Friday, November 17, 2006

What About Turn Signals ?

Maybe I'm just getting old but I seem to remember a time when a car had turn signals. These days most of these new cars just don't seem to have them anymore. Ever notice that? Now if I was buying a new car today I'd sure want the signals as standard equipment. Do you have to pay extra for them these days? Seems that when I'm on the road each day that only a few cars have these relics of the past. Today they are equipped with cell phones, televisions, computers, coffee makers, newspapers and all sorts of other items designed to keep the drivers attention on everything. That is - except for the road.
Big Rigs also seem to be lacking this once standard piece of flashing appendage. Such as the one that forced me over to the shoulder of the expressway this week - his rear trailer wheels were even with my front left wheel while he moved over into my lane. At least I thought it was my lane when he was passing me. If I had been in a new car I'd not had time to react and avoid an accident because I'd probably have been on the phone while reading my paper and making a fresh cup of coffee as I turned the station on my television. So, because I'm behind the times and don't have all these options my eyes were boringly set on the road and what was going on around me.
Now don't get me wrong as I know these Semi's have huge blind spots on them. I've driven a few big trucks and ridden in just a few as well in years past and I still knew when I was passing another vehicle to keep an eye out for a clear time to move over. It's not easy these days to pilot a Semi down the road as the norm today is a fifty three foot trailer being pulled by a twenty foot, long nosed tractor. My first days in trucks were when they were cab overs with forty foot trailers and a few forty five footers. Then after a couple of years the forty eight footers became all the rage. Some states, like Alabama and Georgia, frowned on a forty eight and when the fifty threes came along - you only had very few roads that you were allowed on with them or face a huge fine.
I'm not trying to bash big rig drivers as for the most part these drivers can handle them better than most people in a Honda Accord. Oh sure you see more on the news these days about Semi's being in accidents but that is more in part to the larger volume on the road at this day and age. It's like having a field of twenty race cars on a track with a two thirds being Chevrolet. More Chevy's wreck out during the race than the Dodges or Fords. Why is that? Because of the shear numbers ratio. Does that mean the Chevrolet drivers are worse drivers? No! It just means there are more out there to wreck.
Now here is something else I've noticed in the automotive field these days. Chrome or lack here of. You want chrome on your car you have to buy chrome wheels. No more bumpers like the old days that protected your cars expensive body. Nope! Today the bumper is made into the fabric of the car so if you hit something all sorts of body damage follows. You just can't put on a fresh bumper and be done with it. Now-a-days the fenders and all get crushed in. Another thing is with old style bumpers you had a place to tie things on with and something to attach a bumper hitch to.
Vinyl tops. Has anyone seen a new car with a vinyl top? I can't remember when the last time was I saw a new car with a vinyl top. You? How about a plain Jane car for just good old cheap transportation that wasn't a piece of junk? Used to be you could get a Chevy Nova with a solid drive train, a heater, am/fm radio and vinyl seats for a fair price. The car wasn't fancy but it looked good and performed well and didn't have all the bells and whistles to break down on them. It was just a simple vehicle that got the job done at a great price. And, they had turn signals at no extra charge.

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