If you ever want to get an idea just how stupid some people must be – go car shopping. This is not a slam at car sales staffs or dealerships, just the products they sell.
Granted, it has been 11 years since I bought a car, so technology has changed, mostly for the better. Some of the items offered by dealers and the car manufacturers leave me wondering what the world is coming too.
Item 1: A back-up camera. I understand the intent behind it and in some ways it makes sense. However, it also makes sense to check behind the car before you jam it into reverse and back-up. One car company offers a system that stops the car if an object or child gets in your way as you are backing up. Again, this makes sense, least until you watch the commercial. Two things come to light. The father who is out for a walk with his kid is not supervising him and the person who is backing his car out of the driveway is not looking behind him. So much for common sense.
Item 2: Environmental protection. Instead of Rusty Jones or Ziebart, we have the Al Gore protection plan. What it is a $700 option that is most likely a heavy duty wax, which lasts one, maybe two years, before you have to reapply it or worse, bring it to the dealer for an updated application. Cha-ching.
Item 3: Satellite radio. A mixed vote here. Pro: It’s a great idea for those people who travel a lot and find themselves outside the range of good radio. Face it, not everyone takes 25 CDs or iPods with them. Con: Really now, Elvis radio? Every MLB baseball game? Face it; there are times, like the 2012 season, when people do not want to listen to the Cubs. Besides, there does not appear to be an easy way to find out which channel has which game.
Item 4: The auto parallel parking system. No doubt this is cool, but it will flush an age-old tradition down the drain – doing parallel parking on your driver’s test. Just how many license testers will lose their jobs because their failure rate plummets? And what about the thrill of the challenge of trying to park a full-size car into the spot the size of a Moped? The engineers are taking all the fun out of driving.
Item 5: This is my favorite – the CAD – collision avoidance device. The sales rep who explained this to me said it is a system to let you know when you are too close to the vehicle in front of you. Excuse me? We need a system to tell us that? Of course we do because many drivers are so preoccupied with texting, talking on their cell phones, shaving, applying make-up, etc., that they don’t pay attention to their primary function, which is safely driving a motor vehicle.
And here’s the kicker – according to the sales rep, CADs will be mandated by the Federal government.
So let’s see, while the economy lingers, the crime rate grows and more kids are getting hooked on drugs – the government is worried about neanderthals behind the wheel.
Talk about priorities.