Archive for the ‘Accident’ Category

Television should not encourage unsafe driving.

February 5, 2011

The scene is a common one. Two characters are in the front seat of a car, with the background flashing behind them. Although the scene may be about getting them from point A to point B, it is really about the conversation. The driver frequently looks at the passenger, and sometimes these looks last three or more seconds. This is unsafe.

It isn’t good drama for the driver never to look at the person he is talking to, but it is good driving. A lot can happen in three seconds, and the idea that a driver takes his eyes off the road for that long is upsetting.

People have already persuaded the entertainment industry that people in cars should use safety belts. Someone should persuade them that drivers should concentrate on their driving.

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It’s not what you expect but what you inspect

June 1, 2010

That was said to me by a person who was once a safety inspector. No matter how carefully the rules are crafted, they won’t always be followed. Sometimes it is the company, sometimes it is the workers, but safety rules are often ignored.

There are two types of safety rules:

1. Rules for the safety of the people who follow them.

2. Rules for the safety of others.

For financial reasons, companies have to follow both. The first type is designed to prevent lawsuits from workers and the second type is designed to prevent lawsuits from everyone else.

They are also designed to prevent injuries and deaths, but that may or may not be the motivation for having the rules.

One sided exercise

March 24, 2010

It’s been 25 days since I cracked a rib, and I am healing. Certain motions still hurt. I’ve been doing strength training at the gym but if it hurts I don’t do it. This means my abdominal exercises are on very light weights and many things with my right arm are not done at all. I am right handed, but now my left arm is much stronger. Someday I hope to bring my right arm back to full strength, but not yet.

A few of my students sometimes have difficulty with part of their work. It doesn’t hurt them, like the exercises hurt me, but sometimes they cannot do certain problems. They tend to stop and say they are stuck. It doesn’t seem to occur to them to do what they can. Because they cannot solve one kind of problem, they stop working. While waiting to get help, they should do as much as they can. My muscles may atrophy, but they will come back faster because I am doing what I can. They should do the same for their minds.

How did this stuff ever get done before?

March 12, 2010

Actually, my husband said, “Don’t answer this, but how did this stuff ever get done before?”

He was referring to the paperwork involved in the accident we had two weeks ago. The paperwork was relatively mild compared to the time when one of my children spent six weeks in a hospital and we had two different insurance companies. But I was a stay-at-home mom and did that kind of thing.

My husband is now 98% retired and I am still working. I still do the majority of household tasks, but with only two of us (and a maid service) they aren’t excessive. I love having him available for the plumber, but feel no guilt about him being stuck at home for it. I still don’t understand how people do these tasks when all adults are employed and there are children to care for.

The tasks are simpler. The plumber will make an appointment with a few hours’ window rather than the whole day. Many chores can be done online. Yet there are some things that must be done and it is nice having someone home to do it.

Do you need to give a social security number to buy a car?

March 6, 2010

We tried to buy a Ford for my husband’s new car. They insisted they needed his social security number and they were planning to run a credit check. We were not financing the car, so why did they need a credit check? We were willing to pay with a certified check, which should eliminate the need for knowing anything about us.

Personally, I don’t care, but my husband has been known to get stubborn. If anyone reading this knows my husband, they will laugh at this understatement. After Ford’s statement, my husband found a Honda he liked and that’s what we bought. After he put a deposit on the Honda, Ford called saying that they don’t really need a social security number. Too late.

Decorative Sling

March 5, 2010

I bought three scarves for $18 on a cruise ship several years ago, but I never figured out how to wear them. Whatever knot I used looked sloppy. Somehow other people tied scarves in ways that looked good, but I could never achieve that look.

After confirming I had a cracked rib, I found I was hurting myself whenever I moved my right arm away from my side. I found the best way to keep my arm at my side was to use a sling. The scarves were just the right length for a sling.  I tied them for function, not for style, but I received several compliments on them. Somehow tying them that way worked, and nothing else I tried did.

Why did I have to know?

March 2, 2010

Six hours after the accident I did my usual exercise of stepping up and down on a four-inch platform for half an hour.  About 20 hours after the accident I went to the gym and did a modified strength training workout. It wasn’t until two days after the accident that I considered I might have a broken rib. People said I should go to the doctor.

I went to the doctor and I am sorry I did. I don’t have the results of the x-rays yet, but I know I have a broken rib. He poked and prodded. When I reacted in pain he kept at it. After getting an x-ray down the hall, I seriously considered leaving my car and calling a cab. I tried to exercise that evening, but couldn’t. This might not seem impressive, but if my calculations are correct, it I have gone about 1,495 days without missing exercising. (That is over four years.) I don’t know when I will get back to strength training. I doubt I will be able to write on the whiteboards at work. (I’ll write on transparencies and project them.)

I am in more pain on Tylenol than I was without it. Why did I have to know?

Buy American?

March 1, 2010

The insurance company has not weighed in yet, but we’ve decided to get a new car.  We have to ask ourselves the question, should we make an effort to buy American?

Normally I don’t consider this issue. I buy what is best for me without regards to the country of origin.  I am a believer in free markets, and that is the appropriate free market decision. Yet there are other considerations, for example:

1. Green. Should I consider whether something is good for the environment?  This applies to both the product itself and to how it is made. I consider this when I buy light bulbs.

2. Morality. Should I consider things like child labor and oppressive regimes? Years ago Nike got hit on this one.

3. Local economics.  Should I consider whether it gives jobs to jurisdictions I care about?

Our requirements are not high and our purses are sufficiently deep that we have some choice.  We are asking ourselves if this should be a consideration.

I lost a couple of seconds

February 28, 2010

In a previous post, I wrote about being lucky, but I just had an automobile accident. I was a passenger and of the four people involved, I was probably hurt the worst. I looked where the window was supposed to be and was surprised to find it wasn’t there. There was a remnant of an airbag and a little bit of glass at the base of the window.  Somehow I did not remember the glass landing on me or the airbag deploying.

Looking at the car afterwards, I was amazed that the damage to the car only gave me a few bruises and no cuts. We may criticize the automobile industry, but what could have been a serious accident, was a minor incident.