Affected by a Recall, Try a Bike!



Affected by a Recall, Try a Bike!

recallAre you one of the many people plagued by the recent automobile recalls?  Plagued by stories about sudden acceleration and failing brakes, the press is reminding us how danger it can be to drive an automobile.  A recent segment on NPR discusses the current Toyota recalls and the fact that, while the mechanical and electrical difficulties with the car are not to be ignored,

studies show that the vehicle itself is almost never the sole cause of the accident. Drivers, on the other hand, are wholly to blame most of the time.

One of the panelists, Leonard Evans is a physicist, a former employee of GM and author of the book Traffic Safety.   He believes that

the whole history of U.S. traffic safety has been one focusing on the vehicle, one of the least important factors that affects traffic safety.

Evans says his review of the data show that in the decade ending in 2008, about 22,000 people were killed in vehicles made by Toyota or Lexus.  All these people were killed because of factors that had absolutely nothing to do with any vehicle defect.

Why isn’t the American public up in arms about the loss of life caused by daily traffic accidents?  Why doesn’t the American public react seriously when a person takes another person’s life with their car?  Where is the outrage people?

For those drivers who are affected by one of the recent recalls, may I suggest looking at a bicycle or other alternative mode of transportation.  You might be surprised and actually find that you enjoy getting around without your car.  Yes, there are recalls that affect bicycles, but I have yet to be in a situation where my legs simply refused to stop pedaling or I couldn’t find some way to safely stop my bicycle.


  • Noman
    Mar 5, 2010 at 10:19 am

    As an industry insider for 30 years, I disagree with Evans. Toyotas were always rather sluggish performers in traffic and not as safe in crash tests, although they were certainly numerous and popular. Smaller vehicles are more likely to crush or fling victims. It's just physics.

    Official sources estimate that 1.25 million people die every year in traffic related accidents worldwide. This comes right out of your revenue into premiums, prices, and various forms of social welfare. The $7500/year estimated cost of motoring doesn't cover such hidden costs that you pay whether or not you drive yourself.

    Now where's your outrage? I think I'm made mine already known to a fault. But the real picture is far more complex, since 25% of jobs not government related are somehow related to automotive. If people stopped driving, economy would collapse overnight. And you think it's bad now?

  • Dennis
    Mar 5, 2010 at 11:42 am

    25% of jobs related to automotive? And those would certainly all go away because there would be no more autos. I'd have to guess that folks would need a place to buy bikes, fix bikes, store bikes, customize bikes….. and there might just be a job or two in all of that.

  • Dennis
    Mar 5, 2010 at 11:44 am

    … and just imagine all the doctors put out of work.

    Less heart disease, diabetes. Yup, we don't want those cars to go away.

  • Noman
    Mar 5, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    The Chinese are falling all over themselves to expand their automotive industry, because it's a bang up way to get powerful. This, of course, will accelerate the diminishing 1.5 trillion bbl of known reserve. You have about 10 years left, then oil will be tightly rationed only for industrial and military uses.

    Meanwhile, 2 more bike shops have recently closed. Bikes don't waste resources like cars, which means a small fraction of the prior economy will translate over.

    Doctors are already quitting their practices: too much paperwork because of health insurance. If they go rid of insurance, fees would instantly reduce. Makes no sense whatever. I pay more for insurance than I spend in care, since I ride but seldom drive. But should something catastrophic occur, hospital care could ruin you. So I wear a helmet.