Why marathons are safer than elections


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All the research I've studied lately seems to lead toward one conclusion: cars bad, bicycles or foot power good.

Marathons reduce road accidents

According to a British journal, "... marathons lower the risk of fatal motor vehicle crashes that might otherwise have taken place if the roads had not been closed."

On the other hand, road accidents rise on election day.

So it seems to me that what this world needs is more marathons and fewer elections. Can we take a vote on that?

Don't drive in the rain

Almost 25% of car crashes occur in bad weather. But apparently, snow and ice aren't responsible for as many crashes as mere rain. More accidents occurred in the southern parts of the U.S., which don't really go in for the ice and snow like the Midwest does.

"Many drivers recognize that snow and ice can cause them to lose control of their cars, but most underestimate the dangers that rain can pose. For this reason, more people travel in wet weather, and do not realize the need to adjust to lower speeds when traveling on wet roads."
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On the other hand, runners and cyclists...
tend to reduce speed a whole lot when the weather's bad. Or opt to spend the day at the gym. Or they just go back inside, curl up on the couch, and catch up on the latest in Reality TV shows.
Yeah, we'll run later...
Photo credit: cursedthing

It's true what they say about Those Kinds of Drivers



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People always told me that Volvo drivers were the worst on the road, because they felt safer in their cars. Turns out there might be something in that theory. (Not necessarily Volvo drivers, but in general people in 'safe' cars.)

According to The Smithsonian, the concept is that humans have an inborn tolerance for risk—meaning that as safety features are added to vehicles and roads, drivers feel less vulnerable and tend to take more chances. The feeling of greater security tempts us to be more reckless. Behavioral scientists call it "risk compensation."

Likewise, airbags and anti-lock brakes seem to thwart their intent because drivers with these are more aggressive.

I think there's a lot of truth in these studies, but I take exception to one part of this research.

These experts go on to say that this practice extends to sports, but I don't see that in my own commute. Cyclists wearing bicycle helmets are not nearly as risk-seeing as the ones who don't wear helmets but do wear headphones. Those are the ones you have to watch out for.

See? Wearing a helmet makes people happy.


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Note: no one in this picture is wearing a helmet.

Likewise, a runner wearing fancified running shoes with a garmin or whatever is much less likely to take off his shoes and throw them at you even if you're a foreign president visiting his country. It took too much money to get his shoes; he'll want to keep them near his feet.

I know that if a study agrees with your own observed behavior, you're more likely to agree with it.

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But I don't see people with fancy types of safety sports equipment being reckless, unlike people who drive fancy cars.

Moral? Buy lots of fancy sports equipment and stop saving up for that Lexus. You'll live longer. So long as you don't vote.

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