how to make the roads safer….

I often dream, but I rarely remember them… but in last nights dream, I do remember part of it… I was driving down the expressway in the manner of which I often drive (I was in the audi) and I was in the slow lane, passing traffic…. and the lane next to me was slamming on the brakes… like tire smoke and everything… and in that lane, causing the hold up was a dude PUSHING his toyota corolla (as it obviously had mechanical problems) and cussing out the people honking. Obviously he was pissed off, and frightened… and in the dream, I felt really bad for him, and in the dream I had a very strong sense of empathy, like I knew exactly what he was feeling, and I wanted to help him… but I didn’t cause I couldn’t figure out a way to safely do so… I think I called the police on his behalf.

And after I woke up I was thinking about it and I thought how I people don’t always think… like I know people value their posessions, and they certainly don’t want to have them damaged. I knew that dude in the dream was freaking out that someone was going to hit the car, and in the dream, it was about to happen over and over again… but yet he wasn’t afraid for his OWN safety as much as he was worried someone was going to damage the car. And he was yelling at the people honking because he was both embarrassed and freaking out.

But when I was thinking about it… he wasn’t valuing his own safety… and that was a bad move, beyond the obvious thing that you shouldn’t be pushing a car down the expressway when traffic is moving at 60+ mph….. he shouldn’t have ever GOTTEN into that position… I see people all the time broken down on the road, and I don’t know how they get to that position. It is rare to have a car break down and IMMEDIATELY STOP. I have had cars die on the expressway, you almost always have time/space to get to the shoulder (the RIGHT shoulder, not the left one) and safely out of traffic. And if you know your car is suspect, why put yourself in the fast lane? Poor planning.

The other thing I was thinking is we need to incorporate better messaging systems into the roadway system in larger metropolitan areas. In the case of my dream, a message board could say ‘disabled car in #2 lane’ or whatever… something that would inform drivers of such an event. I would argue that this would improve traffic flow and safety. I am sure that somehow it would also manage to cost billions of dollars, cause those types of things, when in the public sector like that always manage to be way more than I would imagine.

The other night, I was driving my brother in law Jon to the train station and it was POURING rain… visibilty was horrible… and it was hard to see the lines on the road… and that was causing people to drive into me. Awesome. So I got to thinking of what could be done about that… I would like to think that some LED technology would rule in that situation… they are such low level power user… solar power would be a dope way to run them… the only issue I can see is making them strong enough to deal with truck traffic, and to a greater degree, snow removal… but it would seem to me that is could be done.

Although, it seems they haven’t master proper installation of concrete so as to have a road last longer than 3-5 years, so I doubt this will ever take off… But my thoughts on the building of highways will have to wait for another post…

1 Response
  1. detour1999

    they have (elsewhere) little reflectors ebmedded in the road to mark the lines. Something like that makes a huge difference. If they were, instead of just reflectors, actual low wattage solar powered LEDs it could alleviate much of the inclement weather driving problems we see.

    Good idea!
    -d.

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