Everybody says so, right? It’s only logical.
I say: Horse Manure!
This is one of those little things that get under my skin. Somebody at work made that comment today, and I jumped on it.
“Oh,” I said, “so you advocate lowering the highway speed limit to, oh, about 3 mph? Statistically, anything higher will lead to injuries and deaths. So, it doesn’t matter how long it takes to get somewhere, as long as you’re careful to the extreme. Because you just said, ‘You can’t be too careful.’”
“No,” was the reply. “That’s ridiculous. The speed limit is set as a safe maximum. If you drive no faster, you’re being careful.”
“But are you being careful enough? People get killed driving the speed limit. And driving a lot slower, too. Are they being careful enough? After all, aren’t ALL accidents preventable?”
He thought for a bit. “No, they’re not. Because no matter how careful you are, some things are beyond your control.”
I pressed in. “So to avoid being hurt or killed you ought to stay off the roads altogether? If you’re being REALLY careful?”
He thought again. “Okay. I guess some risks are necessary. If you were careful in the extreme, you’d never do anything. Is that your point?”
Anxious not to appear smug, I conceded, “I understand what you meant. People shouldn’t take needless risks, or risks that don’t have a reasonable chance of having a good outcome. And yes, we all need to be careful. But if you really believed that ‘you can’t be too careful,’ you’d quit breathing and die. Because even breathing or moving is accompanied by some risk.”
He smiled and said, “Damned literalist!”
I grinned. “Yup.”