Baby Boomers

My 50th Anniversary of Driving Big Surprise

On the 50th anniversary of the day I received my drivers license learning permit, I earned a speeding ticket for driving 28 mph in a 20 mph school zone in Comfort, Texas. It was about time, I suppose, that I took a driver’s safety course again. Whew! Times have certainly changed since April, 1971—and so have driving laws.

I learned that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was largely responsible for a new federal law in 2007 requiring all new cars being sold by dealers to have posted the pertinent government crash safety accident information next to the sticker price of any new automobile.

Five stars are the highest government collision rating while one star is the lowest. The government tests all major cars and ranks them in a few categories (i.e. front end or side end collisions). Spending a minute or two on the www.safercar.gov site will provide you and your loved ones with almost 15 years of car safety rating for almost all new and used cars.

Safety Belt Facts

  • Safety belts can reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45%.
  • Currently, 31% of all passenger vehicle occupant fatalities were totally ejected from the vehicle. In fatal crashes, 79 percent of passenger vehicle occupants who were totally ejected from the vehicle were killed.
  • About 1,200 children 14 years old or younger are killed in motor vehicle crashes each year. That is an average of 3 children killed per day.
  • In 2013, there were 214 passenger vehicle occupant fatalities among children under four years of age. Of the 200 fatalities for which restraint use was known, 53 (27%) were totally unrestrained.
  • That same year, 53 percent of passenger vehicle occupant fatalities occurred in vehicles that sustained frontal damage.
  • On average, 96 persons die each day in a motor vehicle collision, one every 16 minutes.

In light of the historical winter snowstorm Texas experienced in February 2021, I reckon it was also time to learn about the subject of driving in snow. This is straight from the manual:

Here’s a wreck from 50 years ago.

Click here for more vintage wreck photos.

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