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Truly safe?

Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,032
edited January 3 in General
What car safety policies would you like to see implemented? Are there any current car safety laws you'd like to see repealed? We look forward to hearing your thoughts on the myths and realities of car safety.

Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

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Comments

  • no shaving, putting on makeup or changing wigs during driving. :shades:

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    would do SO MUCH MORE for driver safety that any changes in car safety policies or laws, it's just not funny.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,305
    edited December 2010
    That's exactly it...the greatest problem out there isn't vehicle design or money-seeking laws...it is the foundation of driver training and licensing standards. When a foundation is bad, whatever is built on top of it will also have problems.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,856
    edited December 2010
    I also agree 100%. I remember the first time I heard someone say that they couldn't buy a RWD car because they needed to be able to drive in the rain. I honestly thought they were joking, but unfortunately it now seems that most drivers are that incompetent- or worse.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport 1975 2002A 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 1999 Wrangler 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2009 328i Son's: 2004 X3 2.5

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,442
    Short of mandatory REAL driving instruction can we wrap ourselves up in bubble wrap and hope for the best?
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    What car safety policies would you like to see implemented

    Mandatory wrapping of all occupants of a motor vehicle in: bubble wrap, egg crates, and those little foam peanuts. It's the only way!
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    You hit it right outta the park with this. As with the others I absolutely agree.
    I would even take it another step, and while minimum guidelines are being set out as to what those changes would be in driver licensing, I would make it mandatory they learn how to get their license driving a stick shift.

    And part of the test would be to do a parallel park, on a steep hill, and all without excessive clutch slippage. And enforce that little tidbit vehemently.

    If after passing the test, they choose to drive and own an automatic, well, so be it...unfortunately. I say unfortunately, because a manual lets an owner 'retain' those skills mile after mile, year after year, rather than become complacent with the less interactive familiarity of an auto. A manual forces you to be more interactive with your car more than any other aspect of the driving dynamic. It's right up there with steering.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 4,219
    edited January 2011
    Yes, along those lines:
    - Fair and equal enforcement of all highway laws, not just speed limits. This would include writing tickets for offenses such as not signaling a lane change, cutting someone off, driving in the left lane, or stopping on the side of the interstate without turning on your hazard lights.
    - Wipers on/headlights on law.
    - No foglights on except when conditions warrant.
    - No driving with parking lamps on.
    - Side turn signal repeaters required on all vehicles. Rear signals must be amber, not red.
    - No unmuffled exhaust brakes.
    - No exhausts (OEM, aftermarket, or rusted out) that exceed a certain sound level. No "fart can" mufflers.
    - Owners and riders of motorcycles with straight pipes shall be drawn and quartered.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,332
    edited January 2011
    I passed my driving test on a stick shift car, my wife and children can drive manual transmission cars well, and one of the cars in our garage is a manual. However, I disagree with you about making it a requirement, and your reasoning. I've ridden with some excellent drivers who only drive automatics. Heck, most U.S. drivers today have no reasonable opportunity to drive a manual transmission.
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    edited January 2011
    - Fair and equal enforcement of all highway laws, not just speed limits. This would include writing tickets for offenses such as not signaling a lane change, cutting someone off, driving in the left lane, or stopping on the side of the interstate without turning on your hazard lights.
    Dunno what state you are in, but the state I am in, left lane driving, except for passing will net you a hefty ticket on most highways in the state. Cutting someone off, will net a careless driving ticket or in some severe cases, a road rage fine. The only one I do not agree with is the stopping with out turning on hazards. If you have an electrical failure, you might not be able to turn them on and being fined for that is ridiculous. But, in our state, if you park on the side of the road in an unsafe manner, you might be fined or if the vehicle is left, it may possibly be towed at the owner's expense.

    - Wipers on/headlights on law.
    So you want wipers on all the time? A little extreme, don't ya think?
    If you are referring to weather, there would be a grey area there. If the intermittents are on, how do you prove the weren't. Silly laws cost taxpayers money.
    BTW, there is laws in most states that currently dictate that headlights be on between certain times of dusk and dawn.

    - Side turn signal repeaters required on all vehicles. Rear signals must be amber, not red.
    Federal laws already address this and the costs of studies to change those federal laws would hardly be worth any "supposed" safety increase.
    And are you referring to mid mounted turn signals on cars when you say repeaters? If so, no one uses turn signals anyway, so how would that increase safety. It would only be an added expense on already expensive vehicles.

    No unmuffled exhaust brakes.
    There are very few heavy trucks on the road with unmuffled exhaust brakes anymore. Post 80 heavy trucks are required to have a muffler.
    Don't confuse loud exhaust/jake brakes with unmuffled.

    - Owners and riders of motorcycles with straight pipes shall be drawn and quartered.
    Most of the exhaust problems are usually addressed by city noise ordinances. If your city does not have such an ordinance, then that is something to take up with them. There are federal laws for such a thing, but are generally not that easily enforceable.
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    edited January 2011
    In some Scandinavian countries, drivers go through some pretty rigorous training before the get a "full" license. The US could learn a few things from them on that.

    I see a lot of accidents and a lot of them are from driver error from either lack of experience, lack of attention or ignorance.
    Govt continues to pass laws and create safety "protection" to protect people.

    Freedom to decide is becoming a thing of the past, only because there are those who, like those about the turn signal colors, seem to think that adding safety items will be a good substitute for proper learning.
    Just my opinion.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    Dunno what state you are in, but the state I am in, left lane driving, except for passing will net you a hefty ticket on most highways in the state. Cutting someone off, will net a careless driving ticket or in some severe cases, a road rage fine.

    I am sooo jealous!!!!! Tell me what state you are in and I will abandon California post-haste!

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • Curious why you want no foglights? They are too low to bother oncoming traffic and greatly improve visibility directly in front of the car.
  • oregonboyoregonboy Posts: 1,653
    I think that he lives in Fantasy-Land. I am unaware of any state in the US of A that makes such enforcement a priority. :P :sick:
  • I'm wondering if others have noticed the sudden proliferation of people driving with their high beams on? Some do it because they are too cheap to replace a burned out low beam and are trying to avoid getting pulled over for a headlight being out. But others do it just to do it, completely blinding everyone and refusing to turn them off when flashed. It has gotten completely out of hand in the Orlando, FL area and cops don't seem to be doing anything about it. They worry more about speeding or a brake light being out than people flat out blinding other drivers.
  • oregonboyoregonboy Posts: 1,653
    Corvette... I like your list. You and I think alike on the subject.

    I would like to add citations for mis-aligned headlights, (after one warning), and for failure to dim high-beams, including on divided highways and when following another vehicle. Special (higher) rates for HID-equipped vehicles. :)
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 4,219
    I have no problem with fog lights when conditions warrant (rain, snow, or fog). The ones on many pickups (the Dodge Ram in particular) are high enough to bother oncoming traffic. Whether aftermarket lights are annoyance will depend on the quality of the installer.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 4,219
    I agree completely about the equipment violations. Tickets should be written for burned out or damaged lamps, misaligned headlights, worn out exhaust, etc.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 4,219
    ...left lane driving, except for passing will net you a hefty ticket on most highways in the state. Cutting someone off, will net a careless driving ticket or in some severe cases, a road rage fine. The only one I do not agree with is the stopping with out turning on hazards.

    You must live in some sort of Utopia if those laws are actually enforced as heavily as the speed limit in your area. It requires more work on the part of enforcement. Obviously, you can't turn on your hazards if your car's electrical system fails, but it should be a requirement in all other instances.

    If you are referring to weather, there would be a grey area there. If the intermittents are on, how do you prove the weren't. Silly laws cost taxpayers money.
    BTW, there is laws in most states that currently dictate that headlights be on between certain times of dusk and dawn.


    If it's cloudy enough to be raining, your headlights should be on. Many states have this law (and again, it's not enforced as well as it should be), but the signs on the interstate always say something like "wipers on, headlights on."

    And are you referring to mid mounted turn signals on cars when you say repeaters? If so, no one uses turn signals anyway, so how would that increase safety. It would only be an added expense on already expensive vehicles.

    Yes, that's what I'm referring to. The European Union has required them for a long time--it's about time we caught up. As for the fact that most people are jerks who don't use their turn signals, see my thoughts above about how traffic enforcement in the US tends to focus on the idea that "speed kills" while almost completely ignoring any other type of highway infraction.

    If your city does not have such an ordinance, then that is something to take up with them.

    Not everyone lives or works within city limits, and there are many residential areas in the US which fall outside city limits. That doesn't mean that their hearing isn't worth saving. And again, I rarely hear (no pun intended) of someone receiving a ticket for a loud exhaust.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,305
    You're right on pretty much everything. In terms of lighting, big trucks and SUVs are almost always the worst offenders. Aiming standards need to be enforced.

    I do find the idea of "taking something up with the city" in terms of ridiculous noise to be funny - cities move slower and more wastefully than other venues, guaranteed cronyism at work. It's not so easy. None of this will happen until the change from revenue (speed) based law enforcement takes place.
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    edited January 2011
    Oregon.
    Left lane driving is prohibited, except when passing on most highways.
    The Interstates are the only places where it isn't posted or enforced.
    On most highways, especially on the coast range, where people driving in the passing lane is a problem, it is enforced. Mostly because the ones riding the left lane are usually ones from out of state. ;)

    There are signs on just about every highway in Oregon where ever there is double lanes, specifically stating that it is illegal to use the left lane, except when passing. And yes, it is enforced by the state patrol.
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    I do find the idea of "taking something up with the city" in terms of ridiculous noise to be funny -

    It is probably the only way that anything will be done. Noise levels aren't a priority for state enforcement, so the only way that anything will ever get done is to have city ordinances. I didn't say I agreed with it, just that it is probably the only way anything will ever get done about it.
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    edited January 2011
    If it's cloudy enough to be raining, your headlights should be on. Many states have this law (and again, it's not enforced as well as it should be), but the signs on the interstate always say something like "wipers on, headlights on."

    Actually, I'm in favor of the newer vehicles with DRLs And auto on headlights. It's one of those improvements that actually makes sense.
    Motorcycles are required to have headlights on all the time, so it makes sense that DRLs or headlights on all the time isn't such a bad idea.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    edited January 2011
    "and your reasoning."

    I have had this discussion before and you can potentially go round and around with it. i don't plan to anymore other than to elaborate what my reasoning is since your didn't understand.

    First, I am not suggesting that ALL auto drivers are incompetent. Of course not. There are many capable auto drivers. I do suspect that the best of them though did drive a manual at one time or another earlier. Those tho, who had to replace more than one clutch before 200k miles, need not apply for this designation (obviously not including known faulty trannys like the clutch-hungry one in the Matrix XRS) though.

    My primary point, is that those who learn to drive on a std, learn the relationship of friction with the road better and faster than anyone with an auto. No one can rationally dispute that. No one. And the reason is that with an auto, you don't stall an engine if you haven't managed clutch take-up and grab point properly. I could elaborate, but not gonna. In my first post above, i cover a lot of bases in my example, for why i say what i say. I was going to make the parallel park scenario on a 'snow-covered with a bit a sand mix' hill, cuz that would further separate those who totally get it, from those who sorta get it ok.

    I am aware though that not all people understand this concept of applying/managing (think managing and/or better still being aware of an impending near skid on slush on a corner and if u do things right, nothing bad happens) the friction. If someone is trying to control going wide with their Expedition in that corner and plow headon into me and my family in our 'Civic' let's say, I say I'd prefer that Exp driver had mastered and even regularly drove a stick. I want every 'edge' there is, available to me. It's just good ol' healthy common sense.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Daytime running lights have been mandatory in Cda for a long time, maybe even two decades, or if not, it must be close. They are an excellent safety law. But what is assinine (and i don't know if the new cars are like this or not), but all mfgrs should wire dash lights to NOT come on when u slip it into drive, unless your headlights are on! Far too many people look down to see their speedo, and if the lights weren't on, in a split second they know..."hey, my headlights".

    If they have finally changed legislation on that then it took them over 15 years :(

    I will say while I am here, among many other good suggestions I've seen here, I do see the wisdom in having a standard turn signal amber lense right across the board. I ALSO think that rear light assemblies should have an extra bright white light (use the back up light lenses) that activate when the brakes come on on all red vehicles. Surely i don't have to elaborate why i say that tho...red on red, bright sun..
    Now that many brake lights are LED that has helped, but there are so many inconsistencies. I was following a Mazda 6 the other night, and was very impressed with its ability to notify. The rear end lit up like a Christmas (Happy Holidays?) tree.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,332
    edited January 2011
    I believe I clearly understand your explanation. We're in agreement that you can go round and round on this, particularly since there's probably no statistical evidence to prove or disprove your argument.

    You may well be right, but your conclusion seems to be based on perception. Would it not also be reasonable to perceive that people who choose to own stick shift cars may also tend to be more aggressive behind the wheel than owners of cars with automatics?

    A complicating factor in this discussion is that fewer and fewer cars even offer a third pedal option.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,305
    I don't see cities (or anyone else, to be honest) dealing with it unless the revenue stream can justify enforcement - gotta keep the healthy salaries and fat pensions going any way possible.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 4,219
    I think the phenomenon you describe began with Lexus' Optitron gauges, which lit up very brightly any time the ignition was on. Now, even Civics and Altimas have similar gauges, and I often see them driving at night with no headlights. It's a completely asinine design because the gauges being lit provides visual feedback to the driver that suggests the headlights are on, when they're not.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    I'm not sure if that is a reasonable perception that represents the masses..Yes is reasonable to perceive that to some fairly small percentage, aggression might be on their mind.

    But to the masses, control is what it's all about. Some would also tout longevity.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,657
    I hae 2 hondas with that type of guages. You are right that you don't get the normal feedback to tell you your lights are not on. But, you do get used to looking for the little green "lights on" indicator. Still, much more common to forget to turn your headlights on with this type of dash.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (daughters college car)

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