Saturday, December 23, 2006

Risky business

I am fascinated by the risks that we take in our daily lives. We pay extra for special bottled water to avoid the perceived risks of tap water. Driving is particularly challenging. We drive cars at high speeds without seatbelts fastened. We talk on cell phones, apply make-up, and hand things to the kids while driving in heavy traffic. A sample of the damage left by the recent windstorm is shown here. A tall tree, probably a Douglas Fir or a Western Red Cedar, is suspended above the roadway by power lines. Many people were quite happy to drive under that tree on their way to shopping or soccer. Personally, I drove over on the shoulder to avoid a chance collapse. I know the chance was remote, but I just didn't want "Zap!" to be my epitaph.

I should have taken more photos. The damage was -- is dramatic.


Barry Leiba said...

'round here just north of New York City, we have a lot of "parkways" (on which we generally don't park), which are usually narrow, usually winding, heavily tree-lined roads, originally built for city-dwellers to come out to their summer homes, but now overused for daily commuting. They're all along rivers and streams, in low-lying areas, and they tend to flood when it rains a lot.

A year or two ago, during a heavy rainstorm, a tree uprooted on the Saw Mill River Parkway and fell on an SUV during afternoon rush hour. The baby in the back seat was unharmed, but suddenly became an orphan.

About a year before that on the Taconic Parkway, a wheel from a southbound car came off, bounced over the guard rail in between, and crashed through the windshield of a northbound car, killing the driver.

Freak accidents happen. Keep doing the shoulder thing; why tempt fate?

scouter573 said...

P.S. I was parked by the side of the road when I took the photo. I wouldn't want to leave the impression I was ranting about safety then taking photographs while driving.