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Tue, Feb. 20th, 2007, 05:17 pm
From the department of "barely thought out theories"

I'm wondering.

Ireland has a pretty big problem with drink driving, decades of prominent advertising saying "If you have a drink and drive a car, you will kill someone" and "If you drive after even one drink you're going to go to jail and get f*cked in the ass". Yet for all of that, the problem still exists and is still a pretty big one, percentage wise anyway.

Regardless, I find myself wondering if booze is the major cause of the accidents or is it simply that we are a nation of retards behind the wheel and that the biggest retards, the ones who will inevitably kill someone, would do so whether they were sober or two drinks in? Judging from the behaviour I see every single evening on the way home and the number of near misses I've seen or been a part of that involved a driver that statistically speaking should be as sober as a judge, I'm just beginning to doubt the official line that it is the drink that is the problem (or at least the one or two drinks - if you're six pints in then its a different story) so much as driving like an ignorant asshole. I suspect that being a nation of absolutely clueless motorists can't help either.

Tue, Feb. 20th, 2007 05:32 pm (UTC)

I agree wholeheartedly. After all, a huge proportion of accidents involve boy racers...and as far as I can tell, they display the same disrespect for other road users whether sober or pissed. The amount of accidents I pass on my daily commute can't all be caused by alcohol, amd if they are Counties Monaghan and Louth have a major alcoholism problem to address!

I have major issues with the whole provsional license system anyway, but that's a rant for another day.

Tue, Feb. 20th, 2007 05:35 pm (UTC)

Yup, barely thought out theory, but perhaps with a teeny, tiny grain of sense. :)

Drinking, at all, impairs your reactions. If you already can't drive terribly well then those impairments may well push you further into that huge red danger zone.

However, no, drink is the problem when someone has been drinking.

Being unable to drive is a whole different set of causes.

Tue, Feb. 20th, 2007 05:48 pm (UTC)

"Being unable to drive is a whole different set of causes."

Causes yeah, but the end result is what matters in this case, I don't care *why* people drink or can't seem to retain the lessons they learned but both of them end with some poor slob being maimed or killed. I won't deny that drink is a factor, that'd be mental but what I'm getting at is whether or not the inability to drive caused by being a cretin is a greater or lesser factor than the inability to drive caused by booze. That and the point you correctly made, that booze makes the problem worse - turning an ignorant moron into an even more dangerous ignorant moron.

Combine the two and sure, you have a problem greater than the sum of its parts but when I walk home this evening I *guarantee* you I will see a minimum of one person run a red light through a pedestrian crossing and someone else change lanes or take a corner without indicating and I'll give even money on someone using a phone while doing both of the above. This is during a nine minute walk by the way.

Tue, Feb. 20th, 2007 10:36 pm (UTC)
evilrobotshane: From our Dixie correspondant...

Don't make the mistake of thinking it's an Irish problem - you've no doubt seen those hilariously graphic television ads in at least four accents on different channels because they're not made in Ireland. The driving test in Ireland is pretty tough, I gather, with people failing it several times. I took my test here and it was a five-minute formality in perfect conditions where I faced some stop signs, a set of traffic lights and a two-point turn. Drivers hereabouts have stopped dead in the middle of the road to allow me to walk past because they don't know how to handle pedestrians. Lanes are more of a guideline than a rule. The college's star basketball player drove his car into the Tuckaseegee River a few weeks ago, well over the drink-driving limit (incidentally, we got hammered by Appalachian State University yesterday). A couple of friends of mine were reminiscing today over lunch about how they used to get a few forties (a 40 fluid ounce bottle of cheap beer) and go cruise around while drinking them. One of those guys is currently between cars because he drunkenly drove his last motor over a 50 foot cliff. Then there's the alarming numbers of people I met in Australia who'd done time in jail for drink-driving.

I'm adopting my brother's policy of no drinking whatsoever if I'm driving, so I don't know what it's like in terms of reaction times and so on. Point being, drink-driving is rampant, and bad driving is rampant. And you want clueless motorists, you should get stuck behind someone from Florida...

Wed, Feb. 21st, 2007 07:54 pm (UTC)

Hello, found your LJ rather randomly...

I lived in Dublin for the better part of two years while I attended grad school, and I can honestly say I was terrified by the casualness with which traffic safety was regarded. I was heading home from Fenian St one night (as you do) and was almost hit in a crosswalk by someone driving sans headlights. The place was deserted so I would have been in bad form had I actually been hit. That made me think, a lot.

Thu, Feb. 22nd, 2007 12:38 am (UTC)

Hee, I'm still trying to get to grips with remembering to turn on my headlights. Still getting used to this driving deal.