Many of us have experienced it! Our pulse races watching the TV commercial, when the simultaneous stimulation of our senses grabs our attention as the attractive and apparently successful person behind the wheel of this incredible, glistening machine smiles from the pilot seat. Our culture reveres the automobile, and the advertising industry has successfully cultivated our desire for a vehicle that will thrill and excite us, while projecting an image that “this is me”. We display our vehicle like a badge of our success, delicately balancing our image with care to avoid appearing pretentious. We compliment people on how they look in their vehicle and of course, we want to look our best.
These emotions are so powerful that they often overcome our survival instinct that should be safeguarding us and causing us to rationally consider that the purpose of our vehicle is to move us from point A to B, as safely as possible, and to avoid unnecessary risk-taking. Yet, each year in this country there are over 30,000 traffic related deaths, or 82 per day. Although there are numerous public and private campaigns to promote accident avoidance, these campaigns are directed toward human behavior, not the machine. Our society appears to accept the consequential injuries and death resulting from crashes as though they are inevitable. During a press conference in March ’04, U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta summed it up, saying: “If 117 people die a day in aviation crashes, we wouldn’t have a plane in the sky…., yet …since it occurs 1 or 2 at a time we accept it”.
As you will learn from this website, many of those same vehicles that excite us are also unlikely to provide us with adequate protection in an accident. Even more insidious though, is that many vehicles portrayed by their manufacturers to be “safe” or are claimed to be “family” vehicles do a poor job of protecting the occupants.
Before you purchase a car, please investigate www.informedforlife.org