"Everyone but me" or "How can something like this happen?" are quite common thought patterns among most road users. Sounds like a lot of optimism in these sentences. But is it really the case that it is always the others who make mistakes? Basically, such a belief in the best is rather questionable and represents the widespread danger of modern driving. Do you know that you sometimes more and sometimes less berate all other road users for their misbehavior? At the same time, have you ever asked yourself whether you have contributed to the one or other dicey situation?
"It won't happen to me" is definitely the wrong attitude. In terms of road safety, this "optimism bias" describes drivers' overconfidence in their own driving abilities and the unreasonable assumption that they are exposed to fewer risks compared to other drivers. How widespread this phenomenon is can be demonstrated by some statistics. According to a survey conducted by Swedish psychologist Ola Svenson, 93 and 69 % of respondents in two different focus groups rated their driving skills as above average. This is a rather daring and questionable assessment, which raises a follow-up question. How can 93% of drivers be above the average of 50%? This goes against science and common sense, but at the same time confirms the concept of the optimistic tendency that one is better on the road than others.
The origins of this optimistic tendency go back to ancient times, when people used this attitude as a protective instinct to control their fear and search for food. In modern times, we still apply this evolutionary legacy to ignore possible consequences and recklessly rely on our luck in many areas. According to the motto "Close your eyes and get on with it!" The development of road infrastructure, modern driving conditions and infotainment may make time on the road more pleasant, but they do not necessarily help to reduce the harmful effects of optimism. When the car is equipped with all the usual safety systems and one is constantly driving on well-paved roads, the driver's lack of concentration is added to the false self-confidence and overestimation. The driver feels even safer and is even more easily distracted. More and more often, accidents occur precisely for reasons of comfort and distraction. So until the fully self-driving vehicle is developed, we should keep critically questioning both the supporting systems and our own abilities, so that we have a chance to experience self-driving vehicles ourselves someday.
What this text shows is one thing above all. Since people too rarely question themselves, it is necessary to provide food for thought. As things stand, these food for thought are the penalties for traffic offenses. If everyone would abide by the applicable rules and instead of constantly questioning them start to think about themselves, there would perhaps be no need for speed measuring equipment at all, but as long as this is not the case, ROADIA provides the measuring technology for traffic flow and speed and through interesting cost models makes it applicable where it is needed - in front of kindergartens, schools and everywhere else where particularly endangered people need to be protected from those who are too convinced of their own abilities.