to which I have been paying more attention recently.
  3. It would be interesting to look at how REAL ID states compare to the rest. If the spike is more pronounced in the rest, illegal alien drivers could be part of the cause.

    It’s a sufficient deterrent to illegals driving here that many illegals ride boys’ dirt bikes to work even in the winter.

    • Replies: @Clyde

    It would be interesting to look at how REAL ID states compare to the rest. If the spike is more pronounced in the rest, illegal alien drivers could be part of the cause.
    It’s a sufficient deterrent to illegals driving here that many illegals ride boys’ dirt bikes to work even in the winter.
     
    Dirt bikes alongside automobiles? lol That's some crazy stuff but not a shock in today's America 2017. Here they ride bicycles.
    , @Big Bill
    I did not realize how popular dirt bikes have become in the ghetto. I went to the Baltimore police website and discovered that they have an official dirt bike project/squad/something to deal with all the ghetto kids racing around, speeding, driving on sidewalks, popping wheelies, swarming cars, etc.

    Woulda guessed?
  4. @Jesse
    "Another concern I have is that the high tech safety equipment on new cars might be backfiring for some reason."

    People might be becoming dependent on it, and either not knowing how to cope if it fails or just getting mentally lazy.

    Or maybe it is too new and hard for older people to learn?

    I don’t know.

    Insurance companies must have the data available to falsify various theories.

    Five thousand more deaths per year is a big number. Somebody ought to look into it.

  5. A) The resident population is continually growing;

    B) The population is appreciably aging, with more senior citizens, especially among us ‘Boomers;’

    C) The burgeoning population of illicit drug users who largely go to explain “The White Death” also usually are licensed drivers;

    D) More Third World illegal-alien peasants, including habitually drinking-and-driving Latin Americans, are being given driver’s licenses, courtesy of state legislatures;

    E) With a rise in suicides, more people deliberately kill themselves in crashes, either to lend plausible deniability to their intentions, or just as an available instrument of self-destruction; and,

    F) Chinese immigrants, especially women, and most especially older women, cannot drive for shit!

    • Replies: @Whitehall
    In California we used to have, In addition to DWI, another infraction, DWC.

    That is, Driving While Chinese
    , @Paul Walker Most beautiful man ever...
    "Chinese immigrants, especially women, and most especially older women, cannot drive for shit!"
    Chinese drivers - no survivors.
    , @Father O'Hara
    Can they break down who is at fault in crashes,by race,sex,cisgender etc? I strongly believe its people of color driving more colorfully. Mexicans seem to enjoy driving the wrong way on expressways.
    , @dearieme
    "The population is appreciably aging, with more senior citizens, especially among us ‘Boomers’".

    I don't know how it is in the US but in the UK people aged 65-75 seem to be pretty safe drivers. I suspect this is because they drive fewer miles, drive less on unfamiliar roads, and avoid driving in the dark and in foul weather. Perhaps they are also less glued to their bloody phones.
    , @Travis
    good points, the white population is aging rapidly , as seen for the huge drop in NASCAR attendance. While typically people under 30 seem to be involved in the most accidents per miles driven. Since 2007 Young people have been driving less than in the past, thus have less experience driving and have more distractions due to smart phones. Another factor could be the legalization of Marijuana , might result in more people driving high.

    Are more people are driving small cars like the Prius, with less large cars on the road we do have more SUVs. Thus it seems we have more compact cars with more SUVs and less full size sedans than ever before. My grandparents drove big American cars until they died while my Parents and uncles (baby boomers) have downsized to drive compact cars now as they turn 70. So i notice more small cars along with SUVs on the parkway with almost no large sedans. This seems to be a dangerous mix of vehicles on the road. If a compact car gets hit by an SUV their will be more fatalities than a mid-size sedan hitting an SUV.
    , @MarkinLA
    A body shop specializing in rear end collisions is a gold mine in a Vietnamese neighborhood. For some reasons Asians like to brake in the middle of the road for no reason.
    , @Daniel Chieh
    I always make sure that I park in a crooked manner so I can identify with my countrymen.
    , @Charles Pewitt
    Baby boomer moneygrubber gets his vehicle up to about 89 mph before ramming it into a bridge abutment in a highly successful attempt to kill himself. I remember it was a big deal in the financial press.

    The baby boomer who killed himself was facing legal problems. He was some kind of energy guy along the lines of Ken Lay. His name was McClendon. This baby boomer McClendon only cared about money. He was related, by marriage, to a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model with the surname Upton. She is now on the cover of Sports Illustrated. I was hoping for Hailey Clauson.

    A baby boomer corporate executive named Dellinger killed a pregnant woman and her fiance when he tried to kill himself on a highway in New Hampshire. Dellinger drove across a highway median and hit the oncoming vehicle driven by the young people. He lived in Sunapee. That is where a lot of wealthy New Hampshire people live.

    I very much hope that Dellinger finishes what he started; but this time I don't want him to take out any innocent people.
  6. …now you tell me??!?

    There I was in January of 2009 with a pile of cash in my pockets, trying to figured out what would be the Next Big Thing To Invest In

    So, NOW you tell me that I should have gone long on Krispy Kreme Corporation and Dunkin Donuts !!?!

    What AM I to you, iSteve…. chopped liver??!?

  7. Here in the PNW, the combination of legal pot and smart phones is likely contributing.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/commuting/index.ssf/2015/12/oregon_traffic_deaths_top_400.html

    http://www.oregoninjurylawyerblog.com/2016/07/pacific-northwest-sees-nations-biggest-jump-traffic-deaths.html

    Then there’s this:

    http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/data/our-states-one-of-a-few-where-illegal-immigration-is-up-and-half-is-from-asia/

    OT: See also the two entries currently on the sidebar, unrelated:

    Gov. Jay Inslee, future POTUS, because he welcomes illegals:

    http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/inslees-profile-lifted-with-states-legal-victories-on-immigration/

    Delivering his annual State of the City address from a North Seattle mosque, Mayor Ed Murray announced Tuesday he will seek a $55 million per-year property-tax levy to combat homelessness and a soda tax to fund education programs.

    …He said he wants to double the city’s spending on homelessness with a five-year, $275 million property-tax levy.

    Murray has asked billionaire tech entrepreneur Nick Hanauer and Daniel Malone, executive director of the Downtown Emergency Service Center, to lead an advisory group tasked with hammering out the details, he said.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    Delivering his annual State of the City address from a North Seattle mosque, Mayor Ed Murray announced Tuesday he will seek a $55 million per-year property-tax levy to combat homelessness and a soda tax to fund education programs.

    …He said he wants to double the city’s spending on homelessness with a five-year, $275 million property-tax levy.
     
    So, he wants to turn Seattle into San Francisco. That ought to work out well.
  8. A smaller contributing factor should be we have more and more immigrant drivers. Many are inexperienced, spazzed out and awful. We have all heard the jokes about DWO…Driving while Oriental, which applies even more so to their females. In general, all female immigrant drivers are lo-grade. I have been referring to the legally licensed legal immigrants.

    Now also factor in all the illegal immigrants who just go out there and drive without ever taking drivers ed classes here. Whose only previous driving experience was driving burros in Latino country X.

    Can more drivers toking up on legal marijuana also be a factor? That legal “stuff” can be quite potent. Go check the Colorado stats. Massachusetts just legalized so you can check them out soon. How about California with all its “medical marijuana” users? Amounting to defacto legalization for years. I loved how they joked about it on Entourage.

  9. The Consumer Product Safety Commission, whose jurisdiction does not include automobiles, tracks deaths and injuries associated with other consumer products. I wonder it it’s data is showing any increase?

  10. Price of oil dropped by half in 2014

    http://www.nasdaq.com/markets/crude-oil.aspx?timeframe=5y

    Cheap gas = more driving = more accidents

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I would imagine that people who fell out of driving their own car in 2009-2014 because they couldn't afford it were probably pretty marginal.
  11. @Dave Pinsen
    It would be interesting to look at how REAL ID states compare to the rest. If the spike is more pronounced in the rest, illegal alien drivers could be part of the cause.

    It's a sufficient deterrent to illegals driving here that many illegals ride boys' dirt bikes to work even in the winter.

    It would be interesting to look at how REAL ID states compare to the rest. If the spike is more pronounced in the rest, illegal alien drivers could be part of the cause.
    It’s a sufficient deterrent to illegals driving here that many illegals ride boys’ dirt bikes to work even in the winter.

    Dirt bikes alongside automobiles? lol That’s some crazy stuff but not a shock in today’s America 2017. Here they ride bicycles.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Dirt bike bicycles is what I meant. Like these by Huffy: https://www.huffybikes.com/products/boys-bikes-trikes-scooters/boys-bikes-trikes-scooters-2
  12. If you click through to the NSC report, they offer breakdowns by state and month. Unfortunately, no demographic data. Which demographic is showing an increase in traffic fatalities? 20-year olds? 50 year olds? 80 year olds? All of the above? That seems like a pretty key thing to understand. Sometimes you break it down into the correct components, and you find nothing has changed – it’s just there are more 80 year olds than there used to be, or whatever.

    http://www.nsc.org/NewsDocuments/2017/12-month-estimates.pdf

    As for states, the pattern is not immediately obvious to me. States with huge jumps 2014-2016 are Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, New Hampshire, Oregon and Vermont. States with minimal increases or decreases are Delaware, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and West Virginia.

    In smaller states, this could of course be very quirky. Aside from the usual problems of small statistical samples, fixing a single dangerous stretch of highway could be impactful in some of those states.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    My father got his California driver's license renewed for five years at age 91.

    My father was an extremely good driver, but still ... five years? Why not require testing every 2 years for nonagenarians.

    All this data on who is getting into fatal car crashes must be out there somewhere.

    , @anon

    States with huge jumps 2014-2016 are Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, New Hampshire, Oregon and Vermont.
     
    Marijuana+meth+opioids = answer ?

    { Colorado+Oregon = Marijuana; Georgia+Idaho = Meth; NH + VT = Opioids }

    Throw in alcohol+cell phones + ageing + cheap gas + lighter vehicles + higher speed limits too. Largely empty countryside with hilly windy roads can be tempting for speeders.
  13. Maybe there’s a connection with the White Death you recently wrote about, Steve. Narcotic overdoses are the tail of a distribution which must put many bleary-eyed people on the road. Opiates may be killing some people by way of car crashes instead of overdoses.

    Randal O’Toole, who is the smartest guy working in transportation policy whom I know of, just hypothesized on his weblog The Antiplanner that increased congestion may be leading to more collisions (he’s got numbers and graphs). Perhaps his hypothesis can by synthesized with either the White Death or the “techno-distraction” theory you quoted– people get bored when stuck in traffic and may turn their attention to their smartphones, or people are mildly impaired by opiates, then whenever traffic is lurching they are more likely to handle the situation poorly.

    I’m not excited by the theory that diminished police activity is driving the problem (heh). Of course “government officials and safety advocates” want more robbers with badges, they always do, but at least where I live traffic enforcement is more rapacious than ever as all levels of government seek to supplement tax revenues with traffic fines.

    I do suspect some contribution from the swelling population of immigrants from less-motorized countries. Mexicans can drive, but East and South Asians commonly have never driven (except motor scooters) before they get to the USA, lack appropriate cultural training in youth, and are frequently scofflaws (I think because in their home countries, cars are for big shots, so many immigrants subconsciously feel that tooling around in a car makes them into big shots, entitled to scorn and abuse everyone else).

    • Replies: @Coemgen
    Driving while unconcious due to opiate intoxication is extremely common. This story, Secret Service agent hopes to raise opioid awareness after near-fatal crash, is only notable due to it involving Hillary Clinton's Secret Service detail.

    Btw, the phenomenon of ubiquitous "Vietnamese nail salons with no customers" has been mentioned in iSteve comments lately. Does this trigger thoughts of the Golden Triangle for anyone else?

    , @Fidelios Automata
    This brings forth another possible theory -- that the increased use of camera enforcement does little but increase revenue. No doubt the cops catch a number of impaired drivers by physically stopping speeders and red light runners.
    , @apersonwhoactuallywritestraffictickets

    Mexicans can drive,
     
    As an actual beat cop who pulls people over, writes tickets, and spends most of his busy-time working on wreck reports in a southern state this is certainly not true. Maybe if you lived in the southwest with some old-generation mexican populations or something, in general I find them to be fairly terrible drivers ranging from both the horrific driving while impaired accidents to the incessant daily fender benders.

    Can't say much about Asians as there aren't that many where I patrol. However, the only accident I've been involved in with my patrol car was when an Asian guy rear-ended me. I think he was Chinese, and tried to bribe me the whole time lol.

    White people passing out while taking opiates on the road is a big problem.

    Mexicans are notoriously smart however in that they always flee when they wreck their vehicles after a night of alcoholic fiesta, seems to be common knowledge for them.

    Blacks in general seem to be equal drivers to whites, but tend to be a problem just in all the other forms of traffic enforcement (not getting insurance, not registering vehicles, being mouthy on traffic stops, fleeing the scenes of accidents, etc etc, road rage, etc etc........)

    In my opinion, most fatal accident come from plain, old fashioned speeding. That's just what I see on the road, don't know the stats or anything.

  14. @D. K.
    A) The resident population is continually growing;

    B) The population is appreciably aging, with more senior citizens, especially among us 'Boomers;'

    C) The burgeoning population of illicit drug users who largely go to explain "The White Death" also usually are licensed drivers;

    D) More Third World illegal-alien peasants, including habitually drinking-and-driving Latin Americans, are being given driver's licenses, courtesy of state legislatures;

    E) With a rise in suicides, more people deliberately kill themselves in crashes, either to lend plausible deniability to their intentions, or just as an available instrument of self-destruction; and,

    F) Chinese immigrants, especially women, and most especially older women, cannot drive for shit!

    In California we used to have, In addition to DWI, another infraction, DWC.

    That is, Driving While Chinese

    • Replies: @Anon
    Sum Dum Dik meets Sum Ding Wong.
  15. @D. K.
    A) The resident population is continually growing;

    B) The population is appreciably aging, with more senior citizens, especially among us 'Boomers;'

    C) The burgeoning population of illicit drug users who largely go to explain "The White Death" also usually are licensed drivers;

    D) More Third World illegal-alien peasants, including habitually drinking-and-driving Latin Americans, are being given driver's licenses, courtesy of state legislatures;

    E) With a rise in suicides, more people deliberately kill themselves in crashes, either to lend plausible deniability to their intentions, or just as an available instrument of self-destruction; and,

    F) Chinese immigrants, especially women, and most especially older women, cannot drive for shit!

    “Chinese immigrants, especially women, and most especially older women, cannot drive for shit!”
    Chinese drivers – no survivors.

    • Replies: @Another Canadian
    https://youtu.be/YjkkjH0GnfY
  16. If you notice how today’s plastic, thin-metalled cars tend to disintegrate on impact, you would not be surprised that more people are killed in high-speed crashes. The car manufacturers depend on air bags to save the occupants.

    I blame the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for forcing car manufacturers to increasingly design and build unsafe cars. As fuel economy standards go up, safety goes down. I won’t drive a car anymore … only trucks or SUVs built to truck standards.

    The Federal Government should get out of the fuel economy business. It makes no sense in an era awash with oil and historically low gas prices. If a person wants to buy a car with relatively low fuel economy, that is their business and the Federal Government should have no voice in the matter.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    I was under the impression that cars are structurally safer now in terms of the frame, structural parts that deform the best way to protect the occupants, etc. I realize there is less total metal in the cars, but the plastic you see is mostly not structural. However, all the broken plastic, but also, more importantly, the large contingent of airbags makes it much easier to total out a car now.

    A guy named Eric Peters, who may even have stuff on unz writes about these things bi-weekly (he is a Libertarian folks, so WATCH YOUR SIX!" ;-}

    As to your last paragraph, I totally agree - high fuel price or not, it's not any of the US Govt's damn business. No matter what the designed-in-the-structure and additional safety features are, more metal is better.* Inherent safety of cars is better than in the past, but with more metal, it would be better still. As to the other side of this, Eric Peters gives his estimate of how much BETTER fuel economy would be WITHOUT the mandated safety features - many hundreds to a thousand lbs. lighter cars are gonna get better mileage, as some of them used to - Geo Metro, anyone ... anyone?

    * Speaking of the people that stop for 2 minutes at the stop sign to use the phone, this is how cyclists feel about them:

    Sometimes, dead is betta!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knKLVGnuCI4
    , @Lugash

    If you notice how today’s plastic, thin-metalled cars tend to disintegrate on impact, you would not be surprised that more people are killed in high-speed crashes. The car manufacturers depend on air bags to save the occupants.
     
    This is complete nonsense. Passenger cars have been getting heavier year after year to meet tougher safety standards since the 1990s.

    If you want to see disintegration on impact, check out this video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtxd27jlZ_g

    Back on topic, my guess is that its drivers distracted by smart phones more than anything else.

    , @Jack D
    You have this exactly backward:

    https://www.thezebra.com/insurance-news/1762/why-trucks-arent-as-safe-as-cars/

    Cars are safer than trucks. If you look at the IIHS crash test videos , especially for top rated vehicles, you will see that what happens with cars is that they are DESIGNED to disintegrate with crumple zones, etc. but only from the bumper to the firewall. The very act of disintegrating is how they absorb the energy of a crash rather than passing that energy on to the passengers or impinging into the passenger cabin. In a properly designed modern car, after a crash basically the entire car from the firewall forward crumples or shatters but the passenger compartment is perfectly intact.

    Look for example at this video - it looks like the front of the car is completely gone but the door doesn't even have a dent in it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGFX1d8dj-U

    Compare:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i5EmJBaGeQ

    In the Ford test there's hardly any debris on the ground - that's a BAD thing.
    , @Just some cop
    Allow me to pile on with the disagreement to your comment. I see a lot of crashes and new cars are breath takingly good at saving lives, air bag deployment or no. Cars crumple up like cans, but the passenger compartments remain. I very commonly see catastrophic wrecks with no major injuries involving newer cars. There will always be an element of chance involved, but engineering has done remarkable things to minimize its effect.
    , @TheJester
    Crush zones and air bags are fantastic. But, they had to do something when the CAFE standards force auto manufacturers to make the cars progressively lighter to meet the progressively more stringent CAFE standards ... and the Feds aren't finished yet.

    From the Heritage Foundation ... slightly dated but the principle is sound that riding in lighter weight cars is more dangerous than riding in heavier steel cages. The issue is that the CAFE standards don't give people a choice:


    The evidence is overwhelming that CAFE standards result in more highway deaths. A 1999 USA TODAY analysis of crash data and estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that, in the years since CAFE standards were mandated under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, about 46,000 people have died in crashes that they would have survived if they had been traveling in bigger, heavier cars. This translates into 7,700 deaths for every mile per gallon gained by the standards.
     
    http://www.heritage.org/environment/report/why-the-governments-cafe-standards-fuel-efficiency-should-berepealed-not

    The CAFE standards were never about safety. They were about reducing America's dependency on oil imports. That's a bygone era. The United States is now a net oil exporter due to fracking technology.

    https://energy.gov/maps/us-crude-oil-production-surpasses-net-imports

  17. The smartest people in the world get incredible rewards for creating distractions on the internet. It is incredibly compelling to banter via text or Facebook etc.

    Yesterday I was walking through the Loop. I noticed a young man riding through the intersection of LaSalle and Madison on a bicycle wearing headphones and texting on his phone. I hope he does not smoke or drink since many people will benefit from his organs.

  18. With the huge rise in homicide rates since 2014, it’s quite [likely?] that the spikes are often centered in cities with massive Black Lives Matter agitation.

    Did you leave out a word?

  19. @Veracitor
    Maybe there's a connection with the White Death you recently wrote about, Steve. Narcotic overdoses are the tail of a distribution which must put many bleary-eyed people on the road. Opiates may be killing some people by way of car crashes instead of overdoses.

    Randal O'Toole, who is the smartest guy working in transportation policy whom I know of, just hypothesized on his weblog The Antiplanner that increased congestion may be leading to more collisions (he's got numbers and graphs). Perhaps his hypothesis can by synthesized with either the White Death or the "techno-distraction" theory you quoted-- people get bored when stuck in traffic and may turn their attention to their smartphones, or people are mildly impaired by opiates, then whenever traffic is lurching they are more likely to handle the situation poorly.

    I'm not excited by the theory that diminished police activity is driving the problem (heh). Of course "government officials and safety advocates" want more robbers with badges, they always do, but at least where I live traffic enforcement is more rapacious than ever as all levels of government seek to supplement tax revenues with traffic fines.

    I do suspect some contribution from the swelling population of immigrants from less-motorized countries. Mexicans can drive, but East and South Asians commonly have never driven (except motor scooters) before they get to the USA, lack appropriate cultural training in youth, and are frequently scofflaws (I think because in their home countries, cars are for big shots, so many immigrants subconsciously feel that tooling around in a car makes them into big shots, entitled to scorn and abuse everyone else).

    Driving while unconcious due to opiate intoxication is extremely common. This story, Secret Service agent hopes to raise opioid awareness after near-fatal crash, is only notable due to it involving Hillary Clinton’s Secret Service detail.

    Btw, the phenomenon of ubiquitous “Vietnamese nail salons with no customers” has been mentioned in iSteve comments lately. Does this trigger thoughts of the Golden Triangle for anyone else?

    • Replies: @Anonymous Nephew
    Over here the home-grown (on semi-industrial scale) cannabis trade has a huge over-representation of Vietnamese names in the court reports.
    , @Karl
    19 Coemgen > “Vietnamese nail salons with no customers”


    shouldn't that read, "with no cash register nor audit-able books" ?
  20. A juxtaposition of a chart of the 1960s – 1990s crime wave superimposed over a chart of traffic accidents for the same time period is telling. White flight in some ways traded one ill for another. I don’t think there’s been enough time since the Ferguson effect kicked in for a significant population shift towards suburbs though.

    Distracted driving is probably a large contributing factor to the accidents, together with the fact that young drivers don’t seem to have been taught how to drive and deal with traffic very well. You also have those soccer mom types in SUVs constantly on the telephone. Inevitably if I’m stuck at a light behind a vehicle that doesn’t move when the light turns green it’s a soccer mom or teen screwing around on the phone (same for a car doing 5-7 below the speed limit and floating all over the road).

    There’s also probably some aggregate affect of smaller cars which became more popular when oil was high and remained popular, as well as lighter cars necessary to meet stricter fuel standards.

    • Replies: @Njguy73

    You also have those soccer mom types in SUVs constantly on the telephone. Inevitably if I’m stuck at a light behind a vehicle that doesn’t move when the light turns green it’s a soccer mom or teen screwing around on the phone (same for a car doing 5-7 below the speed limit and floating all over the road).
     
    And never park next to an SUV with a "my kid..." sticker. The drivers of such are as good as backing out of spaces as they are at driving on roads.
    , @prole
    There appear to be more compact cars today then 10 years ago, and less large cars but more crossover SUVs...
  21. Alabama traffic deaths increased 24.6 percent in 2016 compared to 2015.

    https://www.ua.edu/news/2017/01/fatal-crashes-in-alabama-increase-in-2016-ua-study-finds/

    But crashes were only up 2.1%.

    “A variety of factors were found, but, in order of importance, I would say that speed, safety belts, distracted driving and pedestrian faults all had major contributions to the increase,” Brown said. “These causes were often further intensified by their occurring in combination with Driving Under the Influence of alcohol, drugs or both.”

    My personal observation is that speeds are up on the interstates. You are unlikely to be stopped on the interstates in Alabama under 80 mph. The cops focus on the “reckless driving” tickets (15 mph over the limit).

    People prone to drive at high speed (over 80 mph) are also prone to drive unbelted or under the influence.

    Darwin rules.

    • Replies: @dcthrowback
    "People prone to drive at high speed (over 80 mph) are also prone to drive unbelted or under the influence."

    That sounds like a bunch of "making crap up" to me. One could also argue (w/o evidence) that the most engaged drivers are the ones driving the fastest, therefore they are LESS likely to get into an accident.
    , @Anon
    What caught my attention is the 'pedestrian fault' factor. We worry about intoxicated drivers, but what about intoxicated or suicidal or texting or doped-on-opiates pedestrians wandering into traffic?
    , @anonguy

    You are unlikely to be stopped on the interstates in Alabama under 80 mph.
     
    That was true 25 years ago when I lived there.
  22. @D. K.
    A) The resident population is continually growing;

    B) The population is appreciably aging, with more senior citizens, especially among us 'Boomers;'

    C) The burgeoning population of illicit drug users who largely go to explain "The White Death" also usually are licensed drivers;

    D) More Third World illegal-alien peasants, including habitually drinking-and-driving Latin Americans, are being given driver's licenses, courtesy of state legislatures;

    E) With a rise in suicides, more people deliberately kill themselves in crashes, either to lend plausible deniability to their intentions, or just as an available instrument of self-destruction; and,

    F) Chinese immigrants, especially women, and most especially older women, cannot drive for shit!

    Can they break down who is at fault in crashes,by race,sex,cisgender etc? I strongly believe its people of color driving more colorfully. Mexicans seem to enjoy driving the wrong way on expressways.

    • Replies: @Alec Leamas
    Lanes, prescribed traffic direction, speed limits, equipment standards and traffic signs are constructs of white colonial oppression.
    , @Njguy73

    Can they break down who is at fault in crashes,by race,sex,cisgender etc?
     
    Not if "they" know what's good for "them" and want to keep "their" jobs.
  23. @Father O'Hara
    Can they break down who is at fault in crashes,by race,sex,cisgender etc? I strongly believe its people of color driving more colorfully. Mexicans seem to enjoy driving the wrong way on expressways.

    Lanes, prescribed traffic direction, speed limits, equipment standards and traffic signs are constructs of white colonial oppression.

  24. WHERE are these deaths occurring? Most localities around here don’t even have police, and there’s been no particular uptick in traffic deaths.

    : at least at one point, the various Chinese consulates apparently had a handbook for Chinese graduate students telling them to have a sign in the back window saying something like “I’m a new driver” but didn’t have the phrase in English, so you had all sorts of various not-quite-right translations into English such as “Beginner at Driving” or “Fresh Driver” in college towns.

    The suicide thesis really needs to be explored. There were quite a few people who became worth more dead than alive in BHO’s “New Normal”. Although that having been said, never overestimate the unintended consequences of all these new-fangled “assisted braking”-type “improvements” to cars.

    • Replies: @Big Bill
    Brilliant idea! The signs might as well say, "I am a rich Chinese kid, fresh off the boat, driving an expensive sports car. I can be easily intimidated by dark-skinned, chest-thumping gwailo."

    Why not paint a target on the backs of all Chinese UCLA students? It would be a lot cheaper and they could carry it with them everywhere.
    , @E. Rekshun
    never overestimate the unintended consequences of all these new-fangled “assisted braking”-type “improvements” to cars.

    The brake and ABS lights just came on in the dash of my '10 Honda and won't go out. The Honda dealer diagnosed the problem as a failed ABS sensor module at $1700 installed! That's more than 10% of what I paid for the mint condition, low mileage vehicle two years ago!

    The brakes still work fine but there's no ABS and I'm not paying $1700 to fix it!

  25. We inhabit the most documented (recorded?) society in history and in spite of the billions of dollars and millions of man hours expended, we get

    “According to its estimates, 40,200 people died in accidents involving motor vehicles in 2016, a 6 percent rise from the year before.”

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    Yes, you would think that a busy-body/nanny/police state would at least yield more accurate statistics, or at least more precise ones.
  26. @MW
    If you click through to the NSC report, they offer breakdowns by state and month. Unfortunately, no demographic data. Which demographic is showing an increase in traffic fatalities? 20-year olds? 50 year olds? 80 year olds? All of the above? That seems like a pretty key thing to understand. Sometimes you break it down into the correct components, and you find nothing has changed - it's just there are more 80 year olds than there used to be, or whatever.

    http://www.nsc.org/NewsDocuments/2017/12-month-estimates.pdf

    As for states, the pattern is not immediately obvious to me. States with huge jumps 2014-2016 are Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, New Hampshire, Oregon and Vermont. States with minimal increases or decreases are Delaware, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and West Virginia.

    In smaller states, this could of course be very quirky. Aside from the usual problems of small statistical samples, fixing a single dangerous stretch of highway could be impactful in some of those states.

    My father got his California driver’s license renewed for five years at age 91.

    My father was an extremely good driver, but still … five years? Why not require testing every 2 years for nonagenarians.

    All this data on who is getting into fatal car crashes must be out there somewhere.

    • Replies: @Hodag
    Old people vote. And taking away driver's licenses make old people angry.

    I just drained my father's battery and took away the trickle charger.
    , @dearieme
    In Britain you have to renew for your 70th birthday and thereafter every three years. Maybe I should have said "in England": I haven't checked whether the law is the same in Scotland, Wales, and NI.
    , @Mr. Anon
    Just anecdotally (i.e. paying attention to the local news and police-blotter), it seems to me that relatively few old people are involved in fatal car crashes. They may be in lots of car crashes (and may often cause them) but those seldom seem to be fatal. They just don't drive fast enough.
    , @Alec Leamas
    They probably rely upon the driver's physician to confidentially report a driver who is unsafe for medical conditions like in a lot of States. Because licensing is technically a civil matter they can yank the license and make the driver prove fitness.
  27. @European-American
    Price of oil dropped by half in 2014

    http://www.nasdaq.com/markets/crude-oil.aspx?timeframe=5y

    Cheap gas = more driving = more accidents

    I would imagine that people who fell out of driving their own car in 2009-2014 because they couldn’t afford it were probably pretty marginal.

    • Replies: @European-American
    I've known cheap gas causes more deaths for a long time. It's one of those mixed blessings.

    In Chi's hypothetical estimation, "a $2 drop in gasoline price can translate to about 9,000 road fatalities per year in the U.S."
    ...
    It's not just that cheap gas encourages more people to hit the road, however. When gas is expensive, people are more likely to drive like Grandmas—accelerating slowly and cautiously, braking hard only when it's absolutely necessary, using cruise control or just maintaining a steady speed on highways.
     
    http://time.com/money/3659821/cheap-gas-prices-increase-accidents-deaths/

    Our findings suggest that the average reduction in road fatalities resulting from a 10% increase in the gasoline pump price is in the order of 3- 6%. Around 35,000 deaths per year could be avoided by the removal of global fuel subsidies.
     
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2741504/#!po=7.50000
    , @Fidelios Automata
    Good point, Steve, but being cash-strapped would make marginal folks less likely to take that road trip to Disneyland.
    , @G-man
    I still don't think you can rule out gas prices

    -when gas prices are high, I can imagine someone only driving to and from work

    -when they are low, I imagine they take more trips and care less about fuel efficiency

    -I suspect teens and young adults are more sensitive to gas prices

    -also, road trips are likely sensitive to gas prices
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    You brought up another point that should result in fewer wrecks. A friend who drives for Ubers quite a bit says he takes many of the same (usually young) people to the bars now that would have had to drive drunk before - seeing as how it's illegal to drink on the campus now with the 21 age-limit. We used to have a bar in the student union and we liked it (a lot)!
  28. @Jesse
    "Another concern I have is that the high tech safety equipment on new cars might be backfiring for some reason."

    People might be becoming dependent on it, and either not knowing how to cope if it fails or just getting mentally lazy.

    I will never get used to those back up cameras. I still turn my neck around to look. At least the beeping from the camera will warn me if I get too close, so that’s a plus.

  29. @another fred
    Alabama traffic deaths increased 24.6 percent in 2016 compared to 2015.

    https://www.ua.edu/news/2017/01/fatal-crashes-in-alabama-increase-in-2016-ua-study-finds/

    But crashes were only up 2.1%.

    “A variety of factors were found, but, in order of importance, I would say that speed, safety belts, distracted driving and pedestrian faults all had major contributions to the increase,” Brown said. “These causes were often further intensified by their occurring in combination with Driving Under the Influence of alcohol, drugs or both.”
     
    My personal observation is that speeds are up on the interstates. You are unlikely to be stopped on the interstates in Alabama under 80 mph. The cops focus on the "reckless driving" tickets (15 mph over the limit).

    People prone to drive at high speed (over 80 mph) are also prone to drive unbelted or under the influence.

    Darwin rules.

    “People prone to drive at high speed (over 80 mph) are also prone to drive unbelted or under the influence.”

    That sounds like a bunch of “making crap up” to me. One could also argue (w/o evidence) that the most engaged drivers are the ones driving the fastest, therefore they are LESS likely to get into an accident.

    • Replies: @another fred

    That sounds like a bunch of “making crap up” to me. One could also argue (w/o evidence) that the most engaged drivers are the ones driving the fastest, therefore they are LESS likely to get into an accident.
     
    Just based on personal experience.

    I've ridden with both types, the engaged and the reckless, and while the engaged are as you say they have been outnumbered by the reckless.

    And I only ride with the reckless once per each.
    , @Autochthon
    I regularly go hooning around the empty deserts at 200 mph on my motorcycle for fun. When I do this, I assure you no naval aviator executing a night-landing on a pitching carrier is more attentive than I am.

    People driving quickly probably follow a bimodal distribution: they are especially expert, or especially careless. I expect accidents and deaths are concentrated amongst the latter.
  30. There is a pension crisis reducing municipal services, due to the need to pay police et al to not work, aka retire.

    http://www.pensiontsunami.com/

    In other news, Bloomberg is worried.

    Why Trump’s Immigration Crackdown Could Sink U.S. Home Prices

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-22/why-trump-s-immigration-crackdown-could-sink-u-s-home-prices

    • Replies: @JerseyGuy
    PensionTsunami is a great website.

    Driverless cars are really going to be a game changer in terms of traffic accidents. However, they will dramatically cut the need for police officers in the suburbs. It's going to be interesting to see how municipalities will cope.
    , @27 year old
    >Why Trump’s Immigration Crackdown Could Sink U.S. Home Prices

    Alternatively, "could make home ownership more affordable for Americans"
    , @Charles Pewitt
    The baby boomers can have their pensions, Social Security and Medicare OR they can continue to have 50,000 troops in Germany, 40,000 troops in Japan and 30,000 troops in South Korea. What will the baby boomers choose?

    The American Empire does not survive the retirement of the baby boomers. The United States will be fine with 10 aircraft carriers and a SLBM nuclear deterrent.
  31. @Steve Sailer
    I would imagine that people who fell out of driving their own car in 2009-2014 because they couldn't afford it were probably pretty marginal.

    I’ve known cheap gas causes more deaths for a long time. It’s one of those mixed blessings.

    In Chi’s hypothetical estimation, “a $2 drop in gasoline price can translate to about 9,000 road fatalities per year in the U.S.”

    It’s not just that cheap gas encourages more people to hit the road, however. When gas is expensive, people are more likely to drive like Grandmas—accelerating slowly and cautiously, braking hard only when it’s absolutely necessary, using cruise control or just maintaining a steady speed on highways.

    http://time.com/money/3659821/cheap-gas-prices-increase-accidents-deaths/

    Our findings suggest that the average reduction in road fatalities resulting from a 10% increase in the gasoline pump price is in the order of 3- 6%. Around 35,000 deaths per year could be avoided by the removal of global fuel subsidies.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2741504/#!po=7.50000

    • Replies: @anon
    Its more than cheap gas.

    It is people who are most sensitive to marginal gas prices.

    Commuting is really safe per mile. it is mostly daylight, people are less likely to be drinking, people know where they are going. Regardless -- commuters are relatively insensitive to gas prices. They have to drive to eat.

    I think new vehicles really are much safer. And also think that deaths, as well as increases in deaths will be mostly among those toward the bottom who tend to have bad outcomes for everything.

    As far as enforcing seatbelt laws -- I have seen it as not quite but almost stop and frisk. Or lets put it this way. There are plenty of upscale municipalities that are full of police and it is impossible to drive around them without being noticed.

    As far as the data ... these are deaths involving motor vehicles. I'm sure it isn't mostly motorcycles, but a decent percentage involve pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles, etc. Another consideration.

    I spent some time reading through our local on line newspapers regarding fatals, and didn't see anything surprising. Although not many well to do people dying. And youthful motorcyclists frequently show up.

    Vehicle age is up. Older Hondas are among the most stolen vehicles, since new models can't be hot wired by normal people.

    I am empathetic toward poorer drivers, since there is really no way to have a job in most of the US without a car. The post 2008 economy was tough of them. And, they were really hurt by the anti banks sentiment and punitive regulation. However, it seems like -- finally -- people with sketchy credit and a job have reasonable access to now. That is, similar to how it always was before 2008.

    As far as data -- there are now multiple police shooting databases that are either private or crowdsourced. I can see this increasing and people starting to put together their own data sets.

    Insurance data is useful but is mostly concerned with the cost of accidents. Deaths are only the tip of the iceberg, since there are a lot of injuries per death. This is where I think auto safety is much better. You can be in a much worse crash and walk away without a scratch than in the past.

    I will stop with the observation that deaths per mile are low in the US, but deaths per 100,000 isn't all that low in the US compared to the world.
    , @The Alarmist

    "I’ve known cheap gas causes more deaths for a long time. It’s one of those mixed blessings."
     
    At first I thought it might be a spurious correlation, but I can see some merit to citing cheap gas as a contributing factor.

    On the other hand, cheap drivers' licences are more likely a contributing factor. I spent ten times as much time and money to get a license in Europe as I ever spent in the US. Other contributing factors include no-fault insurance (hit another car in Europe and be at fault and you will pay), and stricter enforcement of certain traffic laws (pass someone on the right in Germany and you lose your licence if you are caught). Vehicles also tend to be better maintained because those laws are enforced.

    There is also a lot to be said for personal responsibility, and as hedonistic as the average native European is, they are nowhere as lax with respect to the law or as indifferent to the well-being of the community as the non-native communities that are growing by the day on both sides of the pond. Here I find some support for the cheap-gas argument since it is far cheaper and easier for someone to illegally operate an auto (usually unmaintained and uninsured) in the US than in most of Europe.

  32. Have airline fares increased? I don’t know because I despise flying with all its useless security theater, and therefore seldom travel by this method. Yet flying is statistically safer than driving, so an increase in fares would drive an increase in fatalities.

  33. @Steve Sailer
    I would imagine that people who fell out of driving their own car in 2009-2014 because they couldn't afford it were probably pretty marginal.

    Good point, Steve, but being cash-strapped would make marginal folks less likely to take that road trip to Disneyland.

  34. I saw a presentation at a robotics conference 6-8 years ago by a Daimler-Chrysler engineer. Her talk began by discussing the previous decade had seen great drops in the number of deaths per mile driven due to passive safety improvements- crumple zones, airbags, door frame improvements. Her thesis was that the active systems then being rolled out- skid control, active braking, etc- were going to start reducing the number of crashes per mile. And that even back then, they were starting to see data between the same make and model of vehicle, some with the active system and some without, which indicated that.

    So…. I wonder if the rise of the smartphone has increased distracted driving more than the slow roll-out of active safety systems has reduced it?

    Anecdotally, I had a Chrysler 300c as a rental last year, with active cruise control/braking. A yahoo pulled out directly in front of me on that trip. As my foot was stomping on the brake, it was already going down- I was not distracted/zoning out/in the middle of a sneeze, but even if I had been, the car reacted faster than I did.

  35. @Veracitor
    Maybe there's a connection with the White Death you recently wrote about, Steve. Narcotic overdoses are the tail of a distribution which must put many bleary-eyed people on the road. Opiates may be killing some people by way of car crashes instead of overdoses.

    Randal O'Toole, who is the smartest guy working in transportation policy whom I know of, just hypothesized on his weblog The Antiplanner that increased congestion may be leading to more collisions (he's got numbers and graphs). Perhaps his hypothesis can by synthesized with either the White Death or the "techno-distraction" theory you quoted-- people get bored when stuck in traffic and may turn their attention to their smartphones, or people are mildly impaired by opiates, then whenever traffic is lurching they are more likely to handle the situation poorly.

    I'm not excited by the theory that diminished police activity is driving the problem (heh). Of course "government officials and safety advocates" want more robbers with badges, they always do, but at least where I live traffic enforcement is more rapacious than ever as all levels of government seek to supplement tax revenues with traffic fines.

    I do suspect some contribution from the swelling population of immigrants from less-motorized countries. Mexicans can drive, but East and South Asians commonly have never driven (except motor scooters) before they get to the USA, lack appropriate cultural training in youth, and are frequently scofflaws (I think because in their home countries, cars are for big shots, so many immigrants subconsciously feel that tooling around in a car makes them into big shots, entitled to scorn and abuse everyone else).

    This brings forth another possible theory — that the increased use of camera enforcement does little but increase revenue. No doubt the cops catch a number of impaired drivers by physically stopping speeders and red light runners.

  36. @Steve Sailer
    I would imagine that people who fell out of driving their own car in 2009-2014 because they couldn't afford it were probably pretty marginal.

    I still don’t think you can rule out gas prices

    -when gas prices are high, I can imagine someone only driving to and from work

    -when they are low, I imagine they take more trips and care less about fuel efficiency

    -I suspect teens and young adults are more sensitive to gas prices

    -also, road trips are likely sensitive to gas prices

  37. OT: Discrimination for being straight in a sports league that is 98% homosexual

    http://www.espn.com/wnba/story/_/id/18736405/candice-wiggins-calls-wnba-culture-harmful-says-was-bullied

    Me being heterosexual and straight and being vocal in my identity as a straight woman was huge,” Wiggins told the Union-Tribune. “I would say 98 percent of the women in the WNBA are gay women. It was a conformist type of place. There was a whole different set of rules they [the other players] could apply.”

    In a follow-up interview with The San Diego Union-Tribune on Tuesday, Wiggins said she meant to use the 98 percent figure as an illustration rather than fact.

    There is no published data on the number of gay players in the league.

    Interesting how a single gay late round NFL draft pick who never saw the field in a game was a well-covered latter day Jackie Robinson, but a league with so many homosexual athletes that they could make up 98% of the league merits no comment whatsoever, and indeed denials and a kind of omerta.

    • Replies: @Alec Leamas

    Interesting how a single gay late round NFL draft pick who never saw the field in a game was a well-covered latter day Jackie Robinson, but a league with so many homosexual athletes that they could make up 98% of the league merits no comment whatsoever, and indeed denials and a kind of omerta.
     
    If you judge by the number of players who wear men's suits and ties to the draft, it's at least half of the league. But I think it is extremely likely that many if not most high level women's basketball players have high digit ratios favoring the ring finger relative to the index finger, which correlates to prenatal testosterone exposure and lesbianism later in life. (I believe the theory was that the longer ring finger is an adaptation to throwing weapons in hunting/small group warfare). Naturally the longer ring finger and the personality traits associated with testosterone (spacial awareness, aggressiveness) would be helpful in handling and shooting a basketball and in competition with other girls and women generally. (GIS popular players and you can see the long ring fingers relative to the index finger on nearly all of them).

    Women's soccer seems to be trending more patently lesbian as well. I suppose that the authorities of the League and team owners can't find a way to tell the players to keep it ambiguous so that they can sell tickets and merchandise to conservative suburban dads and daughters. What has happened to Ashlyn Harris is indicative - a truly beautiful, tall blonde literal prom queen from her North Carolina days turned into a tatted, clipper-haired, suit-wearing boy band reject. Sad!

    , @Luke
    Brittney Griner may be the only heterosexual in the WNBA:)
    , @Njguy73

    but a league with so many homosexual athletes that they could make up 98% of the league merits no comment whatsoever, and indeed denials and a kind of omerta.
     
    Psychiatrist/author Theodore Issac Rubin, in his 1975 book Compassion and Self-Hate, wrote a passage about the dichotomy of how homosexuality is seen in this country, and still is. Gay males are viewed with contempt because society expects males to be dominant and not passive, but lesbian are dismissed as not warranting contempt. As Rubin put it, not due to "greater altruism" towards women, but because society views women as "asexual and childish" so that whatever they do isn't important.
  38. There is a 23% correlation between percent of a state that’s non-Hispanic white and the change in traffic fatalities per 100,000 between 2014 and 2015. There is a minus 21% correlation with the percent of a state’s population that’s urban.

    Interestingly, there is a minus 43% correlation with the percent of a state’s population that’s American Indian. That’s quite a lot. There’s also a big minus (34%) correlation with percent Hispanic.

    These don’t explain the difference but suggest that it’s not a black urban thing.

  39. @Father O'Hara
    Can they break down who is at fault in crashes,by race,sex,cisgender etc? I strongly believe its people of color driving more colorfully. Mexicans seem to enjoy driving the wrong way on expressways.

    Can they break down who is at fault in crashes,by race,sex,cisgender etc?

    Not if “they” know what’s good for “them” and want to keep “their” jobs.

  40. @Whitehall
    In California we used to have, In addition to DWI, another infraction, DWC.

    That is, Driving While Chinese

    Sum Dum Dik meets Sum Ding Wong.

  41. Looking at how people use those damn phones while driving, I’m surprised anyone survives a journey at all.

  42. OT. In the NY Times today. Great Zimbabwe monument.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/21/world/africa/zimbabwes-rulers-use-a-monuments-walls-to-build-a-legacy.html

    2nd sentence in the article:
    “… Clearly, it was made by the Phoenicians or other visitors from faraway places, they insisted. Never mind that archaeologists and carbon dating had confirmed the obvious: that the monument was constructed by the ancestors of the Africans living nearby. …”

    you read here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Zimbabwe

    “… Archaeological evidence suggests that Great Zimbabwe became a centre for trading, with artefacts suggesting that the city formed part of a trade network linked to Kilwa[30] and extending as far as China. Copper coins found at Kilwa Kisiwani appear to be of the same pure ore found on the Swahili coast.[31] This international trade was mainly in gold and ivory; some estimates indicate that more than 20 million ounces of gold were extracted from the ground. …”

  43. @dcthrowback
    "People prone to drive at high speed (over 80 mph) are also prone to drive unbelted or under the influence."

    That sounds like a bunch of "making crap up" to me. One could also argue (w/o evidence) that the most engaged drivers are the ones driving the fastest, therefore they are LESS likely to get into an accident.

    That sounds like a bunch of “making crap up” to me. One could also argue (w/o evidence) that the most engaged drivers are the ones driving the fastest, therefore they are LESS likely to get into an accident.

    Just based on personal experience.

    I’ve ridden with both types, the engaged and the reckless, and while the engaged are as you say they have been outnumbered by the reckless.

    And I only ride with the reckless once per each.

  44. @Steve Sailer
    My father got his California driver's license renewed for five years at age 91.

    My father was an extremely good driver, but still ... five years? Why not require testing every 2 years for nonagenarians.

    All this data on who is getting into fatal car crashes must be out there somewhere.

    Old people vote. And taking away driver’s licenses make old people angry.

    I just drained my father’s battery and took away the trickle charger.

    • Replies: @Anon
    A distant cousin of mine institutionalized his own mother because the elderly woman would not stop driving while drunk. The cousin's a personal injury lawyer, so he knew better than most what could result from her out-of-control behavior. It's still a tough thing to have to do, though.
  45. @Alec Leamas
    A juxtaposition of a chart of the 1960s - 1990s crime wave superimposed over a chart of traffic accidents for the same time period is telling. White flight in some ways traded one ill for another. I don't think there's been enough time since the Ferguson effect kicked in for a significant population shift towards suburbs though.

    Distracted driving is probably a large contributing factor to the accidents, together with the fact that young drivers don't seem to have been taught how to drive and deal with traffic very well. You also have those soccer mom types in SUVs constantly on the telephone. Inevitably if I'm stuck at a light behind a vehicle that doesn't move when the light turns green it's a soccer mom or teen screwing around on the phone (same for a car doing 5-7 below the speed limit and floating all over the road).

    There's also probably some aggregate affect of smaller cars which became more popular when oil was high and remained popular, as well as lighter cars necessary to meet stricter fuel standards.

    You also have those soccer mom types in SUVs constantly on the telephone. Inevitably if I’m stuck at a light behind a vehicle that doesn’t move when the light turns green it’s a soccer mom or teen screwing around on the phone (same for a car doing 5-7 below the speed limit and floating all over the road).

    And never park next to an SUV with a “my kid…” sticker. The drivers of such are as good as backing out of spaces as they are at driving on roads.

  46. A fatal crash in Florida a few months ago involving a Tesla brought up concerns that the driver had been relying on the vehicle’s semi-autonomous “autopilot” mode and not paying sufficient attention. The Tesla had struck the side of a semitrailer crossing the road, and because the semitrailer’s side was several feet off the ground the Tesla’s forward-sensing alert system did not sense it and apply the brakes. Some reports said that there was a DVD player inside the Tesla that was showing a Harry Potter movie and presumably occupying the driver’s attention.

    As it turned out, the DVD player had been off. Why the Tesla driver (a former Navy SEAL) hadn’t seen the truck and manually applied the brakes remains unknown.

    Peter

  47. @D. K.
    A) The resident population is continually growing;

    B) The population is appreciably aging, with more senior citizens, especially among us 'Boomers;'

    C) The burgeoning population of illicit drug users who largely go to explain "The White Death" also usually are licensed drivers;

    D) More Third World illegal-alien peasants, including habitually drinking-and-driving Latin Americans, are being given driver's licenses, courtesy of state legislatures;

    E) With a rise in suicides, more people deliberately kill themselves in crashes, either to lend plausible deniability to their intentions, or just as an available instrument of self-destruction; and,

    F) Chinese immigrants, especially women, and most especially older women, cannot drive for shit!

    “The population is appreciably aging, with more senior citizens, especially among us ‘Boomers’”.

    I don’t know how it is in the US but in the UK people aged 65-75 seem to be pretty safe drivers. I suspect this is because they drive fewer miles, drive less on unfamiliar roads, and avoid driving in the dark and in foul weather. Perhaps they are also less glued to their bloody phones.

    • Replies: @D. K.
    I have a 90-year-old aunt in Indiana who still drives, during daylight hours. She drove like shit when she was a young driver-- and now she sees poorly, and her reflexes are 90 years old! My 60-something sisters are nothing to write home about, as drivers, either. Although older people tend not to speed, they oftentimes drive so slowly that they frustrate, or even enrage, younger drivers, with a lot of additional passing maneuvers, as a result. I honestly feel sympathetic towards older people, like my aforementioned aunt, whose cars might well seem to be a necessity; but, that does not change their mental and physical debilities naturally resulting from the aging process. I am down in Florida, this winter, and being among so many elderly drivers is a major offset to the generally pleasant weather!
    , @Graham
    Traffic deaths in the UK are less than half the number in 2000, despite a surge of immigration and an increase in the number of road miles driven. Even over that recent period cars have become a lot safer, which may explain it: see http://metro.co.uk/video/test-shows-far-car-safety-come-1404615/?ito=vjs-link .
  48. @Steve Sailer
    My father got his California driver's license renewed for five years at age 91.

    My father was an extremely good driver, but still ... five years? Why not require testing every 2 years for nonagenarians.

    All this data on who is getting into fatal car crashes must be out there somewhere.

    In Britain you have to renew for your 70th birthday and thereafter every three years. Maybe I should have said “in England”: I haven’t checked whether the law is the same in Scotland, Wales, and NI.

  49. @Dave Pinsen
    It would be interesting to look at how REAL ID states compare to the rest. If the spike is more pronounced in the rest, illegal alien drivers could be part of the cause.

    It's a sufficient deterrent to illegals driving here that many illegals ride boys' dirt bikes to work even in the winter.

    I did not realize how popular dirt bikes have become in the ghetto. I went to the Baltimore police website and discovered that they have an official dirt bike project/squad/something to deal with all the ghetto kids racing around, speeding, driving on sidewalks, popping wheelies, swarming cars, etc.

    Woulda guessed?

    • Replies: @E. Rekshun
    I did not realize how popular dirt bikes have become in the ghetto.

    Growing up in the mid to late '70s, many of my peers and I had dirtbikes. Even though we lived 25 miles outside of Boston there was plenty of places to ride off-rode, even take trails far into NH. We gave that up after getting drivers licenses and cars, but we still sometimes took our cars off road.


    Re price of gasoline - My first job was in 1977 at age 13 pumping gas for $2 per hour at a Mobil gas station. At the time, the price of gasoline was about $0.49. I experienced the crush of long lines and shortages during the oil crisis in 1979 when the price of gasoline hit $0.99 a gallon and crossed the $1 per gallon threshold.

    My parents made me quite that job a year later when, alone on a late Friday night shift, I got robbed by knife point and beat up by two blacks.
    , @Autochthon
    Meet the 12 O'Clock Boys.

    George Miller as Cassandra. Enjoy the decline.

  50. I read the NSC report linked in the NYT story. Data are “provisional, “estimated,” and “subject to revision.” Of course, the credulous NYT reporter quotes all the usual “safety experts” without question. Then Captain Renault rounds up the usual suspects – speeding, distracted driving, DUI, no seat belts, etc. Sort of makes sense, and mostly true – these things are major factors in highway deaths and injuries. But has the death rate really been increasing? Take a look at these graphs. US highway deaths peaked in the early 1970′s and have been more or less declining since then. The decline hasn’t been steady – there have been small peaks – but the overall trend is clearly downward. Also, the death rate per billion vehicle miles peaked in the early 1920′s and has been in steep decline since then. Even if the increases cited in the NYT are true, they are just bits of random noise in the overall downward trend. I had no trouble finding this out, but apparently this type of fact-finding is beyond the capability of the NYT.

  51. @Olorin
    Here in the PNW, the combination of legal pot and smart phones is likely contributing.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/commuting/index.ssf/2015/12/oregon_traffic_deaths_top_400.html

    http://www.oregoninjurylawyerblog.com/2016/07/pacific-northwest-sees-nations-biggest-jump-traffic-deaths.html

    Then there's this:

    http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/data/our-states-one-of-a-few-where-illegal-immigration-is-up-and-half-is-from-asia/

    OT: See also the two entries currently on the sidebar, unrelated:

    Gov. Jay Inslee, future POTUS, because he welcomes illegals:

    http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/inslees-profile-lifted-with-states-legal-victories-on-immigration/

    Delivering his annual State of the City address from a North Seattle mosque, Mayor Ed Murray announced Tuesday he will seek a $55 million per-year property-tax levy to combat homelessness and a soda tax to fund education programs.

    ...He said he wants to double the city’s spending on homelessness with a five-year, $275 million property-tax levy.

    Murray has asked billionaire tech entrepreneur Nick Hanauer and Daniel Malone, executive director of the Downtown Emergency Service Center, to lead an advisory group tasked with hammering out the details, he said.
     

    Delivering his annual State of the City address from a North Seattle mosque, Mayor Ed Murray announced Tuesday he will seek a $55 million per-year property-tax levy to combat homelessness and a soda tax to fund education programs.

    …He said he wants to double the city’s spending on homelessness with a five-year, $275 million property-tax levy.

    So, he wants to turn Seattle into San Francisco. That ought to work out well.

    • Replies: @Olorin
    Always reminds me of the headline from Duh Progressive (online humor website with a righty bent) a couple years ago:

    Fleeing Californians Ponder Which State To Ruin Next
  52. @The Only Catholic Unionist
    WHERE are these deaths occurring? Most localities around here don't even have police, and there's been no particular uptick in traffic deaths.

    @Clyde: at least at one point, the various Chinese consulates apparently had a handbook for Chinese graduate students telling them to have a sign in the back window saying something like "I'm a new driver" but didn't have the phrase in English, so you had all sorts of various not-quite-right translations into English such as "Beginner at Driving" or "Fresh Driver" in college towns.

    The suicide thesis really needs to be explored. There were quite a few people who became worth more dead than alive in BHO's "New Normal". Although that having been said, never overestimate the unintended consequences of all these new-fangled "assisted braking"-type "improvements" to cars.

    Brilliant idea! The signs might as well say, “I am a rich Chinese kid, fresh off the boat, driving an expensive sports car. I can be easily intimidated by dark-skinned, chest-thumping gwailo.”

    Why not paint a target on the backs of all Chinese UCLA students? It would be a lot cheaper and they could carry it with them everywhere.

  53. @Steve Sailer
    My father got his California driver's license renewed for five years at age 91.

    My father was an extremely good driver, but still ... five years? Why not require testing every 2 years for nonagenarians.

    All this data on who is getting into fatal car crashes must be out there somewhere.

    Just anecdotally (i.e. paying attention to the local news and police-blotter), it seems to me that relatively few old people are involved in fatal car crashes. They may be in lots of car crashes (and may often cause them) but those seldom seem to be fatal. They just don’t drive fast enough.

    • Replies: @Hodag
    Every so often you hear about a car driving into a farmer's market. It was a thing on fark back in the day -farmer's market, dead ahead!. Always an old person mistaking brake for accelerator.
  54. @Busby
    We inhabit the most documented (recorded?) society in history and in spite of the billions of dollars and millions of man hours expended, we get

    "According to its estimates, 40,200 people died in accidents involving motor vehicles in 2016, a 6 percent rise from the year before."

    Yes, you would think that a busy-body/nanny/police state would at least yield more accurate statistics, or at least more precise ones.

  55. I think Ferguson has been going on for a while. Police officers aren’t very bright guys, but their brain notices. After a few decades of non-stop being beaten down in the national conversation it asks itself: why am I making an effort for these people? If what I see on tv and in the newspapers is an indication, they all hate me. Added to that, I’m also told that feeling any kinship with my people and country is evil, so what’s left?

    Keeping people who do an essential job happy and motivated would seem like a pretty obvious principle, especially with jobs where it’s also very easy to fake hard work like policing.
    Unfortunately, the people who direct the national conversation don’t really need the police.

  56. In Alabama, steady budget cuts have resulted in a decline in the number of troopers patrolling the state’s 103,000 miles of highways.

    And the Alabama Highway Patrol assures us that this is the cause of an increase in traffic fatalities in that state. Would they ever not say that?

  57. I personally have observed both a legal increase in speed limits (up to 65 and 70 where it was 55 5-10 years ago) and a recent (last 3-4 years?) decrease in enforcement. Pass a trooper doing 15 over the limit and nobody sweats, overall traffic speed is often 75-80 on highways. I like getting places faster, but it surely leaves less room for error, and less survivability when error occurs, esp in heavier traffic.

    • Agree: Travis
  58. My first instinct is to blame the usage of phones. I’ve noticed recently a significant cohort of drivers who evidently think it is acceptable to pay no attention to the stoplight until the driver behind them gives them the horn on change to green. Lord only knows what these people are doing at seventy mph.

  59. The primary cause is driving while smartphoning.

    Smartphones are perfect little Skinner boxes: they provide unpredictable rewards at unpredictable intervals. And just like BF Skinner’s pigeons, we can’t resist pecking at our screen until we get a reward, and another and another, and we’re not about to let something so mundane and boring as driving get in the way of our next reward. Peck peck peck.

    • Agree: Autochthon
  60. It’s obviously the phones.

  61. @D. K.
    A) The resident population is continually growing;

    B) The population is appreciably aging, with more senior citizens, especially among us 'Boomers;'

    C) The burgeoning population of illicit drug users who largely go to explain "The White Death" also usually are licensed drivers;

    D) More Third World illegal-alien peasants, including habitually drinking-and-driving Latin Americans, are being given driver's licenses, courtesy of state legislatures;

    E) With a rise in suicides, more people deliberately kill themselves in crashes, either to lend plausible deniability to their intentions, or just as an available instrument of self-destruction; and,

    F) Chinese immigrants, especially women, and most especially older women, cannot drive for shit!

    good points, the white population is aging rapidly , as seen for the huge drop in NASCAR attendance. While typically people under 30 seem to be involved in the most accidents per miles driven. Since 2007 Young people have been driving less than in the past, thus have less experience driving and have more distractions due to smart phones. Another factor could be the legalization of Marijuana , might result in more people driving high.

    Are more people are driving small cars like the Prius, with less large cars on the road we do have more SUVs. Thus it seems we have more compact cars with more SUVs and less full size sedans than ever before. My grandparents drove big American cars until they died while my Parents and uncles (baby boomers) have downsized to drive compact cars now as they turn 70. So i notice more small cars along with SUVs on the parkway with almost no large sedans. This seems to be a dangerous mix of vehicles on the road. If a compact car gets hit by an SUV their will be more fatalities than a mid-size sedan hitting an SUV.

  62. One of my gripes about modern dash board design is that aesthetics trumps utility in the layout of all the buttons, knobs, gauges, displays, etc. With the latest Lexus SUV you almost have to pull over to the side of the road to figure out the climate controls or audio options. My old Ford Explorer on the other hand has color-coded climate controls; blue means a/c, read means heater, and you simply twist a knob from the blue range to the red. I’ve often wondered how many people die in a Lexus trying to adjust the a/c on the fly, or to go from radio to CD play.

    • Agree: Travis
    • Replies: @Formerly CARealist
    True to all of this. I've commented here before about the complicated nature of new dashboards. Touchscreens require you to look at the darn thing. In the older cars you could adjust by feel.

    The backup camera is good, but I still turn around to look. The side view camera is a distraction and I don't like it.

    Brakes have gotten really good though. In my teens I rear-ended a car in front of me simply because my brakes locked up and I slid into them. Now it's smooth and reliable braking.
    , @BenKenobi
    In Vancouver I have never witnessed a Lexus being driven competently or with any sense of purpose.

    Of course they're all driven by South and East Asians...

    While we're on the subject, old brown women look like they are in pain when they are behind the wheel -- 10-and-2, leaning forward, slack-jawed, worried face...
  63. @Luke Lea
    One of my gripes about modern dash board design is that aesthetics trumps utility in the layout of all the buttons, knobs, gauges, displays, etc. With the latest Lexus SUV you almost have to pull over to the side of the road to figure out the climate controls or audio options. My old Ford Explorer on the other hand has color-coded climate controls; blue means a/c, read means heater, and you simply twist a knob from the blue range to the red. I've often wondered how many people die in a Lexus trying to adjust the a/c on the fly, or to go from radio to CD play.

    True to all of this. I’ve commented here before about the complicated nature of new dashboards. Touchscreens require you to look at the darn thing. In the older cars you could adjust by feel.

    The backup camera is good, but I still turn around to look. The side view camera is a distraction and I don’t like it.

    Brakes have gotten really good though. In my teens I rear-ended a car in front of me simply because my brakes locked up and I slid into them. Now it’s smooth and reliable braking.

  64. @another fred
    Alabama traffic deaths increased 24.6 percent in 2016 compared to 2015.

    https://www.ua.edu/news/2017/01/fatal-crashes-in-alabama-increase-in-2016-ua-study-finds/

    But crashes were only up 2.1%.

    “A variety of factors were found, but, in order of importance, I would say that speed, safety belts, distracted driving and pedestrian faults all had major contributions to the increase,” Brown said. “These causes were often further intensified by their occurring in combination with Driving Under the Influence of alcohol, drugs or both.”
     
    My personal observation is that speeds are up on the interstates. You are unlikely to be stopped on the interstates in Alabama under 80 mph. The cops focus on the "reckless driving" tickets (15 mph over the limit).

    People prone to drive at high speed (over 80 mph) are also prone to drive unbelted or under the influence.

    Darwin rules.

    What caught my attention is the ‘pedestrian fault’ factor. We worry about intoxicated drivers, but what about intoxicated or suicidal or texting or doped-on-opiates pedestrians wandering into traffic?

  65. we had a string of luck where traffic fatalities dipped for years, helped perhaps by medical advances (what were formerly deaths became bad injuries) & by cracking down on DUIs for years, but with more cars on the road & too many phones…

    & anyone with an IQ above 69 gets a license (or below that, drives illegally), & more old drivers (often medicated) & more teen drivers (often medicated:) …some safety measures have backfired – drivers feel more safe so they drive more recklessly.

    stop having more & more people each year on the road would help. stop allowing more people into the US would help. it will soon be like another viet nam every year (deaths will eventually hit 50,000s).

  66. I spend two to three hours commuting to and from work (i.e., four hours to six on the road each weekday), in buses, so I have perforce spent many hours’ ethnographic study observing drivers.

    The combination of mind-boggling overpopulation and zombifying gadgetry is toxic. I can tolerate so many hours’ daily travel because I can read, sleep, work, and otherwise be amused and productive during the trip. The vast majority of persons similarly situated are driving that entire time, and I see them constantly farting around with phones (commuting is stultifyingly boring!). Add to this the fatigue of long commutes (as an example, I board a bus that departs the city in which I dwell at 0600 and I typically disembark in that city again at 1930) — driving, working eight hours or more, then driving again, keeping these hours, must affect reaction-times and alertness.

    A question is: Do these studies differentiate locations granularly?

    I warrant the phenomenon I describe is rampant in urban areas; rural areas, if affected as well, may be suffering from the epidemic of opioids and other addictions as well as Paco & Taco’s love of drunken driving and disdain for law. Invaders don’t care about orderly traffic and laws. Has anyone here ever driven in India? China? Mexico? Guatemala? Find video, and be enlightened.

    I’ll close with another illustrative anecdote about both driving and enforcement. I was in court yesterday explaining the DMV’s incompetent attempts to extort money from me to a judge (who promptly dismissed their efforts) and literally every other case on the docket (I sat through about thirty arraignments) was an invader cited for speeding (typically 90 mph and above), running a red light, or both (every case!). At least half of them also lacked insurance, a license, or both. A solid quarter of them had already failed to appear at a previous hearing, and, to my horror, the judge dismissed the failure to appear – meaning no punishment whatsoever – for every single one, sua sponte.This apparently routine practice teaching them the whole things is not to be taken seriously, and that they can just come to court if and when they please; doubtless the word is out among the invaders that this is so, perpetuating the behaviour. This last bit also explained to me why a good ten or fifteen names called were not present for their own arraignments on this day. Interpreters present spoke Portuguese, Mandarin, and Spanish. One Hindoo did not request an interpreter, but his own English was so unintelligible, and his understanding of the judge’s English so poor, that an arraignment that should have lasted two minutes lasted about ten. A Chinese invader wanted a Cantonese translator, but finally decided he could cope well enough with one who spoke Mandarin (how magnanimous of him to accommodate our limited resources to explain his crimes to him in his own language.)

  67. @Steve Sailer
    My father got his California driver's license renewed for five years at age 91.

    My father was an extremely good driver, but still ... five years? Why not require testing every 2 years for nonagenarians.

    All this data on who is getting into fatal car crashes must be out there somewhere.

    They probably rely upon the driver’s physician to confidentially report a driver who is unsafe for medical conditions like in a lot of States. Because licensing is technically a civil matter they can yank the license and make the driver prove fitness.

  68. @dcthrowback
    "People prone to drive at high speed (over 80 mph) are also prone to drive unbelted or under the influence."

    That sounds like a bunch of "making crap up" to me. One could also argue (w/o evidence) that the most engaged drivers are the ones driving the fastest, therefore they are LESS likely to get into an accident.

    I regularly go hooning around the empty deserts at 200 mph on my motorcycle for fun. When I do this, I assure you no naval aviator executing a night-landing on a pitching carrier is more attentive than I am.

    People driving quickly probably follow a bimodal distribution: they are especially expert, or especially careless. I expect accidents and deaths are concentrated amongst the latter.

  69. @The Only Catholic Unionist
    WHERE are these deaths occurring? Most localities around here don't even have police, and there's been no particular uptick in traffic deaths.

    @Clyde: at least at one point, the various Chinese consulates apparently had a handbook for Chinese graduate students telling them to have a sign in the back window saying something like "I'm a new driver" but didn't have the phrase in English, so you had all sorts of various not-quite-right translations into English such as "Beginner at Driving" or "Fresh Driver" in college towns.

    The suicide thesis really needs to be explored. There were quite a few people who became worth more dead than alive in BHO's "New Normal". Although that having been said, never overestimate the unintended consequences of all these new-fangled "assisted braking"-type "improvements" to cars.

    never overestimate the unintended consequences of all these new-fangled “assisted braking”-type “improvements” to cars.

    The brake and ABS lights just came on in the dash of my ’10 Honda and won’t go out. The Honda dealer diagnosed the problem as a failed ABS sensor module at $1700 installed! That’s more than 10% of what I paid for the mint condition, low mileage vehicle two years ago!

    The brakes still work fine but there’s no ABS and I’m not paying $1700 to fix it!

    • Replies: @Bill
    Ask how much to cut the wire to the light.
  70. Turns out NHTSA has a queryable database called FARS: https://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov//QueryTool/QuerySection/SelectYear.aspx. Good lord is it a bear to get data out of it. You can only do reports one year at a time. But sure enough, they have demographic information, and a whole lot of other detail too. 2016 data isn’t posted yet, but one could export and build out trends up through 2015 if desired.

    More helpfully, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has posted a large number of trend reports based on FARS data, for example, Motor vehicle crash deaths per 100,000 people by age group, 1981-2015. In 2015, the largest increase was in the 35-69 years age group, so that more or less kills my hypothesis.

    Here’s something that may be very significant – changing taste in vehicle type and size. The decline in vehicle occupant deaths has been driven entirely by cars, rather than pickups or SUVs. (See: http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/general-statistics/fatalityfacts/passenger-vehicles/2015.) Motorcycle deaths have actually increased significantly over the past 20 years, though not enough to offset the far larger population of automobile drivers. Further down that page, you can see that mini cars lead to by far the most fatalities per registered vehicle, while large SUVs are the safest. So here’s a just-so story that sort of matches the data. In the cheap-gasoline early 2000s, many Americans switched from cars to SUVs. High gas prices brought about renewed interest in mini cars, which are still working their way through the vehicle population while early 2000s vehicles fall out of use.

    • Replies: @Travis
    like I suspected, more small cars on the road today verse 10 years ago. I am amazed people drive these little cars on the highways, especially since so many are driving big SUVs since people stopped buying large sedans and there are even less mid-size sedans today than 10 years ago. Creates a lethal mix of small cars verse large SUVs combined with heavy phone usage while driving.
  71. Here I am, again making my very narrow observations based soley on my own West Coast, medium-sized police agency, and my own experience there as a plain old beat cop.

    The Ferguson Effect has been absolutely real for us, but the application is somewhat narrow, I think. I’m still just as happy to stop a non-black person for a traffic offense. Car full of black kids, not so much. I only give warnings anyway.

    Traffic cops, who in my agency account for the lion’s share of enforcement, have been less effected because they are more location based (problem intersections, road stretches, etc) and seldom do “investigatory stops”. Incidently, they are also where 99% of our traffic safety federal grant money goes.

    Similar to a comment I made about security cameras and robberies, if my days of traffic enforcement in poor neighborhoods had an effect, I wasn’t aware of it. The fortieth unpaid ticket costs exactly what the first one did and the police cannot impound cars for that anymore. Guys with suspended licenses and no insurance would drive like total idiots right in front of a cop car, because, of course, they were total idiots. If they had any ability to plan, they’d have spent the month’s cigarette budget on liability insurance, right?

    If there is a Ferguson Effect contributing, I wonder if it’s not the diminishing halo effect of just having police cars driving around. Before I was a cop I was absolutely certain that every cop I saw was looking to pull me over, not driving somewhere to do something. I was wrong, but I still slowed down. Now that many cops go to the “firehouse model” of sitting somewhere central (alas, not a donut shop; the main criteria is somewhere you don’t have to constantly be on alert for an ambush) waiting for a call, they might do just as many traffic stops as before, but be a passive presence much less.

    As I tell people who ask about my career field, we are in the midst of a profound redefinition of the role of police in society. It’s unfortunately occurring without the input of a huge number of Americans who will be directly affected. In fact, there’s hardly any discussion of the “externalities”, the noticing of which are racist, as our host would observe.

    I am curious to see how the culture will change at my agency, still deep behind enemy lines in the cold civil war. Notwithstanding the fact that our Attorney General is Mr Sessions (and I challenge you to find a more satisfied Trump voter than a cop involved in a shooting during the month of January), the anti-Trump hysteria very well may inspire some local prosecutor with the spirit of Emmet Till, Carolyn Moseby’s fate be damned.

    So what’s always been true of cops regarding violent crime (when seconds count, cops are minutes away) is probably increasingly true of traffic safety, as well.

    • Replies: @E. Rekshun
    Here I am, again making my very narrow observations based soley on my own West Coast, medium-sized police agency, and my own experience there as a plain old beat cop.

    Good post. I'd love to hear how your agency adjusts, changes, and appeases going forward.
    , @Jim Don Bob
    Great to hear from you. Please post more. And stay safe.
    , @Daniel Chieh
    What's the temperature amongst your colleagues for the enemies of our God-Emperor, Long May He Reign?
  72. @D. K.
    A) The resident population is continually growing;

    B) The population is appreciably aging, with more senior citizens, especially among us 'Boomers;'

    C) The burgeoning population of illicit drug users who largely go to explain "The White Death" also usually are licensed drivers;

    D) More Third World illegal-alien peasants, including habitually drinking-and-driving Latin Americans, are being given driver's licenses, courtesy of state legislatures;

    E) With a rise in suicides, more people deliberately kill themselves in crashes, either to lend plausible deniability to their intentions, or just as an available instrument of self-destruction; and,

    F) Chinese immigrants, especially women, and most especially older women, cannot drive for shit!

    A body shop specializing in rear end collisions is a gold mine in a Vietnamese neighborhood. For some reasons Asians like to brake in the middle of the road for no reason.

  73. @George
    There is a pension crisis reducing municipal services, due to the need to pay police et al to not work, aka retire.

    http://www.pensiontsunami.com/

    In other news, Bloomberg is worried.

    Why Trump's Immigration Crackdown Could Sink U.S. Home Prices
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-22/why-trump-s-immigration-crackdown-could-sink-u-s-home-prices

    PensionTsunami is a great website.

    Driverless cars are really going to be a game changer in terms of traffic accidents. However, they will dramatically cut the need for police officers in the suburbs. It’s going to be interesting to see how municipalities will cope.

  74. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    This is not completely on point with Steve’s post, but in the past year I’ve noticed that many of the bad drivers I encounter are black. My formerly very white town has become increasingly vibrant as my city’s urban core has been gentrified, and unfortunately some of the displaced people have moved (and continue to move) to my community. It’s pretty shocking how bad these people appear to drive. It’s as though they follow a slightly different set of driving rules from everyone else.

    I wonder if they never went to driver’s ed?

  75. @D. K.
    A) The resident population is continually growing;

    B) The population is appreciably aging, with more senior citizens, especially among us 'Boomers;'

    C) The burgeoning population of illicit drug users who largely go to explain "The White Death" also usually are licensed drivers;

    D) More Third World illegal-alien peasants, including habitually drinking-and-driving Latin Americans, are being given driver's licenses, courtesy of state legislatures;

    E) With a rise in suicides, more people deliberately kill themselves in crashes, either to lend plausible deniability to their intentions, or just as an available instrument of self-destruction; and,

    F) Chinese immigrants, especially women, and most especially older women, cannot drive for shit!

    I always make sure that I park in a crooked manner so I can identify with my countrymen.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Hahahaaa!

    Sorry for posting just for this - I can't find the LOL button while I'm driv......


    whoa! "Hey, you get in YOUR own lane! I called both of these lanes back at mile marker 107."
     
    Sorry, what was I writing, again? Oh, hahahaaa!

    *** Sent from my retard phone ***

  76. @TheJester
    If you notice how today's plastic, thin-metalled cars tend to disintegrate on impact, you would not be surprised that more people are killed in high-speed crashes. The car manufacturers depend on air bags to save the occupants.

    I blame the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for forcing car manufacturers to increasingly design and build unsafe cars. As fuel economy standards go up, safety goes down. I won't drive a car anymore ... only trucks or SUVs built to truck standards.

    The Federal Government should get out of the fuel economy business. It makes no sense in an era awash with oil and historically low gas prices. If a person wants to buy a car with relatively low fuel economy, that is their business and the Federal Government should have no voice in the matter.

    I was under the impression that cars are structurally safer now in terms of the frame, structural parts that deform the best way to protect the occupants, etc. I realize there is less total metal in the cars, but the plastic you see is mostly not structural. However, all the broken plastic, but also, more importantly, the large contingent of airbags makes it much easier to total out a car now.

    A guy named Eric Peters, who may even have stuff on unz writes about these things bi-weekly (he is a Libertarian folks, so WATCH YOUR SIX!” ;-}

    As to your last paragraph, I totally agree – high fuel price or not, it’s not any of the US Govt’s damn business. No matter what the designed-in-the-structure and additional safety features are, more metal is better.* Inherent safety of cars is better than in the past, but with more metal, it would be better still. As to the other side of this, Eric Peters gives his estimate of how much BETTER fuel economy would be WITHOUT the mandated safety features – many hundreds to a thousand lbs. lighter cars are gonna get better mileage, as some of them used to – Geo Metro, anyone … anyone?

    * Speaking of the people that stop for 2 minutes at the stop sign to use the phone, this is how cyclists feel about them:

    Sometimes, dead is betta!

    • Replies: @BenKenobi
    "sometimes what comes outta the grooouunnd, ain't whatcha put in."

    It's too bad we've used up our South Park clip allotment for the thread -- the episode "Grey Dawn" is pretty relevant here. Especially after Steve mentioned his father got his license renewed at age 91.

    After a first act where senior citizens are killing massive amounts of people in car crashes, anyone above a certain age has their license revoked. The seniors then launch a military take-over of America, in a direct parody of Red Dawn.
  77. Speed laws have more to do with revenue collection than with safety.

    My guesses are:

    1. More distracted driving – people not only talking on the phone but texting, Facebooking, etc.

    2. New safety equipment doesn’t actually hurt but it doesn’t help either – people adjust their behavior to maintain a certain level of risk. If your car has lane change warning, auto braking then you text even more because you feel that the car will take care of you. So whatever safety is added is negated by more risky behavior.

    3. Extension of the White Death and Ferguson Effect – as society continues to break down for people in the lower income brackets you have more people who are under influence of drugs and just generally no longer give a damn about anything. Also people who cannot afford to maintain their vehicles so more accidents due to worn tires, bad brakes, etc.

    • Replies: @Langley
    I would add to your list a quasi-Ferguson affect- decrease in adherence to convention. It appears that respect for the law has diminished in this country. While driving my daughter to school yesterday four people made a left turn after the light turned red.

    People drive through intersections without stopping and are generally less courteous in Kailua than they used to be.

    The new rich people who have moved here don't care about the old rules. This is beginning to have an affect on the locals.

    I know this sounds like typical old fogey speak but I do believe that lack of respect for social conventions, like traffic laws and common courtesy, contribute to the spike in traffic deaths. And murder .
    , @E. Rekshun
    Speed laws have more to do with revenue collection than with safety.

    People often think this, but the municipality issuing the ticket gets a small portion of the ticket revenue. In my city, a $100 traffic ticket will generate $4 for the City with the rest split between the county, county court system, state, police education, and a couple other parasites.


    Also people who cannot afford to maintain their vehicles so more accidents due to worn tires, bad brakes, etc.

    Yes, true.
  78. @Coemgen
    Driving while unconcious due to opiate intoxication is extremely common. This story, Secret Service agent hopes to raise opioid awareness after near-fatal crash, is only notable due to it involving Hillary Clinton's Secret Service detail.

    Btw, the phenomenon of ubiquitous "Vietnamese nail salons with no customers" has been mentioned in iSteve comments lately. Does this trigger thoughts of the Golden Triangle for anyone else?

    Over here the home-grown (on semi-industrial scale) cannabis trade has a huge over-representation of Vietnamese names in the court reports.

  79. @TheJester
    If you notice how today's plastic, thin-metalled cars tend to disintegrate on impact, you would not be surprised that more people are killed in high-speed crashes. The car manufacturers depend on air bags to save the occupants.

    I blame the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for forcing car manufacturers to increasingly design and build unsafe cars. As fuel economy standards go up, safety goes down. I won't drive a car anymore ... only trucks or SUVs built to truck standards.

    The Federal Government should get out of the fuel economy business. It makes no sense in an era awash with oil and historically low gas prices. If a person wants to buy a car with relatively low fuel economy, that is their business and the Federal Government should have no voice in the matter.

    If you notice how today’s plastic, thin-metalled cars tend to disintegrate on impact, you would not be surprised that more people are killed in high-speed crashes. The car manufacturers depend on air bags to save the occupants.

    This is complete nonsense. Passenger cars have been getting heavier year after year to meet tougher safety standards since the 1990s.

    If you want to see disintegration on impact, check out this video:

    Back on topic, my guess is that its drivers distracted by smart phones more than anything else.

  80. I’m sure the rest of the data that you all have complained about not seeing would indeed be able to give one a better idea of the reasons for the fatality increases. I see the newer, foreign drivers as a big one, but I would lean toward the personal electronics as biggy, just from observation.

    Ride your bike even on a slow road in a neighborhood and watch how many drivers are not looking out of the car for 100 ft at a time! You don’t know what they are looking at, whether they’ve seen you or not, and, at stop signs, what they are going to do next.

    Another aspect of this is that even the young, Americans (i.e. having grown up with cars) with the good senses (NOT good sense, just good senses – like seeing and hearing) and reactions that young people have, are doing really stupid stuff like pulling out in front of you after waiting 3 seconds to watch you come at them. Why? I’m glad you asked. It’s because they can’t focus in the distance anymore, not enough to determine your rough speed. That’s because they look at objects 6-18″ away from their eyes half of the day. It used to be an old-people thing – eyes not “accommodating” or just bad distance vision. Now the young people are just as bad, but without the judgement either.

    I’d rather cycle next to a guy with 2-3 beers in him than a driving web-surfing texter. At least the slightly-inebriated guy will be looking out the windows of the car. Yeah, he may see two or three of you, but that’s better than none of you!

    • Replies: @David Davenport
    ... Ride your bike even on a slow road in a neighborhood and watch how many drivers are not looking out of the car for 100 ft at a time! You don’t know what they are looking at, whether they’ve seen you or not, and, at stop signs, what they are going to do next. ..

    I agree, bicycling on roads originally designed for cars can be dangerous.

    My suggestion is, don't bicycle on those roads. You'll be safer.
  81. @Steve Sailer
    I would imagine that people who fell out of driving their own car in 2009-2014 because they couldn't afford it were probably pretty marginal.

    You brought up another point that should result in fewer wrecks. A friend who drives for Ubers quite a bit says he takes many of the same (usually young) people to the bars now that would have had to drive drunk before – seeing as how it’s illegal to drink on the campus now with the 21 age-limit. We used to have a bar in the student union and we liked it (a lot)!

    • Replies: @The Only Catholic Unionist
    Back when there was a Naval Training Center in Orlando, part of our last briefing before we graduated boot camp was a reminder that while the drinking age in Florida was 21, the drinking age at the Enlisted club was 18 as long as you behaved. So, you had a very merry, well-behaved atmosphere (and Orlando was where all the women went through boot camp back then so it wasn't a sausage fest either)...
  82. @Daniel Chieh
    I always make sure that I park in a crooked manner so I can identify with my countrymen.

    Hahahaaa!

    Sorry for posting just for this – I can’t find the LOL button while I’m driv……

    whoa! “Hey, you get in YOUR own lane! I called both of these lanes back at mile marker 107.”

    Sorry, what was I writing, again? Oh, hahahaaa!

    *** Sent from my retard phone ***

  83. Off-topic: A new novel of the Brooklyn elite seems to veer perilously close to crimethink.

    Can the denunciations be far behind? Or will the author get away with it because:
    1. she is a) Jewish and b) female
    2. her ostensible targets are the SWPL not the NAM.

    Lucinda Rosenfeld, Class. Little, Brown. 2017.

    [MORE]

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/16/books/review-lucinda-rosenfeld-class.html?_r=0

    The novel is called “Class,” but it’s just as preoccupied with race, and Ms. Rosenfeld deserves a great deal of credit for taking on this minefield of a subject. Karen and her “chronically underemotive” husband, Matt, a low-income-housing advocate who is “currently earning zero dollars per week,” try to live according to their values. This effort entails, among other things, sending their daughter to a public school, Betts, where white students are in the minority.

    It’s an admirable ideal, but Karen has a hard time with the ensuing reality. She’s reflexively dismayed at various elements of the African-American experience that she witnesses among Ruby’s classmates — the “beaded braids, buzz cuts and neon backpacks”; the names, like Sa’Ryah, “with their apostrophes, dashes, purposeful misspellings and randomly added letters” — and then reflexively worried that she’s at heart a racist.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/20/books/review/class-lucinda-rosenfeld.html

    Using Ruby as a shield for her idealism, Karen secretly cherishes the one blond-haired child in her daughter’s class, speculates on the ability of poor families to “recognize the Evite format” and lives in fear of processed foods and twerking. But her real fear, as it well should be, is being perceived as a flagrant racist. Perhaps the most self-aware thought she has over the course of the entire novel is this: “College-educated white liberals were nearly as terrified of being seen as racists as they were of encountering black male teenagers on an empty street after dark.”

    When a child from a nearby housing project (he “never met his father, if such an individual could even be identified”) becomes violent in class and seems to threaten Ruby, Karen guiltily and unceremoniously yanks her daughter out of the school. A couple of white lies later and Ruby is enrolled in a more prestigious school, where Karen is faced with a whole new ilk of intolerable parent — the kind intent on teaching the lunchroom workers to cook with olive oil instead of Crisco. (“It’s been a fairly steep learning curve,” one mother smiles “knowingly.”)

    https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/lucinda-rosenfeld/class-rosenfeld/

    Karen Kipple and her husband, Matt, both career activists in the nonprofit sector, have righteously enrolled their daughter in their zoned public elementary school, where “the white population…hovered around 20 percent.” However, Karen, like some other white parents, is concerned that she’s sacrificed quality education for diversity. Among other dubious accomplishments, her daughter can recite the wedding date of Coretta and Martin Luther King—because “every month was Black History Month—except when it was Latino History Month.” A scuffle on the playground between a Jayyden and a Maeve further divides the parents along racial lines: “What that kid needs is a serious whupping” versus “With all due respect, violence is not the answer to violence.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/can-a-parents-liberal-values-pass-the-public-school-test/2017/01/02/b93a8c0a-c60d-11e6-bf4b-2c064d32a4bf_story.html

    My favorite thing about my children’s D.C. public elementary school was that you could not predict which child belonged to which parent. The combination of interracial, gay and international marriages with surrogate, adopted and blended families made for rich cross-pollination. Fifty-four languages were spoken within the community: “The Spanish girl” my son befriended turned out to be Swedish; an Ethiopian mother, hearing I’d lived in Oklahoma, wanted to tell me about her pen pal, Tulsa evangelist Oral Roberts! One little girl broke the school “ethnicity” form because her mother was Asian Indian and her father Wisconsin white. “What does that make me?” she asked the fourth-grade teacher, who turned the lesson into a class letter to the school board. Do I sound smug? I don’t mean to.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    The novel is called “Class,” but it’s just as preoccupied with race, and Ms. Rosenfeld deserves a great deal of credit for taking on this minefield of a subject.

    I wonder if the NYT thinks Steve deserves a lot of credit for tackling some thorny issues related to the subject of race.

  84. @Alec Leamas
    A juxtaposition of a chart of the 1960s - 1990s crime wave superimposed over a chart of traffic accidents for the same time period is telling. White flight in some ways traded one ill for another. I don't think there's been enough time since the Ferguson effect kicked in for a significant population shift towards suburbs though.

    Distracted driving is probably a large contributing factor to the accidents, together with the fact that young drivers don't seem to have been taught how to drive and deal with traffic very well. You also have those soccer mom types in SUVs constantly on the telephone. Inevitably if I'm stuck at a light behind a vehicle that doesn't move when the light turns green it's a soccer mom or teen screwing around on the phone (same for a car doing 5-7 below the speed limit and floating all over the road).

    There's also probably some aggregate affect of smaller cars which became more popular when oil was high and remained popular, as well as lighter cars necessary to meet stricter fuel standards.

    There appear to be more compact cars today then 10 years ago, and less large cars but more crossover SUVs…

  85. @TheJester
    If you notice how today's plastic, thin-metalled cars tend to disintegrate on impact, you would not be surprised that more people are killed in high-speed crashes. The car manufacturers depend on air bags to save the occupants.

    I blame the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for forcing car manufacturers to increasingly design and build unsafe cars. As fuel economy standards go up, safety goes down. I won't drive a car anymore ... only trucks or SUVs built to truck standards.

    The Federal Government should get out of the fuel economy business. It makes no sense in an era awash with oil and historically low gas prices. If a person wants to buy a car with relatively low fuel economy, that is their business and the Federal Government should have no voice in the matter.

    You have this exactly backward:

    https://www.thezebra.com/insurance-news/1762/why-trucks-arent-as-safe-as-cars/

    Cars are safer than trucks. If you look at the IIHS crash test videos , especially for top rated vehicles, you will see that what happens with cars is that they are DESIGNED to disintegrate with crumple zones, etc. but only from the bumper to the firewall. The very act of disintegrating is how they absorb the energy of a crash rather than passing that energy on to the passengers or impinging into the passenger cabin. In a properly designed modern car, after a crash basically the entire car from the firewall forward crumples or shatters but the passenger compartment is perfectly intact.

    Look for example at this video – it looks like the front of the car is completely gone but the door doesn’t even have a dent in it.

    Compare:

    In the Ford test there’s hardly any debris on the ground – that’s a BAD thing.

  86. In my state (Minnesota), drivers knowingly and deliberately go through reds. And with impunity. A lot of drivers seem to be fiddling with their digital devices while driving. Others drive while inebriated. There’s just no rule of law. I never see such atrocious driving in Europe.

    • Replies: @dearieme
    Even Belgium?
    , @The Alarmist

    "In my state (Minnesota), drivers knowingly and deliberately go through reds. And with impunity."
     
    How many of them are Somalis?
  87. @TheJester
    If you notice how today's plastic, thin-metalled cars tend to disintegrate on impact, you would not be surprised that more people are killed in high-speed crashes. The car manufacturers depend on air bags to save the occupants.

    I blame the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for forcing car manufacturers to increasingly design and build unsafe cars. As fuel economy standards go up, safety goes down. I won't drive a car anymore ... only trucks or SUVs built to truck standards.

    The Federal Government should get out of the fuel economy business. It makes no sense in an era awash with oil and historically low gas prices. If a person wants to buy a car with relatively low fuel economy, that is their business and the Federal Government should have no voice in the matter.

    Allow me to pile on with the disagreement to your comment. I see a lot of crashes and new cars are breath takingly good at saving lives, air bag deployment or no. Cars crumple up like cans, but the passenger compartments remain. I very commonly see catastrophic wrecks with no major injuries involving newer cars. There will always be an element of chance involved, but engineering has done remarkable things to minimize its effect.

  88. @Luke Lea
    One of my gripes about modern dash board design is that aesthetics trumps utility in the layout of all the buttons, knobs, gauges, displays, etc. With the latest Lexus SUV you almost have to pull over to the side of the road to figure out the climate controls or audio options. My old Ford Explorer on the other hand has color-coded climate controls; blue means a/c, read means heater, and you simply twist a knob from the blue range to the red. I've often wondered how many people die in a Lexus trying to adjust the a/c on the fly, or to go from radio to CD play.

    In Vancouver I have never witnessed a Lexus being driven competently or with any sense of purpose.

    Of course they’re all driven by South and East Asians…

    While we’re on the subject, old brown women look like they are in pain when they are behind the wheel — 10-and-2, leaning forward, slack-jawed, worried face…

  89. Traffic congestion translates into fewer auto fatalities because congested traffic severely limits speeding, so most accidents in congested traffic are non-lethal, non-injurious fender-benders, regardless of whether the cause of the accident was distracted driving, DUI, or any other cause.

    New Jersey is the most densely populated state and also (last time I looked) has the most cars per capita, and its road net is notoriously inadequate for its traffic volume. Yet New Jersey auto insurance rates are among the highest in the nation, not because of a high auto fatality/injury rate but because its traffic congestion multiplies the frequency of non-lethal fender-benders whose damage repair costs nowadays almost always exceed $500 and often exceed $1,000.

    Congestion is not a contributing factor to auto accident fatalities/injuries, but its consequential rise of fender-benders does drive up insurance rates.

    • Replies: @Alec Leamas
    There are only a few areas in New Jersey where traffic is congested enough to require bumper-to-bumper driving at a slow rate of speed, and that's only for a few hours a day. Turnpike northbound starting at the Newark exits, roads feeding into the AC Expressway on Fridays in the summer, etc. It's also the case that with the exception of a few discrete areas people drive all over and everywhere for everything they need in life. Hours driven by insured is probably sky high relative to other States.

    There is plenty of high speed driving to be done in New Jersey. The Parkway is basically a high speed race between toll booths.

  90. @Achmed E. Newman
    I was under the impression that cars are structurally safer now in terms of the frame, structural parts that deform the best way to protect the occupants, etc. I realize there is less total metal in the cars, but the plastic you see is mostly not structural. However, all the broken plastic, but also, more importantly, the large contingent of airbags makes it much easier to total out a car now.

    A guy named Eric Peters, who may even have stuff on unz writes about these things bi-weekly (he is a Libertarian folks, so WATCH YOUR SIX!" ;-}

    As to your last paragraph, I totally agree - high fuel price or not, it's not any of the US Govt's damn business. No matter what the designed-in-the-structure and additional safety features are, more metal is better.* Inherent safety of cars is better than in the past, but with more metal, it would be better still. As to the other side of this, Eric Peters gives his estimate of how much BETTER fuel economy would be WITHOUT the mandated safety features - many hundreds to a thousand lbs. lighter cars are gonna get better mileage, as some of them used to - Geo Metro, anyone ... anyone?

    * Speaking of the people that stop for 2 minutes at the stop sign to use the phone, this is how cyclists feel about them:

    Sometimes, dead is betta!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knKLVGnuCI4

    “sometimes what comes outta the grooouunnd, ain’t whatcha put in.”

    It’s too bad we’ve used up our South Park clip allotment for the thread — the episode “Grey Dawn” is pretty relevant here. Especially after Steve mentioned his father got his license renewed at age 91.

    After a first act where senior citizens are killing massive amounts of people in car crashes, anyone above a certain age has their license revoked. The seniors then launch a military take-over of America, in a direct parody of Red Dawn.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    I'm not sure if I saw that one or not, Mr. Kenobi. Sorry to take up the South Park "space", but I've got a feeling that the number of videos that show up embedded is limited for each blog post, but I'm not sure why that needs to be. We have to learn by experiment here.
  91. Maybe it is because more and more America drivers are driving like as$holes, and doing it while distracted to boot. It is still rare in Europe for someone to pass you on the right, and most people in Europe get out of the left lanes when they aren’t overtaking. Its the law, and people actually follow it because you spend a ton of money and time to get a license . I drive 120 mph every day and mostly without a hitch. Then I come back to the US and you’ve got people dawdling, usually on a cell phone, in the left lanes at 65 to 70, and the impatient SUV drivers, also on a cell phone, overtaking on the right at 90. Perfect storm, if you ask me.

    • Replies: @Hodag
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyeus

    Zues is the local incarnation (?) Of the chief Indo-European sky god. On a flattish steppe or even prairie, the sky is pretty encompassing.
    , @DerSohndesAllvaters
    The Autobahn is truly a thing to behold. I don't frequently use it, but I am always amazed at how well it functions; well, when there is no Stau.

    As Germany becomes more and more American, I wonder just how long this Teutonic driving culture will endure.
  92. OT:

    Hell hath no fury like a Dangerous Fagot:

    https://milo.yiannopoulos.net/2017/02/takei-child-molestation/

    The Whiskey Rebellion is about to begin:

    https://whiskeysplace.wordpress.com/2014/04/26/hollywoods-gay-rape-scandal-a-classic-agency-problem/

    And the backdorvil dam collapsed:

    http://twitchy.com/gregp-3534/2017/02/22/uh-oh-video-surfaces-of-bill-maher-condoning-sex-between-an-adult-and-a-14-year-old/

    “Events my dear boy, events.”

  93. @dearieme
    "The population is appreciably aging, with more senior citizens, especially among us ‘Boomers’".

    I don't know how it is in the US but in the UK people aged 65-75 seem to be pretty safe drivers. I suspect this is because they drive fewer miles, drive less on unfamiliar roads, and avoid driving in the dark and in foul weather. Perhaps they are also less glued to their bloody phones.

    I have a 90-year-old aunt in Indiana who still drives, during daylight hours. She drove like shit when she was a young driver– and now she sees poorly, and her reflexes are 90 years old! My 60-something sisters are nothing to write home about, as drivers, either. Although older people tend not to speed, they oftentimes drive so slowly that they frustrate, or even enrage, younger drivers, with a lot of additional passing maneuvers, as a result. I honestly feel sympathetic towards older people, like my aforementioned aunt, whose cars might well seem to be a necessity; but, that does not change their mental and physical debilities naturally resulting from the aging process. I am down in Florida, this winter, and being among so many elderly drivers is a major offset to the generally pleasant weather!

  94. A favorite Led Zeppelin boot’ of mine is their Feb. 14 1975 concert in New York, called “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” on one of the CD imprints. It’s an overall good concert with spotty moments of greatness, but one of the things that makes it a favorite is Robert’s fun in-between-song patter to the audience. It being St. Valentine’s Day, and myth and pagan history being a favorite topic of his, he goes on at some length about the sexy, pre-Christian origins of the holiday. Now, in this age of the Internet and Wikipedia, knowing about and then going-on-at-length-to-make-sure-everyone-else-knows-you-know-about such basic, educated layman 101 type material, is a pretty boorish, IQ-115 type of thing to do. But in the 70′s, when a decent set of encyclopedias cost more than a nice used car, and you’d likely have to have access to a college library to learn about the saucy, fertility-cult origins of the Easter Bunny, it was a big deal, and I remember doing a double-take when a professor told me “Zeus” (as a literary figure) was merely the aggregation and embellishment of dozens and dozens of Dark Age Greece colorful local Big Man stories.

    Well, folks, we are blessed to be alive during the apotheosis of Donald Trump, who is already a folk hero (with all the riotous, bumptious energy that implies) on par with Paul Bunyan.

    As you’ll recall, as the Obama Administration’s narrative about Ferguson turned out to be Fake News

    And here is the legend of the Golden Don in a nutshell. It seems like Ages ago, but it’s only been weeks since in the humiliating aftermath of Her Highness’s defeat, Big Media and Big Internet met in some slimy corner of the Dark Web among all the other scum and low-lifes to plot their Fake News roll-out to undermine the President. “Fake News is why Trump won the election! How do we know this so soon, we just do! And here’s Google and Facebook to offer new censoring- er, heuristic-driven personal news amelioration features- to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

    Here in this shining sub-development on a hill a lot of us were brainstorming a counter-meme, yet so insured to old cuck ways are most of us, that all we could think to do was come up with some clever play on Fake News, and thereby reinforce Their Narrative. And yet in one Shining Moment, our Golden Don roared Truth to Power, and so stood the Narrative on its head- “I’m to apologize for Fake News? No, you’re the Fake News- CNN, Failed New York Times!” And thus the Lernean Hydra’s heads were made to bite each other till it died. And thus the Mares of Diomedes were offered a better contract in Atlantic City, and so left their master willingly. And thus Trump came upon the Augean Stables, saw they were a dump, and said “YOU can clean this sh!t up. I’m taking the villa and you move in here.”

    Seriously, Fake News was purpose-fabricated to be a constant thorn in Donald’s side, and yet in only a couple weeks he turned it around and now every journo-lister runs for cover the moment they hear those words, and ardently wish the phrase had never been coined at all. And all the President did was stand up for himself with nothing but a podium and titan-sized [email protected] Amazing!

  95. @George
    There is a pension crisis reducing municipal services, due to the need to pay police et al to not work, aka retire.

    http://www.pensiontsunami.com/

    In other news, Bloomberg is worried.

    Why Trump's Immigration Crackdown Could Sink U.S. Home Prices
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-22/why-trump-s-immigration-crackdown-could-sink-u-s-home-prices

    >Why Trump’s Immigration Crackdown Could Sink U.S. Home Prices

    Alternatively, “could make home ownership more affordable for Americans”

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Will you change your name after your birthday?
  96. @Veracitor
    Maybe there's a connection with the White Death you recently wrote about, Steve. Narcotic overdoses are the tail of a distribution which must put many bleary-eyed people on the road. Opiates may be killing some people by way of car crashes instead of overdoses.

    Randal O'Toole, who is the smartest guy working in transportation policy whom I know of, just hypothesized on his weblog The Antiplanner that increased congestion may be leading to more collisions (he's got numbers and graphs). Perhaps his hypothesis can by synthesized with either the White Death or the "techno-distraction" theory you quoted-- people get bored when stuck in traffic and may turn their attention to their smartphones, or people are mildly impaired by opiates, then whenever traffic is lurching they are more likely to handle the situation poorly.

    I'm not excited by the theory that diminished police activity is driving the problem (heh). Of course "government officials and safety advocates" want more robbers with badges, they always do, but at least where I live traffic enforcement is more rapacious than ever as all levels of government seek to supplement tax revenues with traffic fines.

    I do suspect some contribution from the swelling population of immigrants from less-motorized countries. Mexicans can drive, but East and South Asians commonly have never driven (except motor scooters) before they get to the USA, lack appropriate cultural training in youth, and are frequently scofflaws (I think because in their home countries, cars are for big shots, so many immigrants subconsciously feel that tooling around in a car makes them into big shots, entitled to scorn and abuse everyone else).

    Mexicans can drive,

    As an actual beat cop who pulls people over, writes tickets, and spends most of his busy-time working on wreck reports in a southern state this is certainly not true. Maybe if you lived in the southwest with some old-generation mexican populations or something, in general I find them to be fairly terrible drivers ranging from both the horrific driving while impaired accidents to the incessant daily fender benders.

    Can’t say much about Asians as there aren’t that many where I patrol. However, the only accident I’ve been involved in with my patrol car was when an Asian guy rear-ended me. I think he was Chinese, and tried to bribe me the whole time lol.

    White people passing out while taking opiates on the road is a big problem.

    Mexicans are notoriously smart however in that they always flee when they wreck their vehicles after a night of alcoholic fiesta, seems to be common knowledge for them.

    Blacks in general seem to be equal drivers to whites, but tend to be a problem just in all the other forms of traffic enforcement (not getting insurance, not registering vehicles, being mouthy on traffic stops, fleeing the scenes of accidents, etc etc, road rage, etc etc……..)

    In my opinion, most fatal accident come from plain, old fashioned speeding. That’s just what I see on the road, don’t know the stats or anything.

  97. @Bigbadwolf
    In my state (Minnesota), drivers knowingly and deliberately go through reds. And with impunity. A lot of drivers seem to be fiddling with their digital devices while driving. Others drive while inebriated. There's just no rule of law. I never see such atrocious driving in Europe.

    Even Belgium?

  98. I’m going to have to go with phones. I’ve lived in the same neighborhood for twenty years and the major 4 lane road in our area gently curves and in the last three or so years we’ve had a number of solo cars in dry, broad daylight conditions jump onto the sidewalk and into walls or the nearby park, always in the same ~100′ stretch. I can only speculate it’s due to looking at the phone instead of the road because there is no other reason for it to happen. I won’t run on the sidewalk anymore in that area unless I am facing traffic.

  99. @D. K.
    A) The resident population is continually growing;

    B) The population is appreciably aging, with more senior citizens, especially among us 'Boomers;'

    C) The burgeoning population of illicit drug users who largely go to explain "The White Death" also usually are licensed drivers;

    D) More Third World illegal-alien peasants, including habitually drinking-and-driving Latin Americans, are being given driver's licenses, courtesy of state legislatures;

    E) With a rise in suicides, more people deliberately kill themselves in crashes, either to lend plausible deniability to their intentions, or just as an available instrument of self-destruction; and,

    F) Chinese immigrants, especially women, and most especially older women, cannot drive for shit!

    Baby boomer moneygrubber gets his vehicle up to about 89 mph before ramming it into a bridge abutment in a highly successful attempt to kill himself. I remember it was a big deal in the financial press.

    The baby boomer who killed himself was facing legal problems. He was some kind of energy guy along the lines of Ken Lay. His name was McClendon. This baby boomer McClendon only cared about money. He was related, by marriage, to a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model with the surname Upton. She is now on the cover of Sports Illustrated. I was hoping for Hailey Clauson.

    A baby boomer corporate executive named Dellinger killed a pregnant woman and her fiance when he tried to kill himself on a highway in New Hampshire. Dellinger drove across a highway median and hit the oncoming vehicle driven by the young people. He lived in Sunapee. That is where a lot of wealthy New Hampshire people live.

    I very much hope that Dellinger finishes what he started; but this time I don’t want him to take out any innocent people.

    • Replies: @Brutusale
    Sunapee is the 76th highest income town in New Hampshire. Not many wealthy people live there.

    I find it fascinating that Massachusetts drivers are roundly criticized as the "worst" in America, yet we almost always have the lowest traffic fatality rates.

    http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/general-statistics/fatalityfacts/state-by-state-overview
  100. Personally, I think it’s that the number of people using the roads has greatly increased while the number of roads (or expansion of existing roads) hasn’t.

    The increased volume of traffic means greater slowdowns which leads to greater frustration which leads to more stupid and impatient driving.

    Throw in illegal immigrants without lawful drivers’ licenses and the number of fatalities goes up.

    Or, at least, that’s what I’m seeing in Southern California right now.

  101. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @MW
    If you click through to the NSC report, they offer breakdowns by state and month. Unfortunately, no demographic data. Which demographic is showing an increase in traffic fatalities? 20-year olds? 50 year olds? 80 year olds? All of the above? That seems like a pretty key thing to understand. Sometimes you break it down into the correct components, and you find nothing has changed - it's just there are more 80 year olds than there used to be, or whatever.

    http://www.nsc.org/NewsDocuments/2017/12-month-estimates.pdf

    As for states, the pattern is not immediately obvious to me. States with huge jumps 2014-2016 are Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, New Hampshire, Oregon and Vermont. States with minimal increases or decreases are Delaware, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and West Virginia.

    In smaller states, this could of course be very quirky. Aside from the usual problems of small statistical samples, fixing a single dangerous stretch of highway could be impactful in some of those states.

    States with huge jumps 2014-2016 are Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, New Hampshire, Oregon and Vermont.

    Marijuana+meth+opioids = answer ?

    { Colorado+Oregon = Marijuana; Georgia+Idaho = Meth; NH + VT = Opioids }

    Throw in alcohol+cell phones + ageing + cheap gas + lighter vehicles + higher speed limits too. Largely empty countryside with hilly windy roads can be tempting for speeders.

  102. My brother and I used to play “Asian or Retard” when seeing someone violating driving protocols, which, as we became more sensitive, turned into “Immigrant or Woman”
    If both it was a wash
    Some of the protocols: Stay right except to pass, move right if someone is going faster coming up behind you, signal intent, the “stop sign weave” (everyone knows who is next at a 4 way stop), if you miss a turn or an exit you should maintain speed and turn around at the next opportunity -DON’T STOP in the middle of the HIGHWAY and back up or make a turn crossing three lanes etc… When driving, do you see yourself as part of the greater flow or is it just you and your ‘path’?
    Someone who is a part of the US driving culture sees themselves as part of the greater context and system and therefore observes the assumptions and protocols.
    Millenial girls tend not to be part of the US driving culture for some reason… they might as well be immigrants…
    But it got me to thinking, if these people cannot even integrate into basics of the social capital and cultural assumptions of Driving, how can we entrust them to integrate and learn the more complicated levels of “givens” of American Culture?
    You can’t.
    And now you have to spell everything out, and when you spell everything out, you are a racistxenophobicmisogynistcolonizingpatronizer…

    • Agree: sayless
  103. @George
    There is a pension crisis reducing municipal services, due to the need to pay police et al to not work, aka retire.

    http://www.pensiontsunami.com/

    In other news, Bloomberg is worried.

    Why Trump's Immigration Crackdown Could Sink U.S. Home Prices
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-22/why-trump-s-immigration-crackdown-could-sink-u-s-home-prices

    The baby boomers can have their pensions, Social Security and Medicare OR they can continue to have 50,000 troops in Germany, 40,000 troops in Japan and 30,000 troops in South Korea. What will the baby boomers choose?

    The American Empire does not survive the retirement of the baby boomers. The United States will be fine with 10 aircraft carriers and a SLBM nuclear deterrent.

  104. @415 reasons
    OT: Discrimination for being straight in a sports league that is 98% homosexual

    http://www.espn.com/wnba/story/_/id/18736405/candice-wiggins-calls-wnba-culture-harmful-says-was-bullied


    Me being heterosexual and straight and being vocal in my identity as a straight woman was huge," Wiggins told the Union-Tribune. "I would say 98 percent of the women in the WNBA are gay women. It was a conformist type of place. There was a whole different set of rules they [the other players] could apply."

    In a follow-up interview with The San Diego Union-Tribune on Tuesday, Wiggins said she meant to use the 98 percent figure as an illustration rather than fact.

    There is no published data on the number of gay players in the league.
     

    Interesting how a single gay late round NFL draft pick who never saw the field in a game was a well-covered latter day Jackie Robinson, but a league with so many homosexual athletes that they could make up 98% of the league merits no comment whatsoever, and indeed denials and a kind of omerta.

    Interesting how a single gay late round NFL draft pick who never saw the field in a game was a well-covered latter day Jackie Robinson, but a league with so many homosexual athletes that they could make up 98% of the league merits no comment whatsoever, and indeed denials and a kind of omerta.

    If you judge by the number of players who wear men’s suits and ties to the draft, it’s at least half of the league. But I think it is extremely likely that many if not most high level women’s basketball players have high digit ratios favoring the ring finger relative to the index finger, which correlates to prenatal testosterone exposure and lesbianism later in life. (I believe the theory was that the longer ring finger is an adaptation to throwing weapons in hunting/small group warfare). Naturally the longer ring finger and the personality traits associated with testosterone (spacial awareness, aggressiveness) would be helpful in handling and shooting a basketball and in competition with other girls and women generally. (GIS popular players and you can see the long ring fingers relative to the index finger on nearly all of them).

    Women’s soccer seems to be trending more patently lesbian as well. I suppose that the authorities of the League and team owners can’t find a way to tell the players to keep it ambiguous so that they can sell tickets and merchandise to conservative suburban dads and daughters. What has happened to Ashlyn Harris is indicative – a truly beautiful, tall blonde literal prom queen from her North Carolina days turned into a tatted, clipper-haired, suit-wearing boy band reject. Sad!

  105. @Auntie Analogue
    Traffic congestion translates into fewer auto fatalities because congested traffic severely limits speeding, so most accidents in congested traffic are non-lethal, non-injurious fender-benders, regardless of whether the cause of the accident was distracted driving, DUI, or any other cause.

    New Jersey is the most densely populated state and also (last time I looked) has the most cars per capita, and its road net is notoriously inadequate for its traffic volume. Yet New Jersey auto insurance rates are among the highest in the nation, not because of a high auto fatality/injury rate but because its traffic congestion multiplies the frequency of non-lethal fender-benders whose damage repair costs nowadays almost always exceed $500 and often exceed $1,000.

    Congestion is not a contributing factor to auto accident fatalities/injuries, but its consequential rise of fender-benders does drive up insurance rates.

    There are only a few areas in New Jersey where traffic is congested enough to require bumper-to-bumper driving at a slow rate of speed, and that’s only for a few hours a day. Turnpike northbound starting at the Newark exits, roads feeding into the AC Expressway on Fridays in the summer, etc. It’s also the case that with the exception of a few discrete areas people drive all over and everywhere for everything they need in life. Hours driven by insured is probably sky high relative to other States.

    There is plenty of high speed driving to be done in New Jersey. The Parkway is basically a high speed race between toll booths.

    • Replies: @Auntie Analogue
    My dear Alec Leamas, I grew up in New Jersey and lived there until I was forty-eight. I hated driving in New Jersey precisely because of constant traffic congestion. Does the term "jug handle" ring a bell with you? (!) How about "traffic circle"?! (!) Almost all of the congestion occurs on roads north of the Raritan River, though the Princeton area, with its narrow two-lane roads, also has congestion nightmares.

    Routes 1-9, and Route 1 and Route 9 south of the two roads' divergence were slow, painful slogs through those roads endless red lights and backed-up jug handles. Same for Routes 17 & 18, and Route 46 too. Route 22 was no bargain either. For one stretch of employment I had to commute from Parlin to Parsippany, up I-287 and I-278, and both were nightmares from 6 AM-9:30 AM, and from 3:30-6:30 PM. Add to all of those the local two-lane and four-lane county and municipal roads that are always congestion-plagued.

    Yes, when its roadway isn't choked with slowed congested traffic, the left-hand lane of the Garden State Parkway is a speed zone characterized by everyone in it tailgating glued to the back bumper of the car in front of them - it's like a kamikaze conga line. From late spring to early autumn the Parkway is at its stop-&-go, bumper-to-bumper ultra-congested worst southbound on Friday afternoons right up to nearly midnight, and again northbound on Sunday afternoons right up to about 10 PM, because of the hordes of cars heading to and from the Shore.

    The Turnpike has its congested spots too, especially around the Meadowlands, and in that area Route 3 is another kamikaze adventure, especially with its no-slowdown lane, abrupt exits and no-acceleration lane access points. On one stretch of employment I had to drive once a week from Parlin into Manhattan, and the Turnpike's approach to the feed into the Lincoln Tunnel was so congested, all the way through into Manhattan, forced me to get out of bed extra early, just so I could sit in dense stop-&-go traffic for over two hours.

    Today I live in the Midwest and I laugh scornfully at local TV news reports of rush hour traffic jams that are like early Saturday morning traffic on New Jersey roads! Out here in flyover country there are no toll roads thrusting their state paws into my purse and traffic congestion is nigh unknown - for me that's a quantum improvement over the endless congestion of New Jersey's highways and byways.
  106. @Achmed E. Newman
    You brought up another point that should result in fewer wrecks. A friend who drives for Ubers quite a bit says he takes many of the same (usually young) people to the bars now that would have had to drive drunk before - seeing as how it's illegal to drink on the campus now with the 21 age-limit. We used to have a bar in the student union and we liked it (a lot)!

    Back when there was a Naval Training Center in Orlando, part of our last briefing before we graduated boot camp was a reminder that while the drinking age in Florida was 21, the drinking age at the Enlisted club was 18 as long as you behaved. So, you had a very merry, well-behaved atmosphere (and Orlando was where all the women went through boot camp back then so it wasn’t a sausage fest either)…

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    The lecture for us in Great Mistakes was from a grizzled first class boatswain's mate warning us to avoid getting mixed up with grimy, gold-digging adventuresses in town, with special emphasis that, although the female sailors might not be the most beautiful women at hand, many cleaned up nicely, and, most importantly, they'd all, just like us, been examined and gotten a clean bill of health since their last opportunity to...socialise – which they were doubtless as eager to do as we were by then.

    Of course, in those days that lecture was given to each gender separately, so such wisdom is probably a thing of the past, to the detriment of the sailors.

    (My fiancée had come to town, so it was irrelevant to me.)

  107. @Coemgen
    Driving while unconcious due to opiate intoxication is extremely common. This story, Secret Service agent hopes to raise opioid awareness after near-fatal crash, is only notable due to it involving Hillary Clinton's Secret Service detail.

    Btw, the phenomenon of ubiquitous "Vietnamese nail salons with no customers" has been mentioned in iSteve comments lately. Does this trigger thoughts of the Golden Triangle for anyone else?

    19 Coemgen > “Vietnamese nail salons with no customers”

    shouldn’t that read, “with no cash register nor audit-able books” ?

  108. @Jesse
    "Another concern I have is that the high tech safety equipment on new cars might be backfiring for some reason."

    People might be becoming dependent on it, and either not knowing how to cope if it fails or just getting mentally lazy.

    The Perils of GPS and Obedient Japanese

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/19/gps-tourists-australia_n_1363823.html

    [The three Tokyo students trustingly followed their GPS system’s instructions to drive directly through Moreton Bay to the island, forgoing real roads.

    The low tide was partially responsible for making the bay look more passable, according to the Evening Standard. Yuzu Noda defended their decision to attempt the drive, saying, “[the GPS] told us we could drive there.”]

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    This is exactly why Asians merely improve what Europeans invent.
  109. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @European-American
    I've known cheap gas causes more deaths for a long time. It's one of those mixed blessings.

    In Chi's hypothetical estimation, "a $2 drop in gasoline price can translate to about 9,000 road fatalities per year in the U.S."
    ...
    It's not just that cheap gas encourages more people to hit the road, however. When gas is expensive, people are more likely to drive like Grandmas—accelerating slowly and cautiously, braking hard only when it's absolutely necessary, using cruise control or just maintaining a steady speed on highways.
     
    http://time.com/money/3659821/cheap-gas-prices-increase-accidents-deaths/

    Our findings suggest that the average reduction in road fatalities resulting from a 10% increase in the gasoline pump price is in the order of 3- 6%. Around 35,000 deaths per year could be avoided by the removal of global fuel subsidies.
     
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2741504/#!po=7.50000

    Its more than cheap gas.

    It is people who are most sensitive to marginal gas prices.

    Commuting is really safe per mile. it is mostly daylight, people are less likely to be drinking, people know where they are going. Regardless — commuters are relatively insensitive to gas prices. They have to drive to eat.

    I think new vehicles really are much safer. And also think that deaths, as well as increases in deaths will be mostly among those toward the bottom who tend to have bad outcomes for everything.

    As far as enforcing seatbelt laws — I have seen it as not quite but almost stop and frisk. Or lets put it this way. There are plenty of upscale municipalities that are full of police and it is impossible to drive around them without being noticed.

    As far as the data … these are deaths involving motor vehicles. I’m sure it isn’t mostly motorcycles, but a decent percentage involve pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles, etc. Another consideration.

    I spent some time reading through our local on line newspapers regarding fatals, and didn’t see anything surprising. Although not many well to do people dying. And youthful motorcyclists frequently show up.

    Vehicle age is up. Older Hondas are among the most stolen vehicles, since new models can’t be hot wired by normal people.

    I am empathetic toward poorer drivers, since there is really no way to have a job in most of the US without a car. The post 2008 economy was tough of them. And, they were really hurt by the anti banks sentiment and punitive regulation. However, it seems like — finally — people with sketchy credit and a job have reasonable access to now. That is, similar to how it always was before 2008.

    As far as data — there are now multiple police shooting databases that are either private or crowdsourced. I can see this increasing and people starting to put together their own data sets.

    Insurance data is useful but is mostly concerned with the cost of accidents. Deaths are only the tip of the iceberg, since there are a lot of injuries per death. This is where I think auto safety is much better. You can be in a much worse crash and walk away without a scratch than in the past.

    I will stop with the observation that deaths per mile are low in the US, but deaths per 100,000 isn’t all that low in the US compared to the world.

  110. @TheJester
    If you notice how today's plastic, thin-metalled cars tend to disintegrate on impact, you would not be surprised that more people are killed in high-speed crashes. The car manufacturers depend on air bags to save the occupants.

    I blame the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for forcing car manufacturers to increasingly design and build unsafe cars. As fuel economy standards go up, safety goes down. I won't drive a car anymore ... only trucks or SUVs built to truck standards.

    The Federal Government should get out of the fuel economy business. It makes no sense in an era awash with oil and historically low gas prices. If a person wants to buy a car with relatively low fuel economy, that is their business and the Federal Government should have no voice in the matter.

    Crush zones and air bags are fantastic. But, they had to do something when the CAFE standards force auto manufacturers to make the cars progressively lighter to meet the progressively more stringent CAFE standards … and the Feds aren’t finished yet.

    From the Heritage Foundation … slightly dated but the principle is sound that riding in lighter weight cars is more dangerous than riding in heavier steel cages. The issue is that the CAFE standards don’t give people a choice:

    The evidence is overwhelming that CAFE standards result in more highway deaths. A 1999 USA TODAY analysis of crash data and estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that, in the years since CAFE standards were mandated under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, about 46,000 people have died in crashes that they would have survived if they had been traveling in bigger, heavier cars. This translates into 7,700 deaths for every mile per gallon gained by the standards.

    http://www.heritage.org/environment/report/why-the-governments-cafe-standards-fuel-efficiency-should-berepealed-not

    The CAFE standards were never about safety. They were about reducing America’s dependency on oil imports. That’s a bygone era. The United States is now a net oil exporter due to fracking technology.

    https://energy.gov/maps/us-crude-oil-production-surpasses-net-imports

  111. Government officials and safety advocates contend, however, that more than anything else, the increase in deaths has been caused by more lenient enforcement of seatbelt, drunken driving and speeding regulations by authorities and a reluctance by lawmakers to pass more restrictive measures.

    That makes no sense. Sure, more lenient enforcement could increase the number of deaths, but “reluctance by lawmakers to pass more restrictive measures” wouldn’t explain a change. That sounds like one of those bureaucratic “let’s piggyback our priorities onto this other thing” attempts.

    I agree on the safety devices. The absolute last thing I want in an emergency situation is to have my car distracting me with an alarm for something I’m already aware of.

  112. The best safety gear on any car is the brake , the clutch and paying attention .

  113. @Clyde

    It would be interesting to look at how REAL ID states compare to the rest. If the spike is more pronounced in the rest, illegal alien drivers could be part of the cause.
    It’s a sufficient deterrent to illegals driving here that many illegals ride boys’ dirt bikes to work even in the winter.
     
    Dirt bikes alongside automobiles? lol That's some crazy stuff but not a shock in today's America 2017. Here they ride bicycles.
  114. @Paul Walker Most beautiful man ever...
    "Chinese immigrants, especially women, and most especially older women, cannot drive for shit!"
    Chinese drivers - no survivors.

    • Replies: @J1234
    That's funny! There are some Asian drivers like that, but mostly I find Asian women drivers far too timid. If I'm behind a frustratingly slow driver, it's usually an elderly person, someone talking on the phone or an Asian woman. It might vary by country of origin. I think we have a mostly Vietnamese around here, but I've heard that Korean drivers are very aggressive.

    When we were in Ireland, we were told that Irish drivers are crazy, and they are. And that Irish roads are awfully narrow, and they are. But I saw hardly any accidents in the couple of weeks we were driving around. Only one, as I recall, and it was a fender bender. That's purely anecdotal - I don't know what the stats are. It was my impression, however, that Irish drivers (maybe because of the narrow winding roads) have a higher level of situational awareness, while Americans seem to have an cruise-control-on-the-interstate attitude, which lends itself to lack of attention. That's my theory, and again, only anecdotal.
  115. @415 reasons
    OT: Discrimination for being straight in a sports league that is 98% homosexual

    http://www.espn.com/wnba/story/_/id/18736405/candice-wiggins-calls-wnba-culture-harmful-says-was-bullied


    Me being heterosexual and straight and being vocal in my identity as a straight woman was huge," Wiggins told the Union-Tribune. "I would say 98 percent of the women in the WNBA are gay women. It was a conformist type of place. There was a whole different set of rules they [the other players] could apply."

    In a follow-up interview with The San Diego Union-Tribune on Tuesday, Wiggins said she meant to use the 98 percent figure as an illustration rather than fact.

    There is no published data on the number of gay players in the league.
     

    Interesting how a single gay late round NFL draft pick who never saw the field in a game was a well-covered latter day Jackie Robinson, but a league with so many homosexual athletes that they could make up 98% of the league merits no comment whatsoever, and indeed denials and a kind of omerta.

    Brittney Griner may be the only heterosexual in the WNBA:)

  116. @Jack D
    Speed laws have more to do with revenue collection than with safety.

    My guesses are:

    1. More distracted driving - people not only talking on the phone but texting, Facebooking, etc.

    2. New safety equipment doesn't actually hurt but it doesn't help either - people adjust their behavior to maintain a certain level of risk. If your car has lane change warning, auto braking then you text even more because you feel that the car will take care of you. So whatever safety is added is negated by more risky behavior.

    3. Extension of the White Death and Ferguson Effect - as society continues to break down for people in the lower income brackets you have more people who are under influence of drugs and just generally no longer give a damn about anything. Also people who cannot afford to maintain their vehicles so more accidents due to worn tires, bad brakes, etc.

    I would add to your list a quasi-Ferguson affect- decrease in adherence to convention. It appears that respect for the law has diminished in this country. While driving my daughter to school yesterday four people made a left turn after the light turned red.

    People drive through intersections without stopping and are generally less courteous in Kailua than they used to be.

    The new rich people who have moved here don’t care about the old rules. This is beginning to have an affect on the locals.

    I know this sounds like typical old fogey speak but I do believe that lack of respect for social conventions, like traffic laws and common courtesy, contribute to the spike in traffic deaths. And murder .

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    It's a vicious cycle: if others do not behave with decorum and courtesy, one who does will suffer, rather than benefit from them.

    Also related are the populace's awakening to anarcho-tyranny. As we realise there is no reward for self-policing, and that scoundrels flaunt the law while the dutiful are relentlessly punished for mild indiscretions, they decide to flaunt the law themselves, since punishment is forthcoming anyway. If his wife (here, the government) constantly berates a loyal man (the autochthonous citizenry) with false accusations of adultery and violence against her, and initiates a divorce, the man may well reach a point where he decides he may as well indulge in the sins for which he is to otherwise be wrongfully penalised.

    The law is losing legitimacy with the native, who tire of its never being aploed to the invaders.
  117. I fine it hard to believe that smart phones are responsible for the sudden increase. If that were the case then the sharpest increase would have been 2008-2010, when smart phones really caught on.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    The apps become more and more compelling every year. In 2008 there was no Facebook app and the 1st Facebook app was a simple affair compared to today's.
  118. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @benjaminl
    Off-topic: A new novel of the Brooklyn elite seems to veer perilously close to crimethink.

    Can the denunciations be far behind? Or will the author get away with it because:
    1. she is a) Jewish and b) female
    2. her ostensible targets are the SWPL not the NAM.

    Lucinda Rosenfeld, Class. Little, Brown. 2017.



    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/16/books/review-lucinda-rosenfeld-class.html?_r=0

    The novel is called “Class,” but it’s just as preoccupied with race, and Ms. Rosenfeld deserves a great deal of credit for taking on this minefield of a subject. Karen and her “chronically underemotive” husband, Matt, a low-income-housing advocate who is “currently earning zero dollars per week,” try to live according to their values. This effort entails, among other things, sending their daughter to a public school, Betts, where white students are in the minority.

    It’s an admirable ideal, but Karen has a hard time with the ensuing reality. She’s reflexively dismayed at various elements of the African-American experience that she witnesses among Ruby’s classmates — the “beaded braids, buzz cuts and neon backpacks”; the names, like Sa’Ryah, “with their apostrophes, dashes, purposeful misspellings and randomly added letters” — and then reflexively worried that she’s at heart a racist.
     
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/20/books/review/class-lucinda-rosenfeld.html

    Using Ruby as a shield for her idealism, Karen secretly cherishes the one blond-haired child in her daughter’s class, speculates on the ability of poor families to “recognize the Evite format” and lives in fear of processed foods and twerking. But her real fear, as it well should be, is being perceived as a flagrant racist. Perhaps the most self-aware thought she has over the course of the entire novel is this: “College-educated white liberals were nearly as terrified of being seen as racists as they were of encountering black male teenagers on an empty street after dark.”

    When a child from a nearby housing project (he “never met his father, if such an individual could even be identified”) becomes violent in class and seems to threaten Ruby, Karen guiltily and unceremoniously yanks her daughter out of the school. A couple of white lies later and Ruby is enrolled in a more prestigious school, where Karen is faced with a whole new ilk of intolerable parent — the kind intent on teaching the lunchroom workers to cook with olive oil instead of Crisco. (“It’s been a fairly steep learning curve,” one mother smiles “knowingly.”)
     
    https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/lucinda-rosenfeld/class-rosenfeld/

    Karen Kipple and her husband, Matt, both career activists in the nonprofit sector, have righteously enrolled their daughter in their zoned public elementary school, where “the white population…hovered around 20 percent.” However, Karen, like some other white parents, is concerned that she's sacrificed quality education for diversity. Among other dubious accomplishments, her daughter can recite the wedding date of Coretta and Martin Luther King—because “every month was Black History Month—except when it was Latino History Month.” A scuffle on the playground between a Jayyden and a Maeve further divides the parents along racial lines: “What that kid needs is a serious whupping” versus “With all due respect, violence is not the answer to violence.”
     
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/can-a-parents-liberal-values-pass-the-public-school-test/2017/01/02/b93a8c0a-c60d-11e6-bf4b-2c064d32a4bf_story.html


    My favorite thing about my children’s D.C. public elementary school was that you could not predict which child belonged to which parent. The combination of interracial, gay and international marriages with surrogate, adopted and blended families made for rich cross-pollination. Fifty-four languages were spoken within the community: “The Spanish girl” my son befriended turned out to be Swedish; an Ethiopian mother, hearing I’d lived in Oklahoma, wanted to tell me about her pen pal, Tulsa evangelist Oral Roberts! One little girl broke the school “ethnicity” form because her mother was Asian Indian and her father Wisconsin white. “What does that make me?” she asked the fourth-grade teacher, who turned the lesson into a class letter to the school board. Do I sound smug? I don’t mean to.
     

    The novel is called “Class,” but it’s just as preoccupied with race, and Ms. Rosenfeld deserves a great deal of credit for taking on this minefield of a subject.

    I wonder if the NYT thinks Steve deserves a lot of credit for tackling some thorny issues related to the subject of race.

  119. @The Only Catholic Unionist
    Back when there was a Naval Training Center in Orlando, part of our last briefing before we graduated boot camp was a reminder that while the drinking age in Florida was 21, the drinking age at the Enlisted club was 18 as long as you behaved. So, you had a very merry, well-behaved atmosphere (and Orlando was where all the women went through boot camp back then so it wasn't a sausage fest either)...

    The lecture for us in Great Mistakes was from a grizzled first class boatswain’s mate warning us to avoid getting mixed up with grimy, gold-digging adventuresses in town, with special emphasis that, although the female sailors might not be the most beautiful women at hand, many cleaned up nicely, and, most importantly, they’d all, just like us, been examined and gotten a clean bill of health since their last opportunity to…socialise – which they were doubtless as eager to do as we were by then.

    Of course, in those days that lecture was given to each gender separately, so such wisdom is probably a thing of the past, to the detriment of the sailors.

    (My fiancée had come to town, so it was irrelevant to me.)

  120. @Big Bill
    I did not realize how popular dirt bikes have become in the ghetto. I went to the Baltimore police website and discovered that they have an official dirt bike project/squad/something to deal with all the ghetto kids racing around, speeding, driving on sidewalks, popping wheelies, swarming cars, etc.

    Woulda guessed?

    I did not realize how popular dirt bikes have become in the ghetto.

    Growing up in the mid to late ’70s, many of my peers and I had dirtbikes. Even though we lived 25 miles outside of Boston there was plenty of places to ride off-rode, even take trails far into NH. We gave that up after getting drivers licenses and cars, but we still sometimes took our cars off road.

    Re price of gasoline – My first job was in 1977 at age 13 pumping gas for $2 per hour at a Mobil gas station. At the time, the price of gasoline was about $0.49. I experienced the crush of long lines and shortages during the oil crisis in 1979 when the price of gasoline hit $0.99 a gallon and crossed the $1 per gallon threshold.

    My parents made me quite that job a year later when, alone on a late Friday night shift, I got robbed by knife point and beat up by two blacks.

  121. @White Guy In Japan
    The Perils of GPS and Obedient Japanese
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/19/gps-tourists-australia_n_1363823.html

    [The three Tokyo students trustingly followed their GPS system’s instructions to drive directly through Moreton Bay to the island, forgoing real roads.

    The low tide was partially responsible for making the bay look more passable, according to the Evening Standard. Yuzu Noda defended their decision to attempt the drive, saying, “[the GPS] told us we could drive there.”]

    This is exactly why Asians merely improve what Europeans invent.

    • Replies: @White Guy In Japan
    Yes, but that was not my point.

    To many Japanese, the map IS the territory. Reality is secondary to GPS.
  122. @Hodag
    Old people vote. And taking away driver's licenses make old people angry.

    I just drained my father's battery and took away the trickle charger.

    A distant cousin of mine institutionalized his own mother because the elderly woman would not stop driving while drunk. The cousin’s a personal injury lawyer, so he knew better than most what could result from her out-of-control behavior. It’s still a tough thing to have to do, though.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Wouldn't it have been easier to take away her car?
  123. @Bigbadwolf
    In my state (Minnesota), drivers knowingly and deliberately go through reds. And with impunity. A lot of drivers seem to be fiddling with their digital devices while driving. Others drive while inebriated. There's just no rule of law. I never see such atrocious driving in Europe.

    “In my state (Minnesota), drivers knowingly and deliberately go through reds. And with impunity.”

    How many of them are Somalis?

  124. @Another Canadian
    https://youtu.be/YjkkjH0GnfY

    That’s funny! There are some Asian drivers like that, but mostly I find Asian women drivers far too timid. If I’m behind a frustratingly slow driver, it’s usually an elderly person, someone talking on the phone or an Asian woman. It might vary by country of origin. I think we have a mostly Vietnamese around here, but I’ve heard that Korean drivers are very aggressive.

    When we were in Ireland, we were told that Irish drivers are crazy, and they are. And that Irish roads are awfully narrow, and they are. But I saw hardly any accidents in the couple of weeks we were driving around. Only one, as I recall, and it was a fender bender. That’s purely anecdotal – I don’t know what the stats are. It was my impression, however, that Irish drivers (maybe because of the narrow winding roads) have a higher level of situational awareness, while Americans seem to have an cruise-control-on-the-interstate attitude, which lends itself to lack of attention. That’s my theory, and again, only anecdotal.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    J,
    I have climbed high alpine routes in the mountains, alone and unroped. I have raced motorcycles, skydived (skydove?), bungee jumped, and flown aerobatics. I've even been involved with two women at the same time.
    Driving in Ireland is the scariest thing I've ever done.
    It wasn't so bad 25 years ago when cars were old and slow, but as the economy has improved and the rural/town divide has grown, it's become horrifying.
  125. @Big Bill
    I did not realize how popular dirt bikes have become in the ghetto. I went to the Baltimore police website and discovered that they have an official dirt bike project/squad/something to deal with all the ghetto kids racing around, speeding, driving on sidewalks, popping wheelies, swarming cars, etc.

    Woulda guessed?

    Meet the 12 O’Clock Boys.

    George Miller as Cassandra. Enjoy the decline.

  126. @Just some cop
    Here I am, again making my very narrow observations based soley on my own West Coast, medium-sized police agency, and my own experience there as a plain old beat cop.

    The Ferguson Effect has been absolutely real for us, but the application is somewhat narrow, I think. I'm still just as happy to stop a non-black person for a traffic offense. Car full of black kids, not so much. I only give warnings anyway.

    Traffic cops, who in my agency account for the lion's share of enforcement, have been less effected because they are more location based (problem intersections, road stretches, etc) and seldom do "investigatory stops". Incidently, they are also where 99% of our traffic safety federal grant money goes.

    Similar to a comment I made about security cameras and robberies, if my days of traffic enforcement in poor neighborhoods had an effect, I wasn't aware of it. The fortieth unpaid ticket costs exactly what the first one did and the police cannot impound cars for that anymore. Guys with suspended licenses and no insurance would drive like total idiots right in front of a cop car, because, of course, they were total idiots. If they had any ability to plan, they'd have spent the month's cigarette budget on liability insurance, right?

    If there is a Ferguson Effect contributing, I wonder if it's not the diminishing halo effect of just having police cars driving around. Before I was a cop I was absolutely certain that every cop I saw was looking to pull me over, not driving somewhere to do something. I was wrong, but I still slowed down. Now that many cops go to the "firehouse model" of sitting somewhere central (alas, not a donut shop; the main criteria is somewhere you don't have to constantly be on alert for an ambush) waiting for a call, they might do just as many traffic stops as before, but be a passive presence much less.

    As I tell people who ask about my career field, we are in the midst of a profound redefinition of the role of police in society. It's unfortunately occurring without the input of a huge number of Americans who will be directly affected. In fact, there's hardly any discussion of the "externalities", the noticing of which are racist, as our host would observe.

    I am curious to see how the culture will change at my agency, still deep behind enemy lines in the cold civil war. Notwithstanding the fact that our Attorney General is Mr Sessions (and I challenge you to find a more satisfied Trump voter than a cop involved in a shooting during the month of January), the anti-Trump hysteria very well may inspire some local prosecutor with the spirit of Emmet Till, Carolyn Moseby's fate be damned.

    So what's always been true of cops regarding violent crime (when seconds count, cops are minutes away) is probably increasingly true of traffic safety, as well.

    Here I am, again making my very narrow observations based soley on my own West Coast, medium-sized police agency, and my own experience there as a plain old beat cop.

    Good post. I’d love to hear how your agency adjusts, changes, and appeases going forward.

  127. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Lazarusism had some validity in the 19th century.

    It was no exaggeration to say that, despite America’s problem, it was one of the few places where people could be free, have economic prospects, and live under semblance of rule of law.

    Russia still had serfdom in the 19th century.
    Few European nations were democratic and allowed freedom of religion.
    Much of the world was under imperialist rule, and native rule was even more tyrannical in most cases.

    Latin America was ruled by oligarchs, and most folks got no schooling or instruction to move up in the world.

    So, it was true that US was one of the few true democracies. It also had lots of land yet to be settled(or taken from Indian savages). And alone among nations, it could say it fought a bloody war to end slavery. No such thing had happened before.
    UK was also democratic, all its land was owned and it had class legacy. And in the 19th century, Canada and Australia were British Imperial domain.

    So, if someone in the world wanted freedom and opportunity back then, the US was one of the few places with promise.

    But the world today is so different. Democracies are now dime-a-dozen. All the world has been introduced and even dragged into the modern world. If they just put their minds to it, any part of the world can become advanced and modern. The Age of Empire is over. Non-white nations can forge their own destinies by learning the best from the West.

    So, to trot out Lazarus’ poem today is anachronistic. (It’s even sillier than comparing everything to WWII.)
    If much of the world is still a mess, it’s not because they are prisons(like they once were) but because free peoples in many nations won’t sober up and do what’s right. The problem is not lack of freedom. Especially with the fall of communism, there is more freedom than ever before all over the globe. The problem is misuse of freedom. Is it our fault that Venezuelans went with morons like Chavez who showered them with welfare socialism that totally depends on high gas prices?

    When the Lazarus poem in the 19th century declared(even boasted) that the US is bastion of freedom, there was much truth to it.
    Now, it’s no longer true. Freedom is to be found in Africa, Latin America, Asia, Middle East, and etc. The problem is different peoples use freedom differently. And if they choose to use it badly, they must live with the consequences. It’s one thing for America to offer a hand to those without freedom. But why offer freedom to those who (mis)used their own freedom to mess up their own nations?

    Invoking Lazarus today is a fantasy. It is tantamount to pretending that US is still the only free nation while the rest of the world is one giant prison. Total nonsense.

    The last I heard, just about every Latin American nation is a democracy. And some are huge and have tons of resources, much of it still untapped.
    Most Asian nations are democracies. And even one that isn’t, like China, offer tons of social and economic freedoms. It’s not old imperial china where women’s feet were bound or Mao’s China where madness reigned.

    If the US keeps taking in tons of losers who’ve misused their freedom, Statue of Liberty is gonna turn into Statue of Poverty.

    But it seems some Americanists are addicted to a kind of supremacism. All this talk of ‘exceptional’ and ‘indispensable’ nation. It’s a different kind of supremacism, a kind of ‘fluid’ one. A trans-supremacism.
    Fixed supremacism would be something like “We Aryans are superior”, “We Chinese are superior”, “We Jews are superiors”, or “We Anglos are superior”.
    In contrast, American trans-supremacism says those who come to America become superior as part of the ‘exceptional’ and ‘indispensable’ nation that is ‘greatest in the world’. So, if you’re someone in Syria, you suck so bad. You are inferior nobody. But if you come to America, you are a great guy because America is a Nation of Immigrant, and that means you are what America is all about, and since America is the greatest nation on earth, you are part of that greatest-ness. (Meaning of Muslim also mutates fluidly depending on place. If you are OVER THERE, you are part of the problem, and you stinkpot nation deserves to be invaded, bombed, and/or sanctioned. Your people should be traumatized out of bed and reduced to refugee status. But if you make it to over here, YOU are what America is all about, and you are now part of a great nation, the greatest that ever be. You are a great wonderful Muslim, and you must be protected from Literally Hitler Trump and his ‘xenophobic’ Nazis).

    So, if you have two cards in your hand, and if one card says “Keep your ancestral identity and guard your homeland” and if the other says “Abandon your culture & heritage, leave your homeland forever, and adopt American identity as the most superior identity in the world”, you should go for the latter.
    It doesn’t say a certain people are superior and supreme in a fixed way for all time and in all places. It says any people will be superior and supreme if they become part of the American nation as the Sole Superpower. (It’s like Superman would be just a normal person on the Planet Kryton, but on Earth, he has superduper powers to fly and stop locomotives. It also works like fluid trans-supremacism.)

    Maybe the Statue of Liberty should be remade into Mr. T in Drag — as negroes and homos are sacrosanct in the US — , and the Lazarus poem should be T-ized.

    I pity the fool who be stuck in some
    inferior and unfree foreign land.
    I pity the fool who can’t
    make it over here, the
    home of the free.

    I pity the fool who is a wretched refuse
    cuz he aint made his ass over here to
    get what’s his.
    I pity the fool who yearns to be free
    but be stuck in a punkass prison
    country where he a nobody.

  128. @European-American
    I've known cheap gas causes more deaths for a long time. It's one of those mixed blessings.

    In Chi's hypothetical estimation, "a $2 drop in gasoline price can translate to about 9,000 road fatalities per year in the U.S."
    ...
    It's not just that cheap gas encourages more people to hit the road, however. When gas is expensive, people are more likely to drive like Grandmas—accelerating slowly and cautiously, braking hard only when it's absolutely necessary, using cruise control or just maintaining a steady speed on highways.
     
    http://time.com/money/3659821/cheap-gas-prices-increase-accidents-deaths/

    Our findings suggest that the average reduction in road fatalities resulting from a 10% increase in the gasoline pump price is in the order of 3- 6%. Around 35,000 deaths per year could be avoided by the removal of global fuel subsidies.
     
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2741504/#!po=7.50000

    “I’ve known cheap gas causes more deaths for a long time. It’s one of those mixed blessings.”

    At first I thought it might be a spurious correlation, but I can see some merit to citing cheap gas as a contributing factor.

    On the other hand, cheap drivers’ licences are more likely a contributing factor. I spent ten times as much time and money to get a license in Europe as I ever spent in the US. Other contributing factors include no-fault insurance (hit another car in Europe and be at fault and you will pay), and stricter enforcement of certain traffic laws (pass someone on the right in Germany and you lose your licence if you are caught). Vehicles also tend to be better maintained because those laws are enforced.

    There is also a lot to be said for personal responsibility, and as hedonistic as the average native European is, they are nowhere as lax with respect to the law or as indifferent to the well-being of the community as the non-native communities that are growing by the day on both sides of the pond. Here I find some support for the cheap-gas argument since it is far cheaper and easier for someone to illegally operate an auto (usually unmaintained and uninsured) in the US than in most of Europe.

  129. @Jack D
    Speed laws have more to do with revenue collection than with safety.

    My guesses are:

    1. More distracted driving - people not only talking on the phone but texting, Facebooking, etc.

    2. New safety equipment doesn't actually hurt but it doesn't help either - people adjust their behavior to maintain a certain level of risk. If your car has lane change warning, auto braking then you text even more because you feel that the car will take care of you. So whatever safety is added is negated by more risky behavior.

    3. Extension of the White Death and Ferguson Effect - as society continues to break down for people in the lower income brackets you have more people who are under influence of drugs and just generally no longer give a damn about anything. Also people who cannot afford to maintain their vehicles so more accidents due to worn tires, bad brakes, etc.

    Speed laws have more to do with revenue collection than with safety.

    People often think this, but the municipality issuing the ticket gets a small portion of the ticket revenue. In my city, a $100 traffic ticket will generate $4 for the City with the rest split between the county, county court system, state, police education, and a couple other parasites.

    Also people who cannot afford to maintain their vehicles so more accidents due to worn tires, bad brakes, etc.

    Yes, true.

  130. @Wilkey
    I fine it hard to believe that smart phones are responsible for the sudden increase. If that were the case then the sharpest increase would have been 2008-2010, when smart phones really caught on.

    The apps become more and more compelling every year. In 2008 there was no Facebook app and the 1st Facebook app was a simple affair compared to today’s.

  131. @Anon
    A distant cousin of mine institutionalized his own mother because the elderly woman would not stop driving while drunk. The cousin's a personal injury lawyer, so he knew better than most what could result from her out-of-control behavior. It's still a tough thing to have to do, though.

    Wouldn’t it have been easier to take away her car?

  132. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    I blame subprime auto loans. These have been a recent fad for banks to indulge in, and the idea is that if your mark is too poor or inept to manage a house loan, you can still pry money out of him if you talk him into taking out a car loan. The result is a lot of bad drivers flooding the roads who in previous times would never had owned a car, such as poor blacks and Mexicans fresh from the old country.

    Blacks have few qualms about being evicted from a residence if they don’t make the payments because Section 8 is always waiting to rescue them from their own irresponsiblity, but if they have to give up a car, they’ll absolutely die. Their car is a status symbol in the hood, and they’ll make more of an effort to make the payment for it. As for Mexicans, a lot of them need a car to drive to a job. Both groups are filled with terrible drivers, and plenty of them never spent time as kids watching how a responsible parent drives. Many of them had parents who never owned a car.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    subprime auto loans

    Sounds plausible.

  133. @The Alarmist
    Maybe it is because more and more America drivers are driving like as$holes, and doing it while distracted to boot. It is still rare in Europe for someone to pass you on the right, and most people in Europe get out of the left lanes when they aren't overtaking. Its the law, and people actually follow it because you spend a ton of money and time to get a license . I drive 120 mph every day and mostly without a hitch. Then I come back to the US and you've got people dawdling, usually on a cell phone, in the left lanes at 65 to 70, and the impatient SUV drivers, also on a cell phone, overtaking on the right at 90. Perfect storm, if you ask me.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyeus

    Zues is the local incarnation (?) Of the chief Indo-European sky god. On a flattish steppe or even prairie, the sky is pretty encompassing.

  134. @Anon
    I blame subprime auto loans. These have been a recent fad for banks to indulge in, and the idea is that if your mark is too poor or inept to manage a house loan, you can still pry money out of him if you talk him into taking out a car loan. The result is a lot of bad drivers flooding the roads who in previous times would never had owned a car, such as poor blacks and Mexicans fresh from the old country.

    Blacks have few qualms about being evicted from a residence if they don't make the payments because Section 8 is always waiting to rescue them from their own irresponsiblity, but if they have to give up a car, they'll absolutely die. Their car is a status symbol in the hood, and they'll make more of an effort to make the payment for it. As for Mexicans, a lot of them need a car to drive to a job. Both groups are filled with terrible drivers, and plenty of them never spent time as kids watching how a responsible parent drives. Many of them had parents who never owned a car.

    subprime auto loans

    Sounds plausible.

    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
    Steve,

    The impending subprime auto loan debacle will make the 2008 subprime housing debacle look small time.
  135. @Mr. Anon
    Just anecdotally (i.e. paying attention to the local news and police-blotter), it seems to me that relatively few old people are involved in fatal car crashes. They may be in lots of car crashes (and may often cause them) but those seldom seem to be fatal. They just don't drive fast enough.

    Every so often you hear about a car driving into a farmer’s market. It was a thing on fark back in the day -farmer’s market, dead ahead!. Always an old person mistaking brake for accelerator.

  136. @Charles Pewitt
    Baby boomer moneygrubber gets his vehicle up to about 89 mph before ramming it into a bridge abutment in a highly successful attempt to kill himself. I remember it was a big deal in the financial press.

    The baby boomer who killed himself was facing legal problems. He was some kind of energy guy along the lines of Ken Lay. His name was McClendon. This baby boomer McClendon only cared about money. He was related, by marriage, to a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model with the surname Upton. She is now on the cover of Sports Illustrated. I was hoping for Hailey Clauson.

    A baby boomer corporate executive named Dellinger killed a pregnant woman and her fiance when he tried to kill himself on a highway in New Hampshire. Dellinger drove across a highway median and hit the oncoming vehicle driven by the young people. He lived in Sunapee. That is where a lot of wealthy New Hampshire people live.

    I very much hope that Dellinger finishes what he started; but this time I don't want him to take out any innocent people.

    Sunapee is the 76th highest income town in New Hampshire. Not many wealthy people live there.

    I find it fascinating that Massachusetts drivers are roundly criticized as the “worst” in America, yet we almost always have the lowest traffic fatality rates.

    http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/general-statistics/fatalityfacts/state-by-state-overview

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    It's because you don't kill each other, you are just assholes. I once chased a man who'd rear-ended me around Boston for an hour because he din't stop. When he finally did, he was indignant because no damage had been done (out bumpers tapped) so why was I sore? I had to explain to him (among other things) I could not possibly assess the rear of my vehicle whilst driving it.
    , @Charles Pewitt
    Sunapee, New Hampshire has an average home price of $372, 845. Sunapee shares the shore of Lake Sunapee with New London and Newbury. The Lake Sunapee area is loaded with loot.

    Steven Tyler of Aerosmith fame has a house on Lake Sunapee. I like liv better than Steven.
  137. This clip has an iSteve double shot: Asian women driving and blacks swimming.

  138. @BenKenobi
    "sometimes what comes outta the grooouunnd, ain't whatcha put in."

    It's too bad we've used up our South Park clip allotment for the thread -- the episode "Grey Dawn" is pretty relevant here. Especially after Steve mentioned his father got his license renewed at age 91.

    After a first act where senior citizens are killing massive amounts of people in car crashes, anyone above a certain age has their license revoked. The seniors then launch a military take-over of America, in a direct parody of Red Dawn.

    I’m not sure if I saw that one or not, Mr. Kenobi. Sorry to take up the South Park “space”, but I’ve got a feeling that the number of videos that show up embedded is limited for each blog post, but I’m not sure why that needs to be. We have to learn by experiment here.

    • Replies: @BenKenobi
    No big deal, Mr Newman. I basically have an encyclopedic knowledge of South Park (and the first 10 seasons of the Simpsons, back when you know, it was good).

    I'm not sure if it's a hard-and-fast rule, but I've noticed that after 2 or 3 youtube embeds on a single thread the rest just appear as links.

    The more you know! ...---*
    , @Triumph104
    Ron Unz does not want to slow the page down, so only the first five or so videos open up and the rest remain as links.

    http://www.unz.com/announcement/server-failure-and-website-restoration/?highlight=embedded#comment-1608560
  139. Smart phone distraction sounds plausible but the data shows a big spike starting in 2014. I don’t think smart phone market penetration suddenly increased only in 2014.

    OT:

  140. @Autochthon
    This is exactly why Asians merely improve what Europeans invent.

    Yes, but that was not my point.

    To many Japanese, the map IS the territory. Reality is secondary to GPS.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    That WAS my point: they lack the ability to think outside the box (in this case literally). Authority is not questioned and instructions are followed; the nodel, the rule, is paramount. Multiple, complementary ways of thinking aren't integrated to create a unified idea more useful than either alone.

    Creativity, insight, and examining things from multiple, changing perspectives are critical to innovation. These fools substituted the GPS' strenths (orientation in a large area and directions more clear and precise than could be had by, say, comparing the compass rose on a map to the sun's positon, etc.) for equally (I wpuld argue far more) important and useful situational awareness ("Hey, this cannot be right; the road's ending; we're being directed to drive into the surf!").

    (Ayn Rand would have said to them "Check your premises." Either you are hallucinating or the device is malfunctioning. Which is more likely?)

    You may be making the point that Japanese are obsessed with the abstract and artificial to the exclusion of the concrete, which is another aspect of the trouble. If so, I agree. It goes to why many an Asian may be a genius at mechanical or aeronautical engineering but most – even among those same engineers – can't drive with even rudimentary competence and they are terrible in dogfights, yet white good ole boys like Kyle Busch and Richard Petty are brilliant at that kind of stuff. Asians generally lack a presence and a commonsense appreciation of things which is intuitve to Europeans.

    (I'm writing about races, not individuals; please spare me the outlying exceptions and the rotten vegetables.)
    , @DerSohndesAllvaters
    That behavior is not only limited to the Japanese. I have witnessed my father do it, but he is a very by the book and never question authority type of guy. That is how he had a successful career at DuPont.

    I refuse to use the damn things unless I am totally lost. People who use them for interstate driving annoy me to no end.
  141. @Langley
    I would add to your list a quasi-Ferguson affect- decrease in adherence to convention. It appears that respect for the law has diminished in this country. While driving my daughter to school yesterday four people made a left turn after the light turned red.

    People drive through intersections without stopping and are generally less courteous in Kailua than they used to be.

    The new rich people who have moved here don't care about the old rules. This is beginning to have an affect on the locals.

    I know this sounds like typical old fogey speak but I do believe that lack of respect for social conventions, like traffic laws and common courtesy, contribute to the spike in traffic deaths. And murder .

    It’s a vicious cycle: if others do not behave with decorum and courtesy, one who does will suffer, rather than benefit from them.

    Also related are the populace’s awakening to anarcho-tyranny. As we realise there is no reward for self-policing, and that scoundrels flaunt the law while the dutiful are relentlessly punished for mild indiscretions, they decide to flaunt the law themselves, since punishment is forthcoming anyway. If his wife (here, the government) constantly berates a loyal man (the autochthonous citizenry) with false accusations of adultery and violence against her, and initiates a divorce, the man may well reach a point where he decides he may as well indulge in the sins for which he is to otherwise be wrongfully penalised.

    The law is losing legitimacy with the native, who tire of its never being aploed to the invaders.

  142. @Brutusale
    Sunapee is the 76th highest income town in New Hampshire. Not many wealthy people live there.

    I find it fascinating that Massachusetts drivers are roundly criticized as the "worst" in America, yet we almost always have the lowest traffic fatality rates.

    http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/general-statistics/fatalityfacts/state-by-state-overview

    It’s because you don’t kill each other, you are just assholes. I once chased a man who’d rear-ended me around Boston for an hour because he din’t stop. When he finally did, he was indignant because no damage had been done (out bumpers tapped) so why was I sore? I had to explain to him (among other things) I could not possibly assess the rear of my vehicle whilst driving it.

  143. Gotta be careful citing the National Safety Council. They seem to be one of those agencies that exist solely to lobby for more laws that require you to attend classes only they can provide to the tune of $200 or else you get your license suspended.

    Case in point running a red light generally mandates you get the option of spending eight hours in one of their classes for $230 or your license gets suspended.

  144. No phone I know ever caused a traffic accident (other than the ones hacked by Putin).

  145. @Alec Leamas
    There are only a few areas in New Jersey where traffic is congested enough to require bumper-to-bumper driving at a slow rate of speed, and that's only for a few hours a day. Turnpike northbound starting at the Newark exits, roads feeding into the AC Expressway on Fridays in the summer, etc. It's also the case that with the exception of a few discrete areas people drive all over and everywhere for everything they need in life. Hours driven by insured is probably sky high relative to other States.

    There is plenty of high speed driving to be done in New Jersey. The Parkway is basically a high speed race between toll booths.

    My dear Alec Leamas, I grew up in New Jersey and lived there until I was forty-eight. I hated driving in New Jersey precisely because of constant traffic congestion. Does the term “jug handle” ring a bell with you? (!) How about “traffic circle”?! (!) Almost all of the congestion occurs on roads north of the Raritan River, though the Princeton area, with its narrow two-lane roads, also has congestion nightmares.

    Routes 1-9, and Route 1 and Route 9 south of the two roads’ divergence were slow, painful slogs through those roads endless red lights and backed-up jug handles. Same for Routes 17 & 18, and Route 46 too. Route 22 was no bargain either. For one stretch of employment I had to commute from Parlin to Parsippany, up I-287 and I-278, and both were nightmares from 6 AM-9:30 AM, and from 3:30-6:30 PM. Add to all of those the local two-lane and four-lane county and municipal roads that are always congestion-plagued.

    Yes, when its roadway isn’t choked with slowed congested traffic, the left-hand lane of the Garden State Parkway is a speed zone characterized by everyone in it tailgating glued to the back bumper of the car in front of them – it’s like a kamikaze conga line. From late spring to early autumn the Parkway is at its stop-&-go, bumper-to-bumper ultra-congested worst southbound on Friday afternoons right up to nearly midnight, and again northbound on Sunday afternoons right up to about 10 PM, because of the hordes of cars heading to and from the Shore.

    The Turnpike has its congested spots too, especially around the Meadowlands, and in that area Route 3 is another kamikaze adventure, especially with its no-slowdown lane, abrupt exits and no-acceleration lane access points. On one stretch of employment I had to drive once a week from Parlin into Manhattan, and the Turnpike’s approach to the feed into the Lincoln Tunnel was so congested, all the way through into Manhattan, forced me to get out of bed extra early, just so I could sit in dense stop-&-go traffic for over two hours.

    Today I live in the Midwest and I laugh scornfully at local TV news reports of rush hour traffic jams that are like early Saturday morning traffic on New Jersey roads! Out here in flyover country there are no toll roads thrusting their state paws into my purse and traffic congestion is nigh unknown – for me that’s a quantum improvement over the endless congestion of New Jersey’s highways and byways.

  146. @Steve Sailer
    Or maybe it is too new and hard for older people to learn?

    I don't know.

    Insurance companies must have the data available to falsify various theories.

    Five thousand more deaths per year is a big number.

    Or maybe it is too new and hard for older people to learn?

    It is my understanding that it is conventional wisdom that adding safety devices causes people to act riskier.

    So there is probably a mismatch in how much safer people feel driving and how much safer they actually are.

    I know my backup cameras, which are new to me only since 2.5 years ago, have made me much more cavalier about backing up, something I’ve noticed recently and consequently to which I have been paying more attention recently.

  147. @another fred
    Alabama traffic deaths increased 24.6 percent in 2016 compared to 2015.

    https://www.ua.edu/news/2017/01/fatal-crashes-in-alabama-increase-in-2016-ua-study-finds/

    But crashes were only up 2.1%.

    “A variety of factors were found, but, in order of importance, I would say that speed, safety belts, distracted driving and pedestrian faults all had major contributions to the increase,” Brown said. “These causes were often further intensified by their occurring in combination with Driving Under the Influence of alcohol, drugs or both.”
     
    My personal observation is that speeds are up on the interstates. You are unlikely to be stopped on the interstates in Alabama under 80 mph. The cops focus on the "reckless driving" tickets (15 mph over the limit).

    People prone to drive at high speed (over 80 mph) are also prone to drive unbelted or under the influence.

    Darwin rules.

    You are unlikely to be stopped on the interstates in Alabama under 80 mph.

    That was true 25 years ago when I lived there.

  148. @White Guy In Japan
    Yes, but that was not my point.

    To many Japanese, the map IS the territory. Reality is secondary to GPS.

    That WAS my point: they lack the ability to think outside the box (in this case literally). Authority is not questioned and instructions are followed; the nodel, the rule, is paramount. Multiple, complementary ways of thinking aren’t integrated to create a unified idea more useful than either alone.

    Creativity, insight, and examining things from multiple, changing perspectives are critical to innovation. These fools substituted the GPS’ strenths (orientation in a large area and directions more clear and precise than could be had by, say, comparing the compass rose on a map to the sun’s positon, etc.) for equally (I wpuld argue far more) important and useful situational awareness (“Hey, this cannot be right; the road’s ending; we’re being directed to drive into the surf!”).

    (Ayn Rand would have said to them “Check your premises.” Either you are hallucinating or the device is malfunctioning. Which is more likely?)

    You may be making the point that Japanese are obsessed with the abstract and artificial to the exclusion of the concrete, which is another aspect of the trouble. If so, I agree. It goes to why many an Asian may be a genius at mechanical or aeronautical engineering but most – even among those same engineers – can’t drive with even rudimentary competence and they are terrible in dogfights, yet white good ole boys like Kyle Busch and Richard Petty are brilliant at that kind of stuff. Asians generally lack a presence and a commonsense appreciation of things which is intuitve to Europeans.

    (I’m writing about races, not individuals; please spare me the outlying exceptions and the rotten vegetables.)

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Asians generally lack a presence and a commonsense appreciation of things which is intuitve to Europeans.
     
    Aren't the Chinese infamous for being ruthlessly practical at the sacrifice of everything else? Anyway, on that, I actually disagree because the "Asian mentality" is typically better at holistic understanding and this is specific to our language. So technically that'll fit in the commonsense appreciation.

    http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01508/pdf

    That said, categorization by engineering may employ visualization by similarity is probably a weakness, and I think East Asians do not actually tend to focus on specific details in and by themselves as much.

    As for myself, I'm pretty good at driving but I tend to follow the rules scrupulously, and to some extent ignore the surroundings. As far as I'm aware, the rules exist for a reason and I'm annoyed that anyone isn't following them. So in a lane where everyone is driving 70, but if the speed limit indicates 55, I will drive 55. Order must prevail, else all is chaos; order flows from rules, therefore rules must be obeyed.

    That said, I found it amusing that in many ways, I fit the stereotype to a tee - my intelligence test showed me as outstanding in all categories except abstract thinking, which I assume required me to observe rules that were dynamically changing. That hurts me to even think about that.
    , @IBC

    Authority is not questioned and instructions are followed; the nodel, the rule, is paramount.
     
    Haven't Germans also been described in those terms? I recently read a book by Jerome K. Jerome from 1900, where he described Germans as being especially reverential to authority and loving of order. And in the well-known book, Why Nations Go to War, John G. Stoessinger, makes some of the same observations and partly blames those traits for the German role in WWI, though I think he overstates his case.

    The Japanese actually have a pretty good record of acting in a pragmatic fashion. They take foreign ideas and adapt them to their own needs. A lot of those ideas originally came from China.

    And there are lots of stories about stupid people who were "just following orders" from their GPS. People need to use some judgement and take things with a pinch of salt. Maybe some people tend to be more credulous than others, but what are the chances that those Japanese tourists make the same mistake twice?
  149. @MW
    Turns out NHTSA has a queryable database called FARS: https://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov//QueryTool/QuerySection/SelectYear.aspx. Good lord is it a bear to get data out of it. You can only do reports one year at a time. But sure enough, they have demographic information, and a whole lot of other detail too. 2016 data isn't posted yet, but one could export and build out trends up through 2015 if desired.

    More helpfully, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has posted a large number of trend reports based on FARS data, for example, Motor vehicle crash deaths per 100,000 people by age group, 1981-2015. In 2015, the largest increase was in the 35-69 years age group, so that more or less kills my hypothesis.

    Here's something that may be very significant - changing taste in vehicle type and size. The decline in vehicle occupant deaths has been driven entirely by cars, rather than pickups or SUVs. (See: http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/general-statistics/fatalityfacts/passenger-vehicles/2015.) Motorcycle deaths have actually increased significantly over the past 20 years, though not enough to offset the far larger population of automobile drivers. Further down that page, you can see that mini cars lead to by far the most fatalities per registered vehicle, while large SUVs are the safest. So here's a just-so story that sort of matches the data. In the cheap-gasoline early 2000s, many Americans switched from cars to SUVs. High gas prices brought about renewed interest in mini cars, which are still working their way through the vehicle population while early 2000s vehicles fall out of use.

    like I suspected, more small cars on the road today verse 10 years ago. I am amazed people drive these little cars on the highways, especially since so many are driving big SUVs since people stopped buying large sedans and there are even less mid-size sedans today than 10 years ago. Creates a lethal mix of small cars verse large SUVs combined with heavy phone usage while driving.

  150. @Steve Sailer
    subprime auto loans

    Sounds plausible.

    Steve,

    The impending subprime auto loan debacle will make the 2008 subprime housing debacle look small time.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    Absolutely right.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-21/the-next-financial-crisis-might-be-in-your-driveway.

    "year-end car shopping pushed vehicle loans to a dubious peak of $1.16 trillion"

    "Every licensed driver in the U.S., on average, owes about $6,100 in car payments."

    "In the past two years, U.S. drivers with credit scores of less than 620 borrowed $244 billion to buy cars, a tally not matched since 2006 and 2007 when the same strata of buyers rolled off with $254 billion in auto loans. "
  151. The brake and ABS lights just came on in the dash of my ’10 Honda and won’t go out. The Honda dealer diagnosed the problem as a failed ABS sensor module at $1700 installed! That’s more than 10% of what I paid for the mint condition, low mileage vehicle two years ago!

    The brakes still work fine but there’s no ABS and I’m not paying $1700 to fix it!

    You didn’t say which kind of Honda: Civic, Accord, or which ever.

    Here’s what a front wheel ABS sensor for a 2010 Accord sells for on Amazon:

    Brand New Anti-Lock Brake Sensor Front Left Honda Accord Abs Oem Fit ABS153
    by AIP Electronics
    4.8 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
    Price: $24.10 & FREE Shipping

    Your cost could be $19.10: Qualified customers get $5 in Gift Card funds on first $100 reload of their Amazon Gift Card Balance. Learn more
    Note: Not eligible for Amazon Prime.
    Only 5 left in stock.
    Get it as soon as Monday, Feb. 27 when you choose Two-Day Shipping at checkout.
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    honda+front+abs+sensor+accord+2010

    The brake and ABS lights just came on in the dash of my ’10 Honda and won’t go out. The Honda dealer diagnosed the problem as a failed ABS sensor module at $1700 installed! That’s more than 10% of what I paid for the mint condition, low mileage vehicle two years ago!

    The brakes still work fine but there’s no ABS and I’m not paying $1700 to fix it!

    You didn’t say which kind of Honda: Civic, Accord, or which ever.

    Here’s what a front wheel ABS sensor for a 2010 Accord sells for on Amazon:

    Brand New Anti-Lock Brake Sensor Front Left Honda Accord Abs Oem Fit ABS153
    by AIP Electronics
    4.8 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
    Price: $24.10 & FREE Shipping

    Your cost could be $19.10: Qualified customers get $5 in Gift Card funds on first $100 reload of their Amazon Gift Card Balance. Learn more
    Note: Not eligible for Amazon Prime.
    Only 5 left in stock.
    Get it as soon as Monday, Feb. 27 when you choose Two-Day Shipping at checkout.
    Ships from and sold by AIP Electronics.
    Manufacturer: AIP Electronics
    100% New Construction
    High Quality OEM Replacement Part
    Fit and Quality Guaranteed
    Ready for Install Straight out of the box
    › See more product details
    New (1) from $24.10 & FREE shipping.rs cataloged – and growing
    › See more product !

    honda+front+abs+sensor+accord+2010

    Replacing an ABS sensor should cost no more than two labor hours plus the cost of the part.

    The Honda guy who quoted you a $1700 price must have sized you up to be a sucker.

    Shop around.

    • Replies: @res
    They were probably talking about the control module not a wheel sensor. Here's an example of a remanufactured version for about $400. Who knows what new OEM costs.
    http://www.autozone.com/brakes-and-traction-control/anti-lock-brake-control-module/honda/accord/2011

    That said, shop around is great advice.
    , @Jack D
    For $1700 I suspect it was the ABS controller and not just one of the wheel sensors.

    I had a similar situation on an Audi that I once owned - Audi wanted a gazillion $ for the controller which they sold only as a complete unit, plus replacing it was a pretty big job because you have to disconnect a whole bunch of brake lines and then bleed the brakes. After some internet sleuthing I found out that the electronic module was what usually went bad and that this module could be easily separated from the electromechanical solenoid module (the part that has all the brake lines coming out of it) and that there was some guy in Florida who would repair the electronic module for less than $100 - you would mail it to him and he would fix it and mail it back. (The car is still drivable without the ABS). Which is what I did and that fixed it perfectly. And there wasn't even any need to touch the hydraulic system.

    If you google what is wrong with your car, especially on a top selling model like a Honda, chances are there are other people who have had the exact same problem and know what the (cheaper) fix is. Cars of a certain model are all exact clones of each other so when one gets a disease they usually all do because the same weakness is built into all of them. Subarus fail in their head gaskets, Honda Odysseys fail in their automatic transmissions, etc. Often the dealer fix, besides being more expensive, is not even the best fix because they will replace the failed part with an identical one which will later fail again in the exact same way.
  152. @415 reasons
    OT: Discrimination for being straight in a sports league that is 98% homosexual

    http://www.espn.com/wnba/story/_/id/18736405/candice-wiggins-calls-wnba-culture-harmful-says-was-bullied


    Me being heterosexual and straight and being vocal in my identity as a straight woman was huge," Wiggins told the Union-Tribune. "I would say 98 percent of the women in the WNBA are gay women. It was a conformist type of place. There was a whole different set of rules they [the other players] could apply."

    In a follow-up interview with The San Diego Union-Tribune on Tuesday, Wiggins said she meant to use the 98 percent figure as an illustration rather than fact.

    There is no published data on the number of gay players in the league.
     

    Interesting how a single gay late round NFL draft pick who never saw the field in a game was a well-covered latter day Jackie Robinson, but a league with so many homosexual athletes that they could make up 98% of the league merits no comment whatsoever, and indeed denials and a kind of omerta.

    but a league with so many homosexual athletes that they could make up 98% of the league merits no comment whatsoever, and indeed denials and a kind of omerta.

    Psychiatrist/author Theodore Issac Rubin, in his 1975 book Compassion and Self-Hate, wrote a passage about the dichotomy of how homosexuality is seen in this country, and still is. Gay males are viewed with contempt because society expects males to be dominant and not passive, but lesbian are dismissed as not warranting contempt. As Rubin put it, not due to “greater altruism” towards women, but because society views women as “asexual and childish” so that whatever they do isn’t important.

    • Replies: @Kyle McKenna
    Well, also because guys like watching women get it on, but the number of women who enjoy watching men do it with each other is vanishingly small.
    , @Autochthon
    Mr. Derbyshire captures the phenomenon with his oft maintained position that he finds male honosexuals gross (or icky) and female homosexuals comical.

    I think his characterisation also captures the idea that the males can and do perform acts upon each other very reminiscent of actual sex, but also unhygienic and indeed biomechnically damaging, whereas the females can only sort of flail about like inexperienced adolescents petting in a movie theatre. Even the one most graphic activity the females can engage in is not nearly so unhealthy and dangerous as what the males get up to.

    Hence the (correct) reactions marked by disgust and ridicule.
  153. @Achmed E. Newman
    I'm sure the rest of the data that you all have complained about not seeing would indeed be able to give one a better idea of the reasons for the fatality increases. I see the newer, foreign drivers as a big one, but I would lean toward the personal electronics as biggy, just from observation.

    Ride your bike even on a slow road in a neighborhood and watch how many drivers are not looking out of the car for 100 ft at a time! You don't know what they are looking at, whether they've seen you or not, and, at stop signs, what they are going to do next.

    Another aspect of this is that even the young, Americans (i.e. having grown up with cars) with the good senses (NOT good sense, just good senses - like seeing and hearing) and reactions that young people have, are doing really stupid stuff like pulling out in front of you after waiting 3 seconds to watch you come at them. Why? I'm glad you asked. It's because they can't focus in the distance anymore, not enough to determine your rough speed. That's because they look at objects 6-18" away from their eyes half of the day. It used to be an old-people thing - eyes not "accommodating" or just bad distance vision. Now the young people are just as bad, but without the judgement either.

    I'd rather cycle next to a guy with 2-3 beers in him than a driving web-surfing texter. At least the slightly-inebriated guy will be looking out the windows of the car. Yeah, he may see two or three of you, but that's better than none of you!

    … Ride your bike even on a slow road in a neighborhood and watch how many drivers are not looking out of the car for 100 ft at a time! You don’t know what they are looking at, whether they’ve seen you or not, and, at stop signs, what they are going to do next. ..

    I agree, bicycling on roads originally designed for cars can be dangerous.

    My suggestion is, don’t bicycle on those roads. You’ll be safer.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    How many of the traffic fatalities are bicyclists?
  154. @David Davenport
    ... Ride your bike even on a slow road in a neighborhood and watch how many drivers are not looking out of the car for 100 ft at a time! You don’t know what they are looking at, whether they’ve seen you or not, and, at stop signs, what they are going to do next. ..

    I agree, bicycling on roads originally designed for cars can be dangerous.

    My suggestion is, don't bicycle on those roads. You'll be safer.

    How many of the traffic fatalities are bicyclists?

    • Replies: @res
    Not sure if these are included in the overall stats, but this says 817 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2015: http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/pedestrians-and-bicyclists/fatalityfacts/bicycles
    That's a small fraction of auto deaths, but it would be interesting to see a per hour spent comparison.

    The really interesting thing at that link is how the bulk of bicyclist fatalities have completely flipped from males under 20 to males over 20 over the last 40 years. There's a similar change for females, but the numbers are much smaller.
  155. Gay males are viewed with contempt because society expects males to be dominant and not passive, but lesbian are dismissed as not warranting contempt. As Rubin put it, not due to “greater altruism” towards women, but because society views women as “asexual and childish” so that whatever they do isn’t important.

    So what do you want? A world full of meek pajama boys and butch bull dikey females?

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    So what do you want? A world full of meek pajama boys and butch bull dikey females?
     
    Can we set the world on fire already? We've gone down the wrong path.

    Reload, please, reload.
  156. How many of the traffic fatalities are bicyclists?

    I dunno Steve, but I have tried bicycling in busy traffic. It’s scarey.

    I’ll leave bicycling in busy traffic to more manly men than I, or the boys who will become such if a car doesn’t cut ‘em down.

    Furthermore, I and my car almost hit a bicyclist once when the idiot kid ran a stop sign in front of me.

    //////

    Are you sure that the increase in road fatalities isn’t due to the absolute size of the contemporary USA population, which is significantly bigger than the official number?

  157. @Mr. Anon

    Delivering his annual State of the City address from a North Seattle mosque, Mayor Ed Murray announced Tuesday he will seek a $55 million per-year property-tax levy to combat homelessness and a soda tax to fund education programs.

    …He said he wants to double the city’s spending on homelessness with a five-year, $275 million property-tax levy.
     
    So, he wants to turn Seattle into San Francisco. That ought to work out well.

    Always reminds me of the headline from Duh Progressive (online humor website with a righty bent) a couple years ago:

    Fleeing Californians Ponder Which State To Ruin Next

    • Replies: @res
    Worth a direct link:
    http://duhprogressive.com/index.php/311-fleeing-californians-ponder-which-state-to-ruin-next
  158. @Achmed E. Newman
    I'm not sure if I saw that one or not, Mr. Kenobi. Sorry to take up the South Park "space", but I've got a feeling that the number of videos that show up embedded is limited for each blog post, but I'm not sure why that needs to be. We have to learn by experiment here.

    No big deal, Mr Newman. I basically have an encyclopedic knowledge of South Park (and the first 10 seasons of the Simpsons, back when you know, it was good).

    I’m not sure if it’s a hard-and-fast rule, but I’ve noticed that after 2 or 3 youtube embeds on a single thread the rest just appear as links.

    The more you know! …—*

  159. @dearieme
    "The population is appreciably aging, with more senior citizens, especially among us ‘Boomers’".

    I don't know how it is in the US but in the UK people aged 65-75 seem to be pretty safe drivers. I suspect this is because they drive fewer miles, drive less on unfamiliar roads, and avoid driving in the dark and in foul weather. Perhaps they are also less glued to their bloody phones.

    Traffic deaths in the UK are less than half the number in 2000, despite a surge of immigration and an increase in the number of road miles driven. Even over that recent period cars have become a lot safer, which may explain it: see http://metro.co.uk/video/test-shows-far-car-safety-come-1404615/?ito=vjs-link .

  160. @White Guy In Japan
    Yes, but that was not my point.

    To many Japanese, the map IS the territory. Reality is secondary to GPS.

    That behavior is not only limited to the Japanese. I have witnessed my father do it, but he is a very by the book and never question authority type of guy. That is how he had a successful career at DuPont.

    I refuse to use the damn things unless I am totally lost. People who use them for interstate driving annoy me to no end.

  161. @The Alarmist
    Maybe it is because more and more America drivers are driving like as$holes, and doing it while distracted to boot. It is still rare in Europe for someone to pass you on the right, and most people in Europe get out of the left lanes when they aren't overtaking. Its the law, and people actually follow it because you spend a ton of money and time to get a license . I drive 120 mph every day and mostly without a hitch. Then I come back to the US and you've got people dawdling, usually on a cell phone, in the left lanes at 65 to 70, and the impatient SUV drivers, also on a cell phone, overtaking on the right at 90. Perfect storm, if you ask me.

    The Autobahn is truly a thing to behold. I don’t frequently use it, but I am always amazed at how well it functions; well, when there is no Stau.

    As Germany becomes more and more American, I wonder just how long this Teutonic driving culture will endure.

  162. This doesn’t directly deal with the theme of the piece, but I have noticed an interesting trend.

    Being a part time academic and having visited or attended more than my fair share of universities, I have noticed that there are no east Asians or Arabs driving $100,000 cars in Germany, a scene that has become rather ubiquitous at American universities. I have a theory as to why. I, as an American, can drive in Germany right off of the airplane with an American license. I don’t think Asians can. Thus they go to America to indulge their desire to drive overpriced cars. It is a major pain in the rear end to get a German license (6 month course with driving lessons and numerous classes with tests for about 1,200 Euro or more), while in the USA they hand them out like candy at Halloween. I can’t tell you the number of times I have encountered east Asian students who have never driven being given a license to drive some super fast German car with less than 9 hours total driving experience.

  163. @David Davenport
    Gay males are viewed with contempt because society expects males to be dominant and not passive, but lesbian are dismissed as not warranting contempt. As Rubin put it, not due to “greater altruism” towards women, but because society views women as “asexual and childish” so that whatever they do isn’t important.

    So what do you want? A world full of meek pajama boys and butch bull dikey females?

    So what do you want? A world full of meek pajama boys and butch bull dikey females?

    Can we set the world on fire already? We’ve gone down the wrong path.

    Reload, please, reload.

  164. @David Davenport
    The brake and ABS lights just came on in the dash of my ’10 Honda and won’t go out. The Honda dealer diagnosed the problem as a failed ABS sensor module at $1700 installed! That’s more than 10% of what I paid for the mint condition, low mileage vehicle two years ago!

    The brakes still work fine but there’s no ABS and I’m not paying $1700 to fix it!


    You didn't say which kind of Honda: Civic, Accord, or which ever.

    Here's what a front wheel ABS sensor for a 2010 Accord sells for on Amazon:

    Brand New Anti-Lock Brake Sensor Front Left Honda Accord Abs Oem Fit ABS153
    by AIP Electronics
    4.8 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
    Price: $24.10 & FREE Shipping

    Your cost could be $19.10: Qualified customers get $5 in Gift Card funds on first $100 reload of their Amazon Gift Card Balance. Learn more
    Note: Not eligible for Amazon Prime.
    Only 5 left in stock.
    Get it as soon as Monday, Feb. 27 when you choose Two-Day Shipping at checkout.
    Ships from and sold by AIP Electronics.
    Manufacturer: AIP Electronics
    100% New Construction
    High Quality OEM Replacement Part
    Fit and Quality Guaranteed
    Ready for Install Straight out of the box
    › See more product details
    New (1) from $24.10 & FREE shipping.rs cataloged - and growing
    › See more product
    !

    honda+front+abs+sensor+accord+2010

    The brake and ABS lights just came on in the dash of my ’10 Honda and won’t go out. The Honda dealer diagnosed the problem as a failed ABS sensor module at $1700 installed! That’s more than 10% of what I paid for the mint condition, low mileage vehicle two years ago!

    The brakes still work fine but there’s no ABS and I’m not paying $1700 to fix it!


    You didn't say which kind of Honda: Civic, Accord, or which ever.

    Here's what a front wheel ABS sensor for a 2010 Accord sells for on Amazon:

    Brand New Anti-Lock Brake Sensor Front Left Honda Accord Abs Oem Fit ABS153
    by AIP Electronics
    4.8 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
    Price: $24.10 & FREE Shipping

    Your cost could be $19.10: Qualified customers get $5 in Gift Card funds on first $100 reload of their Amazon Gift Card Balance. Learn more
    Note: Not eligible for Amazon Prime.
    Only 5 left in stock.
    Get it as soon as Monday, Feb. 27 when you choose Two-Day Shipping at checkout.
    Ships from and sold by AIP Electronics.
    Manufacturer: AIP Electronics
    100% New Construction
    High Quality OEM Replacement Part
    Fit and Quality Guaranteed
    Ready for Install Straight out of the box
    › See more product details
    New (1) from $24.10 & FREE shipping.rs cataloged - and growing
    › See more product
    !

    honda+front+abs+sensor+accord+2010

    Replacing an ABS sensor should cost no more than two labor hours plus the cost of the part.

    The Honda guy who quoted you a $1700 price must have sized you up to be a sucker.

    Shop around.

    They were probably talking about the control module not a wheel sensor. Here’s an example of a remanufactured version for about $400. Who knows what new OEM costs.

    http://www.autozone.com/brakes-and-traction-control/anti-lock-brake-control-module/honda/accord/2011

    That said, shop around is great advice.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Or you could get one pulled from a wreck for $8.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1991-1992-Honda-Accord-39790-SM4-A11-ABS-Anti-Lock-Brakes-Module-/272342958189?hash=item3f68e7c06d:g:ZEwAAOSw6n5Xsolu&vxp=mtr

    In the case of electronics "remanufactured" often means that they have cleaned off the dirt and put a new label on it.
  165. @Steve Sailer
    How many of the traffic fatalities are bicyclists?

    Not sure if these are included in the overall stats, but this says 817 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2015: http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/pedestrians-and-bicyclists/fatalityfacts/bicycles
    That’s a small fraction of auto deaths, but it would be interesting to see a per hour spent comparison.

    The really interesting thing at that link is how the bulk of bicyclist fatalities have completely flipped from males under 20 to males over 20 over the last 40 years. There’s a similar change for females, but the numbers are much smaller.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    40 years ago, only kids rode bikes. The assumption was that as soon as you got your driver's license you would never ride a bike again.
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    Your last paragraph about fewer younger bike rider fatalities could probably be explained by fewer young bike riders - most bikes don't have touch screens so the younger folk don't know what to do with them.
  166. @Olorin
    Always reminds me of the headline from Duh Progressive (online humor website with a righty bent) a couple years ago:

    Fleeing Californians Ponder Which State To Ruin Next
  167. @Brutusale
    Sunapee is the 76th highest income town in New Hampshire. Not many wealthy people live there.

    I find it fascinating that Massachusetts drivers are roundly criticized as the "worst" in America, yet we almost always have the lowest traffic fatality rates.

    http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/general-statistics/fatalityfacts/state-by-state-overview

    Sunapee, New Hampshire has an average home price of $372, 845. Sunapee shares the shore of Lake Sunapee with New London and Newbury. The Lake Sunapee area is loaded with loot.

    Steven Tyler of Aerosmith fame has a house on Lake Sunapee. I like liv better than Steven.

  168. @27 year old
    >Why Trump’s Immigration Crackdown Could Sink U.S. Home Prices

    Alternatively, "could make home ownership more affordable for Americans"

    Will you change your name after your birthday?

  169. @Autochthon
    That WAS my point: they lack the ability to think outside the box (in this case literally). Authority is not questioned and instructions are followed; the nodel, the rule, is paramount. Multiple, complementary ways of thinking aren't integrated to create a unified idea more useful than either alone.

    Creativity, insight, and examining things from multiple, changing perspectives are critical to innovation. These fools substituted the GPS' strenths (orientation in a large area and directions more clear and precise than could be had by, say, comparing the compass rose on a map to the sun's positon, etc.) for equally (I wpuld argue far more) important and useful situational awareness ("Hey, this cannot be right; the road's ending; we're being directed to drive into the surf!").

    (Ayn Rand would have said to them "Check your premises." Either you are hallucinating or the device is malfunctioning. Which is more likely?)

    You may be making the point that Japanese are obsessed with the abstract and artificial to the exclusion of the concrete, which is another aspect of the trouble. If so, I agree. It goes to why many an Asian may be a genius at mechanical or aeronautical engineering but most – even among those same engineers – can't drive with even rudimentary competence and they are terrible in dogfights, yet white good ole boys like Kyle Busch and Richard Petty are brilliant at that kind of stuff. Asians generally lack a presence and a commonsense appreciation of things which is intuitve to Europeans.

    (I'm writing about races, not individuals; please spare me the outlying exceptions and the rotten vegetables.)

    Asians generally lack a presence and a commonsense appreciation of things which is intuitve to Europeans.

    Aren’t the Chinese infamous for being ruthlessly practical at the sacrifice of everything else? Anyway, on that, I actually disagree because the “Asian mentality” is typically better at holistic understanding and this is specific to our language. So technically that’ll fit in the commonsense appreciation.

    http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01508/pdf

    That said, categorization by engineering may employ visualization by similarity is probably a weakness, and I think East Asians do not actually tend to focus on specific details in and by themselves as much.

    As for myself, I’m pretty good at driving but I tend to follow the rules scrupulously, and to some extent ignore the surroundings. As far as I’m aware, the rules exist for a reason and I’m annoyed that anyone isn’t following them. So in a lane where everyone is driving 70, but if the speed limit indicates 55, I will drive 55. Order must prevail, else all is chaos; order flows from rules, therefore rules must be obeyed.

    That said, I found it amusing that in many ways, I fit the stereotype to a tee – my intelligence test showed me as outstanding in all categories except abstract thinking, which I assume required me to observe rules that were dynamically changing. That hurts me to even think about that.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    It seems to me that a person of your obvious intelligence could grasp the concept that the posted speed limits tend to be somewhat conservative and that most drivers exceed them a little and that you are better off going with the traffic flow rather sticking to the posted limits and causing people to tailgate you, pass you, etc.

    As far as rules existing "for a reason", there is always a reason but the reason may not have anything to do with safety. There was a time in the US when the top speed limit was 55 in order to conserve oil - today these same highways have limits of 70 or more so there was no safety aspect to the limit. Or a low limit might be posted as a ticket revenue generating measure. Etc.
    , @Achmed E. Newman

    So in a lane where everyone is driving 70, but if the speed limit indicates 55, I will drive 55. Order must prevail, else all is chaos; order flows from rules, therefore rules must be obeyed.
     
    So long as the lane you wrote about is the left lane, I can't fault you for that. If you are blocking a passing lane, then you are a big problem. People like that make multi-lane limited-access highways highly disfunctional, and all it takes is a few of them to make their own traffic jams. Please tell me you stay to the right.

    I myself see those silly "Limit XX mph" signs as minimum numbers. Many of them are ambiguous about that. I'll go to court if I have to on this - all the way to the 9th circuit of Kalifornee, if it comes down to it.
  170. @David Davenport
    The brake and ABS lights just came on in the dash of my ’10 Honda and won’t go out. The Honda dealer diagnosed the problem as a failed ABS sensor module at $1700 installed! That’s more than 10% of what I paid for the mint condition, low mileage vehicle two years ago!

    The brakes still work fine but there’s no ABS and I’m not paying $1700 to fix it!


    You didn't say which kind of Honda: Civic, Accord, or which ever.

    Here's what a front wheel ABS sensor for a 2010 Accord sells for on Amazon:

    Brand New Anti-Lock Brake Sensor Front Left Honda Accord Abs Oem Fit ABS153
    by AIP Electronics
    4.8 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
    Price: $24.10 & FREE Shipping

    Your cost could be $19.10: Qualified customers get $5 in Gift Card funds on first $100 reload of their Amazon Gift Card Balance. Learn more
    Note: Not eligible for Amazon Prime.
    Only 5 left in stock.
    Get it as soon as Monday, Feb. 27 when you choose Two-Day Shipping at checkout.
    Ships from and sold by AIP Electronics.
    Manufacturer: AIP Electronics
    100% New Construction
    High Quality OEM Replacement Part
    Fit and Quality Guaranteed
    Ready for Install Straight out of the box
    › See more product details
    New (1) from $24.10 & FREE shipping.rs cataloged - and growing
    › See more product
    !

    honda+front+abs+sensor+accord+2010

    The brake and ABS lights just came on in the dash of my ’10 Honda and won’t go out. The Honda dealer diagnosed the problem as a failed ABS sensor module at $1700 installed! That’s more than 10% of what I paid for the mint condition, low mileage vehicle two years ago!

    The brakes still work fine but there’s no ABS and I’m not paying $1700 to fix it!


    You didn't say which kind of Honda: Civic, Accord, or which ever.

    Here's what a front wheel ABS sensor for a 2010 Accord sells for on Amazon:

    Brand New Anti-Lock Brake Sensor Front Left Honda Accord Abs Oem Fit ABS153
    by AIP Electronics
    4.8 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
    Price: $24.10 & FREE Shipping

    Your cost could be $19.10: Qualified customers get $5 in Gift Card funds on first $100 reload of their Amazon Gift Card Balance. Learn more
    Note: Not eligible for Amazon Prime.
    Only 5 left in stock.
    Get it as soon as Monday, Feb. 27 when you choose Two-Day Shipping at checkout.
    Ships from and sold by AIP Electronics.
    Manufacturer: AIP Electronics
    100% New Construction
    High Quality OEM Replacement Part
    Fit and Quality Guaranteed
    Ready for Install Straight out of the box
    › See more product details
    New (1) from $24.10 & FREE shipping.rs cataloged - and growing
    › See more product
    !

    honda+front+abs+sensor+accord+2010

    Replacing an ABS sensor should cost no more than two labor hours plus the cost of the part.

    The Honda guy who quoted you a $1700 price must have sized you up to be a sucker.

    Shop around.

    For $1700 I suspect it was the ABS controller and not just one of the wheel sensors.

    I had a similar situation on an Audi that I once owned – Audi wanted a gazillion $ for the controller which they sold only as a complete unit, plus replacing it was a pretty big job because you have to disconnect a whole bunch of brake lines and then bleed the brakes. After some internet sleuthing I found out that the electronic module was what usually went bad and that this module could be easily separated from the electromechanical solenoid module (the part that has all the brake lines coming out of it) and that there was some guy in Florida who would repair the electronic module for less than $100 – you would mail it to him and he would fix it and mail it back. (The car is still drivable without the ABS). Which is what I did and that fixed it perfectly. And there wasn’t even any need to touch the hydraulic system.

    If you google what is wrong with your car, especially on a top selling model like a Honda, chances are there are other people who have had the exact same problem and know what the (cheaper) fix is. Cars of a certain model are all exact clones of each other so when one gets a disease they usually all do because the same weakness is built into all of them. Subarus fail in their head gaskets, Honda Odysseys fail in their automatic transmissions, etc. Often the dealer fix, besides being more expensive, is not even the best fix because they will replace the failed part with an identical one which will later fail again in the exact same way.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    Agreed. Plus there are a ton of people on YouTube eager to show you how they fixed a similar problem.
    , @Steve Sailer
    My 2001 Odyssey's transmission failed at age 7 years 6 months, but Honda had gotten sued into extending the transmission warranty to something like 7 years 9 months so that saved me about $3000 or more.
  171. @Daniel Chieh

    Asians generally lack a presence and a commonsense appreciation of things which is intuitve to Europeans.
     
    Aren't the Chinese infamous for being ruthlessly practical at the sacrifice of everything else? Anyway, on that, I actually disagree because the "Asian mentality" is typically better at holistic understanding and this is specific to our language. So technically that'll fit in the commonsense appreciation.

    http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01508/pdf

    That said, categorization by engineering may employ visualization by similarity is probably a weakness, and I think East Asians do not actually tend to focus on specific details in and by themselves as much.

    As for myself, I'm pretty good at driving but I tend to follow the rules scrupulously, and to some extent ignore the surroundings. As far as I'm aware, the rules exist for a reason and I'm annoyed that anyone isn't following them. So in a lane where everyone is driving 70, but if the speed limit indicates 55, I will drive 55. Order must prevail, else all is chaos; order flows from rules, therefore rules must be obeyed.

    That said, I found it amusing that in many ways, I fit the stereotype to a tee - my intelligence test showed me as outstanding in all categories except abstract thinking, which I assume required me to observe rules that were dynamically changing. That hurts me to even think about that.

    It seems to me that a person of your obvious intelligence could grasp the concept that the posted speed limits tend to be somewhat conservative and that most drivers exceed them a little and that you are better off going with the traffic flow rather sticking to the posted limits and causing people to tailgate you, pass you, etc.

    As far as rules existing “for a reason”, there is always a reason but the reason may not have anything to do with safety. There was a time in the US when the top speed limit was 55 in order to conserve oil – today these same highways have limits of 70 or more so there was no safety aspect to the limit. Or a low limit might be posted as a ticket revenue generating measure. Etc.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Whether I'm intelligent or not, I very much feel the need for systems. Any lack of it is essentially a form of anxiety, which can be controlled for, but never welcomed.

    As far as I'm concerned, whether the rules exist for oil conservative, for safety reasons or to increase the number of tickets is immaterial. They exist, I don't want to be ticketed and I don't like breaking rules if I can at all avoid it. If they need to be changed, then the individuals in question should lobby the appropriate authorities for such.

    That many people are breaking the rules at the same time just means that they all need to be punished, not that I should also follow them in their unlawful ways.

    If everyone used their own interpretation, it'll be chaos because everyone can interpret things differently and to their own interest, project expectations or hold random assumption. Especially when driving, slight miscommunication would be far more likely to lead to accidents, and my notion is that hard-and-set rules help prevent that.
    , @IBC

    causing people to tailgate you
     
    How are they forced to tailgate? I'm surprised that a high-future-time-oriented individual like yourself would make such a statement. They should have started earlier!

    I've noticed that on a two lane road, if I'm following someone driving below the speed limit, I often get tailgaters even though they should be able to see that there's a car in front of me. A lot of people are just impatient and/or inattentive.

    I'd estimate that on the two-lane roads in my area, the majority of people are probably going about 5-15 mph above the posted speed limits. And this is in all types of vehicles from brand new cars to dilapidated minivans to heavy trucks. They go slightly slower at night and around sharp bends, but not by much. On snowy roads, they'll significantly drop their speed, but they also tend to do the same speed up the hills as they do going down them. So given these observations, I'd say that while exceeding the speed limit is hardly a death wish, the "collective wisdom" of the 85th percentile rule isn't as scientific as some of the speed enthusiasts and traffic engineers tend to think.

    Ironically, it actually seems like there might be more people driving at or below the speed limit on super highways where it's safer to speed and the savings in travel time can really start to add up. Maybe drivers that wouldn't otherwise speed, feel less pressure to go fast when there's a free passing lane? Meanwhile in internet discussions, I've notice that people tend to talk about "highways" when they really mean limited-access highways like the Interstate. If the speed limit in your subdivision is 25, would you really welcome people cruising past your house at 40? That's the reality in some neighborhoods. It's not just about the safety of the people in the cars, or at least it shouldn't be.

    However, I find that when driving on congested urban motorways like in Philadelphia or Boston, if I want to get in the correct lane or take the right exit, it's usually necessary to keep up with traffic regardless of how fast it's going. That doesn't mean that the safest speed is always 15 mph above the posted limit, but in such heavy traffic, you do have to go with the flow if you want to avoid a collision and get to where you want to go.

    I'd also like to point out that the speed limit for heavy trucks on the Autobahn is only 80 km/hr or around 50 mph. A lot of people advocating for higher speed limits in the US, like to say how dangerous it is to mix traffic speeds while simultaneously praising Germany for the high speed driving experience there. And yet they ignore the fact that the Autobahn has much lower speed limits for trucks and different limits for buses and cars with trailers as well. And the lower limits are enforced with engine governors. So given the prevailing traffic wisdom in the US, and allowing that drivers in Germany probably do have better lane discipline than most Americans, shouldn't the large difference in travel speeds over there be causing more accidents?

  172. @Jack D
    It seems to me that a person of your obvious intelligence could grasp the concept that the posted speed limits tend to be somewhat conservative and that most drivers exceed them a little and that you are better off going with the traffic flow rather sticking to the posted limits and causing people to tailgate you, pass you, etc.

    As far as rules existing "for a reason", there is always a reason but the reason may not have anything to do with safety. There was a time in the US when the top speed limit was 55 in order to conserve oil - today these same highways have limits of 70 or more so there was no safety aspect to the limit. Or a low limit might be posted as a ticket revenue generating measure. Etc.

    Whether I’m intelligent or not, I very much feel the need for systems. Any lack of it is essentially a form of anxiety, which can be controlled for, but never welcomed.

    As far as I’m concerned, whether the rules exist for oil conservative, for safety reasons or to increase the number of tickets is immaterial. They exist, I don’t want to be ticketed and I don’t like breaking rules if I can at all avoid it. If they need to be changed, then the individuals in question should lobby the appropriate authorities for such.

    That many people are breaking the rules at the same time just means that they all need to be punished, not that I should also follow them in their unlawful ways.

    If everyone used their own interpretation, it’ll be chaos because everyone can interpret things differently and to their own interest, project expectations or hold random assumption. Especially when driving, slight miscommunication would be far more likely to lead to accidents, and my notion is that hard-and-set rules help prevent that.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    You are operating from the Confucian assumption that the rules were made by wise elders for the best interests of society. What if I told you (hypothetically) that while that may have been true in the past, the people who are making the rules today are corrupt and do not have your best interests at heart? Perhaps they have been paid off by some special interest, perhaps they are under the sway of some Utopian ideology, perhaps they are just evil men or women?

    American thinkers have been thinking about these issues at least since the time of the American Revolution. Read http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper2/thoreau/civil.html

    Even in Chinese thought, if a ruler is no longer virtuous, then he loses the Tianming and you are not obligated to follow his orders.
  173. @Just some cop
    Here I am, again making my very narrow observations based soley on my own West Coast, medium-sized police agency, and my own experience there as a plain old beat cop.

    The Ferguson Effect has been absolutely real for us, but the application is somewhat narrow, I think. I'm still just as happy to stop a non-black person for a traffic offense. Car full of black kids, not so much. I only give warnings anyway.

    Traffic cops, who in my agency account for the lion's share of enforcement, have been less effected because they are more location based (problem intersections, road stretches, etc) and seldom do "investigatory stops". Incidently, they are also where 99% of our traffic safety federal grant money goes.

    Similar to a comment I made about security cameras and robberies, if my days of traffic enforcement in poor neighborhoods had an effect, I wasn't aware of it. The fortieth unpaid ticket costs exactly what the first one did and the police cannot impound cars for that anymore. Guys with suspended licenses and no insurance would drive like total idiots right in front of a cop car, because, of course, they were total idiots. If they had any ability to plan, they'd have spent the month's cigarette budget on liability insurance, right?

    If there is a Ferguson Effect contributing, I wonder if it's not the diminishing halo effect of just having police cars driving around. Before I was a cop I was absolutely certain that every cop I saw was looking to pull me over, not driving somewhere to do something. I was wrong, but I still slowed down. Now that many cops go to the "firehouse model" of sitting somewhere central (alas, not a donut shop; the main criteria is somewhere you don't have to constantly be on alert for an ambush) waiting for a call, they might do just as many traffic stops as before, but be a passive presence much less.

    As I tell people who ask about my career field, we are in the midst of a profound redefinition of the role of police in society. It's unfortunately occurring without the input of a huge number of Americans who will be directly affected. In fact, there's hardly any discussion of the "externalities", the noticing of which are racist, as our host would observe.

    I am curious to see how the culture will change at my agency, still deep behind enemy lines in the cold civil war. Notwithstanding the fact that our Attorney General is Mr Sessions (and I challenge you to find a more satisfied Trump voter than a cop involved in a shooting during the month of January), the anti-Trump hysteria very well may inspire some local prosecutor with the spirit of Emmet Till, Carolyn Moseby's fate be damned.

    So what's always been true of cops regarding violent crime (when seconds count, cops are minutes away) is probably increasingly true of traffic safety, as well.

    Great to hear from you. Please post more. And stay safe.

  174. @E. Rekshun
    never overestimate the unintended consequences of all these new-fangled “assisted braking”-type “improvements” to cars.

    The brake and ABS lights just came on in the dash of my '10 Honda and won't go out. The Honda dealer diagnosed the problem as a failed ABS sensor module at $1700 installed! That's more than 10% of what I paid for the mint condition, low mileage vehicle two years ago!

    The brakes still work fine but there's no ABS and I'm not paying $1700 to fix it!

    Ask how much to cut the wire to the light.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    You could probably pull the fuse and the light would go out, but ABS is really very valuable. In modern cars it is also part of the stability control system which keeps the car pointed in the direction that you would like to go in. While the car is drive-able without ABS I really wouldn't recommend foregoing such an important safety system. Your life may literally depend upon it.
  175. @Just some cop
    Here I am, again making my very narrow observations based soley on my own West Coast, medium-sized police agency, and my own experience there as a plain old beat cop.

    The Ferguson Effect has been absolutely real for us, but the application is somewhat narrow, I think. I'm still just as happy to stop a non-black person for a traffic offense. Car full of black kids, not so much. I only give warnings anyway.

    Traffic cops, who in my agency account for the lion's share of enforcement, have been less effected because they are more location based (problem intersections, road stretches, etc) and seldom do "investigatory stops". Incidently, they are also where 99% of our traffic safety federal grant money goes.

    Similar to a comment I made about security cameras and robberies, if my days of traffic enforcement in poor neighborhoods had an effect, I wasn't aware of it. The fortieth unpaid ticket costs exactly what the first one did and the police cannot impound cars for that anymore. Guys with suspended licenses and no insurance would drive like total idiots right in front of a cop car, because, of course, they were total idiots. If they had any ability to plan, they'd have spent the month's cigarette budget on liability insurance, right?

    If there is a Ferguson Effect contributing, I wonder if it's not the diminishing halo effect of just having police cars driving around. Before I was a cop I was absolutely certain that every cop I saw was looking to pull me over, not driving somewhere to do something. I was wrong, but I still slowed down. Now that many cops go to the "firehouse model" of sitting somewhere central (alas, not a donut shop; the main criteria is somewhere you don't have to constantly be on alert for an ambush) waiting for a call, they might do just as many traffic stops as before, but be a passive presence much less.

    As I tell people who ask about my career field, we are in the midst of a profound redefinition of the role of police in society. It's unfortunately occurring without the input of a huge number of Americans who will be directly affected. In fact, there's hardly any discussion of the "externalities", the noticing of which are racist, as our host would observe.

    I am curious to see how the culture will change at my agency, still deep behind enemy lines in the cold civil war. Notwithstanding the fact that our Attorney General is Mr Sessions (and I challenge you to find a more satisfied Trump voter than a cop involved in a shooting during the month of January), the anti-Trump hysteria very well may inspire some local prosecutor with the spirit of Emmet Till, Carolyn Moseby's fate be damned.

    So what's always been true of cops regarding violent crime (when seconds count, cops are minutes away) is probably increasingly true of traffic safety, as well.

    What’s the temperature amongst your colleagues for the enemies of our God-Emperor, Long May He Reign?

  176. @Dan Hayes
    Steve,

    The impending subprime auto loan debacle will make the 2008 subprime housing debacle look small time.

    Absolutely right.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-21/the-next-financial-crisis-might-be-in-your-driveway.

    “year-end car shopping pushed vehicle loans to a dubious peak of $1.16 trillion”

    “Every licensed driver in the U.S., on average, owes about $6,100 in car payments.”

    “In the past two years, U.S. drivers with credit scores of less than 620 borrowed $244 billion to buy cars, a tally not matched since 2006 and 2007 when the same strata of buyers rolled off with $254 billion in auto loans. “

    • Agree: Dan Hayes
  177. @Jack D
    For $1700 I suspect it was the ABS controller and not just one of the wheel sensors.

    I had a similar situation on an Audi that I once owned - Audi wanted a gazillion $ for the controller which they sold only as a complete unit, plus replacing it was a pretty big job because you have to disconnect a whole bunch of brake lines and then bleed the brakes. After some internet sleuthing I found out that the electronic module was what usually went bad and that this module could be easily separated from the electromechanical solenoid module (the part that has all the brake lines coming out of it) and that there was some guy in Florida who would repair the electronic module for less than $100 - you would mail it to him and he would fix it and mail it back. (The car is still drivable without the ABS). Which is what I did and that fixed it perfectly. And there wasn't even any need to touch the hydraulic system.

    If you google what is wrong with your car, especially on a top selling model like a Honda, chances are there are other people who have had the exact same problem and know what the (cheaper) fix is. Cars of a certain model are all exact clones of each other so when one gets a disease they usually all do because the same weakness is built into all of them. Subarus fail in their head gaskets, Honda Odysseys fail in their automatic transmissions, etc. Often the dealer fix, besides being more expensive, is not even the best fix because they will replace the failed part with an identical one which will later fail again in the exact same way.

    Agreed. Plus there are a ton of people on YouTube eager to show you how they fixed a similar problem.

  178. @Daniel Chieh
    Whether I'm intelligent or not, I very much feel the need for systems. Any lack of it is essentially a form of anxiety, which can be controlled for, but never welcomed.

    As far as I'm concerned, whether the rules exist for oil conservative, for safety reasons or to increase the number of tickets is immaterial. They exist, I don't want to be ticketed and I don't like breaking rules if I can at all avoid it. If they need to be changed, then the individuals in question should lobby the appropriate authorities for such.

    That many people are breaking the rules at the same time just means that they all need to be punished, not that I should also follow them in their unlawful ways.

    If everyone used their own interpretation, it'll be chaos because everyone can interpret things differently and to their own interest, project expectations or hold random assumption. Especially when driving, slight miscommunication would be far more likely to lead to accidents, and my notion is that hard-and-set rules help prevent that.

    You are operating from the Confucian assumption that the rules were made by wise elders for the best interests of society. What if I told you (hypothetically) that while that may have been true in the past, the people who are making the rules today are corrupt and do not have your best interests at heart? Perhaps they have been paid off by some special interest, perhaps they are under the sway of some Utopian ideology, perhaps they are just evil men or women?

    American thinkers have been thinking about these issues at least since the time of the American Revolution. Read http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper2/thoreau/civil.html

    Even in Chinese thought, if a ruler is no longer virtuous, then he loses the Tianming and you are not obligated to follow his orders.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Great post, Jack - I also like your auto advice and expertise.

    Daniel, there has been so much state murder and destruction in done in the history of this world that was all totally legal. If people had scoffed at these laws early on it would have saved millions of lives at various points.

    The only way to have real freedom is if the governments fear the people. The least you could do is tell the cop "listen, I can't drive across Texas at 55 mph., and I won't!"*

    * 850 miles from the Sabine River (Louisiana border) to El Paso. Try doing that at 55 mph - it's not just frustrating but it has been proven mathematically impossible by mathematicians people who have played mathematicians on TV.
    , @Steve Sailer
    Shakespeare's history plays feature a kind of Confucian ideology of legitimacy. It's very important for the throne to be passed down legitimate paths of descent to avoid destabilizing strife, but that also a imposes a reciprocal demand for virtue, effort, and prudence upon kings.

    Thus every so often a king, such as Richard III, loses the mandate of heaven and must be replaced.

    , @Daniel Chieh
    I mostly operate under the assumption that not getting tickets is a good thing.

    As far as the Chinese culture influences me there, I always remember a story that my father told me of a foolish and proud being who thought he should defy the Emperor. He was mighty and strong, in his own way, and feared by others about him.

    So he stood in the way of the Emperor's procession and challenged the Son under Heaven!

    Squash. No one heard him as the wheels of the Emperor's wagon ran over the praying mantis, but a few observant locals commented on the stupidity of the insect to run into the way of the Emperor's path.
  179. @Bill
    Ask how much to cut the wire to the light.

    You could probably pull the fuse and the light would go out, but ABS is really very valuable. In modern cars it is also part of the stability control system which keeps the car pointed in the direction that you would like to go in. While the car is drive-able without ABS I really wouldn’t recommend foregoing such an important safety system. Your life may literally depend upon it.

    • Replies: @Bill
    Yeah, I was joking.

    Back in the 80s, the "feature" that my car made an annoying noise if you left the door open with the key in the ignition used to piss me off. I was proud of myself the day I discovered that I could lay on my back, search out the #[email protected]!ing buzzer under the dashboard, and just rip it out. What a great day that was. Strangely, my friends were less impressed with me than I was.
  180. @res
    Not sure if these are included in the overall stats, but this says 817 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2015: http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/pedestrians-and-bicyclists/fatalityfacts/bicycles
    That's a small fraction of auto deaths, but it would be interesting to see a per hour spent comparison.

    The really interesting thing at that link is how the bulk of bicyclist fatalities have completely flipped from males under 20 to males over 20 over the last 40 years. There's a similar change for females, but the numbers are much smaller.

    40 years ago, only kids rode bikes. The assumption was that as soon as you got your driver’s license you would never ride a bike again.

    • Replies: @res
    Right. That explains the increase for over 20s (about 3x for males). But the decrease for under 20 males was even more dramatic (638 to 80). I suppose increased helmet usage and safety consciousness is part of that, but a decline in bicycling by children probably has a big role as well. This gives an overview: http://guide.saferoutesinfo.org/introduction/the_decline_of_walking_and_bicycling.cfm
    , @Autochthon, @IBC
    A little over 40 years ago, there was a massive bicycle boom in this country. Legions of adults with perfectly good driver's licenses started buying 10-speeds and orange jerseys and taking to the roads in numbers not seen since the 1890s. Interest in backpacking and cross-country skiing also boomed around the same time. But before the mid-'60s, what you describe was more or less true for many people.

    I think that if you check, a huge percentage of cyclist fatalities from collisions with cars, occur at night, and in most cases the rider has no lights etc. I think that not too long ago when I looked into this, Florida had particularly bad numbers; so changing local dynamics are probably a factor. There's also now a militant cycling subculture that's developed in places like San Francisco where riders take big risks in traffic and even run through red lights and mow down pedestrians in crosswalks. The demographics are probably somewhat similar to those of the masked protestors at Berkeley. They seem to be getting more reckless and their behavior could be a small contributing factor, at least to the pedestrian body count.

    In urban areas, most of the children and youths I see biking usually aren't wearing helmets or following any sort of apparent safety rules. The same can be said for skateboarders. The reality is still very far from the TV commercials. It's the families on bike paths where everyone wears a helmet. And of course in many European countries with better accident statistics than here, very few people wear helmets. There's actually some good evidence that that there are fewer collisions in areas where drivers are used to seeing cyclists and pedestrians and sharing space with them. I think that's because drivers tend not to see what they aren't expecting. So if fewer people are walking or biking, or they're doing it less often than before, drivers stop expecting them and are more likely to hit the ones who still are. And it's definitely true that a lot of cyclists and pedestrians aren't paying attention either. Look at all the people in cities crossing the street with their heads down and eyes on their smart phone! Not very smart. Several years ago, I was almost hit by someone running a red light. If I hadn't been paying attention and jumped back, I would have become a statistic myself!

    *Also consider sleep deprivation. How long has Unz.com been up now? Isn't it something like two years? When you make a product more convenient, people will spend more time using it. I guess Robert Reich probably isn't reading this blog or we could have expected him to blame Steve for the spike in accidents. Websites have consequences!

  181. @res
    They were probably talking about the control module not a wheel sensor. Here's an example of a remanufactured version for about $400. Who knows what new OEM costs.
    http://www.autozone.com/brakes-and-traction-control/anti-lock-brake-control-module/honda/accord/2011

    That said, shop around is great advice.

    Or you could get one pulled from a wreck for $8.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1991-1992-Honda-Accord-39790-SM4-A11-ABS-Anti-Lock-Brakes-Module-/272342958189?hash=item3f68e7c06d:g:ZEwAAOSw6n5Xsolu&vxp=mtr

    In the case of electronics “remanufactured” often means that they have cleaned off the dirt and put a new label on it.

  182. @Jack D
    40 years ago, only kids rode bikes. The assumption was that as soon as you got your driver's license you would never ride a bike again.

    Right. That explains the increase for over 20s (about 3x for males). But the decrease for under 20 males was even more dramatic (638 to 80). I suppose increased helmet usage and safety consciousness is part of that, but a decline in bicycling by children probably has a big role as well. This gives an overview: http://guide.saferoutesinfo.org/introduction/the_decline_of_walking_and_bicycling.cfm

  183. @Jack D
    You could probably pull the fuse and the light would go out, but ABS is really very valuable. In modern cars it is also part of the stability control system which keeps the car pointed in the direction that you would like to go in. While the car is drive-able without ABS I really wouldn't recommend foregoing such an important safety system. Your life may literally depend upon it.

    Yeah, I was joking.

    Back in the 80s, the “feature” that my car made an annoying noise if you left the door open with the key in the ignition used to piss me off. I was proud of myself the day I discovered that I could lay on my back, search out the #[email protected]!ing buzzer under the dashboard, and just rip it out. What a great day that was. Strangely, my friends were less impressed with me than I was.

  184. @res
    Not sure if these are included in the overall stats, but this says 817 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2015: http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/pedestrians-and-bicyclists/fatalityfacts/bicycles
    That's a small fraction of auto deaths, but it would be interesting to see a per hour spent comparison.

    The really interesting thing at that link is how the bulk of bicyclist fatalities have completely flipped from males under 20 to males over 20 over the last 40 years. There's a similar change for females, but the numbers are much smaller.

    Your last paragraph about fewer younger bike rider fatalities could probably be explained by fewer young bike riders – most bikes don’t have touch screens so the younger folk don’t know what to do with them.

  185. @Daniel Chieh

    Asians generally lack a presence and a commonsense appreciation of things which is intuitve to Europeans.
     
    Aren't the Chinese infamous for being ruthlessly practical at the sacrifice of everything else? Anyway, on that, I actually disagree because the "Asian mentality" is typically better at holistic understanding and this is specific to our language. So technically that'll fit in the commonsense appreciation.

    http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01508/pdf

    That said, categorization by engineering may employ visualization by similarity is probably a weakness, and I think East Asians do not actually tend to focus on specific details in and by themselves as much.

    As for myself, I'm pretty good at driving but I tend to follow the rules scrupulously, and to some extent ignore the surroundings. As far as I'm aware, the rules exist for a reason and I'm annoyed that anyone isn't following them. So in a lane where everyone is driving 70, but if the speed limit indicates 55, I will drive 55. Order must prevail, else all is chaos; order flows from rules, therefore rules must be obeyed.

    That said, I found it amusing that in many ways, I fit the stereotype to a tee - my intelligence test showed me as outstanding in all categories except abstract thinking, which I assume required me to observe rules that were dynamically changing. That hurts me to even think about that.

    So in a lane where everyone is driving 70, but if the speed limit indicates 55, I will drive 55. Order must prevail, else all is chaos; order flows from rules, therefore rules must be obeyed.

    So long as the lane you wrote about is the left lane, I can’t fault you for that. If you are blocking a passing lane, then you are a big problem. People like that make multi-lane limited-access highways highly disfunctional, and all it takes is a few of them to make their own traffic jams. Please tell me you stay to the right.

    I myself see those silly “Limit XX mph” signs as minimum numbers. Many of them are ambiguous about that. I’ll go to court if I have to on this – all the way to the 9th circuit of Kalifornee, if it comes down to it.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    I try to stay exactly at the center, or otherwise to the right. I do speed up on the left.
  186. @Jack D
    You are operating from the Confucian assumption that the rules were made by wise elders for the best interests of society. What if I told you (hypothetically) that while that may have been true in the past, the people who are making the rules today are corrupt and do not have your best interests at heart? Perhaps they have been paid off by some special interest, perhaps they are under the sway of some Utopian ideology, perhaps they are just evil men or women?

    American thinkers have been thinking about these issues at least since the time of the American Revolution. Read http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper2/thoreau/civil.html

    Even in Chinese thought, if a ruler is no longer virtuous, then he loses the Tianming and you are not obligated to follow his orders.

    Great post, Jack – I also like your auto advice and expertise.

    Daniel, there has been so much state murder and destruction in done in the history of this world that was all totally legal. If people had scoffed at these laws early on it would have saved millions of lives at various points.

    The only way to have real freedom is if the governments fear the people. The least you could do is tell the cop “listen, I can’t drive across Texas at 55 mph., and I won’t!”*

    * 850 miles from the Sabine River (Louisiana border) to El Paso. Try doing that at 55 mph – it’s not just frustrating but it has been proven mathematically impossible by mathematicians people who have played mathematicians on TV.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    For our European friends, this is about the distance from Paris to Warsaw and it's just 1 US state.
    , @Jim Don Bob
    The sun has riz, the sun has set, and we ain't outta Texas yet.
  187. @Jack D
    It seems to me that a person of your obvious intelligence could grasp the concept that the posted speed limits tend to be somewhat conservative and that most drivers exceed them a little and that you are better off going with the traffic flow rather sticking to the posted limits and causing people to tailgate you, pass you, etc.

    As far as rules existing "for a reason", there is always a reason but the reason may not have anything to do with safety. There was a time in the US when the top speed limit was 55 in order to conserve oil - today these same highways have limits of 70 or more so there was no safety aspect to the limit. Or a low limit might be posted as a ticket revenue generating measure. Etc.

    causing people to tailgate you

    How are they forced to tailgate? I’m surprised that a high-future-time-oriented individual like yourself would make such a statement. They should have started earlier!

    I’ve noticed that on a two lane road, if I’m following someone driving below the speed limit, I often get tailgaters even though they should be able to see that there’s a car in front of me. A lot of people are just impatient and/or inattentive.

    I’d estimate that on the two-lane roads in my area, the majority of people are probably going about 5-15 mph above the posted speed limits. And this is in all types of vehicles from brand new cars to dilapidated minivans to heavy trucks. They go slightly slower at night and around sharp bends, but not by much. On snowy roads, they’ll significantly drop their speed, but they also tend to do the same speed up the hills as they do going down them. So given these observations, I’d say that while exceeding the speed limit is hardly a death wish, the “collective wisdom” of the 85th percentile rule isn’t as scientific as some of the speed enthusiasts and traffic engineers tend to think.

    Ironically, it actually seems like there might be more people driving at or below the speed limit on super highways where it’s safer to speed and the savings in travel time can really start to add up. Maybe drivers that wouldn’t otherwise speed, feel less pressure to go fast when there’s a free passing lane? Meanwhile in internet discussions, I’ve notice that people tend to talk about “highways” when they really mean limited-access highways like the Interstate. If the speed limit in your subdivision is 25, would you really welcome people cruising past your house at 40? That’s the reality in some neighborhoods. It’s not just about the safety of the people in the cars, or at least it shouldn’t be.

    However, I find that when driving on congested urban motorways like in Philadelphia or Boston, if I want to get in the correct lane or take the right exit, it’s usually necessary to keep up with traffic regardless of how fast it’s going. That doesn’t mean that the safest speed is always 15 mph above the posted limit, but in such heavy traffic, you do have to go with the flow if you want to avoid a collision and get to where you want to go.

    I’d also like to point out that the speed limit for heavy trucks on the Autobahn is only 80 km/hr or around 50 mph. A lot of people advocating for higher speed limits in the US, like to say how dangerous it is to mix traffic speeds while simultaneously praising Germany for the high speed driving experience there. And yet they ignore the fact that the Autobahn has much lower speed limits for trucks and different limits for buses and cars with trailers as well. And the lower limits are enforced with engine governors. So given the prevailing traffic wisdom in the US, and allowing that drivers in Germany probably do have better lane discipline than most Americans, shouldn’t the large difference in travel speeds over there be causing more accidents?

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Either you have lane discipline or you have to keep up with traffic. In the US, people tend to linger in the left lane and often go no faster than the right. A truck going 50 in the left lane is a recipe for road rage.
    , @Achmed E Newman
    I don't know if anyone is reading this any more, but what the heck? I meant to comment on the autobahn. It only works well as a high-speed road when there are 3 lanes in each direction. The trucks are going pretty slowly, as mentioned here. With only 2 lanes to use, if you drive in the left lane to pass the trucks, you must get your speed way up or someone will be right on your butt, unless you just keep the speed way up the rest of your trip.

    The cars behind you rightfully want you out of the way. How are you going to get out of the way when you are going (talking mph here) 80 -90, but the trucks are going 60 and there are lots of them. You'd have to slow down to fit in between them, further disturbing the flow behind you in the fast lane. Then, the right lane is way to slow, but to stay in the fast lane, you've got to stay at whatever the guys behind you want to do, say 120.

    I've been there and 3 lanes is betta!
  188. @IBC

    causing people to tailgate you
     
    How are they forced to tailgate? I'm surprised that a high-future-time-oriented individual like yourself would make such a statement. They should have started earlier!

    I've noticed that on a two lane road, if I'm following someone driving below the speed limit, I often get tailgaters even though they should be able to see that there's a car in front of me. A lot of people are just impatient and/or inattentive.

    I'd estimate that on the two-lane roads in my area, the majority of people are probably going about 5-15 mph above the posted speed limits. And this is in all types of vehicles from brand new cars to dilapidated minivans to heavy trucks. They go slightly slower at night and around sharp bends, but not by much. On snowy roads, they'll significantly drop their speed, but they also tend to do the same speed up the hills as they do going down them. So given these observations, I'd say that while exceeding the speed limit is hardly a death wish, the "collective wisdom" of the 85th percentile rule isn't as scientific as some of the speed enthusiasts and traffic engineers tend to think.

    Ironically, it actually seems like there might be more people driving at or below the speed limit on super highways where it's safer to speed and the savings in travel time can really start to add up. Maybe drivers that wouldn't otherwise speed, feel less pressure to go fast when there's a free passing lane? Meanwhile in internet discussions, I've notice that people tend to talk about "highways" when they really mean limited-access highways like the Interstate. If the speed limit in your subdivision is 25, would you really welcome people cruising past your house at 40? That's the reality in some neighborhoods. It's not just about the safety of the people in the cars, or at least it shouldn't be.

    However, I find that when driving on congested urban motorways like in Philadelphia or Boston, if I want to get in the correct lane or take the right exit, it's usually necessary to keep up with traffic regardless of how fast it's going. That doesn't mean that the safest speed is always 15 mph above the posted limit, but in such heavy traffic, you do have to go with the flow if you want to avoid a collision and get to where you want to go.

    I'd also like to point out that the speed limit for heavy trucks on the Autobahn is only 80 km/hr or around 50 mph. A lot of people advocating for higher speed limits in the US, like to say how dangerous it is to mix traffic speeds while simultaneously praising Germany for the high speed driving experience there. And yet they ignore the fact that the Autobahn has much lower speed limits for trucks and different limits for buses and cars with trailers as well. And the lower limits are enforced with engine governors. So given the prevailing traffic wisdom in the US, and allowing that drivers in Germany probably do have better lane discipline than most Americans, shouldn't the large difference in travel speeds over there be causing more accidents?

    Either you have lane discipline or you have to keep up with traffic. In the US, people tend to linger in the left lane and often go no faster than the right. A truck going 50 in the left lane is a recipe for road rage.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    A lot of people get on the highway, get into the left lane, put the car on cruise control, and never look in the mirror.
  189. @Achmed E. Newman
    Great post, Jack - I also like your auto advice and expertise.

    Daniel, there has been so much state murder and destruction in done in the history of this world that was all totally legal. If people had scoffed at these laws early on it would have saved millions of lives at various points.

    The only way to have real freedom is if the governments fear the people. The least you could do is tell the cop "listen, I can't drive across Texas at 55 mph., and I won't!"*

    * 850 miles from the Sabine River (Louisiana border) to El Paso. Try doing that at 55 mph - it's not just frustrating but it has been proven mathematically impossible by mathematicians people who have played mathematicians on TV.

    For our European friends, this is about the distance from Paris to Warsaw and it’s just 1 US state.

  190. @Achmed E. Newman

    So in a lane where everyone is driving 70, but if the speed limit indicates 55, I will drive 55. Order must prevail, else all is chaos; order flows from rules, therefore rules must be obeyed.
     
    So long as the lane you wrote about is the left lane, I can't fault you for that. If you are blocking a passing lane, then you are a big problem. People like that make multi-lane limited-access highways highly disfunctional, and all it takes is a few of them to make their own traffic jams. Please tell me you stay to the right.

    I myself see those silly "Limit XX mph" signs as minimum numbers. Many of them are ambiguous about that. I'll go to court if I have to on this - all the way to the 9th circuit of Kalifornee, if it comes down to it.

    I try to stay exactly at the center, or otherwise to the right. I do speed up on the left.

  191. @Autochthon
    That WAS my point: they lack the ability to think outside the box (in this case literally). Authority is not questioned and instructions are followed; the nodel, the rule, is paramount. Multiple, complementary ways of thinking aren't integrated to create a unified idea more useful than either alone.

    Creativity, insight, and examining things from multiple, changing perspectives are critical to innovation. These fools substituted the GPS' strenths (orientation in a large area and directions more clear and precise than could be had by, say, comparing the compass rose on a map to the sun's positon, etc.) for equally (I wpuld argue far more) important and useful situational awareness ("Hey, this cannot be right; the road's ending; we're being directed to drive into the surf!").

    (Ayn Rand would have said to them "Check your premises." Either you are hallucinating or the device is malfunctioning. Which is more likely?)

    You may be making the point that Japanese are obsessed with the abstract and artificial to the exclusion of the concrete, which is another aspect of the trouble. If so, I agree. It goes to why many an Asian may be a genius at mechanical or aeronautical engineering but most – even among those same engineers – can't drive with even rudimentary competence and they are terrible in dogfights, yet white good ole boys like Kyle Busch and Richard Petty are brilliant at that kind of stuff. Asians generally lack a presence and a commonsense appreciation of things which is intuitve to Europeans.

    (I'm writing about races, not individuals; please spare me the outlying exceptions and the rotten vegetables.)

    Authority is not questioned and instructions are followed; the nodel, the rule, is paramount.

    Haven’t Germans also been described in those terms? I recently read a book by Jerome K. Jerome from 1900, where he described Germans as being especially reverential to authority and loving of order. And in the well-known book, Why Nations Go to War, John G. Stoessinger, makes some of the same observations and partly blames those traits for the German role in WWI, though I think he overstates his case.

    The Japanese actually have a pretty good record of acting in a pragmatic fashion. They take foreign ideas and adapt them to their own needs. A lot of those ideas originally came from China.

    And there are lots of stories about stupid people who were “just following orders” from their GPS. People need to use some judgement and take things with a pinch of salt. Maybe some people tend to be more credulous than others, but what are the chances that those Japanese tourists make the same mistake twice?

  192. @Jack D
    40 years ago, only kids rode bikes. The assumption was that as soon as you got your driver's license you would never ride a bike again.
  193. @Jack D
    You are operating from the Confucian assumption that the rules were made by wise elders for the best interests of society. What if I told you (hypothetically) that while that may have been true in the past, the people who are making the rules today are corrupt and do not have your best interests at heart? Perhaps they have been paid off by some special interest, perhaps they are under the sway of some Utopian ideology, perhaps they are just evil men or women?

    American thinkers have been thinking about these issues at least since the time of the American Revolution. Read http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper2/thoreau/civil.html

    Even in Chinese thought, if a ruler is no longer virtuous, then he loses the Tianming and you are not obligated to follow his orders.

    Shakespeare’s history plays feature a kind of Confucian ideology of legitimacy. It’s very important for the throne to be passed down legitimate paths of descent to avoid destabilizing strife, but that also a imposes a reciprocal demand for virtue, effort, and prudence upon kings.

    Thus every so often a king, such as Richard III, loses the mandate of heaven and must be replaced.

  194. @Jack D
    For $1700 I suspect it was the ABS controller and not just one of the wheel sensors.

    I had a similar situation on an Audi that I once owned - Audi wanted a gazillion $ for the controller which they sold only as a complete unit, plus replacing it was a pretty big job because you have to disconnect a whole bunch of brake lines and then bleed the brakes. After some internet sleuthing I found out that the electronic module was what usually went bad and that this module could be easily separated from the electromechanical solenoid module (the part that has all the brake lines coming out of it) and that there was some guy in Florida who would repair the electronic module for less than $100 - you would mail it to him and he would fix it and mail it back. (The car is still drivable without the ABS). Which is what I did and that fixed it perfectly. And there wasn't even any need to touch the hydraulic system.

    If you google what is wrong with your car, especially on a top selling model like a Honda, chances are there are other people who have had the exact same problem and know what the (cheaper) fix is. Cars of a certain model are all exact clones of each other so when one gets a disease they usually all do because the same weakness is built into all of them. Subarus fail in their head gaskets, Honda Odysseys fail in their automatic transmissions, etc. Often the dealer fix, besides being more expensive, is not even the best fix because they will replace the failed part with an identical one which will later fail again in the exact same way.

    My 2001 Odyssey’s transmission failed at age 7 years 6 months, but Honda had gotten sued into extending the transmission warranty to something like 7 years 9 months so that saved me about $3000 or more.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    It's amazing how hard it can be for some manufacturers to figure out what is wrong & fix it in subsequent models. The Honda automatic failures started in 1999 and continued for at least 5 years (that they would admit). Subaru has struggled with head gasket failures since forever. And usually it is deny,deny, deny - in fact a major unreliable component is a big money maker for the factory - until they were sued Honda must have made a fortune on replacement transmissions not to mention how many car dealers paid their kid's college tuition off of putting them in.
  195. @Jack D
    40 years ago, only kids rode bikes. The assumption was that as soon as you got your driver's license you would never ride a bike again.

    A little over 40 years ago, there was a massive bicycle boom in this country. Legions of adults with perfectly good driver’s licenses started buying 10-speeds and orange jerseys and taking to the roads in numbers not seen since the 1890s. Interest in backpacking and cross-country skiing also boomed around the same time. But before the mid-’60s, what you describe was more or less true for many people.

    I think that if you check, a huge percentage of cyclist fatalities from collisions with cars, occur at night, and in most cases the rider has no lights etc. I think that not too long ago when I looked into this, Florida had particularly bad numbers; so changing local dynamics are probably a factor. There’s also now a militant cycling subculture that’s developed in places like San Francisco where riders take big risks in traffic and even run through red lights and mow down pedestrians in crosswalks. The demographics are probably somewhat similar to those of the masked protestors at Berkeley. They seem to be getting more reckless and their behavior could be a small contributing factor, at least to the pedestrian body count.

    In urban areas, most of the children and youths I see biking usually aren’t wearing helmets or following any sort of apparent safety rules. The same can be said for skateboarders. The reality is still very far from the TV commercials. It’s the families on bike paths where everyone wears a helmet. And of course in many European countries with better accident statistics than here, very few people wear helmets. There’s actually some good evidence that that there are fewer collisions in areas where drivers are used to seeing cyclists and pedestrians and sharing space with them. I think that’s because drivers tend not to see what they aren’t expecting. So if fewer people are walking or biking, or they’re doing it less often than before, drivers stop expecting them and are more likely to hit the ones who still are. And it’s definitely true that a lot of cyclists and pedestrians aren’t paying attention either. Look at all the people in cities crossing the street with their heads down and eyes on their smart phone! Not very smart. Several years ago, I was almost hit by someone running a red light. If I hadn’t been paying attention and jumped back, I would have become a statistic myself!

    *Also consider sleep deprivation. How long has Unz.com been up now? Isn’t it something like two years? When you make a product more convenient, people will spend more time using it. I guess Robert Reich probably isn’t reading this blog or we could have expected him to blame Steve for the spike in accidents. Websites have consequences!

  196. @Njguy73

    but a league with so many homosexual athletes that they could make up 98% of the league merits no comment whatsoever, and indeed denials and a kind of omerta.
     
    Psychiatrist/author Theodore Issac Rubin, in his 1975 book Compassion and Self-Hate, wrote a passage about the dichotomy of how homosexuality is seen in this country, and still is. Gay males are viewed with contempt because society expects males to be dominant and not passive, but lesbian are dismissed as not warranting contempt. As Rubin put it, not due to "greater altruism" towards women, but because society views women as "asexual and childish" so that whatever they do isn't important.

    Well, also because guys like watching women get it on, but the number of women who enjoy watching men do it with each other is vanishingly small.

  197. @Steve Sailer
    My 2001 Odyssey's transmission failed at age 7 years 6 months, but Honda had gotten sued into extending the transmission warranty to something like 7 years 9 months so that saved me about $3000 or more.

    It’s amazing how hard it can be for some manufacturers to figure out what is wrong & fix it in subsequent models. The Honda automatic failures started in 1999 and continued for at least 5 years (that they would admit). Subaru has struggled with head gasket failures since forever. And usually it is deny,deny, deny – in fact a major unreliable component is a big money maker for the factory – until they were sued Honda must have made a fortune on replacement transmissions not to mention how many car dealers paid their kid’s college tuition off of putting them in.

  198. @Jack D
    You are operating from the Confucian assumption that the rules were made by wise elders for the best interests of society. What if I told you (hypothetically) that while that may have been true in the past, the people who are making the rules today are corrupt and do not have your best interests at heart? Perhaps they have been paid off by some special interest, perhaps they are under the sway of some Utopian ideology, perhaps they are just evil men or women?

    American thinkers have been thinking about these issues at least since the time of the American Revolution. Read http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper2/thoreau/civil.html

    Even in Chinese thought, if a ruler is no longer virtuous, then he loses the Tianming and you are not obligated to follow his orders.

    I mostly operate under the assumption that not getting tickets is a good thing.

    As far as the Chinese culture influences me there, I always remember a story that my father told me of a foolish and proud being who thought he should defy the Emperor. He was mighty and strong, in his own way, and feared by others about him.

    So he stood in the way of the Emperor’s procession and challenged the Son under Heaven!

    Squash. No one heard him as the wheels of the Emperor’s wagon ran over the praying mantis, but a few observant locals commented on the stupidity of the insect to run into the way of the Emperor’s path.

  199. @J1234
    That's funny! There are some Asian drivers like that, but mostly I find Asian women drivers far too timid. If I'm behind a frustratingly slow driver, it's usually an elderly person, someone talking on the phone or an Asian woman. It might vary by country of origin. I think we have a mostly Vietnamese around here, but I've heard that Korean drivers are very aggressive.

    When we were in Ireland, we were told that Irish drivers are crazy, and they are. And that Irish roads are awfully narrow, and they are. But I saw hardly any accidents in the couple of weeks we were driving around. Only one, as I recall, and it was a fender bender. That's purely anecdotal - I don't know what the stats are. It was my impression, however, that Irish drivers (maybe because of the narrow winding roads) have a higher level of situational awareness, while Americans seem to have an cruise-control-on-the-interstate attitude, which lends itself to lack of attention. That's my theory, and again, only anecdotal.

    J,
    I have climbed high alpine routes in the mountains, alone and unroped. I have raced motorcycles, skydived (skydove?), bungee jumped, and flown aerobatics. I’ve even been involved with two women at the same time.
    Driving in Ireland is the scariest thing I’ve ever done.
    It wasn’t so bad 25 years ago when cars were old and slow, but as the economy has improved and the rural/town divide has grown, it’s become horrifying.

    • Replies: @J1234
    I'm curious, did you see many accidents when you were there? I couldn't believe I didn't see more.

    If you're American or from continental Europe, I'm guessing driving on the other (wrong) side of the road added to the anxiety. I wasn't quite as scared...my wife did most of the driving (she'd lived in England for a year.) I knew we were in trouble when we went to pick the rental car, though; we met a guy from Boston who said "the Irish are crazy drivers"...and Boston has the worst drivers in the US.
  200. @IBC

    causing people to tailgate you
     
    How are they forced to tailgate? I'm surprised that a high-future-time-oriented individual like yourself would make such a statement. They should have started earlier!

    I've noticed that on a two lane road, if I'm following someone driving below the speed limit, I often get tailgaters even though they should be able to see that there's a car in front of me. A lot of people are just impatient and/or inattentive.

    I'd estimate that on the two-lane roads in my area, the majority of people are probably going about 5-15 mph above the posted speed limits. And this is in all types of vehicles from brand new cars to dilapidated minivans to heavy trucks. They go slightly slower at night and around sharp bends, but not by much. On snowy roads, they'll significantly drop their speed, but they also tend to do the same speed up the hills as they do going down them. So given these observations, I'd say that while exceeding the speed limit is hardly a death wish, the "collective wisdom" of the 85th percentile rule isn't as scientific as some of the speed enthusiasts and traffic engineers tend to think.

    Ironically, it actually seems like there might be more people driving at or below the speed limit on super highways where it's safer to speed and the savings in travel time can really start to add up. Maybe drivers that wouldn't otherwise speed, feel less pressure to go fast when there's a free passing lane? Meanwhile in internet discussions, I've notice that people tend to talk about "highways" when they really mean limited-access highways like the Interstate. If the speed limit in your subdivision is 25, would you really welcome people cruising past your house at 40? That's the reality in some neighborhoods. It's not just about the safety of the people in the cars, or at least it shouldn't be.

    However, I find that when driving on congested urban motorways like in Philadelphia or Boston, if I want to get in the correct lane or take the right exit, it's usually necessary to keep up with traffic regardless of how fast it's going. That doesn't mean that the safest speed is always 15 mph above the posted limit, but in such heavy traffic, you do have to go with the flow if you want to avoid a collision and get to where you want to go.

    I'd also like to point out that the speed limit for heavy trucks on the Autobahn is only 80 km/hr or around 50 mph. A lot of people advocating for higher speed limits in the US, like to say how dangerous it is to mix traffic speeds while simultaneously praising Germany for the high speed driving experience there. And yet they ignore the fact that the Autobahn has much lower speed limits for trucks and different limits for buses and cars with trailers as well. And the lower limits are enforced with engine governors. So given the prevailing traffic wisdom in the US, and allowing that drivers in Germany probably do have better lane discipline than most Americans, shouldn't the large difference in travel speeds over there be causing more accidents?

    I don’t know if anyone is reading this any more, but what the heck? I meant to comment on the autobahn. It only works well as a high-speed road when there are 3 lanes in each direction. The trucks are going pretty slowly, as mentioned here. With only 2 lanes to use, if you drive in the left lane to pass the trucks, you must get your speed way up or someone will be right on your butt, unless you just keep the speed way up the rest of your trip.

    The cars behind you rightfully want you out of the way. How are you going to get out of the way when you are going (talking mph here) 80 -90, but the trucks are going 60 and there are lots of them. You’d have to slow down to fit in between them, further disturbing the flow behind you in the fast lane. Then, the right lane is way to slow, but to stay in the fast lane, you’ve got to stay at whatever the guys behind you want to do, say 120.

    I’ve been there and 3 lanes is betta!

  201. @Achmed E. Newman
    Great post, Jack - I also like your auto advice and expertise.

    Daniel, there has been so much state murder and destruction in done in the history of this world that was all totally legal. If people had scoffed at these laws early on it would have saved millions of lives at various points.

    The only way to have real freedom is if the governments fear the people. The least you could do is tell the cop "listen, I can't drive across Texas at 55 mph., and I won't!"*

    * 850 miles from the Sabine River (Louisiana border) to El Paso. Try doing that at 55 mph - it's not just frustrating but it has been proven mathematically impossible by mathematicians people who have played mathematicians on TV.

    The sun has riz, the sun has set, and we ain’t outta Texas yet.

  202. @Jack D
    Either you have lane discipline or you have to keep up with traffic. In the US, people tend to linger in the left lane and often go no faster than the right. A truck going 50 in the left lane is a recipe for road rage.

    A lot of people get on the highway, get into the left lane, put the car on cruise control, and never look in the mirror.

  203. @Achmed E. Newman
    I'm not sure if I saw that one or not, Mr. Kenobi. Sorry to take up the South Park "space", but I've got a feeling that the number of videos that show up embedded is limited for each blog post, but I'm not sure why that needs to be. We have to learn by experiment here.

    Ron Unz does not want to slow the page down, so only the first five or so videos open up and the rest remain as links.

    http://www.unz.com/announcement/server-failure-and-website-restoration/?highlight=embedded#comment-1608560

    • Replies: @Achmed E Newman
    Thank you Triumph. I figured there was some limit to the number videos that stayed embedded.
  204. @Triumph104
    Ron Unz does not want to slow the page down, so only the first five or so videos open up and the rest remain as links.

    http://www.unz.com/announcement/server-failure-and-website-restoration/?highlight=embedded#comment-1608560

    Thank you Triumph. I figured there was some limit to the number videos that stayed embedded.

  205. @JMcG
    J,
    I have climbed high alpine routes in the mountains, alone and unroped. I have raced motorcycles, skydived (skydove?), bungee jumped, and flown aerobatics. I've even been involved with two women at the same time.
    Driving in Ireland is the scariest thing I've ever done.
    It wasn't so bad 25 years ago when cars were old and slow, but as the economy has improved and the rural/town divide has grown, it's become horrifying.

    I’m curious, did you see many accidents when you were there? I couldn’t believe I didn’t see more.

    If you’re American or from continental Europe, I’m guessing driving on the other (wrong) side of the road added to the anxiety. I wasn’t quite as scared…my wife did most of the driving (she’d lived in England for a year.) I knew we were in trouble when we went to pick the rental car, though; we met a guy from Boston who said “the Irish are crazy drivers”…and Boston has the worst drivers in the US.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    I'm American, but have been over there 25 times or so. I have lots of family there. I'm well used to driving on the left now. I haven't seen any accidents, but lost a young cousin to a wreck over there and an acquaintance was killed in an accident 30 minutes after leaving Shannon airport.
    Every young guy with a car thinks he's a rally driver.
    I really hate when my wife heads off on her own somewhere while we're there.

    Take care
  206. @J1234
    I'm curious, did you see many accidents when you were there? I couldn't believe I didn't see more.

    If you're American or from continental Europe, I'm guessing driving on the other (wrong) side of the road added to the anxiety. I wasn't quite as scared...my wife did most of the driving (she'd lived in England for a year.) I knew we were in trouble when we went to pick the rental car, though; we met a guy from Boston who said "the Irish are crazy drivers"...and Boston has the worst drivers in the US.

    I’m American, but have been over there 25 times or so. I have lots of family there. I’m well used to driving on the left now. I haven’t seen any accidents, but lost a young cousin to a wreck over there and an acquaintance was killed in an accident 30 minutes after leaving Shannon airport.
    Every young guy with a car thinks he’s a rally driver.
    I really hate when my wife heads off on her own somewhere while we’re there.

    Take care

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acImLyQaMHk
    , @Steve Sailer
    Brendan Gleeson as an Irish traffic cop:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYvZWi7scds

  207. @JMcG
    I'm American, but have been over there 25 times or so. I have lots of family there. I'm well used to driving on the left now. I haven't seen any accidents, but lost a young cousin to a wreck over there and an acquaintance was killed in an accident 30 minutes after leaving Shannon airport.
    Every young guy with a car thinks he's a rally driver.
    I really hate when my wife heads off on her own somewhere while we're there.

    Take care

  208. @JMcG
    I'm American, but have been over there 25 times or so. I have lots of family there. I'm well used to driving on the left now. I haven't seen any accidents, but lost a young cousin to a wreck over there and an acquaintance was killed in an accident 30 minutes after leaving Shannon airport.
    Every young guy with a car thinks he's a rally driver.
    I really hate when my wife heads off on her own somewhere while we're there.

    Take care

    Brendan Gleeson as an Irish traffic cop:

  209. @Njguy73

    but a league with so many homosexual athletes that they could make up 98% of the league merits no comment whatsoever, and indeed denials and a kind of omerta.
     
    Psychiatrist/author Theodore Issac Rubin, in his 1975 book Compassion and Self-Hate, wrote a passage about the dichotomy of how homosexuality is seen in this country, and still is. Gay males are viewed with contempt because society expects males to be dominant and not passive, but lesbian are dismissed as not warranting contempt. As Rubin put it, not due to "greater altruism" towards women, but because society views women as "asexual and childish" so that whatever they do isn't important.

    Mr. Derbyshire captures the phenomenon with his oft maintained position that he finds male honosexuals gross (or icky) and female homosexuals comical.

    I think his characterisation also captures the idea that the males can and do perform acts upon each other very reminiscent of actual sex, but also unhygienic and indeed biomechnically damaging, whereas the females can only sort of flail about like inexperienced adolescents petting in a movie theatre. Even the one most graphic activity the females can engage in is not nearly so unhealthy and dangerous as what the males get up to.

    Hence the (correct) reactions marked by disgust and ridicule.

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