Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Stay Out of My Life

"The truth is that it is not necessarily unsafe to text behind the wheel. It all depends on the situation. If you are in a traffic jam, and are late to an appointment, the ability to text can be a lifesaver. Or if there are no cars around, you might be able to risk it. On the other hand, it would probably be a mistake to attempt this doing 80 mph around slower traffic on a freeway.

How can we know the difference between when it is safe and when it is not? The principle applied on American roads is that the driver himself makes that decision. If this principle didn't make sense, there would be no way that the roads themselves could work at all.

What's remarkable is not that there are so many wrecks. The miracle is that it works at all and that, for the most part, people get to where they are going. And consider too the demographic behind the car: old, young, abled, disabled, experienced, inexperienced. Some people have a facility for driving and others do not. Some people have spatial agility and others do not."Think of this the next time you are in a big city zooming around curves and between lanes along with thousands of others, doing top speeds. Here we have 4,000-pound hunks of steel barreling down the road without aids other than a dotted yellow line on the road. These are real-life death machines in which one wrong move could cause a 100-car pileup and mass death. We do it anyway." From the Mises Institute "A Penchant for Controlling Others."

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