safety

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cheating Death

If you were to take a little drive around a city in the Philippines, several things might strike you as creative ways of taunting death. First, it appears to be a challenge to see who can fit the most people on their little motorized scooters. I mean, it’s unbelievable. I have seen as many as six people on one scooter bike. Of course this usually entails two of the kids to be sitting on the parent’s lap, a baby in one parent’s arm and the other child delicately balancing on the rear seat while juggling three oranges. Here's an example(http://bp3.blogger.com/_PsuSutj5h-k/R4ONL8QvIbI/AAAAAAAAAjk/v1cHvJmCrlQ/...), courtesy of this blog (http://isaaccurrey.blogspot.com). If that isn’t too safe for you, lets talk about “trick” number two. Driving techniques are not what I would call standardized. Often scooter drivers enjoy making sudden U-turns in the middle of the road without checking to see if any traffic is around. Now you might view this as suicidal; I simply view it as courageous. Who else in the world except movie heroes would have the guts to play Russian Scooterette with oncoming traffic? Is there a bus about to hit me, or is the road clear? I don’t know, maybe I’ll just — SCREECH! BANG! — Darn, it was a bus. The third common death-defying act here is cell phone abuse – on scooters. Yes, it happens all the time. Before going on, for those of you that may be unaware of how a motorized scooter works, the clutch and brakes are instruments controlled by both hands. Unlike a car where the steering wheel could potentially be operated by a single hand, scooters require much more concentration and control. Which is why talking on a phone while driving a scooter should be a challenge on Fear Factor.