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  1. #1
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Safety features leave drivers feeling too safe

    Drivers with a lead foot are more likely to trade their old vehicle in on one offering a full complement of air bags and anti-lock brakes.

    Wise choice, you say? Bags protect in an accident that ABS can prevent in the first place.

    Maybe not, says Fred Mannering, a professor of civil engineering and associate director for research at the Center for the Advancement of Transportation Safety at Purdue University.

    Those drivers are more likely to drive as fast, if not faster, and take as many, if not more, risks as they did in cars without air bags or ABS.

    For these motorists, the safety technology has taken the place of the St. Christopher medal in providing a feeling of invulnerability. That's the finding of a study by Mannering.

    "Consumers adapt to innovations meant to improve safety by becoming less vigilant about safety," he said. "The person who may travel at 40 m.p.h. in order to stop safely in 150 feet now goes 48 m.p.h. And air bags help when you run into a wall at 40 m.p.h., not at 80 m.p.h."

    The study concluded that accidents and injuries haven't gone down as the availability of air bags and ABS has gone up. That mirrors what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found in its own recent study.

    But Mannering points out that his study differs from the government's in that NHTSA compared the number of accidents and injuries before and after air bags and ABS became the norm, while his focused on accidents and injuries to motorists before and after they switched to cars with air bags and ABS.

    "With all the safety features added to cars, fatality rates should go down, but the rate has been flat for years and NHTSA reported the fatality rate in 2005 rose 1.4 percent over 2004, the first increase since 1986," Mannering said.

    The government last month proposed legislation requiring automakers to phase in stability control systems, starting in 2009 and offer them in all their vehicles by 2012.

    NHTSA estimates the system could save 10,000 lives annually--but not without an attitude adjustment by drivers. They must shed the belief that regardless of what mistakes they make, their car will save them.
    Screw everyone else!

  2. #2
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    His study kinda validates what some of us have been saying about safety devices (helmets, seat belts, etc) for years - that some will operate in a less safe manner because they feel that the devices will protect them.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  3. #3
    Senior Member Itsjustb's Avatar
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    I was a baseball catcher when I was younger. Every time my Dad told me to be careful behind the plate, I'd say something like, "I've got all these pads!" And every time he'd say the same thing:

    The tools of ignorance
    "Everyone is entitled to an opinion" is only half-right.

    Everyone is entitled to an informed opinion.

  4. #4
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    From the reader comments of the tailgaiter catcher device news story:
    http://www.azcentral.com/news/articl...lgate1204.html

    "And yes I have a BMW....two actually. I could slam one of them into the guardrail at 100mph and walk away...6 airbags. Luckily that has not happened and never will happen because of a mistake I make.

    If you want to drive slow, fine...just get the hell out of my way."

  5. #5
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Gee, a study validates what I have been observing... And to think at least one helmet headed "advocate" kept telling me drivers are doing all they can to drive safely.... Riiiiiight.

  6. #6
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    His study kinda validates what some of us have been saying about safety devices (helmets, seat belts, etc) for years - that some will operate in a less safe manner because they feel that the devices will protect them.
    Have you ever visited the Grand Canyon or other popular area with cliffs? People act like total morons because they assume the park service has made the area safe (despite signs everywhere warning that this is not the case). When people believe they are responsible for their own safety, they act very differently.

  7. #7
    Speed Demon *roll eyes*
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    Personally, I dont like most of the "safety" features many cars come with: electronic stabiltity control, abs, traction control, etc take away from the feel of the car and, in many of the cases that I have driven, make the car feel numb (especially when an automatic tranny is equipped.) This is made worse if the car has a really smooth ride which causes even greater disconnect from the road surface. Personally, I prefer a car that is more elemental that you can feel what is happening so that you can react to it in a more predictable manner before its max limits are reached.
    1998 Specialized S-works Hardtail - hotrodded
    2005 Kona Jake the Snake cyclocross

  8. #8
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Oh, absolutely. I'm convinced that you could significantly reduce motor vehicle deaths if you replaced every driver's airbag with a six inch, rusty steel spike.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  9. #9
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso
    Oh, absolutely. I'm convinced that you could significantly reduce motor vehicle deaths if you replaced every driver's airbag with a six inch, rusty steel spike.

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