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External Airbag Designed to Protect Pedestrians 253

Posted by samzenpus
from the safe-at-any-speed dept.
Thanks to researchers at Cranfield University, you don't have to feel bad when you plow into a group of pedestrians who are crossing the street too slowly. They have designed an external airbag that mounts to your hood at the base of the windshield. Research shows that this is the area where a pedestrian's head is most likely to hit in an accident. "Test results indicate that the system works extremely well. When fitted to a demonstrator vehicle not originally designed with pedestrian protection in mind, the results were well inside all current legal criteria for pedestrian protection currently in force in Europe," Roger Hardy of the university's Cranfield Impact Centre said.

*

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External Airbag Designed to Protect Pedestrians

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  • Ohhh! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Dishevel (1105119) * on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @03:45PM (#27851021)
    I really want to bounce off a car with this!
    • I think we should all move to three horsepower rubber cars with a planter in the back, and drop all speed limits to zero.
  • Cowcatchers (Score:5, Funny)

    by Bruce Perens (3872) * <bruce@perens.com> on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @03:47PM (#27851049) Homepage Journal
    What we really need are cowcatchers, like on trains, so that the pedestrians don't get stuck under the wheels and jam them. :-)
    • by Locke2005 (849178) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @03:52PM (#27851153)
      Man, do you know what a pain it is to clean pedestrian off the grille of your car?!?
      • That's the beauty of the cowcatcher, it deflect the obstruction to the side and into someone else's grille. Even then you can just let the birds pick the meaty bits out and hose down later.

    • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @04:02PM (#27851313)

      . . . button "C" on the cartoon Speed Racer's original Mach 5 activated rotating saws at the front, that were able to clear the way of *anything*.

      We might need to adjust the regulations for pedestrian protection for this to be offered as standard equipment.

    • by Duradin (1261418)

      I wish cars had deercatchers as an option. They'd probably work just as well on pedestrians (though the law may not like any aftermarket automatic cleaning and butchering options you add).

      My old Crown Vic wouldn't have needed one but my current vehicle isn't as sturdily built. I don't think I'd get away with $30 in used parts with this car after smacking one.

  • by VorpalRodent (964940) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @03:47PM (#27851053)

    The summary indicates that it works well when applied to a vehicle not originally designed for pedestrian protection. They say this in conjunction with research indicating where a pedestrian's head will hit.

    I'm sorry, but what cars are designed with pedestrian protection in mind in scenarios that would involve striking a pedestrian such that his head would hit my windshield?

    Also, if I'm protecting the pedestrian, do I lose my entire field of view, and end up running down other pedestrians?

    • by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @03:56PM (#27851215) Homepage

      "When fitted to a demonstrator vehicle not originally designed with pedestrian protection in mind, the results were well inside all current legal criteria for pedestrian protection currently in force in Europe"

      Okay, so this airbag was sufficient to meet with pedestrian protection laws... Uh, assuming most cars on the road are compliant with the law, I'm wondering exactly how much protection those laws call for. I'd think pretty much anything that didn't attempt to increase pedestrian danger would be fine. So no spiked grills, buzz saws, axe wheels, reactive armor, pumapults and the like. Since an airbag isn't any of those things (or at least isn't if designed correctly), add one to a car that is street legal and -- ta-da! -- it's still street legal! Woo!

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by VorpalRodent (964940)

        Since an airbag isn't any of those things

        Sir, I applaud your engineering genius. I must build a reactive armor airbag: the car, upon being assaulted by a pedestrian, cushions the pedestrian's impact...just as it throws him 30 feet into the air.

      • by powerlord (28156) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @04:09PM (#27851441) Journal

        Actually, it pales in comparison to the #1 advance for "pedestrian protection", DON'T F-ING HIT THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE!

        Sorry, but the idea that ricocheting a pedestrian from my hood into something else (presumably something without an airbag) seems absurd.

        At BEST its attempting to move liability from one person (the one driving the vehicle), to another (the driver that caused the life altering injury when some hapless pedestrian got thrown like a billiard ball against his car).

        If these come out, I'm just going to wait until the lawsuits start piling in, although since they'll most likely be filed by living people instead of on their behalf, it may take juries a bit to warm up to the idea of placing blame where it really belongs (cue Monty-Python's "You got turned into a newt? ... I got better" routine)

        • by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @04:15PM (#27851557) Homepage

          Actually, it pales in comparison to the #1 advance for "pedestrian protection", DON'T F-ING HIT THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE!

          Sorry, but the idea that ricocheting a pedestrian from my hood into something else (presumably something without an airbag) seems absurd.

          And I find your suggestion to not plow into pedestrians equally absurd. How else am I going to rack up combo bonus points?

          Also, obviously the goal is to have as many cars as possible with these air bags on them, so the pedestrian won't just bounce off my car into another air-bagless car and die, but instead will be bounced again and again from car to car until harmlessly tossed onto the grass, where they will doubtless jump up and shout in child-like glee "Again! Again!" And I'll get like 10,000 points for a 40-bounce combo. Looks like a win-win scenario to me. Why Luddites like you are against using technology to make life more awesome, I'll never know.

          • by powerlord (28156)

            And I find your suggestion to not plow into pedestrians equally absurd. How else am I going to rack up combo bonus points?

            Also, obviously the goal is to have as many cars as possible with these air bags on them, so the pedestrian won't just bounce off my car into another air-bagless car and die, but instead will be bounced again and again from car to car until harmlessly tossed onto the grass, where they will doubtless jump up and shout in child-like glee "Again! Again!" And I'll get like 10,000 points for

          • where they will doubtless jump up and shout in child-like glee "Again! Again!" And I'll get like 10,000 points for a 40-bounce combo

            Ultra... Ultra... Ultra... Again! Again! Ultra... Ultra... Again! Ultra...

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Actually, it pales in comparison to the #1 advance for "pedestrian protection", DON'T F-ING HIT THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE!

          Are you kidding, that little old lady with the walker was practically begging for it.

          • by Endo13 (1000782)

            No shit, that must be why she's there like every other block no matter how many times you hit her. Hey, she wants to get hit, who am I to let her down.

        • by pla (258480) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @08:23PM (#27854275) Journal
          it may take juries a bit to warm up to the idea of placing blame where it really belongs

          You mean the dumbass who walked into moving traffic???

          Situations certainly exist where the driver bears responsibility for hitting a pedestrian (running a red light, taking a blind corner as fast as the car can handle), but let's not turn this into one of those joke arguments about poor defenseless pedestrians vs the nasty aggressive drivers.

          I'll skip the stories of idiot bimbos on cellphones randomly walking out from between two parked SUVs to cross four-lane roads, and skip right to a real gem that blew me away. Two winters ago, coming home from work, the roads had a nasty layer of ice on them. I crested a hill doing easily 10mph under, and saw a guy talking to his neighbor across the road, from the MIDDLE of my lane. Now, I had a good 600-800ft to him, and he had perhaps a full 30 seconds to get out of the way. I applied the breaks, no effect. So I honked (three brief taps, not blaring the horn at him) to warn him, and the stupid bastard flipped me off and kept standing there chatting!

          I kept honking and eventually nudged my car into the other lane (thank god for no oncoming traffic) to avoid hitting him, and succeeded. But seriously - I swear if I could have stopped, I would have gotten out to beat the shit out of him.

          And yet, had my car hit him, any court in the country would have called it "my" fault for failure to control my car.


          So yeah, not a lot of sympathy when you tell me we where the blame "belongs" for these Darwin-award candidates.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by madcow_bg (969477)

            it may take juries a bit to warm up to the idea of placing blame where it really belongs

            You mean the dumbass who walked into moving traffic???

            Situations certainly exist where the driver bears responsibility for hitting a pedestrian (running a red light,
            taking a blind corner as fast as the car can handle), but let's not turn this into one of those joke arguments
            about poor defenseless pedestrians vs the nasty aggressive drivers.

            I'll skip the stories of idiot bimbos on cellphones randomly walking out from between two parked SUVs to cross
            four-lane roads, and skip right to a real gem that blew me away. Two winters ago, coming home from work, the
            roads had a nasty layer of ice on them. I crested a hill doing easily 10mph under, and saw a guy talking to
            his neighbor across the road, from the MIDDLE of my lane. Now, I had a good 600-800ft to him, and he had
            perhaps a full 30 seconds to get out of the way. I applied the breaks, no effect. So I honked (three
            brief taps, not blaring the horn at him) to warn him, and the stupid bastard flipped me off and kept
            standing there chatting!

            I kept honking and eventually nudged my car into the other lane (thank god for no oncoming traffic) to avoid
            hitting him, and succeeded. But seriously - I swear if I could have stopped, I would have gotten out to beat
            the shit out of him.

            And yet, had my car hit him, any court in the country would have called it "my" fault for failure to control my
            car.

            So yeah, not a lot of sympathy when you tell me we where the blame "belongs" for these Darwin-award candidates.

            Dude, it is failure to control your car, after all. Also, I cannot seem to recall the exact passage in the traffic regulations that says you can run over pedestrians.

        • by greyhueofdoubt (1159527) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @08:32PM (#27854341) Homepage Journal

          An airbag is not like a beachball- it's not elastic. In fact, it has to be inelastic for it to work. If in-car airbags acted like you described, they would simply cause the driver's head to bounce back into the headrest, causing massive brain injury. The airbag works by decelerating the head more slowly than the steering wheel would. 40 mph to 0 mpg in a few milliseconds versus a much larger fraction of a second is HUGE in terms of physics.

          The best way to protect a falling egg is to drop it onto something inelastic yet yielding- a pile of goose down would work well, for example. Airbags work on this principle (as do crumple zones): Slow the deceleration, absorb the energy (as opposed to transferring it like a bouncy ball), person lives (usually).

          A pedestrian airbag would work like that- more a pile of leaves than a trampoline. Find a video on youtube or something of the airbags used by stuntmen in movies- they don't bounce, they deflate.

          Hope this helps.

          -b

      • by Swizec (978239) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @04:10PM (#27851467) Homepage
        Most cars on the road today are not compliant to the new standards beacause they were changed last year and are only enforced on NEW vehicles. However, I don't believe even all new vehicles have to comply this year already but have a few year's time to adapt.

        The most notable change you can see is that all new European cars (model year 2009) have an extremely high front bumper and are incredibly round on that end making them look somewhat chubby. Most of them are also made so the bonnet can collapse under a pedestrian's weight while also making sure they don't hit the engine or something on it.

        Another very noticable change is that the edge between bonnet and wind screen is no longer a sharp metalic edge on most cars, but has a smooth transition made of plastic.

        I am saying this as an armchair crash test fanatic, not an expert in the field so I might be marginally incorrect on some points.
        • by Chris Burke (6130)

          Okay, so if my car had those pedestrian safety modifications, and a pumapult, would it be compliant? Or are those still not okay?

        • I am saying this as an armchair crash test fanatic, not an expert in the field so I might be marginally incorrect on some points.

          I think you need to go outside more often. Really.

          Do you, like, subscribe to a newsletter? Or is there a forum for this sort of perversion?

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Swizec (978239)
            Youtube+Fifth Gear+Top Gear+all car magazines

            There's a lot of crash testing out there that trinkles down to the consumer because vehicle safety, in Europe at least, is a huge huge selling point.

            Also back in primary school I used to make crash test cars out of Lego, crashed them into walls, inspected the damage, tweaked and so on. After ten generations of the car they became so safe the "driver" didn't leave his seat even without a seatbelt, while the car desintegrated into tiny bits around him. Fun times.
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by ColdWetDog (752185)
              Wow. Never even thought about this sort of thing.

              The world is a big place. I just thought everybody played with Thermite when they were kids.
            • Safety is a reasonably strong selling point in the US as well. Using myself as an example: When I last bought a car, any vehicle that got less than 4 stars out of 5 in any of its safety tests was immediately struck from my list of candidates.

              I can't imagine that any country with a decent selection of vehicles wouldn't be pretty focused on safety features.
          • by robably (1044462) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @05:46PM (#27852657) Journal

            I think you need to go outside more often.

            What? This is Slashdot, news for nerds. You need to stay inside more often.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by MattXBlack (1534971)
          I knew safety standards had been increased, but I never realized armchairs had to be crash tested.
    • by Idiomatick (976696) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @05:38PM (#27852573)
      "Also, if I'm protecting the pedestrian, do I lose my entire field of view, and end up running down other pedestrians?"

      I think after you hit the first one you are supposed to stop. Hell you could even try slowing down before you hit him.
      • Also in case you were being serious. FTFA: "The bonnet airbag is U-shaped so that the driver can still see"
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ross.w (87751)

      Actually most cars now are designed with pedestrian protection in mind. When I bought my Honda Jazz (or Fit, depending on your country) the dealer told me never to press on the bonnet to shut it. Rather I was supposed to drop it on the catch and let the weight shut it.

      According to the same dealer it is designed to cushion a pedestrian's head and therefore would dent if I pressed on it.

  • yeah.... (Score:2, Funny)

    by reidiq (1434945)
    I can see someone changing the windshield wipers and all the sudden............
  • by Recovering Hater (833107) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @03:48PM (#27851073)
    Yeah, the impact from the car won't scratch you, but when it shoves you into a stationary lamp post or wall at 45 mph you will still splatter.
  • Car analogy (Score:4, Funny)

    by 77Punker (673758) <<spencr04> <at> <highpoint.edu>> on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @03:48PM (#27851075)

    In the ongoing spirit of computer/car comparisons, I suggest we install an airbag on computers to deploy when inept users approach in the hope of repelling them.

    Actually, maybe I'll just put one of these on the entrance to my cubicle to keep the salesmen away.

    • In the ongoing spirit of computer/car comparisons, I suggest we install an airbag on computers to deploy when inept users approach in the hope of repelling them.

      Actually, maybe I'll just put one of these on the entrance to my cubicle to keep the salesmen away.

      I installed electrodes that deliver a mild shock when they do something bad and a little treat dispenser for when they do something right.

      Operant conditioning FTW.

  • by Misanthrope (49269) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @03:48PM (#27851085)

    I guess this means I can start going back to farmers markets that don't already have protection from being massacred by elderly drivers.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by VorpalRodent (964940)

      There is a fundamental flaw here - your statement implies that the onus is on pedestrians and the locations they frequent to protect themselves (or, worse yet, on drivers to not hit pedestrians).

      The truth of the matter is that it is the responsibility of automobile manufacturers to ensure that people not riding in cars are safe at all times.

      • You're insinuating that the manufacturers and not drivers are responsible if someone is killed when a car hits a pedestrian? Frankly that's insane, also I as a pedestrian in a large city known for such accidents try to keep up my vigilance to avoid putting myself in vulnerable situations.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by SlappyMcInty (688145)
        Well that seems like a pile of crap. Of course the pedestrians (like anyone else) are responsible for their own well being - to protect themselves. This is one of the major problems with everyone today - the "it's not my responsibility to use common sense" mentality.
  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @03:48PM (#27851093)
    I say we mount spikes on the grills of our vehicles, so pedestrians will know to get the hell out of our way! Like most attempts to coddle the clueless, won't widespread adoption of this just result in even more careless pedestrians? Besides which, when I point my vehicle at someone and accelerate, I wanna make sure they die, not get thrown safely clear and live to sue me. Besides which, some people [wowowow.com] would never buy a car with this feature.
    • by vertinox (846076) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @04:12PM (#27851519)

      Like most attempts to coddle the clueless, won't widespread adoption of this just result in even more careless pedestrians?

      Yeah, those damn pedestrians keep walking on that sidewalk I use for my shortcuts!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Chris Burke (6130)

      I say we mount spikes on the grills of our vehicles, so pedestrians will know to get the hell out of our way! Like most attempts to coddle the clueless, won't widespread adoption of this just result in even more careless pedestrians?

      Agreed. Why not let evolution take care of this? By making cars more deadly, eventually humans will evolve to be impervious to cars crashing into them (and by extension, impervious to crashing while riding in cars). The problem will solve itself!

    • Upon hovering my mouse over that URL, I was left thinking: "Wow, only 4 dead after a car crash festival? The Dutch don't know how to properly honor a queen."
    • A good handbrake slide will catch the pedestrian better as you'll have more surface area, and it'll be a long time before they think to deploy airbags on the outside of your side!

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Locke2005 (849178)
        A good handbrake slide will catch the pedestrian better as you'll have more surface area Sure, but that requires a certain amount of skill that those not practiced in the art of "drifting" don't possess. Plus, the tire screeching it produces serves as an advance warning that gives the pedestrian more time to run away. Nope, I'll stick with the tried and true good ol' American method of "point the car in the general direction of what you want to hit", thank you very much!
  • by wjousts (1529427) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @03:51PM (#27851139)

    I mean, if I got hit by a car, I might appreciate that they'd paid extra for it, but since I'm not likely to hit myself with my car (unless my wife tries to run me down), why would I pay extra?

    Unless this is mandated, it won't catch on.

    • When you get sued into oblivion? The cost of the feature I'm sure is minimal in comparison.
  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @03:54PM (#27851183)
    What is this going to do to our Death Race 2000 scores?
  • "actual customer" (yea right) in infomercial:

    I used to be worried about crashing into one of those punk teenager skaters thinking their body piercing might scratch my car paint uppon impact.

    Now I don't have to worry about that anymore!

    If I ever crash into one, the airbag will protect my car paint!! And as a bonus, one might even bounce off so fast onto another car/wall/lampost, he might die permanently, one less punk on the street! Thank you External Airbag!"

  • ...some idiot plowed deliberately through the crowd at a Queen's Day rally in an apparent attempt to commit suicide and take the Royal family with him. Seven people died. Since this was live on national TV, there is surreal broadcast-quality footage that makes it look like some bad movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1Vs-9tfkX0 [youtube.com]

    First thing in my mind when I read this post. //Dutch.

  • I wonder just how somebody like this [chicagobreakingnews.com] stupid oxygen thief (woman killed a motorcyclist because she was too busy doing her nails to actually drive her car) might think "It's OK if I hit somebody now - I have this airbag!".

  • Dads... (Score:5, Funny)

    by tool462 (677306) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @04:11PM (#27851487)

    Lock up your daughters! A pillow on the hood of the car? As if they needed any MORE encouragement...

  • To put more people in jail for DUI's. Personally, I hope it works.
  • because when you're driving through town you won't want to slow down enough that the sneaky pedestrians can bounce off your car just to set off the air bag.

    Seriously, if anyone sees this on a car they'll be trying to set it off all the time. Especially if it costs the driver a thousand bucks just to get it reset.

    • Like they do with regular airbags? Or car alarms... That's like saying why bother putting in windshields? It is just an invitation for punk kids to smash. You sir sound afraid of change.
  • The pedestrians should be the ones fitted with airbags.

  • Haven't we all seen the one where there's a large inflatable thing in the middle of a lake with a kid on it. A heavy adult jumps onto it from something high, and LAUNCHES the young child in the air like a flailing sack of potatos...

    Someone find the link, I hate video sites.

  • by Pinckney (1098477) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @04:19PM (#27851617)

    This is seriously awesome. I applaud the good work these researchers are doing. However, this line caught my eye:

    The system uses radar and infrared technology to "pre-detect" a collision and inflates quickly enough to cushion the impact, said Roger Hardy of the university's Cranfield Impact Centre.

    It seems possible that such a sensor could be duped with false input on the proper frequencies, causing the bag to deploy. This would likely be a malicious and expensive prank, as well as obstructing the drivers view. Of course, it would require technical expertise, putting it out of reach of most pranksters.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hurfy (735314)

      Or start kicking at cars as you cross in front of them stopped at a light to see if it senses the cars speed correctly before deploying? How long does that sensor stay calibrated?

      How about just tossing rubber balls into the street? Normally $0 damage but $1000 if you time it just right... Can the driver even sue you if you don't even hit their car?

      How about we just call the whole thing a bit overblown?

      For those of you who want the spikes in the steering wheel, maybe you can try my 55 ford. With a bench seat

  • Iron Spike (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bigbutt (65939) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @04:20PM (#27851629) Homepage Journal

    What I really want is an iron spike in the center of the steering wheel. Then the people who should be driving instead of [pick the distraction] would actually pay attention to the task at hand.

    [John]

    • by gapagos (1264716)

      Hello I'm GM's new CEO.
      Would you like to be our new design engineer in chief? .... well, I wish I was GM's new CEO to ask you that.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by excelblue (739986)

      The problem with the iron spike idea is that most people don't know that the iron spike is going to do them any harm in a crash.

      Don't assume that most people have an understanding of physics. Those that do probably wouldn't be driving dangerously in the first place.

      • by swillden (191260)

        The problem with the iron spike idea is that most people don't know that the iron spike is going to do them any harm in a crash.

        Put a nice razor-sharp point on it and I think they'll get the idea.

  • By a new sport by drivers to see how high they can bounce pedestrians.
  • Zombies? (Score:4, Funny)

    by rleibman (622895) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @04:27PM (#27851755) Homepage
    In any scary movie when the good guys get on the car and then try to mow down the bad guys with the car they have some measure of success. With this external airbag I'm not sure this is going to work very well... We must provide more anti-zombie (and anti-raptor) features in cars. I mean... give me a car advertised as "20% more likely to survive a zombie attack" and I'm right there.
    • Don't worry you only need to break their legs anyways. Legless zombies aren't really that dangerous.
  • by Penguin Follower (576525) <TuxTheBurninator@gm a i l.com> on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @04:42PM (#27851953) Journal
    But what about the front of the car that takes out your legs? Plus, the airbag at the windshield seems like it wouldn't help since it's barely above the hood across the center.
  • ..and look around you when you are walking around. I'm sure many of us have seen people just blindly walk into the road figuring 'well, I have the right of way, car must stop'... Defensive driving is about paying attention and looking ahead. The same applies when you are walking around. If you are walking into traffic without paying attention, it's 'evolution in action'. This sort of safety mechanism is stupid and expensive and really won't do much to save lives. If you get hit by a car at anything over 2
    • Indeed, which is why I loathe the "pedestrian right of way" concept. People blindly walk out into intersections all the time in Atlanta because they have the "right of way", which is bloody idiotic. The laws of physics overrule the laws of man, and a 40mph, 3000 pound car isn't going to come to a dead halt in the space of twenty feet just because you have the "right of way", nor is your "right of way" going to help you when you're a smear across the asphalt because someone didn't see you or couldn't stop
    • by cheros (223479)

      You know, I don't see a problem. I have screen wipers. There are other valid reasons why you shouldn't mow down pedestrians, though, not only do they make dents at a decent speed, they also mess up your paintwork..

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Idiomatick (976696)
      Why is this informative? Putting the onus on pedestrians. Law stipulates that pedestrians pretty much always get right of way. Parent also assumes there are no bad or drunk drivers. I've personally been hit by 5cars, 3 of those times I was on a sidewalk.

      And he pulls #s out of his ass. From the article a hit at 40km/h gives an 18% chance of death (rated at 1000pts). And that with this hood that drops to ~450/1000 (8% chance of death assuming the numbers correlate well).

      Oblig... A car is deadlier than a gun
    • by Pinckney (1098477)

      This sort of safety mechanism is stupid and expensive and really won't do much to save lives.

      35% of pedestrian vehicle collisions are the fault of the driver only, according to this review [tfhrc.gov]. Even if we totally discount the lives of idiot pedestrians, approximately 2 700 pedestrians are killed annually through no fault of their own. One can make an argument that that is an insignificant number, and perhaps it is.

      I too have seen my share of idiot pedestrians, but let me contribute my anecdote on the incompetence of drivers. As I was walking towards a major intersection, I witnessed a car careen off th

  • Fuel Efficiency? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sudotron (1459285)
    It seems like we're fighting this never ending battle to shove more worthless equipment into cars while at the same time attempting to increase fuel efficiency. We'll never be able to have both. Every ill-conceived and improperly tested safety feature that's put in a vehicle will either increase its weight, sap power from the engine, or both. Call me nostalgic if you want, but I miss the cars of 20 to 30 years ago: Light, fuel efficient, and simple. I highly doubt that any of the cars coming out today
  • Points! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anenome (1250374) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @09:19PM (#27854765)

    Wait, remind me again: which is worth more points, hitting clowns or mimes? This is gonna be fun!

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