Franklin D. Roosevelt said it best, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Valerie Ulene, of the Los Angeles Times, could not agree more.
In an article on February 9, 2009, Ulene says that a car driver’s irrational fear of getting into car accident can in fact make a car accident more likely. It is quite the argument, one that is backed up by author of the forthcoming book, “The Risk Response,” by David Ropeik.
“Ironically, the things we do to try to keep ourselves safe are sometimes more dangerous than the things we fear,” Ulene said. “A friend of mine who is frightened by cranes takes a longer route to work to avoid a construction site in Hollywood. By doing so, she’s putting herself at greater risk of a car accident by traveling more miles.”
Our car accident lawyers hadn’t considered such logic. Yet, Ulene does make sense. She argues that our instincts force us to fear first and think second, an instinct that may be outdated in today’s society.
“The knee-jerk reaction to danger used to be highly important to humans, keeping them safe from sudden and immediate threats (think attacks by wild animals),” Ulene said.
Ulene argues later that by acknowledging our fears, only then can we use them to make better, informed decisions to avoid a car accident.
“Simply recognizing where our fears come from can encourage us to be more careful about how we respond to them,” Ulene said. “Instead of driving an alternate route to avoid a potential crane accident, we can reduce the risk of a car accident by staying off our cell phones when we’re behind the wheel.”
Ulene also talks about how the media influences the irrational fears that people generally have. She says that most of what we hear is meant to be dramatic and out of the ordinary to grab our attention. That is why most people are more afraid of flying in a plane than getting into a car accident, despite the fact that car accident statistics are far more staggering than anything to do with dying in a plane crash.
We hope that, as auto accident attorneys, we are doing the best we can to educate drivers about the dangers of car accidents. The intention is not, however, to inspire fear in your hearts. Our goal is to help you make safe and informed decisions while driving so that you can make it safely at home to see your loved ones. A healthy fear of car accidents would suffice for us.
Do you have an irrational fear that causes you considerable grief?
Please feel free to call us now at 1-800-655-6585 or you can click here for a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney. We have a large bilingual staff that can assist you in either English or Spanish. No fee if no recovery.