A Guest Post from The Other Cliff, sent last night.
Today on the way home from work, I stopped at a bad auto accident to help out. Several things about this accident jumped out at me. First, a description. This was an offset head-on collision; the worst you can have. In such a collision, the two drivers meet head-on, with only the driver's side of each car overlapping. In this accident, both cars were totaled beyond recognition. One car had been moving at the speed limit of 55 and the other at about 40. When I got there seconds after the accident, one of the cars was smoking, but the smoldering was contained to the engine compartment, or what was left of it, and did not spread. The other car, a Hyundai Sonata of recent vintage, was so destroyed that the front left wheel was canted in, from the top, more than 50 degrees. The running board was on the ground.
What is striking to me is that, while the fire department was going to have to use the jaws of life to get the Hyundai driver out of the car, that was more of a preventative measure. Had he felt up to it, he could have crawled out under his own power. I know from personal experience (about 7 years as a firefighter/EMT) that had these cars been twenty years older, this would have been a double fatality. As it is, I'm betting both drivers will be home tonight, or tomorrow at the latest.
Engineering has come a long way in a short time, and we have two more taxpayers alive tonight who can absorb some more of societies burdens because of it. Can any of the liberal arts majors make the same claim? If the taxpayers are going to continue to fund student loans, perhaps we should reconsider our criteria, after all, you get more of what you reward and you get more of what you make easier to achieve.
The Other Cliff