Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Keep This On Your Radar

Right now I can look out my kitchen window and see one of those little trailers with radar and speed displays.
I've been watching and you know, these little gizmos really do seem to slow cars down. Maybe people just need to be reminded occasionally. The irony is, it’s not telling us anything new. Our speedometers give us the very same information.  So why does the light-up radar sign make us slow down? 

Well, partially because the not-so-subtle reference to POLICE makes us wonder if there's a cop nearby.  But after a while, we catch on that it's really just a trailer sitting there. So why do we still keep slowing down?

My theory: we actually are interested in doing the right thing. Problem is, we're zoned out. When we’re driving, we don't watch our speedometers, we don't check our mirrors, we're distracted. As uncomfortable as it is to admit, I'm guilty of that sometimes.  We all are. We could all improve on staying focused on the basics of driving while we drive. I know I blog about this topic a lot, maybe too much, but one of the obvious dangers for folks on bikes is distracted drivers.

By slowing down and staying attentive, drivers give themselves more ability to respond to surprises that come along. Everybody gets home safe. That’s the whole point, I think.
I can dig where you’re coming from, little trailer-radar-sign-thingy.


The Hillbilly Banjo Queen: said...

One of the obvious dangers for folks on bikes AND in cars are distracted drivers. I worry about my husband all Autumn through to Spring. He's had a lot of close calls. Good post. Now, how to get this message on everyone's bathroom mirrors by morning?

Kelly Carlisle said...

Thanks Heather...I'm sure your hunny begins every ride with the assumption that every driver is an idiot. That way, you're never surprised when a driver actually behaves like one. You ride differently with traffic if that's your approach. Anyway, thanks for the comment! I hope all is well.