We wonder if cars today aren’t too safe. It’s time for the release of the crash test data on new cars, and some in the media have chimed in with opinions on both sides. A wise old car guy told me a long time ago that if I wasn’t afraid of my hot rod I should sell it. I thought at the time he had inhaled too many exhaust fumes. But I wonder.
If you are even a little afraid of putting a car through its paces you drive safer. If you are afraid of someone running into your ride, you drive safer. If you think that the two ton plus living room on wheels you’re driving makes you invincible, you get careless. And there is the problem. We believe that these super-safe cars of today actually cause accidents.
Then when you add cell phones, mp3 players, and all the distractions related to driving today, I’m surprised there aren’t more accidents. Cars are getting expensive and it’s no wonder. Cars today have 5 mph bumpers, crumple zones, air bags, passanger air bags, side-curtain air bags, rollover strengthening, side impact reinforcements, anti-lock brakes, and traction control. to name a few safety features.
We remember the day when cars didn’t have seat belts, padded dashes, tilt steering columns, or much safety equipment at all. Some of the older cars we bought didn’t even have safety glass! And yet we survived. But we have to wonder if making the new cars idiot proof hasn’t given rise to a whole generation of unsafe drivers. Cars have somehow changed from being an instument of transportation to being vacation cabins and mobile offices.
Comments on just about anything are always welcome.