Originally Posted by larryc
Don't forget the government regulations in place since the golden age (1969). Just to mention a few: crash ratings, roll over sensitivity, tire pressure monitoring, back up camera, and there are many others. I believe some of the lack of maneuverability is restricted turn radius to reduce roll over tendency. And crash ratings drive a lot of the front end design. Of course "styling" is driving the push to larger tires
If the population was really interested in highway traffic safety, there are some easy things they could do that could not only reduce the crash rate to nearly zero, but cut the costs of vehicles dramatically too.
I don't recall the exact statistics right now, but something like two out of ten drivers on the road around you are either impaired or don't have a valid license
at any given time.
There are just few easy steps that would make a dramatic difference in how safe it is to drive on our highways: First is make getting and keeping a driver's license
expensive enough that it has value and people have to work hard to get one. Second, institute a DRIVING test with decision gates and skid pan performance rather than having the current version of a parallel parking test. Third, remove the 'entertainment center' and replace it with an emergency broadcast radio that ONLY receives weather alerts and other emergency communication when necessary. Fourth, remove 'bluetooth' and install a cell phone jammer
in every car that broadcasts when the ignition switch is on and prohibits the use of cell phones from running cars.
Then, of course, if you're arrested for driving under the influence, your car is seized until the outcome of the trial. If you're convicted... it's forfeit, regardless of who owns it or who has a lien on it. That sounds harsh, but it would help folks reconsider making their cars available to folks who can't keep their driver's licenses.
A combination of ensuring that licensed drivers are actually competent to drive, removing common distractions, and having significant financial impacts on irresponsible car owners and drivers would reduce crashes dramatically; likely enough that much of the 'passive' safety equipment with it's attendant penalties in cost, weight
and complexity could be eliminated altogether.
Something tells me I wouldn't be a very popular politician though.