Okay, so after reading this, this and then this, it all sat in my brain for awhile. Then last night as I was at my mindless, menial second job, a thought occurred.
For those who think cars and the act of driving are evil, unnecessary, bothersome and other synonyms for "bad", maybe we are better off without them on the road.
I mean, do you want to ride shotgun with a guy like J.K. Trotter (not bashing, just using him as an example since I give him part credit for these thoughts popping into my mind)? He apparently loathes the automobile and driving, and all it really stands for. Do you want him behind the wheel? Either on an open road or stuck in gridlock, he will not be at his best mentally. He will be distracted by his boredom. He may sit at a green light too long, not see a yellow to red light change, miss hitting a pothole directly, or hit debris in the road.
Here is an example. You are tired of living the mini van driving (I drive one, so no offense to others meant), arm chair quarterbacking, playing it safe, suburban lifestyle. So you sign up for skydiving lessons. Awesome, right?
You go through the motions of signing up, sitting through instructions and what not*. Then it is air time. You jump on the plane, and up you go. A man steps out and says "Hi, my name is Todd. I will be jumping with you today. Come with me." You walk to the line to get out the door to plummet towards the earth while strapped to Todd. As you wait in line, you hear him grumbling. You ask if he is okay. His reply, "Yeah, I'm just bothered by the wastefulness of this whole thing. We are flying through the air, wasting fuel. Then we are going to jump out or whatever. I could be at home reading a book."
I'm not sure about you, but I sure as hell would not want this guy strapped to my back as I jump out of a moving plane high above the hard crust of the Earth. I want someone engaged, thinking, EXCITED TO BE THERE.
Now sure, falling to the Earth from the sky with just a parachute and some guy named Todd to save you may be a bit of an extreme analogy. But think about it. You have all of these drivers around you. Some are at a stand still in traffic. Some are going down the highway at 70 or 80 mph. Don't you want them to be engaged, thinking, almost excited to be behind the wheel?
Maybe a new part of the test to get your license should be to ask what you think of driving. Do you think of it as a mundane chore? Does it scare you to death? Or do you see it as a way to get around while not running into others?
My point being, if people do not like cars or driving, good for them. Let them walk, ride their bicycles (I even hear some may come with motors now), utilize their mass transit system, or even bum a ride off of a friend who may be more of a fan of driving then they are. Leave the road more open to those of us who understand it is a risk, and that should get you a little bit scared/excited. Even if it is just enough to keep us focused on the fact that we are operating a huge piece of machinery. As I have always truly believed, when you are not scared, even it just the slightest bit, that is when you lose focus and make mistakes.
Please do not take any of this as an attack on non-car folks. This whole piece is written and should be read with the love for all things automotive removed. This is more about the basic act of driving, normally in a normal beige car.
*I have no idea the process of skydiving, so please excuse my ignorance.