Positive Train Control: What Use is an Inactive or Absent Safety Feature?

The past few months have certainly not been good for trains. Multiple high-profile wrecks--three in as many months--have brought the public's gimlet eye down upon Amtrak, one of the most recognizable names in train transportation. For those who don't follow the news (who could blame you these days?), here's a quick summary of the most...

Don’t Take Airbags For Granted. They Don’t Always Work As Intended.

Vehicle safety measures have improved by leaps and bounds since the first gas-powered carriages wobbled down dirt roads in the late 19th century. One of the most recognizable developments in vehicle safety is the airbag. Since they were patented in 1951, airbags have gone into almost every vehicle that can carry one. Everyone's aware that...

Some Dangerous Drivers are Following Unsafe Orders.

There are times when we should weigh the morality of a decision against its profitability. Occasionally in the name of progress people in charge make decisions that, while not necessarily illegal, are certainly questionable. This kind of "me first" thinking is often most obvious when looking at certain businesses' expectations of their workers. Trucking companies...

Who’s Going to Investigate A Semi Truck Crash? Maybe Not Who You Think.

When an accident happens, who's the proper authority to investigate? Check the comments sections of news articles about the wreck and you'll find no shortage of armchair authorities who think they know exactly "who you gonna call." Their ideas on that are often wrong, but they'll treat them as the gospel truth when discussing the...

Some Commercial Drivers Still Hit the Road Despite Being Unfit to Drive.

Some think of the law as a "gotcha" instrument that deals justice indiscriminately, punishing many who don't truly deserve it and ruining lives in the process. On the contrary, it's entirely capable of recognizing different circumstances--for instance, it deals with genuine accidents differently than it does foreseeable events, and treats each accordingly. The law acknowledges...

Polaris Industries Recalls RZR Vehicles AGAIN for Fatal Fire Hazard

A joint statement between Polaris and the U.S. Consumer Products and Safety Commission (CPSC) was recently added to a series of company recalls related to potential fire issues in some of the company's vehicles, and the circumstances of it are worth talking about. Which Products Are Affected? The company's most recent statement relates to a...

Why Aren’t Drunk Drivers Charged With Murder?

Drunk driving is a terrible crime. Unsuspecting victims are hurt and killed every day by this all-too-familiar pattern: Someone is over-served, stumbles out to his car to go home, and plows into another vehicle or pedestrian to dire effect. If a police investigation proves that the intoxicated driver was responsible for hurting someone, that driver...

Unregulated “Detox” Products and Supplements Just Might Be Dangerous Nonsense.

I've written a couple of times about my general distrust of dietary supplements and homeopathic medicine. I know they carry some psychological benefit and I understand not wanting to lean on prescription medications if it can be helped, but supplements and "wellness" products receive almost zero regulation or oversight in the U.S., which I find...