Be Less Stupid — December 17, 2013 at 7:19 PM

Be Less Stupid: Driving & Dying On The Highway


If you don’t change your driving habits after reading this… you are either made of stone… or have a death wish. 

Plus: An update on This vs That’s legal dispute with Mythbusters and Discovery Channel.



For the first time since 2005, the number of highway deaths rose, according to the Dept. of Transportation. In 2012, their were 33,561 deaths as a result of accidents on US highways. That’s a rise of 3.3% over the previous year. Also in 2012, the number of injuries as the result of highway accidents was up by 145,000 over the previous year, a 6.7% jump.

So, if you wanna be less stupid and more alive when you presumably arrive at your destination after having navigated America’s highways, consider the following:

52% of those who were killed on the highway were not wearing their seatbelt. [reveal heading=”%image% Click here to be less stupid“]Wear your seatbelt, moron! Unless you want to die. Which you don’t. [/reveal]

31% of traffic fatalities featured alcohol impaired drivers. [reveal heading=”%image% Click here to be less stupid“]Don’t drink and drive. Duh! [/reveal]

Nearly 9 highway deaths every day and 1000 injuries are the result of drivers being distracted by (in no particular order):

  • Texting
  • Emailing
  • Being on the phone
  • Taking your eyes off the road
  • Changing the radio station
  • Taking your hands off the wheel.
  • Taking your mind off of driving

[reveal heading=”%image% Click here to be less stupid“]When you’re driving your car… Focus. On. Driving. Driving is not an opportunity to show off your multitasking skills. Got it? [/reveal]

70% of highway traffic fatalities are men. [reveal heading=”%image% Click here to be less stupid“]If you’re a guy, get a sex change. If you’re a woman, don’t ride in the car with boys.[/reveal]

The District of Columbia saw the fewest highway fatalities involving alcohol, just 4. Meanwhile, Texas saw the largest number of highway fatalities featuring an alcohol impaired driver, at 1296 deaths. [reveal heading=”%image% Click here to be less stupid“]Get the “F” out off Texas.[/reveal]

OK. Yes. Of course, the above list are the clearly obvious things people should do in order to avoid becoming a highway fatality. Rest assured, I did not take the time to write this post to tell you what you already know.

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 8.39.28 AM

What follows are tips and insight into safe driving you are likely unaware of.

• In 1975, a University of Chicago economist recognized something incredible. The more safety features a car had, the more recklessly the car was driven by some drivers. Each of us has created for ourselves a degree of risk we are willing to tolerate. However, with the advent of high-tech safety gear like air bags, anti-lock brakes, back-up sensors, cameras, etc drivers are lulled into a false sense of security… and drive more recklessly, with the assumption — the wrong assumption — that they are protected.

[reveal heading=”%image% Click here to be less stupid“]Recognize your own reckless impulses to drive a little faster, to be more cavalier, to “trust” the safety gear. Instead, follow the rules of the road.[/reveal]

• Along with advances in safety gear, cars are now equipped with many more electronic screens, sensors and indicators. If you are looking at the car’s GPS screen, you’re not looking at the road. If you’re focused on the blinking warning light, you’re not focused on the road.

[reveal heading=”%image% Click here to be less stupid“]Recognize that you should be focused on driving and not on the cool new in-door hibachi that comes standard in your new car.[/reveal]

• Finally, advances in the technology that make your car go are also more prone to failure than long tested less technologically savvy car parts. For example, Toyota had to recall nearly 6 million Prius cars because of sudden acceleration when the gas pedal was pressed. You see, in those Priuses, stepping on the gas pedal did not pull a wire that increased or decreased the amount of gas sent to the engine, rather, pressing the gas pedal pressed a sensor which then adjusted the amount of gas to the engine. The Prius cars that were recalled had sensors that could fail.

Click to see This vs That
Click to see This vs That

Below, see the first 10 minutes of This vs That’s Highway Traffic Experiment!


Finally, Here’s the latest update on This vs That’s legal dispute with Discovery Channel and Mythbusters.

1. If you haven’t read the post detailing Mythbusters mysterious acquisition of the content of several This vs That episodes, click HERE.

Click to "unfollow" Mythbusters on Twitter
Click to “unfollow” Mythbusters

2. Many people have asked what they can do to support This vs That in its quest for justice. Here’s four options.

  1. Unfollow Mythbusters on Twitter
  2. Unlike Mythbusters on Facebook
  3. Donate to our legal fund (you can see a button on the right)
  4. Sign up to receive updates in your mailbox HERE.



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