Thursday, February 03, 2011
Why the Flying Car Is a Bad Idea
Anyway, Back to the Future Part II has it's flaws, but it's a pretty decent movie in its own right. The greatest part for me, when I was a kid, was the glimpse we got of the future. It was awesome to see a holographic shark attack Marty in the street. I'm sure I'm not the only one who wanted a hoverboard when I left the theater, even though I would never even have the ability to master a skateboard.
And then there's the flying car.
On the surface, a car that hovers and takes off into the air seems like a really neat idea. Imagine soaring through the clouds in your Mustang convertible. Isn't that a nice image?
Now think about all those people in traffic that piss you off by being inconsiderate or not giving turn signals or running red lights. Imagine that every one of those irresponsible drivers has a license to soar through the sky right along with you. 'Cause you're just driving a car, so it's not like there would be a special law in place to require a pilot's license, right?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website, there were over 30,000 fatal crashes last year. Could you imagine how much that number would grow if those crashes occurred thousands of feet above the ground?
What kinds of safety standards would have to be enforced? I don't think airbags would cut it at that point. Would every passenger in the car need to wear a parachute?
What about people who don't pay attention to the gas gauge? You see them pulled over on the side of the road and out of gas. What happens if they run out of fuel while in mid-air? It's not like you can just cut the engine and wait for AAA to come by in a helicopter to tow you to the nearest airport. That whole gravity thing would probably get in the way of your patient wait for the tow.
I guess one good thing would be the elimination of having a tire blow out because you ran over a nail. No nails on the invisible roads of the skyway.
But that also means that if you doze off at the wheel and you drift toward the shoulder, there's no rumble strip to wake you back up.
So, to anyone out there who still thinks a flying car would be a swell idea, think about the danger that it poses to the general public. Let's just focus on getting everyone a pair of shoes with power laces. We waste so much time in the morning by tying our shoes.