Yet one more piece of evidence that our society is “letting it go.”
Back in the day when I was taught driving, we had to memorize the book and were exposed to quite a few tactical driving skills: Emergency stops, skidding, jack-rabbit starts, evasive maneuvers.
Today, every day on the way to and from work, there is always one example of someone who no longer follows any of the rules. Their turn signals don’t work, they weave on the road, they use their bright beams even when there are street lights overhead or when other cars approach – usually mine.
Is it possible that this is the rambling of a crotchety old man? Possibly. Then again, I remember the day when my mother was pulled over by a cop for not using her turn signal. She was taking me to school, we were late, and she got a ticket. Today, it’s not uncommon to see a police car making a turn, without a turn signal, even while the officer driving has a hand to his ear holding something small. Is it a phone? Surely not!
Here is where science meets crotchety. Someday, when our society is fully digitized, the serious student of behavior will be able to ask the great and powerful Goog this question; How many tickets were given out for failure to use a turn signal in the 1960s? And in the 70s? All the decades up to today. My guess is that there are almost no such tickets for turn signal transgressions today.
Is it only that we are getting sloppier as Americans? Again, it’s possible. It’s also possible that police have many more serious things to think about, and that they are relatively worse-off than they were in the past. There’s probably other factors that you can think of.
The fact remains, we don’t communicate like we used to. We don’t use our technology to the fullest, like we used to. And that’s why our society can’t wait for robot cars that will do all our thinking for us.
I wonder what we’ll think about, then?