U.S. lawmakers to get tougher on teen driversEnlarge Photo
Better Driver Training: If you’ve driven in any big U.S. city in recent years, you know this to be true: the level of driver training required to get a license in this country is appalling. Most motorists have no idea about concepts like braking distance, judging available traction, understeer or even the blind spot.
More than any other holiday gift, we’d like people to start taking driving a bit more seriously. To echo our high school driver’s education teacher, it’s a privilege and not a right, and its one of those tasks that’s deceptively easy, right up until the moment it suddenly isn’t.
Less Distracted Driving: Though this may be hard for those of us with a passion for the open road to understand, the vast majority of people don’t enjoy driving. At best, it’s a tedious chore, which leads many to believe that distractions like hand-held cell phones, texting or obnoxiously loud music can help keep boredom at bay.
Perhaps they can, until you realize that traffic has stopped 25 feet in front of you, you’re traveling at 60 miles per hour and the road is wet. Even the best brakes and tires aren’t going to help you much, since you’re just seconds away from getting up close and personal with Mr. Airbag. Afterwards, there’s the trip to the hospital to look forward to, followed by traffic citations, insurance points and a series of lawsuits from the drivers you just hit. By the time you’re done, that text will likely cost you several thousand dollars, so ask yourself this: was it worth it?
2013 Subaru BRZ and 2013 Scion FR-SEnlarge Photo
More Entertaining New Cars: If you ask any of us here to name the cars we’ve driven in the past year, chances are good we’ll be combing through archived files to come up with a list. In fact, we’d probably have to do the same to name the cars we’ve driven in the past month, because the majority of them are utterly forgettable.
We understand that’s what most people want, and that automakers build cars for consumers, not auto journalists, but we’d like to see just a few more each year that keep us amused. The Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ are good examples, as are Chrysler’s SRT8 sedans, the Tesla Model S and the new Porsche Boxster models.
Though targeted to different audiences, each consistently put a smile on our face during our time behind the wheel. If more companies built more cars like this, perhaps more drivers would realize that time behind the wheel is meant to be savored, not avoided.