Iím a fairly
laid back guy but Iíve started to feel like a TV evangelist on this
subject. It caught my
attention and I hope it catches yours.
few months ago, there was an article in Roundel where the writer talked
about the history of automobile safety.
It caught my attention since I have a daughter that just turned
sixteen and was starting to drive. The
writerís main point was that for the last fifty years we have used
technology and engineering to improve driving safety and ignored the
really canít talk about car safety without bringing up Ralph Nader.
The plan to improve cars was a direct result of his campaign.
No doubt, his work improved cars and made automobile manufacturers
more responsive to safety factors. But
in my opinion, Ralph fell a bit short of the mark.
he was against seat belts. He
felt that you would never get people to use them.
Second, he felt that drivers could not be trained.
He thought that either they were a dumb lot or just didnít care
and since they were either dumb or uncaring we needed to build better
boxes that they drive.
have to agree with the Roundel writer and take issue with Ralph.
got back from the Houston Chapterís Car Control School.
It works! And it works
fast. In one intensive long
weekend you could see a marked difference in the students driving ability.
At first, some were afraid to even apply the brakes hard.
Most didnít know which way to turn when the back of the car
wasnít going the same direction as the front.
Sunday afternoon they were in control.
They knew the limits of their cars as well as their personal
limits. Posture had improved and the teens that were lying back in
their seats when they started were now siting up straight, hands at the
right places and their feet were firmly planted on the correct pedal.
they were all looking ahead at least twice a far as before.
Friday night they were taught that the car had only so much
traction and you could use it for hard turning or hard braking but not
both at the same time. Saturday
they learned this from behind the wheel.
reason it works so fast is probably twofold.
First of all itís fun. I
had a trig teacher one time that made trig fun and for the life of me, I
donít know how but we all actually learned trig because he made it fun.
Second, drivers arenít dumb, they just have to be shown a few
know itís important also. Why
do you think the class booked up only two weeks after it was announced?
People want this.
over Ralph! We CAN be better
drivers. They do care, they
can be taught (duaaah) and they want to be taught.
the school that good? I think
it was but mainly it was there! Drivers
need this. I need this. You need this. Itís
you Houston Chapter for putting it on.
you BMW-North for giving us a great conference Friday night.
you to all the organizers for giving your time.
I appreciate it.
you Porsche Club for all your help.
you Miata Club for all your help.
You all stuck it out for a very long day.
you Valerie, thanks for all your tireless effort.
It helps us all.
you DanDan Baker, the biggest thanks of all.
You put together one of the best organized, most needed events this
you for giving my sixteen-year-old daughter the ability to navigate the
streets then come home so that I have a shot at being a grandfather some