Ensuring road safety is something that all of us should be concerned about. Still, the question remains: how do we make machines and engines a lot more efficient? What should be done so that accidents are effectively avoided? What should drivers and pedestrians do to contribute to a 100% accident-free future? These are just some of the questions that we should be asking.
To find feasible answers, many of us turn to science. But science is rarely a one-way street. It is composed of a lot of theories and perspectives. Because of this, it’s best to have idea exchanges in order to come up with better courses of action.
Looking at them more closely, what are the benefits of these exchanges that make them such a good means of providing better solutions to the problem of car accidents?
Sharing insights from various domains leads to more holistic solutions
It is in our nature as humans to be limited by and grounded to the context that we’re in. Hence, even if there are a lot of possibilities, we tend to just choose the path that best suits us. Sometimes, this path solves the problem entirely. However, there are times when it addresses only a small but significant part of the issue.
In the case of car accident prevention, if we allow only mechanical engineers to work on the issue of car accidents, we can be sure that they can come up with great mechanical solutions. However, they will surely miss out on another important aspect–humans, which are very much within the domain of psychologists and other social scientists.
If the goal is to develop Albuquerque car accident resources that the community can easily utilize, the inputs from the social sciences are indispensable. Insights from social sciences help in easing out the application of theory to real life, especially when people display resistance.
A closer look at the human factor in car accident prevention
More than just making sure that cars are designed well and roads are kept clear of obstacles, we can never ignore the human factor in the car accident equation. In fact, a good percentage of accidents are caused by human error.
However, assessing human behavior is not always easy. The views of social scientists might be different from those of others. If they subscribe to behaviorism, they will most believe that whether or not a driver’s actions are repeated depends largely on whether such actions are punished or reinforced by external forces. If their moves result in pain, they stop them. If their actions result in any form of gain, they repeat them.
However, that perspective is not always easily applicable in areas where more internal elements become the factors of interest. It just falls short of accounting for why individuals do things that put them in danger such as speeding, drifting, and distracted driving.
Expectation setting and internal rewards are such alien concepts to behaviorists, but such concepts are very familiar to those who espouse the assumptions of humanistic and cognitive psychologies.
Hence, questions like “Why do some drivers in New Mexico drive so fast even when they very well know that speeding can put them in danger?” or “Why go for sudden drifts when that increases the possibility of you losing control over the vehicle?” can be addressed more effectively by looking into human predisposition, expectation, and internal motivations.
Even with all that, it is still not possible to study behavior from all possible angles. This is just too much. The best compromise is to be mindful of the context. When do drivers become sensitive to external stimulation? When they do respond best to internal predispositions and rewards? Doing this surely saves time.