We don’t seem to use turn signals much in New Mexico, but blind drivers can go more than 211 miles per hour here…

A friend of mine once commented that most vehicles sold in the used car market in New Mexico could correctly be advertised as having turn signals that were “never used.” I guess it means you don’t have to budget much for replacement of turn signal bulbs.

I’m sure many of us who have endangered our lives on New Mexico roads could vouch for never receiving any information about what the driver in front or in back of us was planning to do.

“You don’t need to have that kind of personal information about my intended activities,” they’re probably thinking.

So it was with some amusement that I read a story in the Las Cruces Sun-News last week that a legally blind man had driven his specially equipped Chevrolet Corvette to a Guiness World Record speed of 221.043 miles per hour on the runway at Spaceport America. The driver, identified as Dan Parker, reportedly lost his sight during a racing incident in 2012. To commemorate the day he lost his sight, he chose to participate in the National Federation of the Blind’s “Blind Driver Challenge.”

The story says Parker’s Corvette was equipped with “an innovative audio guidance system that’s specifically designed to his needs.”

A Corvette possibly similar to Dave Parker’s audio guidance equipped ride

I have no doubt that the car could do more than 200 miles per hour on Spaceport’s 12,000- foot arrow-straight runway. I suspect he had audio inputs in each ear beeping when he veered either left or right on the centerline of the runway, although more specific details about his guidance system were not available. 

Parker concluded that “We have not only demonstrated that a blind person can operate a vehicle safely, buy that we can do it at over 200 miles per hour.”

I’m sure he’s proud of his accomplishment, but I honestly hope he’s not anywhere near me when he blasts down a road at 200 miles per hour.  I’m sure I couldn’t hear the audio inputs he’s receiving while driving the car so I’d know which direction he might be turning. And given that this is New Mexico, I’d be concerned that I wouldn’t get much information from his turn signals. 

 

 

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