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Jon Lewis
Jon Lewis
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Does High Performance Driving Lead to Accidents?

2 comments

In the last couple of weeks, the Birmingham News has run an article on the Porche Driving School along with several articles covering wrecks leading the the death of several drivers and passengers. This has led me to ponder the question, "Do our average drivers think they are on the NASCAR circuit?"

Now, I’m not suggesting that the Porche driving school leads to these types of wrecks, but I do wonder what many of these people are thinking. In the articles above which discuss the wrecks which killed three people, the writer describes the wrecks as follows: one vehicle struck a tree on Alabama 155 in Jemison; another wreck happened at the 31st Street exit off of Interstate 20/59 North; and the third vehicle driven by a 44 year old man drove off the road in northeast Jefferson County and partially ejected him. In today’s Birmingham News, it was reported that a woman was killed in Pratt City when the driver lost control of the vehicle, and another man was charged with his brother’s death when he ran off the road, overcorrected and flipped his Ford Explorer.

All five (5) of these collisions were single vehicle collisions. There was not one moving car or truck which caused the wrecks. Yet, five people are dead as a result of this senseless driving. When do adults mature and realize that driving can be exceptionally dangerous? When you are driving down the road at a relatively low rate of speed, say 20-30 mph, and you hit a stationary object such as a tree, you are going to get hurt. SERIOUSLY HURT!!

You have to pay attention to the road. You cannot be drunk. You cannot text. You cannot be fiddling with the radio or air conditioner. You have to watch where you are going. One small move in the wrong direction can mean death. Pay attention. Be careful. Realize that you are not in NASCAR. Which, by the way, I’ll bet you the NASCAR drivers are paying attention and not putting on makeup.

2 Comments

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  1. Brandon West says:
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    Jon –
    I see what you are indirectly inferring to (or directly, based on your title) and couldn’t disagree more completely. The stories linked to provide little connection with the Porche driver’s school. Assuming that there wasn’t any other outside influence (how many people do you know are wide awake @4:10am??) to cause these single car accidents, it comes down to two things – ego and lack of skill, which when combined, can be very dangerous.

    As someone that has turned a few laps, I used to always laugh at the noobs that showed up to the track with no experience and the fastest rides money could buy. While they usually ended up off the track with nothing more than hurt pride, while on the track in a controlled situation, they were a danger to everyone around them. Ego, not reason, and certainly not skill, was behind the wheel – and ego can’t drive…

    Personally, I have always favored performance driving schools – not because they teach you how to drive fast (or create an inner Mario Andretti) but you learn how to control your vehicle in adverse situations. How well can you threshold brake? In the rain? How many parents teach their kids how to do that? My guess is none – it’s ‘dangerous’. What happens when its pouring and everyone on the freeway suddenly stops? You guessed it… Bet everyone that’s ever been in one of those accidents wished they knew what their car was capable of in the rain… A good diving school will prepare a driver for the unknown – how to see beyond the hood, 2-3 corners ahead and how to control their equipment in the event of evasive action. The DMV drivers exam doesn’t cover that…

    Ego, or emotions as a whole, are things that influence our physical behavior. We make bad decisions under stress – it happens. But we can learn skills – driving being one of them – to help us in adverse situations. And learning how to save ourselves from our own mistakes is a much better alternative than indirectly suggesting such education or a bunch of guys driving in circles is the cause of such problems.

    My $.02.

  2. Jon Lewis says:
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    Dear Brandon,

    While I tend to agree with you (I wrote, “Now, I’m not suggesting that the Porche driving school leads to these types of wrecks, but I do wonder what many of these people are thinking.”), I do think there are a lot of yahoos out there who pretend to be on the track when they have no idea what they are doing. Also, as I pointed out, NASCAR and Porsche School drivers don’t distract themselves while they are driving. Most of these single vehicle collisions have something else going on inside the car. Thanks for your comments.