There was an incident in New Zealand that was highlighted on many publications/websites. It involved Boston University students engaged in a Study-Abroad experience, riding in a loaded minivan, with the tragic outcome of loss of control, resulting in needless loss of life. Click here for the story.
Many will say that the foolishness of the individuals that may have been riding in the vehicle without a seat belt was the cause of deaths. While this might be true, the root cause was the loss of control of the vehicle in the first place.
We will never know what exactly happened to cause the vehicle to drift off the roadway. What is very apparent is the results of an attempt to correct the situation that was unsuccessful.
We started DrivingMBA after reading about several fatal collisions due to loss of control within a very short time span in our school district. We are convinced that in the vast majority of cases of loss of control, the driver is simply unprepared for the event, leading to taking the wrong action.
That is exactly why airline pilots train on simulators: learn how to handle the highly unusual but possible events that are potentially fatal. Sully successfully putting the airliner down on the Hudson was the result of having practiced landing the aircraft without power hundreds of times on a simulator.
We expose our students to events and situations that hopefully will never occur on the road, but if it does, we know that they will not be ad-libbing at highway speeds without a clue as to the proper response.
Is it a vastly superior way of preparing for eventualities that might never occur? The airlines seem to think so, and the loss of life due to pilot error is dwarfed by the continued carnage on our nation’s roads.
We as a nation need to experience a change of sentiment with respect to the acceptance of over 30,000 lives lost annually that could be reduced dramatically if only we addressed the root cause: poorly equipped and trained drivers.