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July 4, 2005 - Horses, Cars, and the 4th of July
It's the 4th of July 2005 and once again we are celebrating the most important birthday. By celebrating the 4th of July many of us take a moment and consider history, how we got here, and those that blazed the trails that created the great United States of America. My grandmother was a great story teller and one of her favorite topics was when cars first appeared on the streets.
In the Early 1900s the roads were primarily not paved and were busy with horses and horse drawn carriages. In 1908 Henry Ford introduced the Model T, which was very successful. 15 million Model T Fords were on the road by 1928. But the roads were mostly mud and there were still more horses than cars. This combination of horses and cars sharing the road made for some very messy situations and nasty accidents.
An accident in 1930 could mean a collision between two cars, a car and a horse, or just a horse doing what horses must do on occasion and car driving through it. It's not a pretty picture but back then most accidents did not result in serious injury and traffic accident deaths were few. Sure there was a lot less of everything but another contributing factor was speed.
Take it Slow on The 4th of July
With unpaved roads and slower vehicles everything on the road moved slower in 1930. Today we have miles of paved highways, 300 horsepower cars, and millions of cars on the road. The result is we get where we are going much faster but we also have fatal accidents. Let's take a quick look back at July 4th 2004.
In 2004 during the July 4th Weekend there were 42 traffic fatalities. That's 42 people (there were no horses involved that we know of) that woke up on July 4th but did not live to see July 5th. The reasons are always the same. Speeding, not wearing a seat belt, aggressive driving, and alcohol are the primary causes of the accidents. Today, Florida State Troopers - all of them - will be on patrol and they have a zero tolerance policy.
How Not to Drive
- Don't Speed
- Don't follow the car in front of you too closely
- Don't engage other drivers with offensive gestures
- Don't swerve from lane to lane
The general message here is don't drive like an idiot, wear your seatbelt and maybe we can all get home save and see July 5th. And if you see a horse slow down and give them some room. After all they were here first.
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