Crossing the Double Yellow Line
If you are like most motorists, you take the first opportunity to pass the cyclist safely, regardless of the stripe. After all, the purpose of the solid yellow line is to indicate where it is unsafe to pass, and the purpose of prohibiting drivers from crossing a solid yellow line to pass another driver is to prevent unsafe passing. So if it is safe to pass, then why is the solid yellow line there in the first place?[more inside]
The Worst Highways in America. "There are bad, bad roads in America. None have I-40's ability to warp time itself, and turn what should be a three-hour drive with traffic into a creeping space-time anomaly broken only by the words "hey, there's the exit for Bucksnort." I am convinced a person could extend their lifespan near infinitely and live to biblical ages provided they drove only on this stretch of I-40. No one will ever prove this, because no one would subject themselves to this even in the name of near-immortality. They would rather die, and wisely so."
There's an ongoing culture war in America between fitness enthusiasts and automobiles — a quiet, persistent, and almost entirely one-sided battle that creates new casualties every day. The legal skirmish surrounding the death of Ashley Poissant reveals this stark divide. The Clinton County District Attorney and Poissant's friends insist that when an 85-year-old man with an unsafe level of alcohol in his blood and a steering wheel in his hand collides with and kills a 27-year-old woman, it is a crime, a form of homicide. Trombly's attorney says it's a horrible accident, one that the women contributed to by running at dusk on the wrong side of the road. He believes an accident, even a fatal one, doesn't warrant sending an octogenarian to a New York state penitentiary.
To Kill a Child, by Stig Dagerman (Wikipedia). Translated by Steven Hartman. For a meager fee of seventy-five kronor Dagerman was commissioned by the National Society for Road Safety to write a cautionary tale as part of a campaign designed to get Swedish motorists to slow down on highways when speeding was becoming an increasingly difficult social issue with serious consequences for public safety. What could have been an ephemeral and gimmicky work of public service fiction became perhaps the greatest short short story in the history of Swedish letters, for in this tale Dagerman took the simple redressing of a particular social problem as the starting point rather than as an end in itself and out of these mundane materials created a poignant tale of choice, chance, and human loss that rises to the highest levels of art, literary balance, and philosophical concision.
Auto Correct — Has the self-driving car at last arrived? From The New Yorker, November 25, 2013.
Women in Saudi Arabia may not drive. Today, many take to the road in protest, despite grave risks. Even cyber support may be grounds for arrest and the movement's primary website has been blocked. It's been an issue for decades; here's a writer remembering women donning disguises to drive and the sad case of a mother unable to take her injured child to the hospital. Driving may be the point of a sword aimed at securing other freedoms and attaining more autonomy.
The Superior Court of New Jersey's Appellate Division ruled on August 27 that if, as you text someone, you have special reason to know that the intended recipient is driving and is likely to read the text message while driving, you as the texter have a duty to users of the public roads to refrain from sending the driver a text at that time. [more inside]
In 1929, three young women (Edith, Dorothy, and Evelyn), ages 23 and 25, went on a three-month-long, 12,353-mile road trip. Learn more about their experience, and follow an effort to recreate the journey, at Three Months by Car. [more inside]
Cartoon Brew's animation historian Amid Amidi posted an almost-definitive collection of Automobile-themed cartoons from the 1950s and 1960s. [more inside]
Can autonomous vehicles navigate the law? This year has been full of big news about the progress of self-driving cars. They are currently street legal in three states and Google says that on a given day, they have a dozen autonomous cars on the road. This August, they passed 300,000 driver-hours. In Spain this summer, Volvo drove a convoy of three cars through 200 kilometers of desert highway with just one driver and a police escort. Cadillac's newest models park themselves. The writing, one might think, is on the wall. But objects in the media may be farther off than they appear.
Driving in Russia. (SLYT) (warning: contains footage of many many car accidents.)
Steve Wozniak explains his rules of the road. My best habits include use of blinkers and not blocking others. I keep a good distance behind the car in front of me. I never tailgate. Also, I buy and study the large DMV handbooks from the first page to the last. I would never lie in traffic court. Once I was asked if I could have been going 75 mph and I told the truth, that I didn't know because I hadn't looked at my speedometer. I lost on that one. Steve Wozniak (Mefi's own-ish) fills in for San Jose Mercury News columnist Mr. Roadshow.
Comedian Bill Burr drives the streets of three major cities and yaps away. From his bio: "I love my dog. I hate bankers. I have issues with women. In my head, I’m a great guy."
Enter a starting point and an ending point, and get a road trip mix tape created for you featuring music from artists from whatever area you may be driving through. How it works. [more inside]
DriveABLE, is a driver testing program, primarily for seniors, implemented across Canada and in the United States and Australia. Questions have been raised about the lack of consistency and accuracy in the testing. With only a 15% pass rate, drivers are complaining about the unfamiliar technology (youtube - DriveABLE computer use demo) and the lack of services in rural areas, where a senior may have to drive several hundred kilometres, to complete the mandatory computer test. [more inside]
Trigger Rally is "a fast-paced single-player racing game for Linux" and now, thanks to WebGL, Three.JS, and Jasmine Kent, everyone can play in a browser.
France has passed a law that all cars must carry a road safety kit that includes a breathalyzer, .. [more inside]
“I truly believe that when men and women think about parking, their mental capacity reverts to the reptilian cortex of the brain,”
After investigating a tragic crash involving two school buses and a third passenger vehicle in Missouri last year the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended this week that state and local governments ban all forms of cellphone communication while driving, including texting and talking using handsfree devices. [more inside]
"Piloting London’s distinctive black cabs (taxis to everyone else) is no easy feat. To earn the privilege, drivers have to pass an intense intellectual ordeal, known charmingly as The Knowledge. Ever since 1865, they’ve had to memorise the location of every street within six miles of Charing Cross – all 25,000 of the capital’s arteries, veins and capillaries. They also need to know the locations of 20,000 landmarks – museums, police stations, theatres, clubs, and more – and 320 routes that connect everything up." Acquiring The Knowledge changes the brains of those who acquire it.
How do people die in motor "accidents"? I'll tell you. With the Christmas "Silly Season" is upon us, the Age has republished And this is how you die by journalist Roger Aldridge. A warning - it's pretty graphic. Scroll up for the rest of the article.
Here's a really cool presentation on how Google's self-driving car works: Part 1, History. Part 2, Implementation. Part 3, Use Case [more inside]
Realtors in Cars is one of the strangest sites I've seen in some time. I have no idea how these agencies got their realtors wedged into their cars, or why.
People often think that other drivers are nuts. The Nigerian authorities have taken things a step further, now requiring drivers accused of going the wrong way down a one way street to get psychiatric exams.
Risking it all in Pakistan – Pakistani truck drivers face death at every turn.
Moving Beyond the Automobile is a series of ten short videos by Streetfilms that highlights new directions in urban transportation. It shows how cities in the U.S. are encouraging a shift away from car dependency and making it easier and more pleasant to get around by other means. [more inside]
Joe Simonetti is a 57-year-old psychotherapist who lives with his wife in Pound Ridge, New York. His commute takes him from the northern reaches of exurban Westchester County to his office just south of Central Park. It's about three and a half hours each way. By bike. [more inside]
10 years ago Metafilter discussed William Beaty's Traffic Wave theories about why traffic jams happen. Since then he's conducted some experiments that he says prove regular drivers can help stop them from happening. [more inside]
I’m Jonathan Klinger and I’m spending one full year driving a 1930 Model A everywhere I go. (Starting October 13, 2010) Why? Because not everything a person owns should contain a computer. 365 days of A
Heading out for a drive this weekend? Live near Lake Biwa in Japan? Then head over the O-hashi ('Big Bridge') and sing along with the music your car will make as it runs over the 'Melody Road'. These attractions (distractions?) - created by carving ridges into the surface of the road, causing your tires to play 'music' - have popped up all over Japan in recent years (here's an English-language news clip on the phenomenon). But if you are a road engineer, and are thinking of perhaps making one of these, you had better do the math properly, something the engineers on a similar project for a Honda commercial spectacularly failed to do. (Analysis of what went wrong on this interesting blog post).
It's crazy how a simple mirror filter can transform a video into something else. (via.) [more inside]
"The Diverging Diamond reduced traffic accidents by a remarkable 60 percent. The only complaint is the strangeness of being shifted to the wrong side of the road."
A short drive through hell. NSFW swearing (in Russian).
Why Some Countries Drive on the Right and Some Countries Drive on the Left. Primarily throughout history people used the “keep-left” rule. It has only been very recently that the world has predominately switched to the “keep-right” rule.
"You sound like my mom..... My camera was safely cradled on the dashboard, with both hands on the steering wheel."
The Independent State of Samoa has just 200,000 citizens, but you can be sure many are a little less than placid today. They are undergoing a shift that few nations have done; one that may be as jarring as when Jekyll changes to Hyde. They are about to change lanes. In a big way. [more inside]
“We’ve spent billions on air bags, antilock brakes, better steering, safer cars and roads, but the number of fatalities has remained constant,” said David Strayer, a psychology professor at the University of Utah and a leading researcher in the field of distracted driving. “Our return on investment for those billions is zero,” he added. “And that’s because we’re using [cellphone and messaging] devices in our cars.” [more inside]