Auto Update

Finally – some science I can completely get behind! An article last week declared that drivers of expensive cars are jerks.

One study measured this by clocking vehicles at various crossroads. It found that drivers of more “flashy vehicles” are less likely to stop for pedestrians.  And not just that, but as the cost of the car goes up, the likelihood that the driver will even slow down decreases.  The researchers speculate that luxury car owners “feel a sense of superiority over other road users” and were thus less able to empathize with lowly sidewalk-dwellers.  And I’m sure no one will be surprised that the race and gender of the pedestrian matters as well.

Apparently this discovery of a car-value-to-jerkish-behavior correlation isn’t new; The Journal of Transport and Health, backed up a Finnish study published in January found that men who own flashy vehicles are more likely to be “argumentative, stubborn, disagreeable and unempathetic.” According to the study “these personality traits explain the desire to own high-status products, and the same traits also explain why such people break traffic regulations more frequently than others.”

Obviously no one wants to tar every single luxury-car owner with one broad brush, but the generalities don’t look good. We just have to worry about how all the small, cheap, beater car owners will now feel smug!

What’s one extra component you’d like to have on your car? Extra smugness points to anybody who doesn’t have a car!!

39 thoughts on “Auto Update”

  1. It seems to me that there should be brake lights on the front of a car as well as the rear. Then if you were a pedestrian trying to cross a busy street, or you were driving and waiting to make a left turn at that moment when the light has just turned yellow, but there’s still traffic coming toward you, you’d know what the driver was going to do instead having to watch for a decrease in speed. Somebody implement this idea ASAP, please.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I have met a guy who has the patent on brake lights on the mirrors like turn signals. But he has not been able to sell car gurus on it. It would show on the front of the mirrors as well as sides.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. I would like a feature that would allow me to leave my lights on bright without annoying other drivers and having to switch from high to low to high beams. This is more an issue for we who live in rural areas., I suppose.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re right, not much of an issue in the city. But we have friends who live in Nowthen (in the middle of nowhere as far as I am concerned) and whenever we are driving back from their house in the dark, the bright lights versus the non-bright lights is a big issue for me.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. auto sensor that identifies approaching lights at whatever level and then automaticaly tales yours down to be rebooted when the light level has reverted to darkness again after the car goes by (i have a shop in st paul that does this kind of product development

      Liked by 2 people

  3. When I bought 1972 VW Beetle, my friend George (who had worked as a VW salesman) said to be sure and get the optional “shelf” across the front, under the glove box etc. – since the car had no dashboard to speak of, there was no place to set stuff otherwise. I highly recommend this if they still make them.

    The next car I buy will have one of those seat warmers.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Reliability ratings for most of the ostensibly prestigious cars are low, making them poor choices as vehicles. They don’t even have the advantage of being inexpensive, so its safe to assume that those cars have a symbolic value for those who drive them that is unrelated to their function as transportation. In other words, they compensate for some vacancy or inadequacy their owners perceive in themselves. In their imagination, the heightened status bestowed by their possessions is real.

    In my opinion, people who need and use things to compensate for chronic feelings of inadequacy (45 would be the prime example) are people to be wary of.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Was it four years ago when I didn’t have my car all summer and was in a loaner? I do remember that the loaner had a couple of things that I liked. First off there were the little blinking lights on the sideview mirrors, that was great. But it also told me what direction I was going; there was a little indicator on the rearview mirror that said East West North South (actually it just had the letters) But it was very helpful for a person who is directionally challenged. I didn’t like those things enough to buy a much more expensive car to get them but I’m kind of hoping by the next time I have to buy a car those things will just be regular features.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A feature many drivers would appreciate is simplicity. Cars are becoming incredibly complicated and expensive. Marketing departments keep thinking of new gimmicks that could set their products aside from competitors’ products. Examples? How about seats that adjust for comfort in 30 ways. One new car has 50 buttons on the steering wheel. Infotainment screens now might inform you of new Twitter or Facebook messages. Modern cars are often fitted with eight or more cameras that monitor traffic; a simple fender bender accident can cost a bundle because several cameras need to be replaced. Heated seats were once a novelty, but some cars now offer heated steering wheels as well.

    All that complication comes with a price.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Agreed Steve. I’ve had my current car for 4 1/2 years and there are lots of things that it does that I don’t even know about. Buttons that I never push because I haven’t a clue.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll be happy to lend you my husband. I’ll guarantee that if you let him drive your car around the block, he’ll have adjusted every damn thing that can be adjusted, and have fiddled with every button or knob anywhere in sight. He more than compensates for my tendency to leave well enough alone.

        My vision is much improved, though I question my need to be able to see that it’s snowing outside at the moment.

        Liked by 5 people

  7. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I saw that article, too, and I loved the research. Often psych studies are incredibly boring, but this one was interesting.

    We have two cars, both cars I like. One has a sunroof and one has heated seats. The only thing I would change is to put both features in both cars.

    Deer/wild turkey/bear/skunk/cattle out-of-the-fence sensors would also be nice when driving in the dark through the Central Plains or Great Plains. I have had encounters with all of them in my driving career and they all make a mess of their own kind on the road.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. A lot of cars have the auto start feature, which can be handy. But if I’m starting it to warm up before i walk out there, i want the car to warm up and come over to meet me at the door!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. my friend from hilton head south caroline said they need them down there for the heat of the summer. you get in your 100 degree car at 8am and you look like a wrinkled mop when you get out 15 minutes later at work

      Liked by 1 person

  9. i want hot water dispenser installed in the dashboard for my tea drinking ways . if i can reload my tea cup on the fly im happy
    did you read the sign on the door of the rolls in the picture on the blog header. interesting way around sensorship

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I nixed the thought of adding a sign on trunk to light up reading please back away from my car, or some other polite way to say it. Nixed it. But now heard about friend of friend who bought a new Tesla yesterday and got rear ended today. Young woman texting.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. When I was in Germany 30 years ago, BMW drivers had the same reputation there as they do here, as the study suggests. Of course, I was in northern Germany and BMW is Bavarian Motor Werk. Bavaria is not well-liked among the people I was with. (Did you know that Bavaria, a “state” in Germany, has an embassy in Berlin?)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No, I was there for a four-week conferrence. It was the year after the wall was breached. The East German Vopos (Volks Polizei) still made East Berlin pretty spooky. I stopped in a church where the organist was playing beautiful music (practicing) and met a couple from the West. They kept their hands on their passports (in their pockets) because they feared being stopped by the police.

        Liked by 1 person

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