Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Which is the bigger problem?

I don't believe I've read anything from the San Francisco Chronicle's, Debra Saunders, in a while. She has a column in the Chron today about San Francisco allowing unlicensed and uninsured drivers to keep their cars. Seems a lot of them are illegal immigrants that can't legally get a driver's license.

I had to wonder, though, about a statistic she brought up: 20 percent of fatal car crashes involved one or more unlicensed or improperly licensed drivers.

What isn't mentioned is that 80% of the fatal crashes seem to have involved properly licensed and insured drivers. That's four times as many as caused by the unlicensed drivers. Shouldn't we be trying to get the properly insured drivers off the road instead? They seem to be causing most of the accidents.


At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Mr. Nice said...

You know, when I was dead broke and driving a Hyundai where my tags weren't right, I never broke the speed limit and was very careful not to get anywhere near erratic drivers. I would pull off to a side street if I saw traffic ahead because where there is traffic, there are traffic cops.

Ever been to a ghetto dmv? I'll share a story of how ridiculous licensed drivers are. I was in line because I missed my appointment with this crazy fool dancing and jamming out to a walkman in line a few spots in front of me. When he got up to the front he was literally talking gibberish like he was mentally disabled. For the eye test, he was not understanding which was left/right. For the written exam, he totally busted out another piece of paper and looked behind his back several times. For the picture, he wanted to hold up his Africa medallion and and point at it but they told him he needed to just take a normal picture. They finally told him he'd get his license in the mail in a week so he gave the lady behind the counter a dap and exclaimed "good shit."

That all seems fine with some halfway oblivious fellow getting a driver's license just like any other day. I finally got finished with my test, walked outside to wait for the bus, and this man had backed his Cadillac onto the curb and popped his tire. It wasn't like it was a tight turn or anything, this guy just completely sucked. He didn't have a spare tire of course because his trunk was packed full of subwoofers on which he bumped Too Short the entire time he was waiting for his boy to come with a new tire (presumably he didn't have AAA). This other guy, I assume a licensed driver as well, came screeching into the parking lot of the dmv in a candy yellow vette with a new tire in the driver's seat.

Finally, after these fools changed the tire, they proceeded to go to the back of the parking lot and I guess even out the tread on the tires by peeling out a bunch of times.

Anyway, this experience led me to believe that getting a license to drive does not necessarily mean anything. If I were in charge of the dmv and a guy like this was trying to get his license, I would be like hell no dude, ride a bike. Of course, I would say the same thing to great-grandma types who get on the freeway at 40 mph.

At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Mr. Nice said...

I suppose the moral to that story is if you are going to drive a Cadillac and fill your trunk with speakers to the point of having to remove the tire compartment, at least get one with the tire attached to the outside of the trunk instead of the big drop-top all-grill kinds.

At 5:38 PM, Blogger Joel Mielke said...

Mr. Nice was right to play it safe when uninsured. Some would say that he shouldn't have been driving at all, but I'd rather take my chances with uninsured people in Hyundais and Suzukis than with insured "responsible" folks in giant SUVs and trucks.

At 6:50 AM, Blogger Joel Mielke said...

Sorry about the broken link, I was attempting to link to the definition of morale hazard, an insurance industry term:

Circumstance that increases the probability of occurrence of a loss, because of an insurance-policy applicant's indifferent attitude after the issuance of policy.

At 8:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

unfortunately beaurocrats cant exercise good judgment only follow the 'rules' Mr Nice...

At 1:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CPR, totally fatuous comment
about SUV's and trucks vs
uninsured drivers. If you could see beyond the end of your oh so smug and correct nose, you'd-- wait, that will never happen, why bother suggesting
that there is NO excuse for driving uninsured, whereas some people actually do need large vehicles.

At 4:04 PM, Anonymous Mr. Nice said...

There are excuses.

Driving uninsured and unregistered: no money for all that fancy stuff, but still need to work

Driving a bigass SUV everywhere: no brains, but still need to get to work



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