Make driving safer by replacing air bags with daggers that stab you in the heart

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I am uneasy just looking at that.

I mean … purple leopard skin … who does that?


Oh, is that what that was for?

i thought it was for holding my lunch so i could eat with both hands on the wheel.


We tried that, but Ralph Nader debunked it back when he was sane. Have you ever read Unsafe At Any Speed? Car interiors in the 1950s and 1960s actually did have all sorts of sharp nasty things pointed at the driver and passengers. The steering wheel often had something that looked like a spear head for impaling and the passenger side front seat was customarily known as the death seat.

“Tightening the nut behind the wheel” really wasn’t a good strategy. Even the networks got into driver education with a variety of specials, including one in which everyone took an interactive quiz on good driving practice. Deaths didn’t start going down until they put in seat belts and got rid of some of the deadly pointy things in the interior. Those old metal dry cleaning holders could tear your skin off. When they put in air bags, the death rate plummeted. The death rate may be rising thanks to people who text and drive, but putting a dagger back on the steering wheel isn’t going keep a tried and true idiot from trying to type on a four inch touchscreen while operating a two ton machine at sixty miles an hour.



There’s been quite a good campaign here over the last couple of years, basically; “slow down, other people make mistakes”. It doesn’t matter how good you are, half the drivers out there are below average. There was a stat in the paper over the weekend in support of that; last year something like 10,000 driver’s licence applicants failed their driving test, one of them for the 13th time. In due course they’ll all be driving on a road with you, behind you, in front of you, coming at you from a side street, or traveling in the opposite direction down a narrow road.

Your Tullock Spike isn’t going to protect you from them.


Even more effective would be to simply disconnect the ignition system.


How about we get ride of air bags AND anti-lock brakes and see how that goes. We can always retro-fit the daggers later, right?

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It’s a funny, but ultimately incorrect little joke, that has been used by the advocates of unReason to argue against every safety measure under the sun.

Here’s the reality:

Road traffic deaths have been falling whichever way you want to look at them, and the solution was a combination of better technology and government regulation to enforce the adoption of that technology, government regulation clamping down on drink driving & other dangerous behaviours, and government funded education campaigns to improve driver behaviour.


So you’re saying I don’t need to protect myself from myself, but rather from the idiots on the road via flamethrowers or other longer ranged weapons.
Excellent idea, thank you JonS.

Time to get to work…do you have any suggestions? I’m not sure I want to go full lethal, but can be talked into it.


Or from animals running out unexpectedly or the stereotypical bouncing ball or short stops in traffic.

I hit my first deer 2 years ago. Hitting deer is a regular occurrence here. As they’re dangerously over populated and fear nothing. I’m a rarity at only one. I was driving 30 mph,and a juvenile deer exited a bush at speed directly into the passenger side door of my truck. The deer couldn’t be seen until after I hit it. As the bush overhung the shoulderless road. I wasn’t even sure it was a deer till I spied it rolling down the road in my rearview.

Between the deer strike and subsequent short stop the spike described would have killed me. As it is I was entirely unharmed and the airbags didn’t even go off.


You’re not trying to make this into an argument like the black/blue/white/gold dress thingy, are you?


Your post reminds me of a situation I deal with all of the time at work. We have quite a few expats from Asia that visit for years at a time requiring them to get in state drivers licenses. We have a person that does driver tests for them. Basically, if they don’t kill her during the test, they pass.

From the Sep. 1961 Popular Science:

The whole article is informative. We’ve come a long way.


Don’t try to spoil my next crash with an added dagger. I intend to enjoy it like fallinging i to a soft, fluffy cloud.


This concept inspired the economist Gordon Tullock to come up with the idea that instead of mandating safety belts, it would save far more lives if the government required that large spikes were installed in the center of steering columns, because this would make drivers more acutely aware of the danger of driving too fast. This steering-wheel spike is referred to as the Tullock Spike, or Tullock Steering Column.

It was cute, 50 years ago, for a sciency kind of person to make this sort of joke. Industry PR has learned that this kind of joke is taken in a different way by authoritarian followers. This has resulted in moronic denialism where the original joke was lost.

Sometimes the original statement isn’t meant ironically. Gordon Tullock’s notoriety for this idea (such as it was) was unintentional. He’s just another micro game theory guy of the “fuck your buddy” school. He didn’t really get the joke.


From what I hear its a bit more like getting punched in the face. Better than dead but nowhere near falling into a fluffy cloud.


I intend to crash in slow motion. :grin:


Yeah, airbags at normal speed instead of slo-mo video explode out of the dashboard with a loud bang. Better than being impaled on a 1955 Impala steering column, but airbags fucking hurt.


In my airbag experience, there’s not much to experience. One moment I’m desperately trying to swerve out of the way of a crazy driver coming at me head-on, and the next moment I’m stopped and the steering wheel looks different. I guess I was probably a bit dazed, so it could be something like the punch in the face.

(I came away with mild redness on one wrist, presumably from the airbag scraping it. The almost-totalling-- just short of where insurance would replace it-- of the four-month-old, purchased-new first car I ever owned was more painful.)