"There is no safe form of driving. Driving sober is not a safe alternative to driving drunk."
Imagine if that was the message being given to the public in an effort to reduce traffic fatalities. Imagine that the government required car manufacturers to place signs in their cars stating that "driving this vehicle while sober is not a safe alternative to driving while intoxicated." Imagine the public outrage that would occur if those tasked with protecting the public were to make that sort of statement or make such requirements! It would technically be the truth, but would anyone seriously view that as a responsible and effective message?
|One sign tells the truth responsibly. |
The other - not so much.
There really is no safe way to drive - if you are talking about being 100% safe. Every time one gets behind the wheel of a car, or even rides in a car, there are all types of risks involved. The roads may be slippery, another driver may be texting, someone else may be drunk, an inattentive driver may run a red light - any number of things could happen. There is just no way to make driving 100% safe.
Fortunately, society has recognized that there are ways to reduce those risks and increase the odds that drivers will reach their destination safely. There are traffic lights, lane dividers, speed restrictions and laws against drunk or distracted driving to decrease the odds of an accident and seat belts, air bags and other devices to decrease the risks of death should an accident occur.
So, while we know that there is no 100% safe way to drive, we certainly wouldn't allow public officials to send the message that people may as well drive drunk - that would be irresponsible and counter-productive to the goal of reducing driving fatalities. It is clear to everyone that while driving sober still has some low risks, driving drunk is far more dangerous.
Yet, the government and public health officials routinely tell people that "there is no safe form of tobacco" and that "smoke-free tobacco products are not a safe alternative to smoking," even though research shows unequivocally that smoke-free tobacco use is far less risky....