Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, November 28, 2021

Ongoing studies on how people react in traffic uncover what we already pretty much knew: The honking of the carhorn brings no safety nor communicative value whatsoever.

Jeff Muttart, a traffic-accident reconstructionist, has pored over hundreds of surveillance videos of real-life car crashes and near-crashes. In 2005, he concluded that emergency horn use is not associated with decreased accident involvement. He found that drivers never steered and honked at the same time, and usually they didn’t honk at all. About half of emergency honks were meant to chastise and came only after the danger was over. The other half were just preludes to a crash. “It really didn’t serve any purpose at all. It was just, Hey, by the way, I’m going to hit you.”

I’ve already weighed in against the use of this in-dash noisemaker, specifically in situations where a cellphone would make so much more sense.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 11/28/2008 08:51:28 PM
Category: Science, Society
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It happened last year, and it looks like it’s happening again this year: Foreign visitors are boosting Black Friday sales in the U.S..

Maybe not enough to save this recession-plagued season, though:

But with the dollar growing stronger against many major currencies, most stores better not count on a getting as big a boost from foreigners this year, according to Ellen Davis, a spokeswoman for the National Retail Federation.

“Previously, because of the exchange rates, we saw tremendous holiday shopping seasons,” she said. “This year with the weakening global economy, we’re seeing retailers all over the world struggling. Consumers are pulling back.”

Personally, my cousin Mary from Greece is arriving in New York in a couple of days, and high on her agenda is cashing in on the Stateside bargains. So I’ll be seeing some of that Euro-conversion firsthand.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 11/28/2008 07:25:31 PM
Category: Business
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