Category:
Motor Vehicles

Miniature Driving School

Back in the 1930s, if a Detroit judge suspected a driver was mentally unfit to be on the road, he might send the driver to see Dr. Lowell Selling, who would test the driver using a miniature street intersection to simulate various situations. However, I'm not sure what exactly this testing involved, beyond that vague description.

I found a brief note about Dr. Selling in the Law Enforcement Executive Forum (2008, pdf, p.51):

Despite the high incidence of both motor vehicle accidents and mental disorders in the general population, a literature examining correlates between the two is sparse. Almost 70 years ago, a Detroit psychiatrist, Lowell Selling, pioneered work in this area with a series of unfortunately forgotten journal articles. Beyond his seminal contributions, little has been published on this important area of crime.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Sep 13, 1936



Palladium-Item - Oct 21, 1936

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jan 19, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Motor Vehicles, Psychology, 1930s

The Tullock Spike

The economic theory of risk compensation suggests that laws intended to increase safety, such as mandating safety belts in cars, can sometimes have the opposite effect by making people feel safer and therefore encouraging them to engage in riskier behavior. This is also known as the Peltzmann Effect.

This concept inspired the economist Gordon Tullock to come up with the idea that instead of mandating safety belts, it would save far more lives if the government required that large spikes were installed in the center of steering columns, because this would make drivers more acutely aware of the danger of driving too fast. This steering-wheel spike is referred to as the Tullock Spike, or Tullock Steering Column.

Image source: reddit


However, economist Sandy Ikeda has noted that a mandatory Tullock Spike might also trigger unintended consequences: "Some might replace the steel dagger with a rubber one. Indeed, a black market in fake steering-column daggers might arise. But that of course could worsen the problem because now some drivers will drive as recklessly as before, while law-abiding drivers will still have daggers aimed at their chests. There maybe fewer accidents but more deaths than before."

Ikeda suggested instead that the best possible safety measure would be to "ban brakes on cars."

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jan 12, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Motor Vehicles, Regulations

Railroad Velocipedes

I imagine you could cobble together such a rig fairly easily, if you had the right skills, and do a lot of illegal rail-riding even today.



Original foto here.



Essay from which above foto drawn is here.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Dec 11, 2016 - Comments (12)
Category: Motor Vehicles, Technology, Trains and Other Vehicles on Rails, Nineteenth Century, Twentieth Century

Follies of the Madmen #289

image

Erotic embrace of gasoline pump by 1920s woman indicates America's love affair with cars dates to earliest era.

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jul 30, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Motor Vehicles, Public Indecency, 1920s

The Case of Officer Hallibrand



"Driving while dictating." The automobile texting problem of its era.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jul 19, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Death, Motor Vehicles, Police and Other Law Enforcement, PSA's, 1950s

So Long, Pal



Disco-era DUI.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jul 12, 2016 - Comments (2)
Category: Motor Vehicles, PSA's, 1970s, Alcohol

Motorized Ice Racing







Something frosty to contemplate during the summer heat.

Full history here.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jun 26, 2016 - Comments (8)
Category: Contests, Races and Other Competitions, Daredevils, Stuntpeople and Thrillseekers, Motor Vehicles, Nature

Tractor Flees Burning Barn

Several years ago we got to hear Paul talk about the theory of resistentialism — this being the theory that inanimate objects can display spiteful behavior toward people.

This 1970 story seems to be related to that concept, as it demonstrates another form of purposeful behavior exhibited by an inanimate object — in this case, a will to survive.

The Louisville Courier-Journal - Aug 10, 1970

Posted By: Alex - Sat Apr 09, 2016 - Comments (5)
Category: Motor Vehicles, 1970s

The Mystery Machine

image
Parolee tries to escape police in a high speed chase while driving a replica of the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine. The real mystery here is how a 1994 Chrysler Town & Country got up above 100 MPH during the chase.

Posted By: patty - Sat Mar 19, 2016 - Comments (17)
Category: Crime, Motor Vehicles, Can't Possibly Be True

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Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

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