Sunday, October 22, 2023

The Cars Are Too Damn Big

If you are unlucky enough to be hit by a midsize sedan going 25 miles per hour, the point of impact will most likely be your legs, causing you to flip onto the trunk. If you are unlucky enough to be hit by a Chevrolet Silverado — one of the most popular truck models in the United States — the point of impact for an adult will most likely be the torso, as the tall hood plows directly into your center of mass. A child would be crushed outright.

In addition to the kinds of vehicles on the road, there’s the fact that many roads are not safe to walk on, with few sidewalks or anything to create a barrier between pedestrians and vehicles. When coupled with an increase in speeding and a decrease in traffic enforcement, it is a recipe for greater pedestrian deaths.
Car Brain (roughly, the belief that everything that potentially impedes your progress - including other cars - is an illegitimate presence and legitimate target) is a powerful force and all of these things work to reinforce it. There isn't one cause; they are all complementary.

The last time I rented a car I got much larger one than I wanted - common as rental places always seem to be out of the smaller one you requested - and the height and the blind spots made me feel somehow not of the street, but above it.  Its overlord, not its guest.

"Oh we know you can't see anything you need to see by looking out the windows or even at the mirrors, so we'll put this helpful video screen in a completely inappropriate spot for you to look at instead."