Brick and Motors in Lincoln

January 10, 2013 at 2:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Lincoln’s drivers often top lists of “safest drivers”. At the same time, locals like to sarcastically chide their fellow motorists for driving too slowly, failing to use turn signals, or being baffled by something as simple as a roundabout. Both perspectives are probably right in their own way.

But one thing that truly defies explanation is local drivers’ habit of running into buildings. It happened again yesterday when a man drove his car into a Valentino’s (and subsequently ordered a pizza). That’s not the first car/building collision in 2013, either. A few days earlier a car poked a hole in a house. In fact, there’s a bit of an epidemic in Lincoln. There were at least thirteen such incidents in 2012!

What’s going on? Jack Mitchell—who proudly proclaims that he was the first to highlight the magnetic relationship between bricks and motors in Lincoln—has started tracking these collisions to see if he can identify any patterns. He has started a page on KLIN’s website (it’s a work-in-progress) and he started a spreadsheet that anybody can contribute to. (Work on the spreadsheet is done on the honor system. Please don’t be a jerk and ruin things for the rest of us.) I admit to taking a break from work yesterday and contributing to 21 of the 37 incidents documented so far. Feel free to contribute any information you have on other crashes.

The data collected so far are interesting. Most notably, it’s reasonable to hypothesize that most of these incidents are the result of older drivers losing control or pressing the wrong pedal. In fact, most of the incidents for which the driver’s age are available involve people in their teens or twenties. There’s a reasonable explanation for that initially-surprising fact: most (if not all) of the crashes involving younger drivers happened as the result of a crime. Alcohol was typically a factor.

Do you notice anything interesting about the data?

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The Comments

Fletch January 10, 2013 at 2:47pm

My hypothesis was that most of the drivers would be 70+, other than drunks in their 20’s under the influence. I was guessing you wouldn’t see a lot of, say, 35-49 year olds.

We are on pace for 80 or more car/building incidents in 2013 based on the start to the year.

The Public Safety Director would likely have some stats to pull this whole thing together, too, don’t you think?

Nikkidemas January 10, 2013 at 6:58pm

I blame you for this workday diversion!  I’ve added quite a few.

Mr. Wilson January 10, 2013 at 7:11pm

Don’t blame me, blame Jack!

I’m glad you helped out. I was hoping some folks from 10/11 and/or the LJS would get on board with the effort.

peter January 10, 2013 at 10:06pm

The buildings are too slow and not getting out of the way.

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