Ever see those “Baby on Board” signs or stickers people put on or in their cars? Some think they’re very cute and others find them incalculably annoying and some recent research favors the latter camp, as there is some indication that the signs cause accidents.
Baby on Board not as cute as one might think
If there’s a heaven, and George Carlin is in it, he’s probably smiling. In his 1989 stand-up special, “What am I Doing in New Jersey?” he takes aim at people who put too many bumper stickers on their cars. He further singles out “the three most puke-inducing words that man has yet thought of, Baby on Board.”
The rest of the tirade is incredibly funny, but it’s on the wrong side of unfit to print. Several of the infamous seven words are involved.
However, as with so many things, Carlin was right. It’s too cutesy and terribly annoying. That said, a study has found, according to The Telegraph, that the signs are causing accidents. The survey, by website Confused.com, found 1 in 20 car crashes are caused by “Baby on Board” signs.
The poll asked 2,000 people in England about use of the “Baby on Board” signs, which are hung from a window using suction cups in the interior of a vehicle. In England, and ostensibly in the United States, many hang the signs in case of an accident, so emergency personnel are aware a child is in the vehicle. The survey found 5 percent of respondents had gotten into a crash due to compromised rear visibility from “Baby on Board” signs and other bumper stickers.
Among other findings, the survey found 46 percent of respondents kept the sign in their car at all times, whether their child was in the car or not. The survey also found, according to MSN UK, that almost 80 percent of respondents felt the stickers improved safety, though 46 percent of drivers also felt the signs themselves were a hazard, because they create a blind spot and impede rear visibility.
That’s something to think about when people are thinking of hanging such a sign in their new minivans they picked up from car dealerships in Bellevue, Wa., or Pewaukee, Wisc., or wherever.
Distraction leads to accidents
There are some practical reasons to not put a “Baby on Board” sign in one’s car. Aside from the signs being unforgivably trite, they are distracting, which is dangerous. Also, according to Slashdot.com, at least one researcher found that high levels of personalization in an automobile, such as bumper stickers, custom stereos and so forth, leads to more incidents of road rage. The more a person feels the car is “theirs,” the more “private” their car feels to them. As a result, they forget the road belongs to everyone and their responsibilities.
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One also has to watch out for loons. According to WKRN, a Nashville, Tenn., ABC affiliate, the car of a Nashville man was rammed from behind in 2010 after being flipped off by another driver. His crime? An Obama bumper sticker. His 10-year-old daughter was in the car.
Sometimes, bumper sticks can also make for poetic justice. According to AOL Autos, a man who had a bumper sticker reading “Why am I the only one on the planet who knows how to drive?” bumper sticker crashed into a guard rail on New York City’s FDR drive while speeding in April.
Here’s George – WARNING: Language is NSFW
Aol Autos: http://autos.aol.com/article/best-driver-on-the-planet-totals-his-car-while-speeding/