I recently commented on some graffiti that appeared on my commuter route and reader Beth sent along this piece she spotted on Humboldt Ave in Milwaukee, WI.
No excuses? Really? What irks me is the lack of attention to the behavior of drivers. The government tells cyclists to wear helmets, but in 2014 there were over 600,000 vehicle crashes in Massachusetts, resulting in 1,600+ deaths and over 16,000 incapacitating injuries. It seems like not a news hour here passes (or in any other city in America for that matter) where there is a 30 second blurb or more on a motor vehicle crash with fatalities or incapacitating injuries - daily.
What is sad is that we as a society just seem to accept this, and companies do not take it seriously. When is the last time you saw a car commercial that focused on the fact that hundreds of thousands of lives are changed each year by irresponsible driving. Back in the day there were a few Volvo commercials that touched on this and there were some crash dummy spots that ran for a time, but the majority of car commercials have no content related to safety and responsible driving.
This Sunday the Super Bowl will take place and there are sure to be many car company commercials. Many people place bets on different aspects of the game, but I bet not a single car commercial will even hint at the fact that cars are involved in the death and injury of millions of people around the globe each year. Yes it is the people behind the wheel that are responsible, not the cars, but it makes me sick that car companies show cars with a professional driver on a closed course zooming dangerously around streets with smoke pouring from tires screeching across the pavement in many of their ads. Either that or they will try "cute" marketing by featuring animals or making jokes.
It's okay to market cars to the hilt with no hint at safety and yet cyclists are scolded for not wearing helmets? Sounds like priorities might be out of order here.
Okay, rant over. Do remember that the header of this site says "Culture, Links, News, and Rants."