Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A modern-day Titanic, or SUVs are WMDs

Last week, off the coast of Italy, a cruise liner overturned.  Ironic that this should happen in 2012, the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the R. M. S. Titanic.  We all know that story--the unsinkable ship sank on its maiden voyage.  With only enough lifeboats for half the passengers, about 1500 people died.  That ship sinking led to mandates that included enough lifeboats for everyone on board, as well as lifeboat drills for all passengers.  However, in the modern Costa Concordia disaster, the crew tried to downplay the whole incident until it was almost too late.  Additionally, the captain abandoned ship rather than going down with it.
Now Builder, who has never been on a cruise, insists that they are unsafe.  he says that because regulations are stricter for airplane and car manufacture, that both means of transport are far safer than cruise ships.  However, I say that any vessel, whether ship, plane, car, train, trolley or bus, is only as safe as the person piloting it.  If the driver is drunk, tired, distracted, or inexperienced, those means of transportation can become very deadly weapons very easily--more so because they are so common that everyone assumes that they are safe.  (A lesson I had to learn the hard way last summer, when I was hit by a car while crossing the street.)

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