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Idiots more likely to die in accidents

Researchers with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have achieved a major breakthrough in understanding traffic accidents and fatalities.

This came following a slew of studies attributing increased liklihood of traffic fatalities to a variety of activities: increased chance of death to teenagers driving with other teenagers in car; those who text 27 times as likely to die in crash; marijuana smokers twice as likely to be involved in fatal accident, etc.

According to lead researcher Sindjen Smythe with the NHTSA, “We were getting a ridiculously long list of activities that supposedly caused fatal crashes, to the point that it was starting to seem meaningless.” Smythe said that the last straw, and the moment that led to the new study was learning that “people who liked fried chicken were more likely to die in crashes. That made no sense. This caused us to change our approach and try to find a common thread in all these studies.”

That led to this groundbreaking study which did, in fact, find the common thread. Co-researcher Meghan Ashlington explains: “It wasn’t the love of fried chicken that was the problem, but rather that some idiots would try to eat fried chicken while executing complex driving maneuvers. A smart person, we discovered, simply didn’t do that. Smart people would still get tired, but they’d pull over and take a nap. Idiots wouldn’t. Smart people sometimes texted, but generally only when they was no traffic around them, and if they smoked pot, they understood their own limits.”

Yes, the common thread through all the studies was, in fact, that it was idiots who are much more likely to die in accidents, regardless of the circumstances. Unfortunately, sometimes they also take others with them. And, of course, sometimes accidents are just accidents. But in terms of preventable accidents, idiocy was the undeniably clear common factor.

“This is incredibly important research that could revolutionize traffic enforcement,” according to Ted Jamison with the Department of Justice’s National Policing Initiative. Jamison recommended that states immediately start developing roadside intelligence tests to measure levels of idiocy and get unsafe drivers off the road. “This will be a much more accurate measure of fitness to drive than all the piecemeal systems we have in place today combined,” said Jamison.

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy has been focusing a lot of their efforts pushing for per se standards for cannabis and driving. When asked for their reaction to this new study and how it might affect their policy approach, they responded that they had read the study, but didn’t understand it.

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68 comments to Idiots more likely to die in accidents

  • Goblet

    “When asked for their reaction to this new study and how it might affect their policy approach, they responded that they had read the study, but didn’t understand it.”

    Sounds like they shouldn’t drive.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    What’s so peculiar about fried chicken causing highway fatalities? Your hands are all greasy and the steering wheel slips out of them and baddabing, baddaboom the Hamburglar is dead. It’s very sad.

  • kaptinemo

    So when does the War on Idiocy begin? Will there be Byrne Grants for local police to purchase Armored Personnel Carriers to serve warrants on known idiots? Urine tests for the mentally deficient? Rehab for those demonstrating low-wattage mentalities?

    Needless to say, we’d have to start with every prohibitionist, first…

    • Jose

      I think folks tried that with eugenics.. 😉
      But maybe we can create our own… I vote we create our won and name it idioGenics and start applying it to prohibs promptly to create our baseline. Our non-profit can be called D.I.R.E. (Drug IdioGenics Rehabilitation Education).

  • darkcycle

    Pete, your link doesn’t go anywhere.

  • primus

    Did you not see the memo about snark being out of fashion this season?

  • stlgonzo

    I am having a good time imagining some of my friends trying to pass the roadside intelligence tests.

    I kind of reminds me of the blond chick and the breathalyzer joke.

    Great work Pete…..

  • DdC

    Louisiana Dungeons are anti-American, anti-Humanity.
    * Half Ounce of Pot Gets Louisiana Man 20 Years in Prison
    * After 42 years LA’s Angola 3 Prisoner Herman Wallace Freed

    • War Vet

      Good video footage on Angela Davis. How awesome that so many people attended her class, though it was canceled by the University.

      • DdC

        I met her at a local food bin market last spring. Told her I’ve been a fan since 1971. When I got to the May Day demonstrations against Vietnam someone handed me two fliers. I was only 17 and skipped school and hitch hiked from Pittsburgh. The fliers said Fuck Ma Bell and Free Angela Davis. I ask who were these chicks? Then I found a three fingered lid for $12 from a sawed off school bus from Indiana. Stashed the fliers and pretty much forgot about them until I got home. After that every time I heard her name it peaked an interest. That summer I hitch hiked to SF and rented a room with a few in the building who worked for the Berkeley Barb and let me read back issues with a lot more info probably not reported in the MSM. Last time was her interview on Democracy Now. She was teaching at the local UCSC but I believe she went back to Oakland. I ask her why with all of the fascism we didn’t put cannabis on the front burner. She told me about Oaksterdam but basically nodded in agreement that more needed to be said and done Federally. Especially concerning the majority are in for drug offenses. Starting with Louisiana Gulags. Although CA has its own chapter of abusing prisoners. By far doesn’t stand alone.

        Prison guards accused of making inmates fight for snacks
        Three Pennsylvania corrections officers who have been accused of organizing inmate fights have been suspended pending an investigation.

        Probably one of the few places bails of pot wash on shore and the locals leave it alone because its not as good as what we already grow. lol

        80 Pounds of Pot Hit Santa Cruz Beach after Boat Wreck
        Authorities found four 20-pound bales of pot and six 12-gallon containers of gasoline on the beach. The Sheriff’s Office estimates the street value of the pot at $96,000. Sheriff’s deputy Ryan Kennedy told reporters, “This is lower-grade marijuana than we see in Santa Cruz.”

  • Matthew Meyer

    It’s a sign of our era that satire and sincerity so closely resemble one another…

    • It’s a good point, and for those who missed that it’s satire, they shouldn’t feel embarrassed. The post would be a legitimate one in a sane world, where we would focus on bad behavior rather than trying to outlaw broad categories of behavior that is a mix of good and bad.

      • darkcycle

        When there’s an active link by the webmaster at this site, I usually expect substance. Duncan pulled the very same stunt (or a variation thereof) on the last thread.
        I expect to see this sort of thing from the couch regulars, not you. Especially so hot on the heels of Duncan’s nearly identical trick.
        I genuinely expected that link to go somewhere with information. When that failed, I made the automatic assumption that the link was broken.
        Enjoy your chuckle.

      • War Vet

        Why don’t you turn this into a short play Pete? Have you made any plays in regards to the War on Drugs?

        For a class production, I wrote one involving Mexican children and their parents being asked to lay down to die at the request of the DEA and FEDs as an attempt to keep drugs off the American streets.

        (Someone confronted me on the removal of Picasso’s Guernica mural and asked if I was the one who removed it from the museum so as to let little children crawl around and play on it in Mexico. I told them, “No, you were the ones who did that.”)

        • War Vet

          I looked at your ‘Living Canvas’ photography . . . did you study a lot of Man Ray’s work’s when you were younger? Who else? Cindy Sherman?

        • I actually stumbled into photography in my 30s, so never studied it when I was young. I think my interests in theatre and dance informed my initial photography more than any knowledge of other photographers (although I was quite familiar with Annie Liebovitz and some others at the time).

          Then, as I continued to develop my photographic styles (light/shadow, projection/texture), I started to find artists that helped me explore my styles in greater depth. Howard Schatz (shadow and line), Desmond Morris (anthropological approach to the body), Veruschká (textures), etc. I’m familiar with both Man Ray and Cindy Sherman (have a book each of their photography) and appreciate them, but don’t think of them as direct inspiration.

          That said, probably every photographer of the body whose work I have enjoyed has helped inform my photography in some way. Additionally, pretty much all my photography is collaborative, and I get a lot of inspiration from the people who are in my photos.

        • War Vet

          I very much like the Veruschka and the Desmond Morris reminds me of Miro, but his curves remind me (slightly) of de Chirico’s use of curves.

  • Duncan20903

    I’d never heard of the Silver Haired Legislature before this:

    Kansas Silver-Haired Legislature endorses medical marijuana

  • crut

    Caution: Metaphors ahead!

    It’s really too bad that not everyone is yet on board the 300MPH freight train… The potholes on some roads (states/communities/societies) are not getting repaired fast enough in some areas to be able to reach the station.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/04/baby-bree_n_4043860.html

  • claygooding

    I’m passing this on because it worked for me today.
    A doctor on TV said that in order to have inner peace in our lives we should always finish things we start.
    Since we could all use more calm in our lives,I looked around my house for things I had started but hadn’t finished.
    I finished a bottle of Merlot,a bottle of Chardonnay,a bodlr of Baileys,a butle of wum,tha mainder of Valinminum scrptins ,an a box of choclitz. Yu has no idea how happy I feels rite now. Sned this to all yur frenz who need inner piss.

    I gotta quit taking advice from the internet

  • Cliff

    “…they responded that they had read the study, but didn’t understand it.”

    I picture a dog’s face tilted sideways, like when you blow a dog whistle. At least the dog understands it’s an unusual noise. Maybe that’s why the jackboots have it in for dogs, they are smarter than the typical prohibitionist.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    I swear that I’ve accidentally and unknowingly wandered into an alternate universe. I don’t know if I’m ever going to get used to authorities that aren’t foaming at the mouth prohibitionists.

    [Seattle City Attorney Pete] Holmes warns: Not enough retail pot shops

    I’m developing an extreme case of chronic cognitive dissonance.

    • darkcycle

      And he’s right. The State is going to be in a bad position. Thanks to BOTEC, there will not be enough production, enough profit to make it worthwhile, or outlets.
      There will be too few State stores, but that’s okay, there’ll be no weed in them.
      Many serious people are electing to remain Black/Grey market.

      • thelbert

        i don’t think i would rely on the state for supplies. i like my plants with plenty of molasses in the root zone.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        So what else is news? It isn’t like it wasn’t predictable. Just FYI the Washington State Liquor Control Board announced that it had contracted with BOTEC to confuse people and muddle implementation of I-502 on March 19, 2013

        I don’t feel confused!
        March 7, 2013 at 11:02 pm

        I thought that the professor had signed himself into the FDA and DEA certified Pinsky Rehabilitation Center for Adderral® and other FDA approved stimulants addiction. Am I confused?

        Now let’s not be so critical of the poor man. He is in favor of re-legalization. Of course he wants a list of restrictions that could choke a hippopotamus and makes rational people ask “why bother?” But those are just sniggling details.

        I’m almost certain that we can get some compromise on making 99 the legal age for choosing to enjoy cannabis. We can probably even get him to agree to FBI vetted, urine screened, cavity searched visitors on the island where he would have us sequestered. Perhaps even allowed to leave our own private Devil’s Island if there’s a truly compelling need, e.g. your entire family is collateral damage in a mistaken address no knock raid. C’mon, the man is nothing if not reasonable.

    • Windy

      Related article:
      http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/are-dispensaries-doomed/Content?oid=17869482
      FTA:

      In June, the state legislature created a work group to make recommendations on regulating medical cannabis, which has been legal since 1998 but remains largely unregulated, now that pot is also legal for recreational purposes. The work group consists of two members each from the state’s health department, revenue department, and liquor board, as well as the governor’s office and legislative staff.

      Regulators have their sights set on gutting key portions of the state’s medical marijuana law. In a legislative hearing last month, Department of Health spokeswoman Kristi Weeks said medical cannabis retailers have always been illegal, echoing opening remarks made by committee chair Representative Christopher Hurst, who asked, “What’s it going to take to shut these all down?”

      Next month, the legislature will receive recommendations on how to address its perceived medical marijuana problem, and a document obtained by The Stranger offers a glimpse into those options. The memo lists several “strategies” that would equalize rules for medical and recreational marijuana. Among them: reduce the amount patients can possess (currently 24 ounces), eliminate or restrict home growing, ban collective gardens, and eliminate certain legal defenses in court.

    • claygooding

      I waited a lot of years too see that headline.

  • Windy

    Hmm, looks as though this would have been a better location for the comment I just made in the comment thread of Pete’s previous post. I’m not going to repeat it here, anyone interested can go read it (it’s the last comment on that comment thread).

    • Windy

      Sorry next to last comment (a reply to previous commenter).

      • ShelbiCummin

        I think we really do need it over here; it fits in rather nicely with this threads header.

        • Windy

          Ok, Shelbie, here it is, an example of a good kid being an idiot that ended in tragedy:
          last night, in my county, my granddaughter’s brother-in-law (her husband’s brother) was in a car accident which killed his girlfriend (a very nice, quiet young woman, pronounced dead at the scene). He was the driver, racing another car, and he “admitted to smoking marijuana” before the race (according to the article on the local paper’s website).

          He’s going to spend a few years in prison for negligent homicide/DUID after he gets out of the hospital (he’s expected to survive) and goes on trial. He’s a pretty nice kid, himself, just young enough to be stupid on occasion; he should NOT have been racing, especially on what is the most dangerous road in our county (lots of fatal car accidents and serious injury accidents on that road, more than any other road in this county), this is a tragic situation for his girlfriend’s family and for him and his family. It causes me sadness and at the same time I’m guiltily thankful that it was not one of my granddaughters in that car with him, as the youngest one used to have a crush on him and they did spend a lot of time together until he started dating the girl who died last night.

        • Windy

          Update on the accident post, I heard the young man has been charged with murder; wow, talk about overcharging. Isn’t murder classified as intentional? This was manslaughter, negligent homicide, NOT murder. The DA must be up for re-election this year and trying to pad his resume, or he’s trying to make certain the State meets its quota for convicted to keep the contract with private prison to make sure their beds are full or he’s just a real asshole (maybe all three).

          I didn’t know this young man very well, but he always seemed like a really nice person, very polite and friendly. I was wrong about on which brother my granddaughter had the crush, it wasn’t him. The deceased girl and he were in love and had been dating for two years, he’d last smoked weed about 3 hours before the accident so it is unlikely the weed had any bearing on the accident. They were on their way to work when this happened, he is devastated by her death and I hope he is under suicide watch (though in our county’s jail I have my doubts).

        • Jean Valjean

          he “admitted to smoking marijuana” …
          i wonder how this would have panned out if he’d said nothing. A blood test is not necessarily definitive for impairment, regardless of per se laws. What weight is being given to the cannabis confession compared with the “racing” charge?

        • Windy

          “What weight is being given to the cannabis confession compared with the ‘racing’ charge?”
          I do not know. And apparently the info that he was being charged with murder was incorrect, he’s being charged with manslaughter. I really feel for the family, the girl (Desirae) was thought of as a family member, her family threw her away when she was 16 and she’s lived with his family ever since, they loved her like a daughter and sister (except for Curtis, of course, who just plain loved her and has no lost her due to stupidity), the mother of this family (my granddaughter’s mother-in-law) is dying of cancer and now they are dealing with this mourning Desirae’s death and having their son/brother in jail. It is more than any family should ever have to bear.

          By a truly strange coincidence, the father of a friend of my other son, was killed in a car accident the next day by a drunk driver and his mother is in the hospital along with the drunk driver and a passenger in her car. We rarely have fatal car crashes in this county and to have tow in as many days is just weird.

        • Jean Valjean

          Sorry windy if i seemed insensitive to your family on this. I was preoccupied with making the point about not giving probable cause. Best say as little as possible, although I imagine the young man’s grief, shock and remorse was running the show. DdC’s post about law professor james duane should be compulsory viewing for everyone.

        • Windy

          No, Jean, your post did not appear insensitive, no need to apologize.

          And I agree people should say as little as possible to the cops, but you are right “grief, shock and remorse was running the show”.

          I also agree with the idea that both DdC’s video suggestions should be viewed by everyone, I’ve put the links to the two don’t talk to cops videos Radley Balko links to frequently on my FB page at least three times this year alone.

      • DdC

        Don’t Talk to the Police: Video by law professor James Duane u2b
        Explanation by a law professor about why to NEVER talk to the police and why to exercise your 5th amendment rights

        Transcript

        Part2: “Don’t Talk to the Police” by Officer George Bruch u2b
        (Includes some of the tactics they use to get you to unknowingly confess)

  • War Vet

    I just so happened to walk in on a small marijuana seizure (3grams) being conducted by the city cops and a few of from our sheriffs department. The perp was smoking weed on a park bench when an off duty officer saw him and starting walking in his direction. I’m assuming the guy had just finished playing a game of basket ball because he had his gym back with his shoes and extra socks outside of it. As he saw the officer hurrying and shouting something along the lines of ‘freeze –don’t move –you’re under arrest for smoking marijuana within 300ft from a school yada-yada’, he places his small bag of grass and socket in one of the extra socks and then rolls it up into a ball with the other sock. This of course was what one of the witnesses was saying. Well, when I got there, a group of about 7 Law Enforcement officers were trying to get the dope and paraphernalia out of the rolled up sock. They tried shaking it out, pawing at it, tugging on it with their teeth, constantly rolling it around and sniffing for an opening etc with no luck –they couldn’t get the goodies out of the rolled up sock. It reminded me of when I put my dog’s favorite squeaky toy inside a rolled up sock and for the life of him, cannot get it out. After an hour or so, they finally got one of their K-9 officer’s to open it up.

    • Duncan20903

      Only 300 feet? Don’t those lawmakers know that children need to be at least 1000 feet away from a pot plant or it might escape and turn the children into heroin addicts?!?

  • strayan

    Speaking of idiocy there is currently an academic debate raging about the regulation or prohibition of electronic cigarettes: http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f5780?tab=responses

    Unfortunately the original article is behind a paywall but the comments (by some pretty big names) seem plagued by the same wrongheadedness used to justify prohibition of access to safer intoxicants like cannabis.

    I despair.

    • strayan

      For anyone interested in what electronic cigarettes look like, check out http://vapeporn.com

    • allan

      there’s just no satisfying the Puritan *cough* Puckerbutts… really…

      • kaptinemo

        In every land, in every generation, in every time, History shows us what happens when we don’t protect our freedoms against said ‘Puckerbutts’:

        “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

        —C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock, p. 292.

        “The makers of our Constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness. They recognized the significance of man’s spiritual nature, of his feelings and of his intellect. They knew that only a part of the pain, pleasure and satisfactions of life are to be found in material things. They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations. They conferred, as against the government, the right to be let alone — the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men.”

        and

        “Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.” Dissenting opinion, Justice Brandeis, Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438 (1928). (All emphasis mine – k.)

        Invariably, those who try to sound the warning against the diminution of freedoms for supposedly ‘noble causes’ (like ‘drug prohibition’) are accused of being heartless, immoral reprobates or hopeless anachronisms.

        And by the time it becomes evident to all what the depth of the losses entail, it’s usually too late, and those who tried to sound the warning have been incarcerated and/or killed, and the surviving remnant have fled….while those who initially supported the harassment of their (demonstrably!) wiser fellow citizens feel the hobnails of the jackboots they bought for their (erstwhile) ‘servants’ with their rejecting their own (and others!) freedoms penetrating their own necks and skulls.

        And the worst part of all is…that it never has to happen at all…EVER.

        • allan

          I can see Puckerbutt coming in handy. The Puckerbutts of Kennebunkport has a certain ring to it… Kevin ‘Puckerbutt’ Sabet fits to a T… Calvina ‘Puckerbutt’ Fay… oh yeah, this’ll work.

        • Duncan20903

          Why is it so darn much fun to gratuitously insult the prohibitionist parasites? I can’t think of anyone I’d rather insult.

  • car crash

    Thank you, I have recently been looking for information about this subject for a long time and
    yours is the best I have found out till now.
    However, what in regards to the bottom line? Are you sure about the source?

    • ShelbiCummin

      Spammer?

      • allan

        spammer yes, but a valid question, Pete, are you sure about the source?

        • It’s highly unreliable.

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          What in the world makes you presume that Pete even has a source?

          **********

          The most trustworthy person I’ve ever known was a pathological liar. I could count on anything and everything he said to be a bald faced lie. If he owed me money and said he would pay me Tuesday I knew not to include that money in my Tuesday budget. He was unfortunately killed in a traffic collision with a guy reportedly whacked on PCP (1986) or I’m sure he would have made drugzar by now. But he did reproduce so perhaps his progeny will fill the void.

        • allan

          oh Duncan…

  • wes55

    This is consistent with my analysis of the NHTSA’s Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS) data for Colorado. In 2011, 429 of the 587 drivers involved in fatal accidents in Colorado tested NEGATIVE for alcohol and drugs. There is no forensic test for stupid.

    • “There is no forensic test for stupid” – Well, read this:

      “Einstein’s brain was better-connected than most, according to new study” http://tinyurl.com/nz6of6s

      While there is no forensic test for stupid, according to this study there may be one for being smart.

      Now if we can equate the house and senate as the right brain/left brain in this forensic study of Einstein we can immediately see that while Einsteins brain had a better than normal connection between right brain/left brain, our governments connections between right brain/left brain (House/Senate) is demonstrably lacking to the point of possibly having no connection at all.

      This may account for lack of movement in the area of ending the war on drugs. While our governments lack of connective tissue is not however a sure fire test for stupidity, it definitely fails the Einstein test for intelligence.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        Are we talking about Isadore or Albert? Is it safe for me to presume that it’s Izzy because he was a dictionary picture worthy example of a jack booted thug? I had no clue that Izzy wasn’t as dumb as a barrel of rocks. Quite frankly it shocks me to learn that he actually had a brain.