Amen! I personally think that a lot of today's crashes are due to people taking risks in their souped-up motahs thinking "ooh, the traction control/ABS etc will sort me out". The amount of times I see large cars steaming up to junctions and roundabouts with their drivers "safe" in the knowledge that the car will stop! All these airbags and safety features give some people a sense of security which means they push their limits. The better cars handle, the more the driver realises that if they stamp on the brake pedal the wheels won't lock and all the electrics will bring the car to as safe a halt as possible, the more complacent and gung-ho they become. Put them in a 60s saloon and send them round a slalom course, and they'll realise how dependent on technology they have become.Ian_Fearn wrote:You could always never go out of your house ...........and then fall down the stairs breaking your back...
Life is all about calculated risk.
Safety is relative. Perhaps psychologically the safer our cars the worse we drive? I think people rely on safety features these days. My next door neighbour drives a brand new discovery. Not meaning to sounds rude i asked her why she bought one the first thing she said was 'safety'.
I said to her if everybody drove old Mini's would she feel the need to have such a gargantuan vehicle? She said yes, her kids safety was paramount. I then asked her if she did any research into the safety of vehicles before she bought one. She admitted that she'd assumed her Disco was safe. Personally i dont know the answer to that one but i reckon its more to do with how she looks on the school run.
But the "old cars aren't safe in this day and age" mantra is rubbish. Cars that would today be considered deathtraps when subjected to today's crash tests, were merrily driven in their thousands everyday on British roads 30, 40 years ago. No doubt many of these cars were driven recklessly too, although they were generally far less powerful and fast compared to today's cars and there was comparatively little safety technology to fall back on.
Which brings me to the question of the motorcycle and the 2CV.
A relative of mine thinks I would be absolutely crazy to drive around in a 2CV. When I gave the example of people driving 2CVs across Europe to Utrecht and Le Mans for car shows, she said "well they obviously lack all common sense." Similarly in a past conversation about the GSA I was asked "what if you're involved in a crash?" To which I replied, "what if I rode a motorbike instead?" Motorcyclists - as 30 years ago - still have limited protection in the event of a crash. This doesn't stop some of them riding recklessly. It doesn't stop them riding.
So yes, safety is a calculated risk. More technology and active protection can encourage unsafe driving, but it's not the root cause. Motorists have moved with the times. On the one hand all the safety technology prevents a substantial amount of avoidable accidents (unavoidable 30 years ago) and lessens injuries in the event of an accident, on the other it can prove unhelpful in the projected aura of "safety" that gives the driver a warm glow and dulls his or her senses. But an apparent fall in driving standards because of all this? I don't know actually. You can't say it's just due to that. The technology just raises the bar as old limits are overcome and boundaries are widened.
I can well believe the misguided link justifying driving a new Discovery with the sense of "keeping the kids safe". But the fact remains that there are a lot of dangerous drivers on the road... as there always have been.