QOTD: Feeling Unsafe?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd feeling em unsafe em

No shortage of once-innocuous locales and situations qualify as “unsafe” these days. If that bad chicken restaurant comes too close to a college campus (or Toronto), expect to see protesters demanding its removal, simply so people (ie – the protesters) can feel safe.

We’ve never been less safe in society, it seems, despite existential threats like polio, lead paint, and all-out nuclear war fading from view decades ago. Still, there are scenarios in which even those who scoff at these “unsafe spacers” grow sweaty palms.

Some cars, you see, do not instill confidence and courage.

It could be the diminutive size of the vehicle (ever been straddled by two semi trailers while travelling in a Miata?), its advanced state of disrepair or decay (“Is this seat about to fall through the floor?), or a combination of factors. Perhaps it’s just a vehicle that isn’t very big and isn’t very safe.

From time to time, we find ourselves riding in a vehicle that fits one of these descriptions. Here’s a recent conveyance I’ll avoid like the plague:

Nope, it wasn’t even the four-door model, either. The egg-shaped third-generation Hyundai Accent had one main selling point: its low, low price. Everything else — passenger room, power, appearance, and especially crash worthiness — sucked hard. I rented one once and walked away cursing the thing. Much more recently, a friend’s parent’s car took up residence in her driveway.

You author’s scalp almost hits the headliner near the trailing edge of the windshield. Seat pushed back to its maximum extent, legroom is still lacking, leading the mind to ponder what injuries might crop up in even a moderate front-impact crash. How tall would I be after emerging from the wreck?

To be frank, it feels like a death trap, and IIHS data partly justifies my fears (while Hyundai greatly increased quality and safety for the fourth-generation Accent, it doesn’t help anyone travelling in this fragile egg).

So, B&B, what vehicle in your life, or at least roaming around the periphery, leaves you feeling unsafe?

[Image: Hyundai]

Comments
Join the conversation
2 of 75 comments
  • Stereorobb Stereorobb on May 03, 2019

    these really are unsafe cars. i can think of at least 15 fatal crashes involving these right off the top of my head. they are not good cars. they are throwaway econoboxes but they do seem to have staying power. they are always beat to hell but i see them everywhere. only car i ever had that i felt truly unsafe in and honestly pretty miserable in all the way around, was a 2003 kia spectra that a roommate just abandoned at my house when he broke his lease. it was the equivalent of him squatting and taking a dump in my driveway. it ran and drove but what a wretched wretched little thing it was. not even worthy as a junk bomb around the neighborhood car. it was a prison on wheels, had zero guts and could barley get out of its own way. it was dull grey with grey interior. nothing special or cool about it in any way at all. not to mention it was tin can cheap and cars passing in traffic felt like it would be blown off the road when i was in it. this car didnt deserve to be loved. it deserved to be scored and picked on. when i drove it it made me angry and want to fight people. i gave it to my sister who is notoriously awful to her cars and doesnt do even the basic maintenance to them. she put it out of its misery fairly quickly. ending the sad pathetic insignificant cars life, in a sad pathetic way.

  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on May 06, 2019

    The last vehicle I drove that felt slightly unsafe would have been my 98 T10 Blazer. Short wheelbase, narrow stance, high center of gravity led to that feeling wonky.

  • Fahrvergnugen NA Miata goes topless as long as roads are dry and heater is running, windscreen in place.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic As a side note, have you looked at a Consumers Report lately? In the past, they would compare 3 or 4 station wagons, or compact SUVs, or sedans per edition. Now, auto reporting is reduced to a report on one single vehicle in the entire edition. I guess CR realized that cars are not as important as they once were.
  • Fred Private equity is only concerned with making money. Not in content. The only way to deal with it, is to choose your sites wisely. Even that doesn't work out. Just look at AM/FM radio for a failing business model that is dominated by a few large corporations.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic Lots of dynamics here:[list][*]people are creatures of habit, they will stick with one or two web sites, one or two magazines, etc; and will only look at something different if recommended by others[/*][*]Generation Y & Z is not "car crazy" like Baby Boomers. We saw a car as freedom and still do. Today, most youth text or face call, and are focused on their cell phone. Some don't even leave the house with virtual learning[/*][*]New car/truck introductions are passé; COVID knocked a hole in car shows; spectacular vehicle introductions are history.[/*][*]I was in the market for a replacement vehicle, but got scared off by the current used and new prices. I'll wait another 12 to 18 months. By that time, the car I was interested in will be obsolete or no longer available. Therefore, no reason to research till the market calms down. [/*][*]the number of auto related web sites has ballooned in the last 10 to 15 years. However, there are a diminishing number of taps on their servers as the Baby Boomers and Gen X fall off the radar scope. [/*][/list]Based on the above, the whole auto publishing industry (magazine, web sites, catalogs, brochures, etc) is taking a hit. The loss of editors and writers is apparent in all of publishing. This is structural, no way around it.
  • Dukeisduke I still think the name Bzzzzzzzzzzt! would have been better.
Next