Sunday, March 29, 2009

Windbags And Airbags

A car crash in Colorado Springs, Colorado.Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday, my teen turned 15.5. Here’s the irony: On the day that she became old enough to get her driver’s permit, I attended traffic school. (I was caught speeding. It’s about time they caught me!) And let me tell you, after watching one video after the next of horrible car crashes and families devastated by the loss of loved ones, who were tossed from cars and twisted around metal, I am not in any hurry to get her signed up for Driver’s Ed. No thanks. I think I’ll keep my daughter permit-less and alive a little bit longer.

I’m just hoping that she stays so busy with school, track and everything else she’s into, that she forgets all about it. But I don’t think I’m going to be so lucky.

By the way . . . for anyone who has ever been to traffic school, you have my deepest sympathies. Those two words are akin to “root canal.” I’m not sure what was more painful – sitting there for eight excruciatingly boring hours or writing a check for $321 for the privilege of giving up a beautiful Saturday afternoon to clear my driving record and keep my insurance rates down. When I rounded the corner at 7:00 in the morning (yep, that early!), I was STUNNED at the line of people snaking around the courthouse. A quick headcount multiplied by $300 put the revenue pumped into the courthouse that day at around $200,000 – just for one Saturday! What a racket traffic school is!

But I did learn something cool: Did you know that airbags deploy at 200 mph?

And there were some funny moments. Like, when it was over. When the instructor dismissed us, all these so-called “reformed” traffic offenders were stampeding out of the building and running as fast as they could to their cars because they didn’t want to get caught up in the inevitable traffic jam in the parking lot.

Let’s see, some of the worst drivers in Orange County coming together in one spot in a mad dash to get their Saturday nights started – I lost track of how many traffic infractions were being committed right there in the parking lot: tailgating, cutting people off, pulling out in front of someone with no signal, nearly running over pedestrians. I decided to hang back, turn on my radio and just wait until the chaos left the building.

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"Hello... It's Me Again..." said...

I found out that airbags pop out at 200 mpg when a farmer ran a stop sign as I was traveling down a highway at 65 mph. It crushed my hand and a year later I had reconstructive surgery. Those babies pop out so fast that you don't even see it in action, but you taste the airbag powder for about 4 days.... tastes and smells like bandaid adhesive.

Lynn said...

OUCH! I don't always understand the idea of airbags. Yes, they save lives. But they can also hurt and maim people. Sometimes even kill them, too. You would think that car manufacturers would find a way to make them more warm and fuzzy. Sorry to hear about your hand. Hope it's not your blogging hand!