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post #42 of (permalink) Old 28th August 2008
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Originally Posted by ottoman View Post
But I feel we have lost something in the driving experience/ability where we rely on the car and not the driver with all the electronic driving aids on today's car's which in a way possibly contribute to some road incidents, drivers are immune/cocooned to driving conditions as they feel invincible behind the wheel of their cars
I agree Otto, a lot of the basic skills of driving seem to have been lost in the mists of time.

Power steering means that you can now 'dry-steer' quite easily, you need sensors to tell you when the tyres are under-inflated (never a need for that in the manual steering days).

Cars which park themselves, active cruise control, seats which vibrate when drifting out of the lane - its like motoring is being 'dumbed-down' in many ways, and the driving populace (on the whole) seem quite happy to embrace this. Driving has gone from being a source of pleasure in itself, which allows you to reach the horizon, to an expensive daily drudge - a chore to be rescued from.

Regarding the immunity aspect - that was first noted around 30 years ago, and was behaviour specific to Volvo drivers - as car safety has become more sophisticated & widespread, so has this behaviour. I once read (I think it was the great George Bishop of CAR magazine) who said, car safety would increase if the standard of driving were to increase, and instead of a cushion sprouting from the steering wheel - a sharpened spike was present - that would provide all the motivation to the driver.

A good debate, cars are more capable than ever, but the opportunities to enjoy this, are much less.

Progress can sometimes just mean that things are different, rather than better.


This job should never be complete - the day I think I've done it all, is the day I resign.

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