My wifes Jeep Liberty has an issue with the headlights turning on without turning them on. This happens any time of the day or night, and wears down her battery to the point that (even though there is enough power to run all of the electronics inside the vehicle cabin), there isn’t enough juice to start it. One evening, I walked into the garage and her lights were on. I went to the drivers side to turn them off, but they beat me to it and shut themselves off. Then as I walked back around the Jeep, they turned back on. In case it was ghosts, I asked them to not wear down the battery, and the lights went off again.
Other problems with electronics in vehicles include sensors shutting off the engine at 55 mph, in the middle lane, during rush hour. This happened to me, and if I didn’t have the presence of mind to think about what I was doing, I easily could have been killed. Most drivers don’t know how to think anymore. I saw one guy stop dead in his lane on a three lane city street, with heavy traffic, because of a problem. I also experienced a woman who’s vehicle was overheating, and she didn’t just stop in the middle of the lane, she stopped in the middle of a turn and blocked a turn lane and a through lane at the intersection of the two. I turned on my flashers and got out to see what was wrong. She just wanted to take time to put radiator fluid in her radiator because her engine light came on. She said it happens all of the time. I suggested getting her vehicle off of the road, or at least off to the side. She wasn’t far from a parking lot, but thought that the problem was so immediate that she put her life and others lives in danger because she wasn’t thinking.
Another issue is Anti-lock brakes. It’s only an electronic device that is built into your wheel bearings, so WHEN it goes out, it can fail in a dangerous condition. Pull the fuse if they start mal-functioning at low speeds. It will turn on a general brake problem light when you pull the ABS fuse, but hopefully the car manufacturers didn’t fail you with electronic brakes. It’s only $250 per wheel, and as soon as one is fixed, another will go out. You don’t need anti-lock brakes except to get a break on car insurance. It should cost more to have anti-lock brakes on your vehicle since they are more dangerous. When they go out, you should be smart enough to know that you pump the brakes when your tires are sliding, and steer in the direction that you are sliding. Anti-lock brakes were created for aircraft landing at 150 mph, not cars functioning at less than half of that.
Air bags seem to be more dangerous than, using seat belts and paying attention to your driving, since most vehicles with air bags have been recalled, for the air bags. How many air bags failed in some way, which caused the recall? How many air bag recalls where caused by some electronic device?
Automatic backing is another failure in cars. Can you use automatic backing when you take a drivers test? I would immediately fail you if I were the instructor. When that system goes out, you will look like a fool freaking out because your car isn’t backing into the spot, and someone else took it while you were waiting for your stupid car to prove that you have equal intelligence. While I’m on backing, are you going to rely on a backup camera to keep you from running into the cars coming from the sides at the speed limit, or higher, while you are watching for pedestrians? Or are you going to let sensors tell you when you backed into something because you let a non-self driving car, drive for you? Not only is backing a problem with sensors, but forward looking braking sensors Will fail you. If it decides to brake from a false indication, and the moron behind you is tailgating (driving too close), they will hit you when you could have been safe, or it fails while you are trying to pass a truck and it doesn’t see the oncoming truck that is passing a vehicle before cutting back into visible range. Both of these situations could be called ‘Darwin Awards’ because the driver of the car relied on the car being smarter than he/she is, and died in a way that ended a bad gene pool. Just don’t rely on your car so that you kill the rest of your family, or other drivers, while you kill yourself.
How many of the above ‘Safety Devices’ and other electronic devices are a bigger danger to our lives than driving with a blindfold on while smoking, eating, and puting on makeup while texting on a cell phone? Can we afford to keep adding more electronics to our cars without endangering the lives of ourselves and other drivers? It’s becoming safer to fly in an aircraft with a missing engine and a flat tire than driving in cars. At least aircraft have backups to every electronic system to try and avoid a bad sensor from causing a crash, because it wasn’t sure of the status of the system it was monitoring.
Remember, when it comes to electronics in your car, “It’s not, If it will go out, It’s WHEN it Will go out”. And remember to ‘Think’ in an Emergency because your phone can’t do it for you! Phone and car response is too slow to respond in time to save lives.