Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Do Me A Favor

I need you to do me a favor, especially if you're under the age of fifty.  I need you to take a piece of paper and a pencil (DO NOT USE A CALCULATOR) and give me the answer to the following math problem.

In 1913 the population of the United States was 97,225,000.  In 2013 the population was 316,129,000.  Between 1913 and 2013 there were 3,541,142 people killed in motor vehicle accidents.  I need you to tell me what the average fatality rate per 100,000 population was for those 100 years.

I had my 18 year old grandson do this math exercise.  After he spent considerable time with his paper and pencil he said, "I can't believe you went through four years of college fifty years ago without a calculator".

Do me another favor.  Imagine you're driving down the street with your children or grand children and you come to an intersection.  The light is green, so you and your car full of kids proceed through the intersection.  Just as you do, a drunk driver who is oblivious to the posted speed limit and doesn't see the red light in front of him hits you broad side.  It could just as well be someone texting while driving, but the results would be the same.  You don't need a piece of paper and a pencil or a calculator to figure out how many of your children or grand children might be killed.

Do me another favor.  Imagine you're driving down that same street, only this time all the vehicles on the road are "self-driving vehicles".  You come to the same intersection, the light is green and your self-driving car senses that and proceeds through the intersection.  That drunk driver or the person texting is also in a self-driving vehicle.  And as before they are oblivious to their surroundings.  But this time his or her self-driving car is going the posted speed limit and when it senses the red light it stops and there is no horrific accident.  As a matter of fact, even if the traffic light were malfunctioning the activity at the intersection would be detected and the self-driving vehicles would stop.

In 2012 there were 33,561 motor vehicle deaths.  That's the entire population of St. Lucie County, Florida.

Fifty years from now, you're yet to be born grand children and great grand children are going to look back and say: "I can't believe my grand parents drove their own cars and killed people with them."

How would you like to save a life, perhaps your own or a member of your family, or even mine or a member of my family?  I have eight grand children and one great grand child on the way.  This is the last favor I'll ask of you.  Put yourself in a self-driving vehicle as soon as they're available at your local dealer.

No comments: