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13 February, 2009

New Fords Help You Crash

I am going to sound a grump in this blog, but its my blog and Ill grump if I want to.

My brother-in-law has a new car. As people do when they have a new car he wants to show if off so he came to show it to me.
I can't get excited about new cars, I have driven so many different ones and now as long as there is a wheel at each corner, something to control it by and a reasonably comfortable seat, then, yes its a car I am pleased you have one.

His new Ford car struck me as possibly the most dangerous car I have seen.
It is equipped with a hands free telephone, climate control, trip computer, entertainment system, sat nav and somewhere I think was a button to make toast.

All these "clever" functions are controlled by way of a computer screen on the dash and a series of buttons on the steering wheel; well why not, steering is so old fashioned.

To make a "hands free" call you have to take your eyes off the road and look at the screen, you then have to move your hands to the buttons on the steering wheel, putting yourself into a position difficult to properly steer, and select a screen from a menu list. Scroll down the screen to telephone, select telephone select something else and eventually you can dial your hands free call.
All this is done with your eyes off the road obviously, the last thing you want to do is to ring the wrong person so better pay attention to that computer screen. It is the same for selecting something from the entertainment system or for getting the car to just the right temperature so that when you inevitably drive under the back of a lorry the emergency services are nice and warm as they remove your body.

There was a really good reason for the law that said a driver must not be able to see a TV screen in his vehicle as he is driving but because the law referred to "cathode ray tube" and now its all LCD, the manufacturers are adding screens all over the place.

Driving standards in the UK are getting worse and with the help of manufacturers like Ford and cars with computer screens you can be sure of one thing, undertakers and the air ambulance will not be out of work in this recession.

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