Friday, 14 January 2011

14/01: I'M ONLY A GIRL ....... WHAT DO I KNOW???

When we 'retired' and moved to Whitstable we agreed to sell my beloved, very pretty, Mazda MX5 sports car (limited edition, Garnet Red with cream leather interior) and just use one car!      To be fair, I don't enjoy driving these days - David does!   But access to our house is via a private drive which is very narrow with a 90deg bend so his favoured car (Jaguar) had to go - it just couldn't negotiate the bend in one go!!     Our current (shared) car is a QashQai which I love.  It looks like a 4 wheel drive, but isn't -  it coped brilliantly in the recent snow and ice.      I'd like to keep it for another couple of years but the Lord and Master has decided he can't live with a car that is more than 3 years old and needs an MOT so he's on a quest to find a successor and I hate most of his shortlisted contenders!

Apparently modern cars have to comply with EU laws regarding shape to minimise damage caused to pedestrians when we hit them.  Hence the rounded elongated bonnets making all 'new' car designs look so grotesque - so injured pedestrians can roll off the bonnet to the side of the car and injuries are less severe ??!!!

David's and my combined driving life exceeds 70 years.  In that time we've never hit a pedestrian - obviously we haven't tried hard enough.   Why is the EU now presuming to dictate ugly car shapes so when we do hit a pedestrian the impact will be less significant?    

I can only assume they've overloaded modern cars with so many buttons and gadgets and lights inside that  drivers are sufficiently distracted that they can hit the odd pedestrian and justify EU concerns?

Must admit one of the (Ford) cars David tested had a dashboard so full of gadgets, lights, buttons etc that I hated it immediately.    Haven't they heard of the KISS idea, Keep It Simple Stupid ....... or do all you Men out there sympathise with David and want as many gadgets as possible to save you being bored on long journeys?    There was even an ESC key on the steering wheel in case the driver got too bogged down trying to find a radio station or chat network  ............ REally!!!!!!!!!

I should state here that I am in no way minimising the distress caused to people who have been involved in vehicle accidents, or have relatives that have been involved.   I just don't understand why we have to accept these weird looking vehicles which are supposed to be pedestrian friendly but are chock-a-block full of distracting buttons, lights, gadgets which can't fail to distract a driver's attention from the road ahead???

Watch this space ....


Chrissy said...

Based on experience, go for the inside stuff to protect the inhabitants...I wouldn't be here right now, if it hadn't been for a fantastic design that didn't move back and crush us. It helps if it looks good too ;)

sue said...

I know you had a horrible experience Chrissy ... but my point is that the car manufacturers are stuffing modern cars so full of gadgets, buttons, lights etc that drivers are distracted from watching the roads!

The Ford car David brought home yesterday was one huge mass of lights, buttons and knobs. Why???!!

Gary Keimig said...

Ah. Modern life but as my grandmother used to say "You can talk about the good old days but I would sure hate to live through them again." Of course she came to Wyoming in a covered wagon and lived in a dirt floored house. but I hear you. hey. Your last posted Lab painting was just super. Great job.

Dors said...

OMG Now I have heard it all. what happened to the pedestrian brain... look right look left. Are we now responsible for pedestrians not looking where they are going.
As for the gadgets in cars. We have a 3 plug adapter that fits into the cigarette lighter... one for the GPS. (Sat Nav) one for our random MP3 music and one for charging the mobile phone. Separate temp controls for the two front seats. I hate them and just want to concentrate on driving the car. I too don't drive as much these days. Nev does most of the driving these days and that suits me fine.
Are they assuming that the pedestrian will roll sideways. I have seen where a pedestrian went right over the top and hit the road. Next we will be driving on carpet roads so that it's a softer landing.
I am sorry for all the injuries on the road. It is heart wrenching.
People have to take responsibility not cards.

Jan said...

I hear ya,Sue although I'm one to like technology a lot of the time. My DH also does most of the driving & neither of us would use more than the gps while driving. BUT, I would like to be able to use the computer or telephone, etc. while HE drives on trips!

But I know what you're saying - it's gotten to the point where people don't have to think or care for themselves with all the government intervention!

Jennifer Rose said...

i like the look of the qashqai, haven't been in one yet tho.

and esc key? o.0 how very odd

I'm all for safety, but at the same time people need to start looking out for themselves. Because we live on a busy road, i see so many parents just drag their kids across the street without teaching them the right way to cross. drives me nuts. and then if the kids get hurts, they blame someone else, even tho most of the time it would be their fault for not teaching their kids :/

sue said...

The particular car I'm rattling on about had knobs and buttons everywhere I looked ... and most were then duplicated on the steering wheel for the driver's convenience.

Worst of all it had a 5" multi display screen on the dash (like a mini computer screen) with a keypad style control panel ... now how on earth can anyone concentrate on driving whilst keying in instructions for the radio and rear view camera and all the other functions?

K. T. Sparks said...

Tee Hee Hee! Sue I got a good chuckle out of this post, are we married to the same man? I love to keep my cars and become as attached to them as my beloved pets, but yes men like to change it up a bit more often.
I did laugh at the thought of cars being pedestrian friendly and thought that sounded very funny, and we haven't run anyone down either, but just the though in my mind.....of people rolling all over and off of a car after being bumped almost seemed like a cartoon. Yes they have to make them user friendly to pedestrians because of all the gadgets, buttons, cell phones, texting, and etc. they do these days I guess. What ever happened to just good old driving?
Happy car shopping! We have been doing that too, hate it! I am sorry to report I drive a tank as they call them in the UK

Anonymous said...

We had a Qashqai Sue but we both prefer the Juke which we have now. A bit radical looking but a much better car IMO.


Bev said...

LOL Sue, I have a 12 year old KA, very reliable, has given me no trouble in all the years I have had her, absolutely basic, no knobs, lights, switches, computers or distractions in any shape or form, except of course the essentials such as lights and windscreen wipers, oh, and the radio which is permanently tuned to radio 2. Perhaps you should get yourself one of these and leave the lord and master to his own choice.

sue said...

My mum has an S Reg Ka, and it drives beautifully so its tempting to go that route Bev.

But we end up paying tax and insurance on a second car which sits on the drive doing nothing most of the time. David and I tend to go most places together - and we spend quite a lot of the winter weeks in warmer climes (and I don't intend giving that up)!!!!

DEB said...

Sue, I love your sense of humor! This post made me chuckle! Growing up in Detroit, Michigan where our school day field trips were usually to the Ford Rouge plant, I have to advise you all to go with the Ford! :)

sam said...

I was in a car just yesterday that told you when to change gear! Now surely a driver doesnt need telling that..../