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Old 08-14-12, 06:37 PM   #1
EthanYQX
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Are drivers bad because cars are?

I've been thinking about this a lot lately and bikebuddha's thread on his new Focus made me think I should start a thread on it and see what you guys think.

A few points before we start:

1) I am a shameless fan of 90's Japanese cars.
2) I am speaking strictly about North America.

I drive a Subaru Impreza, a 2000 L. It's a small Japanese AWD sedan, the continuation of a chassis that was designed from the ground up by Prodrive to win world rally events. Recently I took the biggest, baddest, newest Subaru out, belonging to a friend of mine, a 2011 Impreza STI Sedan. That was my dream car, even the right color, and I was incredibly happy he let me drive it. It's powerful, it's fast, it's precise and it's comfortable. I didn't have to work to drive it fast and I found myself cornering faster than I thought I was going.

I stepped out of that car feeling sad for the future of the automotive industry.

It just had no soul. It was technically a fantastic car, but it didn't speak to me, it was just a car. Too many lights and computers and crap. I got back in my humble little 12 year old Impreza utterly convinced I already had what I wanted. My Impreza is work to drive fast-you have to be smooth, you have to know how to make it rotate or it just plows and you have to know how hard you can trail brake so you don't run into a ditch with the front tires locked up. You kind of toss it into a corner, you don't carve like the new one. There's no traction control, so the edge is up to you.

I firmly believe that if new cars had this kind of involvement and personality, people would be better drivers and roads would be safer.

If you don't believe me, go test drive something mundane and uninspiring like a last-gen Corolla. Then go get your hands on a 90's Acura Integra, an Impreza, an EK Civic or even a new Ford Focus. Make sure it's a 2012, the new Euro market one. The Corolla's fine but that's all it is. By carefully choosing your next car, you might find you enjoy driving more.
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Old 08-14-12, 06:44 PM   #2
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No!
Just idiots texting while driving.
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Old 08-14-12, 06:51 PM   #3
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Hard to text and drive when the car demands your full attention
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Old 08-14-12, 06:53 PM   #4
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I drive/drove boring cars.
nissan maxima, altima, sentra, toyota ractis.

I'd say I'm a pretty good driver, because I make put priority on driving smoothly and using the brakes as little as possible.

Every time you so much as touch the brakes, you're losing money you've just traded off for speed. Doubly so for underpowered cars.
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Old 08-14-12, 06:59 PM   #5
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"Boring" cars aren't really what I mean, more like cars that drive themselves. The 2011 STI isn't really boring, there aren't that many cars with 5 second 0-60 times that are. I do not and never have driven with any regard to fuel economy, my Impreza gets 22 at best anyway.
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Old 08-14-12, 06:59 PM   #6
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Buicks must be really bad
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Old 08-14-12, 07:00 PM   #7
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They were...No idea how the newest Regal is yet.
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Old 08-14-12, 07:08 PM   #8
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Buicks must be really bad
I didn't know bricks could drive themselves.



.... oh, you said buicks.
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Old 08-14-12, 07:11 PM   #9
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Hard to text and drive when the phone demands your full attention
fify
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Old 08-14-12, 07:18 PM   #10
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The problem is that more modern cars make driving too easy, so the driver tends to not focus on the task at hand, and begins to believe they have the time to do "other things." This is further "enhanced" by the "comfortable living room feeling" that many of these modern cars offer... plush seating, leather or microfiber interior, cruise control, climate control, multi-speaker sound systems, LCD status screens, cup holders that just demand snacks and drinks, ultra quiet sound proofing and of course power everything, further disconnecting the driver from the actual driving experience.

This all adds up to drivers being less aware of their surroundings, driving too fast and not really keeping an eye out for things like motorcyclists and bicyclists.

Then, due to 85% speed rules that reward drivers that drive too fast and too close, road engineers up the speeds on the road for these comfortable cars... in spite of the fact that neither the road nor sight lines have really improved. So now you have drivers paying half attention, driving too fast and too close, and reaching for cell phones for entertainment... Can anyone see a problem with this???

You want drivers to pay attention... first put a spike on the steering wheel aimed right at the driver, then remove air conditioning, so motorists have to roll down the windows and hear the environment and feel the wind as it moves past them, giving them a sense of their actual speed. Then remove power anything... standard brakes and steering, so you really have to work at driving, finally, remove all cup holders and the radio... now you have a motorist that is paying attention to what they are actually doing. Put them in a car that handles well and you might find that people CAN actually drive.

But until then, the rolling living rooms and motorists that think they can multitask are the problem.
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Old 08-14-12, 07:23 PM   #11
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No power steering on sticky tires with AWD sucks, other than that I'm happy without ABS or traction control.

And for ****s sakes, stop letting people who know dick about driving teach driving schools. The only thing more dangerous than a bad driver is a bad driver who thinks they're a good one.
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Old 08-14-12, 07:34 PM   #12
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there's nothing as interesting as your engine cutting out, giving you no power steering and brakes while you are just starting to go down a hill.

which happened to me last week
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Old 08-14-12, 07:38 PM   #13
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In this town it is mostly because the high amount of inbreeds .even on the local water tower its says in big letters were inbreed and we are proud
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Old 08-14-12, 07:39 PM   #14
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there's nothing as interesting as your engine cutting out, giving you no power steering and brakes while you are just starting to go down a hill.

which happened to me last week
No power steering at speed is ok, i did DD my Impreza without it for a while, but I don't like not having power brakes.
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Old 08-14-12, 07:54 PM   #15
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No!
Just idiots texting while driving.
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Hard to text and drive when the car demands your full attention
Duh.
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Old 08-14-12, 07:57 PM   #16
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Full disclosure...I drive in flip flops a lot. In my defense I can heel-toe my dad's ranger in flip flops.
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Old 08-14-12, 08:10 PM   #17
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Full disclosure...I drive in flip flops a lot. In my defense I can heel-toe my dad's ranger in flip flops.
You live with your parents?

Dayum. I don't think I would told that.
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Old 08-14-12, 08:19 PM   #18
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I'm 20 and a student. Yeah I live at home in the summer.
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Old 08-14-12, 08:31 PM   #19
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It's not just driving. Kids these days are pretty much *******.

When I worked at Mcdonalds, you had to take an give change and to the car at your drive through window while taking an order from the car at menu board all the while not forgetting the next order you have to pull from under the heat lamps.

Now? Ask to make change from $10 for an $8.56 order and you'll get the deer in the headlights look.

And for the record, I'm NOT that old!
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Old 08-14-12, 08:33 PM   #20
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Never had to work at McDonalds. Worked for myself, still do.

And for the record, I'm 20 and have a better concept of driving and how the car behaves than 90% of middle aged adults do. "Kids these days" tend to not be kids around 15-16, I knew what I wanted and how to get there by the time I was 17
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Old 08-14-12, 08:37 PM   #21
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The folks in this town cant even keep there car in the middle of the lane i thought they all was drunk when i first moved here
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Old 08-14-12, 09:36 PM   #22
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Never had to work at McDonalds. Worked for myself, still do.

And for the record, I'm 20 and have a better concept of driving and how the car behaves than 90% of middle aged adults do. "Kids these days" tend to not be kids around 15-16, I knew what I wanted and how to get there by the time I was 17
Those that get all defensive when told they are a crappy driver, or those that brag about how good a driver they are ( esp. when 20)? ****tiest drivers ever.
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Old 08-14-12, 09:40 PM   #23
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Those that get all defensive when told they are a crappy driver, or those that brag about how good a driver they are ( esp. when 20)? ****tiest drivers ever.
Neither defensive nor bragging, i have a vested interest in performance driving and racing and as such made it a point to learn to drive well. What are your qualifications to tell me I'm a crappy driver? Also, I'm curious, where did you get kids from my original post?

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Old 08-14-12, 10:41 PM   #24
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In this town it is mostly because the high amount of inbreeds .even on the local water tower its says in big letters were inbreed and we are proud
Thank you for sharing but lets try to keep this discussion in regards to the topic at hand (cars) and not on your pride of being inbred.
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Old 08-14-12, 11:04 PM   #25
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I'll add one nugget which I believe to be a factor. The dumbass trend of putting colorless lenses on turn signals. I frequently cannot see those damned things in daylight, and my vision is fine. It'll be a good day when automakers realize that makes no sense from a safety perspective. They make good drivers a little worse through no fault of their own...other than their choice in vehicle.
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