Forty Year Legacy of Nothing

I was born two years before Unsafe at Any Speed was published. The first car I rode in had no seatbelts and a metal dash. The next car had seatbelts, and a padded dash, but nobody wore the seatbelts, because back then nobody did, besides which they were inconvenient to use. The next car had three-point shoulder and lap belts for the driver and front-seat passenger. Then there were three-point belts for the back seat, and airbags. Today every car we own has three-point belts for everyone, front and side curtain airbags, and we knew the crash ratings when we bought them.

That’s less than 50 years to go from basically nothing to what we have today. The auto industry fought it tooth and nail in the 60’s, but in the end they were forced by regulation to do something that turned out to be for their own long-term benefit, and now it’s inconceivable that “safety” isn’t one of the prime features of a new car.

Last night one of my friend’s daughters, a girl I’ve known since she was 3 years old, had a head-on collision when a kid driving on slippery roads spun out and entered her lane. Her car is an absolute mess – it’s totaled and the front end is basically obliterated. She and her front seat passenger, all wearing seatbelts, of course, walked away from the crash. Her only injury with a little bump on the head from where the airbag deployed. The boy driving the other car also walked away.

If this had been 1962, or probably 1972, she’d either be in the hospital or the morgue. Because of government regulation and good engineering, the only aftermath in 2012 is mark that can be covered with makeup. The reason she’s alive is Democrats and Republicans (even in the Reagan Administration) compromising to continually increase safety regulations on cars.

I wonder how many “how things have changed stories” won’t be told forty years from now because we have a Republican Congress that is on track to be the least productive in recorded history?

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134 replies
  1. 1
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    Nader……?

    Here we go……….

  2. 2
    debg says:

    I’m so glad everybody made it through that accident. And there’s no question that I feel safer these days in my car, safety regs and drunk driving initiatives having achieved what they did. If only we could have such sensible conversations about, say, guns.

  3. 3
    Raven says:

    The steering column on my 66 Chevy truck will go right through my chest in a head-on and the dash board is steel, no padding at all. I have lap belts but they were not stock.

  4. 4
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    When you’re full-time running defense, it’s hard to have an offense.

    Don’t blame Republicans for poor performance. They’ve been dealing with a Black Soshulist

  5. 5
    Derelict says:

    As you point out, those dreaded reguilations that Detroit fought against so hard have turned out to be among their major marketing points these days.

    This is the key to the GOP’s blindness on nearly all issues. Ideology states that regulations–all regulations–are bad. Thus no Republican can ever support any law or agency that creates regulations for any purpose. That blinding bit of binding ideology prevents the GOP from seeing any further down the road than tomorrow.

    Compare that with Democrats, who now have a record stratching back to the Great Depression of designing innumerable programs and agencies that took true vision to create, and which every man, woman, and child in this country still benefit from.

  6. 6
    Jamey says:

    More to the point, since passage of the NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Act) in 1960, vehicular fatalities have declined 80%. This, despite an approx 160% increase in passenger miles traveled.

    So, to the gun-counters who like to compare automobiles to gunshots, let’s do that: Let’s try to have a similar comprehensive safety act that regulates the design and use of firearms, followed by a public consciousness debate about what gun manufacturers can say and do. GM was shamed into making safer products a priority. Who knows, maybe we’ll reap similar benefits–and then the conversation can be about how to make gun ownership and usage safer, without taking away peoples’ precious sidearms.

  7. 7
    dr. bloor says:

    Well, we’ll be sneaking out to do the family food shopping at 3 AM with night vision goggles and AK47’s. That’ll be different.

  8. 8
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Jamey:

    Having more local, state and Federal law regarding guns does seem to parallel seat belt laws.

    Many states collect phantom taxes by citing those who don’t wear seat-belts. The revenue enhancement is a slam-dunk.

    It’s a win/win.

  9. 9
    jp7505a says:

    When I learned to drive in the mid-60’s, 54k people a year died in traffic accidents. Last year that number was 34k. Now lots of things have happened to cause that improvement but government mandated auto safety standards, government mandated highway standards, government funded advances in medical care all have helped. But of course government is the problem not the solution. We really do live in a bananna republic.

  10. 10
    Alison says:

    Also, though I’m sure there are numbskulls out there who *do* say this, in general no one argues that since seatbelts don’t prevent all car accident deaths, then fuck it we just shouldn’t have them anyway. Yet one of the main arguments I see against gun safety regulations is that they won’t stop each and every single gun-related death. I mean…that’s a high fucking bar.

  11. 11
    Mnemosyne says:

    I remember I had a friend in junior high/high school whose father was so adamant about not wearing a seat belt that he tried to disable the warning sound the car made if you didn’t have your seat belt on. He got it to stop, but managed to simultaneously disable the radio and was never able to get it working again. But, hey, at least the car didn’t remind him to put his seat belt on anymore!

    That’s what we’re going to be dealing with when it comes to gun owners — people who are so used to having things a certain way that they will actually inconvenience themselves to avoid having to change.

    ETA: This was the mid-1980s, FWIW.

  12. 12
    MikeJ says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin): They also enhance revenue by not having to pay for emergency room treatment for people maimed in car crashes. Those greedy bastards!

  13. 13
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Derelict:

    That blinding bit of binding ideology prevents the GOP from seeing any further down the road than tomorrow.

    Every two years, there’s an election. The ideology that blinds them is mostly ‘Just win, baby!’.

  14. 14
    Ted & Hellen says:

    I’m certain it was a simple oversight, Mistermix, but you neglected to mention anywhere in your text the name of the author of “Unsafe At Any Speed” and the driving force behind the subsequent automobile safety advances and the hundreds of thousands of lives saved as a result: Ralph Nader, history’s greatest monster.

  15. 15
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @MikeJ:

    I see you’re an adherent to Poe’s Law, as well…. :)

  16. 16
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @MikeJ:

    Poe’s Law, has many adherents….: )

  17. 17
    kathy a. says:

    some of the movement on car safety was prodded along by lawyers suing the shit out of manufacturers, for product defects causing severe injuries and deaths. when you hear about “tort reform,” it is to prevent those kinds of lawsuits.

    all and still, various regulations proved effective for cars. so glad your friend’s daughter and everyone else are OK.

    i’m a bit older than you; i remember my mother putting a bassinet with the youngest on the back seat, unsecured! and no, nobody did wear seat belts, back in the day. but my father’s job was investigating personal injury cases, and as time rolled on and he saw more horror stories, we all heard about them. by the time i was driving, my family wore seat belts fairly religiously. (still considered a bit obsessive, in the mid-1970’s.)

  18. 18
    ThresherK says:

    Knee-level airbags.

    Cars are so damned safe now, v. my childhood. Such advances are already protecting my brain, my internal organs, and my spinal column, that automakers are getting down to where they have to worry about what happens to my shins in the event of a collision.

    Jes’ sayin’.

  19. 19
    gene108 says:

    @Jamey:

    A silly argument.

    The 2nd Amendment protects a person’s right to own guns.

    There’s no similar protection for cars.

    Therefore there’s no comparison between public safety measures to reduce traffic accidents, cholera related deaths, malaria and what have you to gun ownership.

    Gun ownership is a sacred American value, enshrined in the Constitution that is already overregulated and creating insufferable burdens on gun owners.

    /a right-wing-channeled response to common sense.

  20. 20
    JPL says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Somebody beat you to it.

  21. 21
    Punchy says:

    I had to stomach my dad spewing FN talking points about ebill environmentalists and how concern for clean water and animals are all librul lies. Its stunning just how deep into the bullshit theyve hooked my dad.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    Cassidy says:

    @Ted & Hellen: You gonna threaten to sue him since the post wasn’t suited to your unique and delicate tastes? Did he hurt your fee fees?

  24. 24
    Thursday says:

    You guys remember the “we’re really environmentally conscious!” ads from just a few years ago by the coal-burning energy industry? The same folks who were fighting regulations tooth and nail now bragging about how much they’ve cleaned up their act since the laws were put in place.

    Let’s not forget the evils of the stimulus plan that was voted against by EVERY Republican – the same folks who have been posing with oversized cheques whenever that stimulus money comes to their town.

    Industrial/Republican shampoo:
    Foam at the mouth, pose for cameras, repeat

  25. 25
    gene108 says:

    @kathy a.:

    some of the movement on car safety was prodded along by lawyers suing the shit out of manufacturers, for product defects causing severe injuries and deaths. when you hear about “tort reform,” it is to prevent those kinds of lawsuits.

    There was an NRA written bill that removed any liability from gun manufacturers from those kind of lawsuits, which Bush, Jr. signed into law back in 2005.

    The amount of pressure needed to force a change in gun laws is going to be on par with the Civil Rights movement, in my opinion.

    The opposition to change is that entrenched and vested in maintaining the status quo.

  26. 26
    dporpentine says:

    Obviously: cars are safer, though in my opinion driving is still way too dangerous in US compared to similar countries.

    And obviously: gun ownership needs to be more heavily regulated–and perhaps the guns themselves need better safety features.

    But there’s a big difference between regulating how manufacturers do things and how people do things.

    All of which is to say that I think the car analogy is pretty weak in itself, and it perpetuates the none-too-positive myth that driving is safe. It’s not.

  27. 27
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Cassidy:

    I forgive you, Assidy. The question is, when you look in the mirror and behold nature’s crimes, can you forgive yourself?

  28. 28
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Those bastard Germans figured out this auto safety shit 50 years ago. Your Mercedes might be scrap after an accident, but you will most likely walk away from it.

  29. 29
    Cassidy says:

    @Ted & Hellen: I got a clean conscious shit stain. At least one of us gets to say that.

  30. 30
    AA+ Bonds says:

    B-B-BUT RALPH NADER, MY CONSTITUTION, THE YEAR 2000 OHHHH ~(faints dead away)~

  31. 31
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    We of German blood are the awesome. Except for that whole little multiple world wars and genocide thing.

    Never mind.

  32. 32
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Are you referring to that egomaniac who destroyed his own legacy by his actions during the 2000 Presidential campaign?

    Oh, and I’m certain there is fire with your name on it for you to go die in somewhere. Get there, barely concealed racist shit.

  33. 33
    ThresherK says:

    @Thursday: Ah, the “Dolphin Hosanna” image ads.

    My rule of thumb is that the typical corporation will spend the same amount of money airing the image ads that they do in cleaning up their own mess.

    (Yeah, I know coal mines don’t kill dolphins, but what sticks in my brain are the dolphins and whales leaping out of the water to “Ode to Joy”. It’s almost a stock image in oil company ads touting their court-ordered cleanups, ergo the name.)

  34. 34
    pluege says:

    so what does safe gun ownership look like:

    1) no possibility of gun purchase without a background check, completing 3 hours of gun safety training, and filing and getting approved with appropriate authorities a safety and security

    2) gun safety training and review of safety and security plan every 2 years.

    3) immediate notification to the authorities of any change in the status of the guns or the owner’s location.

    4) no assault weapons available to the public; no guns for sale that can fire more than 6 bullets without reloading (6 bullets is a sop to the cowboys – should be one)

  35. 35
    namekarB says:

    Well hell. The elephant in the room.

    Repeal the 2nd Amendment.

  36. 36
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dporpentine:

    But there’s a big difference between regulating how manufacturers do things and how people do things.

    Except that, in the case of cars, both sides are regulated: manufacturers were required by law to add safety equipment and drivers were required by law to use it.

    In another thread, Kay had an interesting comment about how there’s now a lot of peer pressure among the teenage mothers she works with to make sure their baby is in a car seat. It used to be that she would have to get an injunction and have it written into the agreement because they didn’t think it was a big deal, but now the girls are pressuring each other into doing it because that’s what responsible mothers who want to retain custody of their children do.

    IMO, passing new laws is just one part of the picture. We also need to develop an effective way to convince gun owners to police each other and convince their peers that they should have trigger locks, gun safes, etc.

  37. 37
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    And Benz was heavily marketing to us in the early 60’s on that very basis.

    Back then, you could get a 190sl for about twice what a Rambler cost, heh.

  38. 38
    AA+ Bonds says:

    The real Y2K bug is the pathological fear of the left-wing base still held by many Democrats who don’t get that all those Democrats they hate voted for Obama twice in spite of all the ranting and raving about how they suck, should drop dead, etc. Good thing they didn’t and went to the polls instead!

    Obama won the left where Gore failed. Celebrate that. Follow Obama’s example. There’s a reason he curbed his press people after 2010, and it wasn’t so you could pick up where they left off.

  39. 39
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Derelict:

    One of the interesting thing about regulations is that they remove some of the uncertainty out of market transactions. This makes commerce easier and less daunting for the risk adverse. It enhances the exchange of goods and services by removing doubt, by reducing the “let the buyer beware” aspect of any transaction.

    It’s good for the seller, and it’s good for the buyer.

    If only they’re not vile greedheads.

    Which is why Rethugs just don’t get it.

  40. 40
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    We also need to develop an effective way to convince gun owners to police each other and convince their peers that they should have trigger locks, gun safes, etc.

    Car-pooling has been a huge success in LA. I hardly see any cars with just one person, lol.

  41. 41
    kathy a. says:

    @gene108: yeah, i know. sigh. (although the problem with guns is this: they are designed to kill. that’s what they do when they are working correctly…)

    i think requiring liability insurance for gun owners/users would be a good step forward — something we do for owners of cars. yeah, they’ll complain about the cost. but the costs to someone killed or injured by their weapons is incalculably higher. the risk should not be borne by bystanders.

  42. 42
    BGinCHI says:

    Single payer health care.

    The best and most well-funded schools, K-PhD, in the world.

    Fucking White Supremacist, nihilist asshole Republicans.

  43. 43
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Yea verily, even you too, Villago Distenda, I forgive.

  44. 44
    dporpentine says:

    @Mnemosyne
    Agree with all that, especially about the need to change gun culture, which is basically the same as the culture around stereo equipment (more stuff always needed! more expensive always more better!) but with deadly objects.

  45. 45
    kathy a. says:

    @pluege: and liability insurance.

  46. 46
    pluege says:

    @pluege: safety and security “plan”

  47. 47
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    I do not seek or desire your forgiveness.

    I merely want you to go away. Permanently.

  48. 48
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):

    Actually, what has been a huge success in LA is letting people with certain kinds of less-polluting cars (some hybrids, but also electric) get special stickers that allow them to use the HOV lane.

    But the car culture of LA isn’t going to change until it’s easier for people to not have to drive. When I was living in Glendale and working in Westwood, I looked into using mass transit, but I would have had to be at the bus stop at 5:00 am to get onto one bus, transfer onto another, and hope I was in Westwood by 8:00 am. It really was easier to drive myself even though it took me 90 minutes.

  49. 49
    Yutsano says:

    @BGinCHI: And nibble the size of the military just a wee bit. Or get those countries who use our military so they don’t have to to pony up some more of the costs for having military bases all over the world. Yes I’m looking at you Germany!

  50. 50
    kathy a. says:

    @Mnemosyne: yes, peer pressure and changing the culture is important. and that’s part of why i think we need more gun owners who take the dangers seriously to be breaking ranks with the NRA right now, speaking up about what responsible gun ownership is.

    because no, we are not going to get rid of all the civilian guns.

  51. 51
    trollhattan says:

    Every government regulation was/is the impending death of the US auto industry, be it safety, mileage or emissions. I do so miss carburetors and sealed-beam headlights and leaded gas.

    Here’s an illustration of how far we’ve come. (Pedant’s note, the ’59 in the video is an Impala mis-badged as a Bel Air. Pedant’s parents had a ’59 Bel Air and everybody somehow survived.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joMK1WZjP7g

    Was the passenger in a ’64 Corvette that rolled down an embankment. I’m pretty sure the lap belt kept me from being crushed in the process.

  52. 52
    trollhattan says:

    BTW, the rotating ad is for a service summarizing open carry laws. Ugh.

  53. 53
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Are you referring to that egomaniac who destroyed his own legacy by his actions during the 2000 Presidential campaign?

    Gore, Bush or Nader?

  54. 54
    Allen says:

    I was born long before seat belts, padded dashes, child safety seats, etc. I vividly remember the metal dashes. My mom remembers the lack of child safety seats as she wrecked our car trying to reach me after I rolled off the front seat and she went straight when the road went left. Forward 15 years, I was riding in my neighbors Mercedes, when we hit a Mercury Colony Park (a Lincoln in all but name) station wagon. Totaled the Mercury but the neighbors got the Mercedes back albeit the front grille that took six months to get. No injuries our side but serious injuries in the Mercury. Guess that taught the Mercury driver the error of trying to hustle that pig mobile uphill on a narrow, twisty two lane road (in the wrong lane too boot). I still swear by mid-sixty Mercedes (not new ones so much, not near the cars they were). Happy with my SAAB except for some very minor issues.

    I’m sure this aside does not need to be said, but does anyone know how hard it is to type with two cats trying to help. And they don’t like my SAAB either, stupid cats.

  55. 55
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I merely want you to go away. Permanently.

    That, my dear, will never happen.

    It’s best to accept the forgiveness your soul craves but your withered mind refuses. For here I am, offering it to you free of obligation.

    It’s ok. I know you love me.

  56. 56
    Maude says:

    @trollhattan:
    A friend of my mother had a ’64 Corvette. I rode in it a lot.
    That lap belt had to have saved you.
    I have FF and I use ad block plus. I don’t see the rotating ads.

  57. 57
    Mnemosyne says:

    @dporpentine:

    Agree with all that, especially about the need to change gun culture, which is basically the same as the culture around stereo equipment (more stuff always needed! more expensive always more better!) but with deadly objects.

    Good point! In another thread, someone brought up a program they did in inner cities when kids were shooting each other to steal expensive Nikes and other shoes. What ended up working was showing the kids how little the shoes cost Nike to make and how much profit Nike was making on each pair, which really pissed the kids off and made them feel like they’d been scammed into thinking that a pair of shoes that cost Nike $5 to manufacture was a luxury item that was worth killing another kid to get.

    I’m not sure what the gun owners’ equivalent of something like that would be, though.

  58. 58
    Mike in NC says:

    Coincidentally, the local newspaper today had a lengthy op-ed complaining about out-of-control government regulations written by a pair of shitheads working for — who else? — the Heritage Foundation.

  59. 59
    handy says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It’s nowhere near world-class like NY Metro, BART, or (uggh) London Underground but the LA light rail system is slowly growing in size and ridership. There’s even talk of the Subway To The Sea! finally breaking ground within the decade. I know people who use it, and if not that the Metrolink or the company-subsidized vanpools to the exurbs. LA is the mecca for “car culture” but with the price for a gallon of gas flirting with $5 for the past few summers the cracks are showing.

  60. 60
    xian says:

    @Ted & Hellen: everyone goes away permanently eventually

  61. 61
    M31 says:

    Nader had a whole book on the safety flaws of the VW Beetle, as well (early ones with their metal dash, solid steering column, and no engine in the front to keep the whole thing from crumpling into your lap).

    One chapter that always amused me was about the VW Bus, (I used to have an early 60’s one of these, and it was an awesome car though it would have killed me if I’d been in an accident). If you ran into a wall there was about 6 inches between the front of the car and you.

    Apparently in 1971 it was the car most involved in single car accidents, which Nader attributed to the suspension (early ones had the same swing axle layout as the Corvaire). He forgot, though, who was driving VW buses in 1971. Seriously, what do you think was the percentage of those drivers that was completely stoned out of their minds?

  62. 62
    Mnemosyne says:

    @handy:

    It’s still pretty bad, though. When I went to CicLAvia in October, I had to drive to Pasadena to bring my bike on the Gold Line, because there were exactly three (3) trains going downtown on Metrolink from Glendale: 8:00 am, 11:00 am, and 5:00 pm.

    And have I complained yet that there seems to be no reliable public transportation way to get between downtown Glendale and downtown Pasadena, or even from downtown Glendale to downtown Burbank? Inter-city transportation seems to be the biggest problem out here. I loved the Santa Monica bus system when I lived in West LA, but it was only good in and around Santa Monica. Trying to go from, say, Santa Monica to Culver City was a giant pain in the ass.

    ETA: That’s another weird thing — it’s easier to get from the exurbs like Valencia or Simi Valley to a downtown area than it is to get from one downtown area to another. It’s easier to get from Valencia to Westwood than to get from Glendale to Westwood. Seriously, WTF?

  63. 63
    handy says:

    @M31:

    Far out man, that car in front of us is getting larger and larger!

  64. 64
    Schlemizel says:

    I was having breakfast a my hotel in DC one morning years ago. At the table next to me was a salesman for USA Today and an ad buyer from an astroturf group formed by the big 3. The guy was very blunt. If they could get mandatory seatbelt laws passed in some number of states airbags would not be required. He was quite clear that this was necessary because the Japanese manufacturers had spent money to develop airbag technology and Detroit was way behind.

    That told me more than anything else about how large industries use the government to thwart the will of the people and allow for their own incompetence while protecting them from the punishment of a free market

  65. 65
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @xian:

    Cole granted me BJ commenter status in perpetuity, yea even unto eternity itself and beyond.

    He did this in exchange for another one of my awful carnival/van/velvet painting works of schlock “art.”

  66. 66
    Schlemizel says:

    Did you how Sammy Davis Jr. lost his eye? Cadillacs had a cone shaped do-dad in the center of their steering wheels – point facing the driver! Genius design! It was a low speed accident, you can picture the rest.

    It was some cold comfort that one of GMs Vice Presidents involved in discussions about the Corvair had one kill his son. Side impact, split in two exactly as engineers knew it would, spilled the kid on the road. Does not make up for any of the others who died by design (Ernie Kovacks for one) but it is nice to think tha his perfect bubble was not completely impenetrable.

  67. 67
    Joel says:

    I liked Sam Wang in the NFL thread. People should be reading his post on gerrymandering. It’s pretty informative.

  68. 68
    Schlemizel says:

    Oh dear – someone seems to have responded to Douche & Bag, such a shame

  69. 69
    CW in LA says:

    @namekarB:

    Well hell. The elephant in the room.

    Repeal the 2nd Amendment.

    Bears repeating.

  70. 70
    👽 Martin says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    ETA: That’s another weird thing — it’s easier to get from the exurbs like Valencia or Simi Valley to a downtown area than it is to get from one downtown area to another. It’s easier to get from Valencia to Westwood than to get from Glendale to Westwood. Seriously, WTF?

    Mass transit is really hard to do in the US, because it only works and is cost-effective when it’s fully built out, so it’s a very long planning effort in a nation where everything demands short-term returns.

    The best option then is to focus on the exurbs where you have large numbers of people all commuting to common locations at common times. You can run a ton of trains toward the city in the morning and a ton away in the evening. It’s a many-few network, with a very predictable ridership pattern that lets them achieve full trains early on.

    What you’re describing is a many-many network, with no predictable ridership pattern (aside from special events – Staples Center when there’s an event there, etc.) so they wind up having to run a ton of trains with not many people on them. We’re just not there yet.

  71. 71
    kathy a. says:

    i read BJ a lot, but usually don’t dive into the comments. isn’t there an internet convention about not feeding trolls? the recent posts of interest tend to contain a LOT of blah blah you suck. ???????

  72. 72
    Ruckus says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    they will actually inconvenience themselves to avoid having to change.

    To them it is far more than inconvenience. Your friend’s dad inconvenienced himself but his car still got him where he wanted to go. Gun regulation stops(in their minds) gun owners from being able to kill someone if they deem it necessary. And they do think that is a real, not just possibility, but a real probability, any time any where.

  73. 73
    Chris says:

    @namekarB:

    Well hell. The elephant in the room.

    Repeal the 2nd Amendment.

    I wouldn’t mind one bit.

    As nice as it might be to draw down to a Swiss-style “well regulated militia” model, the truth is that neither country has any need even for that in this day and age. When the Second Amendment was drafted, there was a hostile superpower on our northern border and quite a few people living on the frontier where clashes with Indian tribes occurred often (whose fault those clashes were is another story, of course…) None of that is the case today, when I am far more likely to be gunned down in the street by a gun-toting psycho neighbor than by any invading army (or even by al-Qaeda bombers). We have no need for a well-regulated militia, and therefore no need for guns in our homes.

    (And yes, I also think abolishing the Second Amendment is inconceivable – much like universal socialized health insurance. I’m just saying that – again like universal socialized health insurance – it’s a perfectly good solution, even if we won’t implement it. The best gun control is no guns. Ask the British).

  74. 74
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @Raven: Your truck’s almost as old as I am! How many miles on it?

  75. 75
    cmorenc says:

    @debg:

    I’m so glad everybody made it through that accident. And there’s no question that I feel safer these days in my car, safety regs and drunk driving initiatives having achieved what they did. If only we could have such sensible conversations about, say, guns.

    Another area where laws to enforce sensible safety have taken an unfortnate turn into reverse is motorcycle helmet laws. Enthusiasts for libertarian motorcycle “freedom” have adamantly (and successfully in many states) lobbied for repeal of motorcycycle helmet requirements. However, the result of far too many motorcycle accidents where riders were not wearing helmets is survival with severe permanent brain damage and indigent disability with the public winding up picking up the welfare costs for medical treatment and various forms of welfare disability support.

  76. 76
    celticdragonchick says:

    @CW in LA:

    Bears repeating.

    Only if you are willing to very possibly break the country up completely over trying to remove part of the Bill of Rights from the Constitution.

    Yes, there are states that would be willing to replay 1861 on this issue. See how far you get with this anywhere below the Mason Dixon line or in half of the Rocky Mountain west.

    You have deeply held political beliefs?

    So do many other folks, and some of them will be absolutely willing to literally fight to the death…theirs or yours….if they feel their liberty is threatened, and especially the one you are talking about right here.

    I would not advise anybody to go down this road.

  77. 77
    Ruckus says:

    @kathy a.:
    Many try to have a more civilized discourse but the trolls always seem to push someone’s buttons. It is of course their reason for being trolls, to piss others off. Some of them are such assholes that they manage every time to find a button to continue to mash till they get the attention they crave.

  78. 78
    techno says:

    The influence of “Unsafe at any Speed” was grossly over-rated. It was almost comically wrong about so many things, it set Liberals back at least a decade. The target car, the Corvair, was no worse than the sainted Bug, and it’s big problem—swing axels—was fixed by 1965 model year.

    If I hand out awards, I give most credit to Volvo which introduced diagonal seat belts in 1957. They also set up a complete internal department to examine safety issues. Finally, they made safety part of their marketing.

    What regulations really did was empower safety engineers so that soon, every company had copied Volvo’s institutional arrangements. Even better, they had been given veto power on many matters. A million tiny details and acts of engineering genius later, it is almost impossible to hurt yourself in a crash if you have taken the trouble to belt up.

  79. 79
    Emma says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Why don’t you ask a narcoleptic how they feel about Nader and Public Citizen? They went after Cylert because it caused liver problems in a small number of people. They even got the manufacturer to discontinue the product in its generic form, in spite of appeals from sufferers. So thank you, Nader, from the heart of all the people you’ve condemned to no life at all.

  80. 80
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @cmorenc:

    It’s always reflexive, and un-wise to create legislation to protect people from themselves.

    But, the same approach is effective when the ‘This is gonna cost us money” rationalization rears it’s controlling head.

    We accept our Legal system and habeus corpus, because we understand that a few guilty go free, in exchange for keeping the innocent from being rail-roaded.

    It’s costs us a lot more resources to ensure that Right, than say, a lynching party.

  81. 81

    I owned a 66 Mustang with a Iron Block V8 that weighed only around 2400 lbs. Today a Focus or Cruise weighs 3000 plus. The new cars are way safe and pretty efficient, but man that safety has mass.

  82. 82
    bemused says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Light bulbs. They hate the thought of more efficient light bulbs. They don’t trust the free market will work to reduce the costs as it already has. I wonder how many who have stockpiled incandescent bulbs will still be bitching when they run out of those and the hated bulbs will be more available and cheaper.

  83. 83
    CW in LA says:

    @celticdragonchick: Uh huh.

    Yet another reason why I hate guns: You point out that we would be better off without them and you’re met with threats of violence.

    Well, we would be better off. I’m just advocating for that.

    If it gets to the point of 38 states being prepared to make that change, I’ll expect the bloated military I pay taxes to support to be able to take care of the other 12. Let’s see how their precious bushmasters protect them against DRONZ.

  84. 84
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Chris:

    We have no need for a well-regulated militia,

    18th century militia duty was actually a means of paying taxes, since actually hard currency was hard to come by. Therefore, pretty much every stout lad from 16 up to older gents of about 65 (give or take) was expected to show up with a weapon (even if only a dirk or an axe) to drill. The militia was also the public works section for the area (your weekend drill may involve fixing the bridge that washed out in the rainstorm last week) and it was also local law enforcement (which persisted well into the 19th century and even the early 20th century in some locales)

    Reserve, unpaid deputies and search & rescue are still a form of milita.

    and therefore no need for guns in our homes.

    There are many, many things that people do not “need”. Generally, it is not the business of governments or social institutions to pry into personal belongings without a compelling interest in a free society.

    Some firearms may indeed present a compelling threat to the overall safety of society and therefore warrant intervention. You will not get anywhere by talking about what people do or do not need, however.

    Personally, I have been threatened with physical harm twice in public and have had to flee in fear for my safety. I am a transgendered woman, and I also am disabled and cannot rely on an attacker letting me escape (60% of trans women report assaults or even rape at some point).

    Who are you to say what I should or should not have to protect myself and my loved ones from the next asshole who decides to have fun “tranny bashing”…which happens all too often? I do feel I should have access to lethal weaponry in some instances, and I cannot predict when or where that may be or whether local police will be of any help. Until help does arrive, I have to be able to hold off an attack and that may well entail killing somebody.

  85. 85
    celticdragonchick says:

    @CW in LA:

    Yet another reason why I hate guns: You point out that we would be better off without them and you’re met with threats of violence.
    Well, we would be better off. I’m just advocating for that.

    You would need a different society then what you live in now. This happens to be a country where British soldiers carrying out the lawful orders of the Crown were fired upon (with many of them being killed) trying to enforce gun control in 1775.

    This is a celebrated part of our own history. People with guns faced off against the soldiers from the mightiest army on Earth and forced them back to Boston, and guns have been a foundational part of American culture since then. Trying to get rid of them is wishful thinking, and any serious attempt would almost certainly result in armed insurrection if not an outright civil war. You are screwing around a part of the Constitution that millions of Americans take just as seriously as the Pauline Epistles…so good luck with that.

  86. 86
    eemom says:

    Nader is a complex man, and his early legacy should never be disregarded.

    Saw him speak at my law school in 1987 and was impressed as hell.

    I am, however, of the (by no means original) opinion that his actions in and since the 2000 election render him despicable.

  87. 87
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Ruckus:

    Many try to have a more civilized discourse…

    Hahahahaha…yes, because a genteel, decorous form of snark-free, civilized discourse is what BJ has always been about.

    Indeed.

  88. 88
    CW in LA says:

    @celticdragonchick: Certainly nothing will change if we take the NRA-approved position that nothing can change.

    It’s time we recognize that this part of the culture we’ve been celebrating here is now doing us great harm. You certainly have the right to find it acceptable. But I don’t. And I hope to be part of convincing enough others that it’s not acceptable.

  89. 89
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @CW in LA:

    Better to spend those resources on identifying, and treating those with disassociative/cognitive disabilities.

    Right now, it’s a fight to force school districts to recognize, then implement programs that are available. The fiscal crisis has many victims.

  90. 90
    eemom says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    It’s best to accept the forgiveness your soul craves but your withered mind refuses. For here I am, offering it to you free of obligation.
    It’s ok. I know you love me.

    dude, you are starting to freak me out a little with all this Jesus talk.

    Especially after last night, when — in your, um, name — I found myself nodding in complete agreement with a series of comments by John Cole.

    Water-wine, fish and loaves ain’t got nothing on that shit.

  91. 91
    Wolfdaughter says:

    @cmorenc:

    Another area where laws to enforce sensible safety have taken an unfortnate turn into reverse is motorcycle helmet laws. Enthusiasts for libertarian motorcycle “freedom” have adamantly (and successfully in many states) lobbied for repeal of motorcycycle helmet requirements. However, the result of far too many motorcycle accidents where riders were not wearing helmets is survival with severe permanent brain damage and indigent disability with the public winding up picking up the welfare costs for medical treatment and various forms of welfare disability support.

    Arizona is one of the enlightened states that repealed the motorcycle helmet law. I was taking friends to the airport last Wednesday, and two middle-aged guys on motorcycles roared around us, although I was exceeding the speed limit by at least 5. Neither with helmets. My friend pointed to them and said, “You know what they call helmetless cycle drivers in the ER, don’t you?” I replied, “Yes, organ donors.”

    So the rest of us get to help provide life support while these clueless assholes take a while to die. Don’t get me wrong–I don’t want them to die or even be maimed, but they DO invite that outcome.

    My dad, may he rest in peace, was a winger and a gun nut. It was impossible to have a rational conversation with him on politics, guns, the environment. We were riding around in his SUV sucking gas at 9 mi/gal one day, and I commented on my car which was getting 27 to the gal around the city and well over 30 on the highway. We got into an argument about being concerned over the environment, and he accusing me of being childish!

    BUT, he was unusually forward-looking in some ways, at least in his younger years. He bought a Pontiac in ’56–that car was a TANK. He paid extra to have seat belts installed in the front seat and insisted that anyone riding with shotgun with him use them, and he religiously used his seat belt. When rear seat belts became available he also had those installed in any vehicle he owned, long before they were mandatory or standard. So I give him props for that.

  92. 92
    NotMax says:

    @Mnemosyne

    That warning sound was a result of widespread negative public reaction to the one year (or perhaps it was two) during the 70s when cars were made with a sensor which prevented them from being started unless the seat belt was engaged.

  93. 93
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @eemom:

    dude, you are starting to freak me out a little with all this Jesus talk.

    Fear not, dearest eemom. For my ways are not the ways of one whom you can understand. For where I have gone, you cannot go, nor the one called Assidy nor the one called Distenda.

    They are to me as the shit of the fish is to the Sea of Galilee.

    Actually…I am the product of eight years of parochial school and about 18 years of weekly church and Sunday school, and I’m fucking with the Bot Trolls.

    I may be an agnostic, but it’s kind of fun to see how people freak when you tell them you forgive them. :D Regardless of what the subsequent organized churches did to his message and legacy, Jesus, be he mythological or historical or whatever, is just alright with me.

  94. 94
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @eemom:

    Also too: It brings a tear to this humble eye to know that, ever so briefly, I brought together you and John Cole.

  95. 95
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    I recall reading a story many years ago about a State Trooper responding to a head-on collision. Expecting to be shoveling body parts into a bag, he was shocked to find the 2 drivers standing next to the wrecks arguing about who was at fault. The reason? Air bags. First time he saw them. I believe they were 2 chrysler vehicles as well. I’m a believer. Seat belts, too.

  96. 96
    General Stuck says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Actually…I am the product of eight years of parochial school and about 18 years of weekly church and Sunday school, and I’m fucking with the Bot Trolls.

    Nope. you are the blog Frankenstein and John Cole built you with his stamp of approval.

  97. 97
    Ruckus says:

    @NotMax:
    I believe that regulation lasted just until the first congress critter got a new car and had to suffer the indignity of having his freedom to behave like an idiot ripped out of his hands by being forced to buckle up.

  98. 98
    Shalimar says:

    One of the big accomplishments the Michigan Republican party was bragging about at the end of the year was eliminating motorcycle helmet laws. Don’t be surprised when they go to war against seatbelt laws next. Just because they indisputably save lives doesn’t mean the government should be allowed to tell people what to do.

  99. 99
    Beauzeaux says:

    Raven Says:
    The steering column on my 66 Chevy truck will go right through my chest in a head-on and the dash board is steel, no padding at all. I have lap belts but they were not stock.

    Many years ago I saw one of those impalements on the San Bernardino freeway. Not at all nice. Round about that time, my daughter cracked the windshield with her head. She was two and standing on the front seat as kids did in those days. Sudden stop. Yikes. (She spent the night in hospital but was OK.)

    I would never not wear seatbelts.

  100. 100
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @General Stuck:

    Nope. you are the blog Frankenstein and John Cole built you with his stamp of approval.

    Oh goodie! That’s even better.

  101. 101
    opie_jeanne says:

    How things have changed, indeed. In 1990 I went to the funeral of a young teen that I had known since she was a baby. My daughters wore some of her hand-me-downs as babies. Her father made an error, didn’t see the pickup on the highway and pulled out in front of it. The pickup driver was a teenager and he was devastated that he hadn’t been able to avoid my friends’ car.

    If they’d had side airbags there’s a good chance she’d still be with us and nearing her 36th birthday. Those are not required on vehicles yet, maybe someday, probably in California first.

  102. 102
    opie_jeanne says:

    Why am I in moderation?

  103. 103
    General Stuck says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Absolute freedom is the ultimate prison.

  104. 104
    koalaholik says:

    @Ronzoni Rigatoni: I remember that – Chrysler actually used it as a very effective print ad. Pretty impressive at the time.

  105. 105
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    @CW in LA: “Repeal the 2nd Amendment.” Nothing wrong with the 2nd Amendment. It’s the stupid interpretation given by the present Supreme Court. The decision can be reversed if a couple of these cocksuckers would just die (I’m lookin’ at YOU, Paisani mio). Remember Plessy v. Furguson?

  106. 106
    Evolving Deep Southerner says:

    @cmorenc:

    Another area where laws to enforce sensible safety have taken an unfortunate turn into reverse is motorcycle helmet laws. Enthusiasts for libertarian motorcycle “freedom” have adamantly (and successfully in many states) lobbied for repeal of motorcycycle helmet requirements.

    Until about a year ago, I lived (and rode my motorcycle often) in South Carolina, a state that, to my knowledge, has never required a helmet. I would say only about a third of the riders on the road actually wore them, including me.

    At one time, my attitude was more libertarian, as in “I think anyone who doesn’t wear one is a damn fool, but I don’t think there ought to be a law mandating it. It’s their funeral.”

    I thought that way until a friend of mine pointed out something that a good many people on this thread have pointed out: It’s not always just THEIR funeral. Other people have to pick up the tab for their catastrophic head injuries, sometimes for decades.

    It convinced me.

  107. 107
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Punchy: My dad was hooked on a lot of it too, but not the bit about the environment for some reason. When he and Mom moved to San Diego county for a year he was appalled at the devastation caused by rapid and over-development in the area around his house.

  108. 108
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    @koalaholik: I worked with Customs re car imports some years back, and was happy to find that the gummint absolutely required vehicle safety modifications before you could import your “bargain” found overseas. We locked ’em up until the regs were met. I recall some of these required over $9000 in additional costs. Many were re-exported. “Know Before You Go” remains a useful guide.

  109. 109
    A moocher says:

    @kathy a.: yup, and they will until our lord and master stashes his principles in his pocket and bans that waste of carbon. Or until said waste emerges from its basement, encounters a real human being, and is promptly squashed like the bedbug that it is.

  110. 110
    Woodrowfan says:

    @techno: Thank you!”Unsafe” was a hatchet job, poorly researched and often untrue. Nadar was the Carrie Nation of consumer safety. He made all the noise but the hard work that actually accomplished something was done by others…

  111. 111
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    Obviously: cars are safer, though in my opinion driving is still way too dangerous in US compared to similar countries.

    Been to Mexico lately? Tiny cars, colossal trucks, almost no seat belt usage, arbitrary/ad hoc traffic behavior, etc. I could tell horror stories from my 3 trips this quarter. In fact it’s all horror stories.

  112. 112
    kathy a. says:

    @Shalimar: brains splashed around the freeway are so messy. also, that pretty much rules out the open coffin, if your survivors are into that kind of thing. or there is the non-dead possibility of permanent brain damage; also joyful for the loved ones.

    my husband had a bicycle accident some years back, and i’m convinced he came out OK only because he was wearing a helmet. the paramedics told me that somebody found him unconscious by the side of the road. the helmet was wrecked, and he was pretty banged up. stuff happens. i’m a helmet fan.

  113. 113
    cmorenc says:

    @Evolving Deep Southerner:

    Until about a year ago, I lived (and rode my motorcycle often) in South Carolina, a state that, to my knowledge, has never required a helmet. I would say only about a third of the riders on the road actually wore them, including me.

    The city of Myrtle Beach did an interesting re-re-thinking on motorcycle helmet laws, and re-instated helmets as a municipal requirement a couple of years ago. However, the motivation behind it was more devious and less enlightened than folks unfamiliar with the area might assume. Actually, it won’t be that much of a surprise once explained. For years, Myrtle Beach hosted a pair of HUGE motorcycle rallies in late spring, drawing many thousands of motorcyclists to the area. If you were in a car during these weekends, you could easily find yourself stuck in two-hour traffic jams just trying to travel the dozen miles from Myrtle Beach to North Myrtle Beach.

    Everyone knew that one of these weekends was overwhelmingly a “white” biker weekend, the other was widely known as “black” motorcycle weekend. Although both weekends brought a huge amount of revenue to the area, they also had the impact of hugely depressing the ordinary family vacation crowd during both weekends and several days either side of them, and many local folks and merchants had come to feel that both rallies, PARTICULARLY black motorcycle weekend were far more trouble than they were worth. However, apparently there were gnarly legal problems with attempting to outlaw motorcycle rallies per se.

    So how did Myrtle Beach solve this problem? It turned out that under S.C. law, they COULD instate a municipal helmet law, knowing that the sort of folks (black or white) who are attracted to motorcycle rallies would regard this as too much of a killjoy. And for the most part, it worked! Although there still are smaller rallies in adjacent areas, there’s no more black motorcycle weekend per se in Myrtle Beach!

  114. 114
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @koalaholik:

    Chrysler actually used it as a very effective print ad. Pretty impressive at the time.

    Chrysler was the most vocal opponent of added safety restraints (air bags, automatic seat belts) and fought tooth and nail. This was in the Iacocca era. Once it was inevitable, Chrysler was advertising that they were the first manufacturer with airbags in all of their models.
    Lemons/lemonade.

  115. 115
    Ruckus says:

    @Evolving Deep Southerner:
    My reply about motorcycle helmets:
    If your head is worth nothing then wear that. Remember almost all your body parts can be replaced, other than your head.
    Now my head may be worthless to everyone else but to me it’s a master card commercial… priceless.

  116. 116
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    I spend a lot of time in auto assembly plants. Unless you’ve seen one being built you have no idea the sophistication of a car body design, or the level of tech that goes into assembly. Even compact cars are built like bank vaults, and will withstand enormous destructive forces.
    Compared to modern ones, cars from the ’70s back look like tinkertoys.
    I know quite a lot of classic car fans. A surprising number have permanently retired their restored classics from the road. Not because they might be damaged, but because the owners know they’re not safe enough driving them. Old bodies, tires, brakes, suspension, glass, etc don’t provide enough protection compared to modern standards.

  117. 117
    pat says:

    I’ve been wearing a seat belt since we were driving through the mountains one time in the early 70’s or late 60’s and came upon a recent accident. A body was lying in the middle of the road and the car he had been riding in had a big hole in the windshield.

    I still remember the “Mom throwing an arm out to keep Junior from going through the windshield” manuever when Junior was standing on the front seat and Mom had to make a sudden stop.

  118. 118
    RSA says:

    Back in the 1990s, on a trip to Guatemala, my wife and I rented a car. We got in and felt around for the seatbelts–there were none installed. I felt half-undressed for most of the time I was in that car.

    Even today there are a good number of older people in the U.S., I think, who resist wearing seatbelts for whatever reason. Whenever I’ve driven my wife’s parents around, I’ve had to ask, before we get going, for them to buckle up.

    @dporpentine:

    Obviously: cars are safer, though in my opinion driving is still way too dangerous in US compared to similar countries.

    I can’t really judge without seeing the data (though driving in some European countries makes me nervous), but focusing on the U.S., here’s an interactive map of recorded traffic fatalities for the past decade. Morbidly interesting.

  119. 119
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    Annnnnnd, you can drive drunk, or not.

  120. 120
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @kathy a.:

    the recent posts of interest tend to contain a LOT of blah blah you suck. ???????

    It’s tradition.

  121. 121
    Jamey says:

    @kathy a.:

    blah blah you suck.

    That’s rayciss!!

  122. 122
    kathy a. says:

    @RSA: that is an amazing map of auto fatalities.

  123. 123
    RSA says:

    @kathy a.:

    that is an amazing map of auto fatalities.

    I thought so, too. If you zoom in a couple of levels, the map looks almost identical to satellite maps of the U.S. at night–it’s all about where people live. (That’s obvious, I suppose.) But zooming way in to the town I live in, I was surprised how uniform everything looked. No real hot spots. More traffic = more accidents.

  124. 124
    Woodrowfan says:

    I remember the arguments against seat belts. “they’ll mess your clothes!” and my favorite, “without them, you’ll be thrown clear of the car any fire!” Seriously.

  125. 125
    brettvk says:

    @Raven: This was exactly how my father died in a head-on collision in 1959. He was 27.

  126. 126
    jefft452 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: “One of the interesting thing about regulations is that they remove some of the uncertainty out of market transactions. This makes commerce easier and less daunting for the risk adverse. It enhances the exchange of goods and services by removing doubt, by reducing the “let the buyer beware” aspect of any transaction”

    This needs to be said more often

    It is also why the republican mantra of “job-killing regulations”, libertarian “free” market ideology, and Matt Yglesias’ crusade against barber licensing are full of crap

  127. 127
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Woodrowfan: I had a young woman make the “Thrown clear” argument not long ago. I have known her since she was 7 years old and I know how careful she and her mom tend to be about health issues, and that she’s not dumb.

    I was pretty surprised.

  128. 128
    befuggled says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: Did they ever. My father was on Chrysler’s legal staff, and their fight against air bags and seat belts paid for my college education (among other things).

  129. 129
    Valenciennes says:

    @debg: But don’t you know that Big Gubmint can’t fix anything? You dreamer.

  130. 130
    Betsy says:

    @👽 Martin: mmmmmm yeah excelpt that the central business district thing died in the seventies and now the employment centers are all dispersed throughout the suburbs since the eighties, viz. “Edge City,” so that model doesn’t work either.

    Not to mention that with the rise of the service economy, “employment center” no longer consists of even suburban office parks anymore. People need to “commute” to their jobs at Shoney’s and Kohl’s and Target.

  131. 131
    Mnemosyne says:

    @opie_jeanne:

    People who use the “I’ll be thrown clear!” argument need to chat with a firefighter or two, who will be happy to inform them that, 9 times out of 10, what happens is that the vehicle rolls over the person who was thrown out of it.

  132. 132
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @eemom: Exactly. Careers don’t have one phase.

  133. 133
    Thursday says:

    Re: motorcycle helmets

    Shoei (a major manufacturer)considered leaving the US market for a few years in the mid-90s because of their company policy of ALWAYS fighting any court case brought against them. People claiming the helmets gave them whiplash; claims the obviously cut straps gave way; claims they caused the accident by reducing peripheral vision… Shoei won every case, but it was so stupidly expensive to fight them that one of the best helmet manufacturers in the world actually discussing leaving the biggest market entirely.

    But, you know: the free market can fix companies, or something.

  134. 134
    Jado says:

    Disregarding the overall tone of the post, this video is way cool

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_ptUrQOMPs

    Safety in cars is awesome. I love the way the 2009 crumples in the front but basically stays in one piece, and the 1959 unfolds long flat shards of used-to-be-car everywhere.

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