Do traffic signals make a difference when drivers are conducting their vehicles? In U. K. the roads have less signs and are smaller roads than in the United States. The United States has great amounts of traffic signals and symbols all over the road to make the driver more aware. In the U. K. accidents do occur but not that often has in the United States. In the Unites States every second there is huge amounts of accidents going on over the nation.
John Staddon in his magazine article “Distracting Miss Daisy” tries to persuade that traffic control is making traffic more dangerous because we do not pay attention to the road, but to the signals. In the article “Distracting Miss Daisy” John Staddon wants to reach the United States drivers and traffic making rules, so they can see what the difference between the U. K. and the Unites States accident rates. Accidents happen continuously in the United States. For example, John Staddon states “Often when I return to the U. S. usually to a suburban area in North Carolina’s Research Triangle), I see a fender bender or two within a few days. Yet I almost never see accidents in the U. K. This surprised me, since the roads I drive here are generally wider, better marked, and less crowded than in the parts of England that I know best. And so I came to reflect on the mundane details of traffic-control policies in Great Britain and the United States” (103). Staddon in the example wants citizens to notice how having wider roads and millions of signals do not make any improvement for the safety of the drivers.
Drivers tend to look more at the signals and they feel a need to obey them, instead of making their own assumptions of what will happen if for example the road is not in conditions for a 55mph, night speed, curves and weather conditions. What is most important for road safety? The engineering of the cars, the quality of the roads or the speed limit might not only be the unique factors for good safety around the nation (Staddon 103). The safety of the road does depend on the factors already mentioned but most importantly it depends on the judgment of the driver and to know when he/she should take actions.
For example, if a car does not make a stop on the four-way stop sign the one with the right to pass will proceed and the cars will collide. Making the stop sign just does not mean to make the stop and proceed when it is your turn, but to look at the surroundings and judge if the other drivers will obey the rule. If something seems that the other driver will not make the stop, then you have to make the stop again and wait to proceed, we don’t want accidents to be happening frequently. Staddon uses the first page of the magazine article to show what signs cause.
They capture our attention when we are reading, because of the size and the colors. We first look at the picture full of color than at the letters. When we are out on the road we get distracted by them also. Sometimes is it impossible not to see them, but sometimes they are hidden and that is when accidents happen because we are looking for something that tell us to stop. Staddon states “For one thing, there’s the placement of the signs—off to the side of the road, often amid trees, parked cars, and other road signs; rarely right in front of the driver, where he or she should be looking” (104).
The author wants the signs to be removed from the roads and let the drivers make their decisions of what is wrong and right. The author uses logic when he mentions that traffic signals make us stop every moment and will damage the environment because of the carbon dioxide dismissed from the car engine. Staddon uses cultural references when he mentions how driving is differently and safer in the U. K. than in the United States. “Traffic signs in the U. K. are often on the road itself, where the driver should be looking.
And most right-of-way signs are informational: there are almost no mandatory stops in the U. K. (The dominant motive in the U. S. traffic-control community seems to be distrust, and policies are usually designed to control drivers and reduce their discretion. The British system puts more responsibility on the drivers themselves. ”(Staddon 105). The quote explains how every person in the U. K. can make their decisions and police does not interfere. U. K. citizens are not looking around for police, they just drive according to their safety measurements.
Staddon uses secondary resources to make his point thru, for example the gorilla video which is based on the psychology of the mind. “75-second video, by the psychologists Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris, that shows six male and female students, in black or white T-shirts, passing basketballs to one another. The observer is asked to count the number of passes. About 45 seconds in, a person in a gorilla suit walks onscreen. She strolls between passers to the center of the screen, faces the camera, beats her chest, and then exits.
You can’t possibly miss her—unless, that is, you’ve been instructed to pay attention to the basketballs. When each observer in the experiment was asked, “Did you notice anything unusual in the video? ” about half said no”(Staddon 105). He uses the secondary source to prove that what he is stating is true and want people to be more aware on what to focus their attention more, to the signs or what it is really happening in real world. The gorilla example reflects on how driving can be disrupted by the signs as the gorilla disrupted the attention from the basketballs.
Staddon uses metaphors to compare the signs with the accidents. Accidents have an impact on the signs that are out there in the world, many of them are not even visible and others take the attention of the driver to a side instead of keeping the vision to the front. Making such comparisons as this ones make the author more credible and the reader gets an idea that he really knows about the topic and the danger. We spend all our lives driving and every time each person becomes more aware of what could happen. We are always learning how to drive and we have a license.
License should be for people who are experts are driving, not learners. If that was the case, no one will be able to drive, no cars around the nation and less pollution; which will of help live a better life. Traffic control is making traffic more dangerous because we do not pay attention to the road, but to the signals. It is important to acquire the necessary skills in order for a person to be driving in the United States. We can all take part and become better at driving by listening to our instincts and not to the signals.