Safer cars, was: <VV> Seats

Eric S. Eberhard
Wed, 25 Aug 2004 10:25:34 -0700

I think that is rather silly.  If you watch auto racing you can see that 
technology can make cars much safer in a crash than cars we currently 
buy.  Have you ever watched a race car hit the wall at 200mph, burst into 
pieces, roll a dozen times, burst into flames, and then watch the driver 
walk out of the car?!  Pretty amazing actually.  But for that to happen 
with a street car it would cost millions, require strange seat belts, and 
fire suits.  People would not buy them.  And that is the premise of 
capitalism ... build what people want to buy.  Mandating anything simply 
means government is forcing us to buy things we do not want.  Currently 
people are demanding (and willing to pay for) more air bags, ABS, traction 
control, and so forth.  These are not mandated, they are a result of 
capitalism at work.  The same goes with high mileage cars --> people say 
they want better mileage and less pollution ... then they go out and buy 
huge SUVs and just about anything else except high mileage low pollution 
vehicles.  So government makes mandates in order to make us buy what we 
don't want.  Often they backfire ... when cars became the target for safety 
and mileage mandates, we all started buying "trucks" (= SUVs) and 
side-stepped the mandates.  Rest assured, the market will always find ways 
to side-step mandates.  It is better to educate buyers and let the market 
work ...

At 08:08 PM 8/24/2004, airvair wrote:
>Personally, I feel that Ralphie's main idea was that 1)crashes are
>inevitable, because we'll never be able to prevent 100% of them, 2)cars
>can be made more survivable, but that capitalism, being as it is (at the
>time) had prevented safer designs from being built, and 3)the fastest
>way to move safer cars onto the market is to legally mandate them. In
>view of the market conditions of the time, I feel that he was right. I
>also feel that it was regretable that the force of law had to move the
>issue ahead. But then, in reality, I don't see auto safety moving
>appreciably ahead (even today) without it.
>Bill Hubbell wrote:
> >
> > You take a risk every time you get into a car - old or new.  Ralph would
> > have you believe that is unacceptable, and if anything happens to you it
> > must be someone else's fault.  I think otherwise.
> >
> > Enjoy your 'safety net'.
> >
> > Bill Hubbell
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