Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Does this really count as news? or research?

From the Star-Tribune:

Researchers have found that rural drivers are more complacent when it comes to common safety practices on the road than their urban counterparts, according to a new University of Minnesota study.

I hear tell that researchers in the College of Biological Sciences have also recently discovered that bears crap in the woods.

"The most interesting thing about the research is that people were willing to tell us the truth about their behaviors, Rakauskas said in a university news release Tuesday announcing his findings, "that rural drivers aren't wearing their seat belt and think that drunk driving isn't that dangerous, so education may help prevent crashes for these risk factors.

[By the way, I'm not responsible for the quotation-mark weirdness in that paragraph. That's how it reads in the original.]

Now, I grew up in a small town. I even drove a pick-up. But I was definitely a town kid, not a farm kid. Part of that legacy is that I wear my seatbelt automatically. Also, other than when I worked construction in the summers, I did not generally make eye contact with oncoming drivers and lift my index finger off the steering wheel to acknowledge them as they passed. (I'm surprised that piece of rural driving culture wasn't cited.)

On the other hand, when you drive a lot of places where you don't need a seatbelt (from the garage to the hog shed, on empty gravel roads) you kind of get out of the habit. Also, it's simply not possible to wear a seatbelt when you're driving around shirtless in the summer.


Pirate Jimmy said...

I never wear my seatbelt in my landcare truck. It sometimes carries to other trucks I drive too... until I realize I'm not at work, haha! When I'm in a car it's automatic buckle up, but larger vehicles I more often forget.

Mrs. Chaka said...

I remember one of our good South Dakotan friends did not use her blinker as much as we city-reared would have liked...