Apocalyptic Seatbelts

After a long hiatus, Signs of the Apocalypse returns.

Jaclyn and I are in Moncton for a 3 day training session through her job, for which we’ve received a rental car. Today as we were driving around, we discovered that this was one of those new cars that shrieks at you the moment you start thinking about unbuckling your seatbelt. Hatred. Pain.

The thing about “safety” measures like this (more likely some bureaucrat’s way to justify having a job) is that they’re actually counter-productive on many fronts. Firstly, the human race would simply benefit from removing all of the people too stupid to wear seatbelts from the gene pool. Natural selection baby.

But the thing that really gets me is this: let’s say that you’re driving across the barren wastelands of a big box store parking lot–which, incidentally is where I would imagine most driving takes place today in N.America–at speeds rivaling granny in her walker. Still, the seatbelt sensor cop starts shrieking away at you. You’re incensed that this stupid piece of “safety” technology is forcing you to put on your seatbelt. You’re mad, and you’re not going to let the stupid thing win. Especially because you have five more big box stores to stop at.

So, what do you do? You plug the seat belt in behind your back just to make it shut the hell up. And you leave it there. And next time you climb in the car, sweet merciful silence. But the next time you’re actually driving outside of the parking lot and you conscientiously reach for your seatbelt, you find that the stupid thing is already latched, and damned if you’re going to unlatch it and go through this hassle again.

So, there you have it. Overly insistent seatbelt sensors make people not wear seatbelts. Bad design.

One response to “Apocalyptic Seatbelts”

  1. Well, Matt! You’ve just perfectly described my car and how I dealt with the horrid seatbelt for the first year or so. Was there a hidden camera? I even went so far as to time and count the wretched thing: every 25 seconds, the seatbelt reminder would nag me 6 times, for 11 times or about 5 minutes. Then, merciful silence. However, buckling it up behind you eliminates all of that, I found. And leaving it there eliminates being nagged at by some stupid computer chip thinking it’s making me safe. It just makes me angry and distracts me from driving well. I really hate government believing it has the right to nag me into being their definition of safe. I like to believe I’m old enough to take responsibility for my actions or lack thereof. Sigh!!! What a world we live in! Could we maybe focus on something a tad more important than seatbelts? The answer to that would be “no,” as this cash cow never dries up for the bureaucrats. Double sigh.

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