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Traffic Accidents: "But officer, I wasn't to blame!"
Traffic accidents always lead to mutual recrimination, but here the argument is to whether wild driving makes Mexicans better drivers or whether they are just bad drivers. Juan Pablo Senosiain of Mexico suggests the former and challenges Linda Nyquist, who picks up the challenge:
"None of us want to be politically incorrect, and it does seem kind of nasty (on my part, at least) to make blanket accusations regarding the bad driving of Mexican truckers. And then I remembered some statistics from my teaching on the health care of Mexico. Accidents, especially related to vehicles, is among the leading causes of death in Mexico, which is not true in the United States. Of course, the #1 cause of death varies for each age group, and I don't have the latest data, but it is well-established that traffic fatalities are a major problem in Mexico, and many fatalities are the result of blatant disregard for both laws and the protection of others. Only recently has a seatbelt law been implemented, and compliance is erratic. The use of child carseats is also rather uncommon, at least outside of Mexico City. Children ride on the backs of flatbed trucks as they careen down the highways. So perhaps we aren't being so unfair to express concern over driving behavior."
Ronald Hilton - 3/15/00