Tag Archives: Auto safety

It Began With Saaaaaaaaaaaafety Seats, by Eric Peters

Governments don’t take away your freedom all at once, they do it bit by bit. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

The government requires that all kids – almost teenagers – be tied down like furniture every time they are transported in a car. This wasn’t always the case.

Why has it become the case?

Answering that question requires asking the question: What business is it of the government – of other people with various titles – to decree such things? Do these other people own your children? Do they own you? They are implicitly asserting at least partial parental oversight authority.

Where did they get this authority?

Did you, the parent, give it to them? If you did not, how is it that these other people have come to wield it over you?

It is said – by some – that it is  “unsafe” for kids to be in cars without being in saaaaaaafety seats. And yet hundreds of millions of them – almost everyone who achieved adulthood before the early 1990s, before the government mandated child (almost teenager) ssssssssaaaaaaaafety seats for all – grew up not being strapped into them without suffering any injury at all.

Some did, of course. Some also tripped and fell. Others fell harder. Some drowned. A few also died from various things, some of them possibly avoidable.

So there is a degree of risk. As with everything in life. We all face risk every day, to varying degrees. That is not at issue. What is at issue is who gets to decide which risks – and to what degree – are acceptable.

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The Dangers of Saaaaaaaaaaaafety, by Eric Peters

Sometimes drivers are smarter than their cars, which can be manifestly dangerous when the car is forcing the driver to do something. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

Safety is getting pretty dangerous.

In particular, the driver “assists” (as they’re styled) being added as part of the standard equipment suite in almost all new cars. These are really driver-pre-emption technologies which countersteer – and apply the brakes – when the computer decides that these interventions are necessary.

Leaving aside the nannying issue, there is a safety issue with all this “assistance” – which is sometimes provided when it’s not wanted much less needed.

I’ve experienced this myself, test-driving new cars. I was driving one of these – a new Prius, equipped with Automated Emergency Braking – when it applied the brakes – full force – for no apparent reason. I almost had dashboard for lunch. There was no deer in the road. The car ahead of me had not braked – let alone stopped. But the Prius did. Completely. In the middle of a road that was – thankfully – not busy at the time.

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The Consequences of the Intended, by Eric Peters

How government invariably makes things increasingly complicated. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

Kids didn’t used to roast to death, forgotten in the back seat of cars, because it was hard to forget your kid when he was sitting right there beside you – or even sitting in your lap. That was outlawed – for saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety.

And now kids are forgotten about in the back seat and left to roast to death.

Solution? Keep them strapped in back even longer. Some states have mandated that “kids” ride in saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety seats until they’re practically ready for Social Security – or at least, high school.

A few people backed up over kids – chiefly because it is almost impossible to see what’s behind any car made since the early ‘90s, which is because cars made since then have been made with bulbous rear ends apparently modeled on Kim Kardashian in the interests of . . . . saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety.

They can take being bumped into better than the non-Kardashian models of the pre-saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety era.

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How Come It’s Suddenly Less “Safe” Out There? by Eric Peters

Eric Peters explores a paradox: cars are supposedly safer, but accident rates are going up. From Peters on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

New cars are – supposedly – “safer” than ever. Right? That’s what the government has been telling us.

Each new fatwa – back-up cameras, tire pressure monitors, all those air bags – forced down our throats accompanied by the ululations of the regulatory ayatollahs that they would make cars . . . safer.

But then the news. Motor vehicle fatalities are suddenly going up.

And not just a little bit, either.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety (there it is, again!) Administration, motor vehicle fatalities are up by 8 percent – and that’s for 2015, the most recent year for which complete data are available. Preliminary data for 2016 suggest an even sharper spike – possibly into the double digits.

Why?

The Usual Explanations don’t seem to cover it.

“Speeding,” for instance, is hard to blame – although it probably will be. But there’s no evidence that people, in general, are driving any faster now than they were three or four years ago. Speed limits haven’t changed much – on highways or secondary roads – since the late 1990s, when Congress finally repealed the Nixonian 55 MPH National Maximum Speed Limit.

And that was almost 20 years ago.

The “speed kills” crowd warned of a massive uptick in road deaths as a result of repealing the NMSL – but it didn’t happen. Highway fatalities actually declined even as people were allowed to drive faster.

That is, were allowed to drive as fast as they had been driving prior to the repeal.

Arguably, the roads got safer because people could pay more attention to their driving – and to the driving of others – than worrying about radar traps and being ready at any moment to slam on the brakes.

To continue reading: How Come It’s Suddenly Less “Safe” Out There?