A Plea to Drivers

Driving a car: Often faster than taking a bus, yet also more dangerous. As has been previously written about on streets.mn and elsewhere, tens of thousands of people die every year in car accidents in the United States. Also written about on streets.mn are the thousands of pedestrians killed by drivers.

Not really any new news there, and certainly the average person who consumes >.5 hours of infotainment content per week is probably at least somewhat aware that this is a situation that is going on. But it often feels like people don’t quite grasp it, either.

Has anyone else seen the following commercial?

Has anyone else noticed how crazy this commercial is? Are they advertising a tank? You know what everyone is scared of? Flying. You know what airlines don’t do? Run commercials where everyone lands at O’Hare and are surprised they’re alive. It’s more dangerous to drive to the airport than it is to fly somewhere. It’s really easy to not actually pay attention to what’s going on when you’re watching TV.

Also, it’s apparently really easy to not pay attention to what’s going on when you’re driving a car:

This is also objectively crazy, and rarely acknowledged as such. There are many similar commercials, though this one just started running recently. Please pay attention to what you’re doing while careening sixty miles an hour towards your business meeting. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration keeps lots of numbers at website called distraction.gov, which is a great name for a website. A report of theirs summarizing data from 2011 states that an estimated 9% of all drivers are using a phone at any given time while driving, however, based on my experience looking into car windows, this number is in fact closer to 100%.

Please do not refresh Instagram while driving a Ford Explorer on Hennepin Avenue. You might kill someone, and then you’ll have to live with having killed someone so that you could look at a sepia colored picture of a salami sandwich, and also that person will be dead. Are you reading this right now while driving? Please do not do that.

We could probably use stronger laws about this.

Note: That first commercial played has almost certainly played in the car of someone who was driving while also watching TV in the “background.” Maybe even on the face of the driver?

Nick Magrino

About Nick Magrino

Nick Magrino grew up all over the place but has lived in the Loring Park neighborhood of Minneapolis longer than anywhere else. He has a new cat, Sweater, and does not use hashtags at @nickmagrino. He is probably on a bus right now.