The saying “He’s driving like there’s no tomorrow” has been around for many years. Referring to someone who feels their world is about to come to an end, so doesn’t care how they act behind the wheel, it paints a frightening picture in the minds of other road users.

The driver’s ‘no tomorrow’ may be anything from a death in the family, to a relationship break-up, loss of a job, or a just diagnosed illness. All of which are extremely sad and destabilising – but are no excuse for driving in a dangerous manner.

I also blame peoples’ distress on the general media. The eternal scouring of the planet for worst news they can find is really starting to get me down. Turn on the TV, listen to radio, read a major metro newspaper, logon to social media, and you will be regaled with tales of death, destruction, disaster.

The stories are then beaten up in grizzly detail to make people increasingly nervous about their tomorrow.

Perhaps even to the stage where they do drive like there’s no tomorrow. Resulting in one of those horrible sideways-into-a-tree smashes that’s wipes out three or four beautiful young lives. Or those unexplained single-vehicle crashes that take place on deserted country roads in fine weather. Understandably, the authorities are reluctant to talk about, ‘possible suicide’, but …

Anyhow, let’s forget about the bad news being forced onto us and look at the excellent news in late model cars:

They are much safer than ever before, with many high-tech features to avoid having a crash. There are far too many inattentive drivers on our roads, but the tech guys and gals are giving us automatic emergency braking, lane change assist, blind-spot warning, pedestrian and cyclist detection, and more.

The latest cars will do everything they can to save occupants from injury or death in a crash. They have complex crumple zones, multiple airbags and even intelligent headrests, all of which greatly enhance your chances of survival.

Amazingly, some upmarket cars even send a message back to a control centre if airbags have gone off. A human controller then calls the car’s phone, if there’s no answer they contact the police and ambulance and provide the car’s position. The car also sends information on which airbags have activated, thus giving an indication of the type of crash, the number of occupants and severity of the crash.

This info is passed onto the ambulance officers while they are still on their way to the scene to give them a head start on what will be required.

Before you think your world is coming to an end may I give you some information on my ancestors in the UK and Australia:

– My grandparents didn’t always have enough food to eat.

– My parents went to bed knowing there was a strong chance someone would fly over during the night and try to kill them.

– I grew up in the Cold War era when politicians and dictators had enough bombs to kill everyone on Earth 32 times over.

Hmm … maybe I should rethink that last one, we currently have crazies like Trump, Putin, Kim Jong-un and Erdogan running countries.

On a positive note, partial denuclearisation means there are now only enough nuclear weapons to kill us all 18 times.

It’s highly unlikely that your world is going to end tomorrow, trust me. Please drive as though there are brighter days in your future – because it’s likely that there are.


About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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