Safer Cars Does Not Mean Safer Roads

These days, it is pretty standard for cars to include top of the line safety features. These range from rear-view cameras, lane departure warnings, traction control and even blind spot detection.

Driving a safe vehicle can also mean more money in your pocket as drivers can save on car insurance cost. A car insurance company is generally able to provide more affordable car insurance if your vehicle has safety features. However, safer cars do not necessarily mean safer roads across the country.

From January to June, approximately 18,720 people have died on U.S. roads. As a result of a growing economy, people are driving more miles compared to recession level data. Less unemployment means more cars are on the road getting people to and from work and more money for leisure activities. In 2017, Americans traveled 3.22 trillion miles according to the Federal Highway Administration.

Factor in more miles driven along with speeding, drug and alcohol impaired driving and distracted driving and the fatality rate is at an all-time high.

South Carolina leads the nation in traffic fatality rates per miles traveled. In 2017, the state had 1.88 deaths per 100 million miles traveled, which is almost two times the national average. Illinois reported 1,090 traffic deaths.

This trend prompted Governor Rauner to declare August 17 as Traffic Fatality Awareness Day at the Illinois State Fair through a partnership with the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois State Police, Illinois Department of Health, Illinois Secretary of State and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

States across the country have launched similar awareness efforts like Vision Zero. Vision Zero’s goal is to strategically eliminate traffic fatalities and injuries while increasing safe, healthy and equitable mobility for everyone.

Reducing speed is perhaps the most effective way to reduce the fatalities. Speed increases the distance it takes a car to come to a complete stop. The speed of impact is also directly correlated to the risk of death. The higher the speed of impact, the higher the probability of a passenger dying becomes.

Even with lower speeds, it is hard for police officers to enforce these lower limits. Automated cameras are already unpopular and adding more would also be costly.

Every year, an estimated 40,000 Americans die on the road. With effective legislation and commitment, we can all work together to reduce that statistic.

According to research by the Overseas Development Institute and the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, one way to make progress is to treat traffic fatalities and road safety as a public health issue. The public has to stop blaming drivers for collisions and look to policymakers for ways to help prevent them.

Time to Place Your Bets – Even on Some Weird Wagers

It’s commonly known that Vegas is the place where one can legally wager on just about anything, provided the books offer the proposition bet(s). Gamblers love to put their money on weird wagers, especially around Super Bowl time. Now that the Supreme Court has overturned the ban on sports betting, we just might see more uncanny bets being offered in states that bid for sports books. Weird wagers are not unique to Vegas. The U.K also gets in on the action.

Here’s a collection of some of the most bizarre, weirdest, wackiest wagers ever made:

1979: The late Jackie Gaughn, owner of the El Cortez hotel in downtown Vegas, posted odds when the faltering U.S. satellite Skylab, was about to crash to earth. The odds were put up on where it would crash: 5/1 for one of the five oceans, 12/1 into the Soviet Union, 100/1 on California soil, 2,000/1 for a hit in tiny Rhode Island, and even 10,000/1 that it would crash into the El Cortez! Turns out it landed in Australia at 30/1.

1980: From the popular TV show Dallas: “Who shot JR?” Wagers were taken at the Castaways Hotel with odds on every cast member prior to the season ending cliff hanger episode, but the Gaming Control Board ordered a halt to all betting because someone had to have a script that knew the answer.

1981: Amidst the ongoing controversy over the murder of President John F. Kennedy, the grave of alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was about to be exhumed to confirm identity. The sports book at the Union Plaza was quick to jump on the proposition bandwagon on whose body would be in the coffin. Odds were posted for: a Soviet agent, Jack Ruby (Oswald’s assassin) or an empty coffin. Due to concerns about the virtue of such a wager, the gaming commission put a lid on it. Turns out it was Oswald after all.

In the UK, it was 500/1 that the FBI will confirm that Elvis is still alive and another 500/1 that Michael and LaToya Jackson are one in the same.

UK bookmakers also offered 1,000/1 that Tiger Woods would become President of the US and 5,000/1 that Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky would marry.

A London resident named Matthew Drumbell placed a 1,000,000/1 wager that the world would end before the year 2000. Of course, who would be left to pay him if he survived? No pun intended on the man’s name.

During Super Bowl week in Vegas $ millions are tossed across the betting terminals to wager on one’s favorite team, and some weird bets as well. Here are some of Super Bowls’ past prop bets:

· Will singer Kelly Clarkston omit or mess up one or more words in the National Anthem? How long will it take her to sing it? Over/Under 1 minute, 34 seconds. Will her bare belly be showing when she sings it?

· If Quarterback Tom Brady’s son is shown on TV during the game, will he be wearing a Tom Brady Jersey?

· How many times will Patriots owner Robert Kraft be shown on TV during the game?

· What will be the first touchdown celebration? A ball spike, a dance, lay on the ground, a goalpost dunk, a Tim Tebow kneel, or kiss a cheerleader?

· What color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning team’s head coach? Yellow, orange, clear, red, green, blue? (Yellow was favorite.)

· Who will the Super Bowl MVP thank first in his post-game interview? Teammates, God, Owner, Coach, Family, No one? (Teammates were the favorite.)