driving

It appears new legislation in Oregon might be the key to bringing opposing political parties together. The state penalizes drivers — bicycle commuters cheered that —  but now they have created a special tax on cyclists too, and that has united the left and right in outrage.

Given that Oregon now boasts new or increased taxes on marriage, divorce, cars, and “sin taxes” like cigarettes, e-cigarettes, microbrews, cider and wine, a first in the nation tariff on bikes has stoked frustration — from small business owners, from the cycling community as well as those who feel there is no limit to what the government can tax in support of the so-called “nanny state.”

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If the average person is asked to assess their own driving skills, most will give themselves an above average rating. By definition, half of all drivers are below average, but most people lack the self-awareness to realize this due to a cognitive bias known as illusory superiority.

Every year since 2008, the American Automobile Association (AAA) has conducted a survey in which they determine drivers' attitudes and behaviors in regard to traffic safety. They have confirmed what most of us already suspected: You're a terrible, hypocritical driver. 

The report summarizes its findings bluntly:

[T]he current traffic safety culture... might be characterized most appropriately as...

With the release of a new report on the dangers of sleep-deprived driving, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety should be credited for reiterating an essential tenet: one must be fully aware and alert when getting behind the wheel of a car.

We applaud the non-profit organization for its comprehensive study, which highlighted the degree of driver impairment that occurs depending on the amount of sleep lost in the 24 hours preceding a traffic accident. The AAAFTS then quantified that risk – increasing, logically, with sleep/hours lost – in its report, which then made news nationwide.

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