Had lunch yesterday with two gentlemen infinitely more powerful and plugged-in than I am; of course both had cutting-edge cell phones (Treo, black Razr — I declined to display my stone age candy-bar Nokia). We briefly discussed the pros and cons of each, and one confessed to checking e-mail on a PDA while driving, then having a slam-on-the-brakes moment.
And you thought it was improved performance in automatic transmissions that killed the stick shift.
Maybe they should incorporate this into one of those new VW commercials. Which I think are fantastic, by the way, a feeling not shared by all, it seems:
Marderosian says she’s heard the complaints — about using “shock value” to sell, about the unpleasant reaction that accident victims might have upon suddenly encountering the commercials. But that misses the point, she says: “We’re trying to get people’s attention, yes, but not purely for shock value.” Instead, the ads are pegged to the Jetta’s four-star (frontal) and five-star (side) ratings in NHTSA’s tests.
I’m consistently amazed by the self-image so many Americans have of themselves — flinty, swaggering, cowboy-independent folks who Built This Country, dammit — and yet, we still find room to complain about the honest depiction of an event that happens every day in every city in the country, during an activity (driving) that virtually all adults participate in every day. Around here in SUV-land, one of the stock defenses for driving these behemoths is how “safe” they are, how “protected” the passengers are. And here are these little Jettas getting T-boned, while people walk away. Sacrilege!