ANSWERS: 5
  • I would think not. What i can say with some confidence is that features in modern vehicles like ABS brakes, airbags and stability control can be accredited with saving many many lives.
  • I think what makes people more reckless are the options like GPS navigator, back up screen and DVD players
  • I would say that, yes, in some cases this is true. I don't believe it's necessarily a conscious process where someone thinks to himself/herself "Wow, I've got anti-lock brakes, traction control, and 8 airbags! I can drive like a maniac!" Instead, I think that the improved abilities of modern cars give drivers less feedback about the dangerous situations they are creating. The car-oriented parts of the Internet are filled with legions of stories about seeing 4WD SUVs crashed after the first snow of a the season, because the drivers of those vehicles failed to understand that 4WD allows you to get going in poor/slippery conditions. But 4WD does *nothing* to improve turning/braking in those conditions. Apparently, the key is to create safety systems that are invisible to the driver except under emergency conditions. For example, statistics indicate the anti-lock brakes do little to improve accident rates (because drivers don't know how to use them), but stability control systems (which act autonomously) do reduce accident rates. . . .
  • By a small amount on some drivers, however the benefits of those safety features more than offset the safety risks.
  • I remember this car commercial touting a new feature. It flashed a red light in the windshield alerting the driver that they were coming up on the vehicle in front of them too quickly (as a way to prevent rear end collisions). The thing was that in the commercial it showed the car being driven very and weaving erratically through traffic... implying that it would allow you to zip between cars and avoid them all at the last second.

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