Living Retired – ‘AUTOMOBILE ALARMS’
Living Retired: ‘AUTOMOBILE ALARMS’
‘Lane assist.’ Does your car have this feature?
The lane assist function ‘auto-matically’ triggers an alarm that notifies you as you careen down the highway in your SUV, that your 4,000 pounds of moving metal has drifted over into the wrong lane! This in a word is: FRIGGIN’ ALARMING! Full stop!
I’m thinking that drivers who rely on lane assist to keep in the middle of the road SHOULDN’T BE DRIVING! Imagine what it is like for the other motorists seeing a car coming head-on drift dangerously close to them – talk a bout a ‘Dodge’ in the headlight moment!
“How was the traffic coming home dear?”
“You know it was the damndest thing honey. The closer I got to the cars coming towards me, the more they began suddenly swerving into the ditch, ending upside down on their roofs. It is scary how many bad drivers are out there!”
“Yeah, I hear you dear. Surely something can be done to get these morons off the roads. I don’t know how such bad drivers can live with themselves.”
Lane assist is an example where technology and Covid-19 confinement collide. For almost an entire year we have been housebound, venturing out only for the essentials – beer, wine, and lottery tickets. When we finally get into our cars we can’t even drive straight! So, to our rescue the computer geeks designed lane assist. Remember these are the nerds who invented the VCR with ’00:00’ flashing in red, FOREVER!
But the computer gurus didn’t stop with an annoying audible alarm telling drivers to get the heck back on the road. They also included an equally annoying vibration that instantly shakes the bejeebers out of your steering wheel – simulating what it is like driving to 7-Eleven for a Big Gulp during a 7.1 magnitude earthquake!
“Honey I am suddenly shaking uncontrollably. I think I’d better pull over and have you drive.”
“I have a better idea dear. You keep your foot on the gas pedal while I lean over and steer the car down the highway so you can use both hands to Google ‘sudden shaking’ on your iPhone. This way we won’t lose any time driving.”
My Jeep Summit has so many alarms that it is well, alarming!
It begins with an alarm telling me that I started the car. Hmm, it seems to me that since I stepped into the car and touched the ignition switch I don’t need an alarm alerting me that I am starting the car! DUH!
Then, a bell peals until I fasten my seatbelt. It’s loud enough to drown out the York Minster carillon at noon!
And ANOTHER bell – this one with the shrill of a German glockenspiel – chimes when I adjust my seat. #$%^$#! I already know this because the drivers seat is gently moving forward!!
Want to experience the thrill of the clanging of the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange? Take a seat in my car when the alarms for the Blind Spot Monitoring System, the Forward Collison Warning Mitigation System, the Park Sense Active Park Assist System, and different pitched bells for the rear and forward facing cameras strike up their chord!
“Jan when I start my car my ears are ringing like I am at an AC/DC concert!”
“Gary all these safety features are ‘car’ for the course.”
This leads me back to when I was a teenager, and I bought my first car. I paid $500. Why didn’t any alarms go off when I purchased that junker?”
The car was a Viva, also known as a Vauxhall. Also known as a money pit. Every time I stopped for gas I also topped up the oil, replaced the wiper blades, inflated the rear tires, replaced the right turn signal bulb, duct-taped the rear view mirror back in place, kicked the tailpipe back underneath the car, jammed the bent radio antenna back in its hole, smacked the radio to get it going, fisted the fuel gauge to make sure it was working, AND held my breath while I attempted to restart the car!
I drove this rusted rattletrap to school – which explains my poor attendance record.
It also explains why my 1965 Viva wasn’t a chick magnet. Just saying…