Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Steering-Wheel Spike

Reduce traffic accidents by making driving even more dangerous.
  (+8, -12)
(+8, -12)
  [vote for,

If all cars (a totally unrealistic concept, I know) had a big sharp spike sticking out of the center of the steering wheel -- just think how careful everyone would drive.

It's kinda the opposite of the big SUV theory that holds that if you're big enough you can rightfully stop worrying about many traffic accidents.

eagle, May 23 2000

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       Actually, the better idea is to hire Off duty Prison guards and FBI agents to man gun towers at strategic points along the highway. Anyone driving recklesly would get sprayed down with Uzi 9mm reminders to 'drive safe and have a nice day'...
hotdog, May 23 2000

       This could be a great way of lowering your insurance payments. If you're poor, and willing to put your heart or brain stem on the line, you can waive your collision damage. (Maybe the insurance company could sell off your remaining organs to cover the cost of fixing the scratch on the bumper of the SUV that hit you...)
jutta, May 23 2000

       ....and maybe any driver who hit you would be charged with murder or manslaughter! hehe. Ideally, though, everybody would drive with enough care as to obsoluet insurance altogther.
dontthink, May 24 2000

       Compare it to airbags, now available in surround-sound, that give a false sense of security: "I can survive an accident, so I don't need to worry as much about other drivers."   

       The spike would give a real sense of fear: "I _can't_ survive an accident, so I _do_ need to worry a lot about other drivers."   

       Also, think about the increased safety for pedestrians. We'd all be driving so slow to avoid being spiked!
eagle, May 24 2000

       "Ideally, though, everybody would drive with enough care as to obsolete insurance altogether."   

       Surely you're kidding. Extreme risk aversion is no way to live life. Insurance is a valuable service...
egnor, May 24 2000

       By the way -- before anyone accuses me of unlawful idea copying, I'll fully admit that I first heard of the steering wheel spike from a 3rd party who claims to have heard it from a professional race car driver as part of a commentary on the usefulness of air-bags in passenger cars.   

       The race car driver's claim was that the spike would save more lives.
eagle, May 24 2000

       And with the 'surround sound' airbags, if you actually DO get hit, it's going to shoot you out of the sunroof like a watermelon seed...
StarChaser, May 25 2000

       New idea: Car ejection seat for a James Bond parody.   

       James drives along, and just as he's about to be ambushed by Dr. Nasty, he rams his car into a nearby stand of trees.   

       His surround-sound airbags squirt him out the sun roof to the safety of a nearby hay stack where Olga, the farmer's daughter, nurses him back to health.   

eagle, May 25 2000

       How about an anti-carjacking button which would trigger the passenger-side airbomb? Such a button would have to be designed to avoid accidental deployment, but an airbag deploying against a carjacker would certainly disrupt any attempted robbery. It would also probably send the would-be carjacker to the hospital (which would be a good thing were it not for all the lawsuit-happy lawyers out there). Still, nicer than the South African anti-carjacking systems.
supercat, Jul 07 2000

       Yeah, why not create a car seat with artificial intelligence.. (with an 10Kt atomic head mounted on it somewhere) and when the seat doesn't recognize you, it will give you 10secs to get out.. if not.. there you go!   

       btw, a 10Kt head has a range op app. 1mile, so his friends.. (that were wathing there cool buddy) will also be punished. Eh?
enveekaa, Jul 22 2000

       Some years ago I drove a Volkswagen Micro-bus, that was before we knew they were mini-vans. Because there is nearly nothing in front of the driver, running into almost anything could be fatal. It made me dirve carefully. I have often thought that all drivers should be positioned on a small platform attached to the front of their vehicle. If they are involved in an accident, they will be the first to go and they won't have that survival guarantee that comes with each Volvo (being wrapped in a cocoone of steel) or that comfortable feeling one gets in a large SUV.
fogy44, Jul 22 2000

       and also have a spike or two, sticking out the rear of your vehicle, so that if someone rams you from the rear, it will destroy their grill, and radiator. because, even if it's always the fault of the guy that hits you in the rear, he needs some incentive not to hit you. due to the abolishment of insurance.
cornpad, Nov 09 2000

       The spike might not always be effective, how about a handgun (or two) pointed at the driver. The gun would be triggered by the same mechanism as air-bags are currently. Any collision over 5mph and the driver gets shot in the chest and head. Or maybe a small nuclear device... any collision over 5mph and everyone in town is vaporized.
BronzeGuy, Dec 01 2000

       Bizarrely this is the exact argument that I use in PSE lessons when some idiot says that banning abortion will force people to have safe sex
chud, Dec 01 2000

       What about people who remove their spike and then go on a killing spree, driving into every car in their path. ooooh the carnage.
Alphabox, Feb 01 2001

       This reminds me of a movie or TV show in which someone suggested closing the fire department, because people would be much more careful with matches and such if they knew no one was going to save them. about the anti carjacking air bag, i'd put them on the doors outside the car, so when somebody walks up and demands that you get out, you could step on the trigger and knock him back 20 feet or so.
mr shrum, Mar 22 2001

       Accident statistics have shown that if you make the driver feel safer, the driver will take more risks. I first heard of the spike for airbag replacement on a television documentary on automobile safety. A professional driving instructor claimed that he was never once frightened while driving, but frightened a large number of times that corresponded with the number of times that he was in a moving vehicle. The documentary went on to describe how feeling at risk reduces risk. There is probably nothing more dangerous than an SUV with ABS, traction control, 4WD, and airbags.   

       We do not need a spike. What we need is to replace a small percentage of airbags with an antipersonnel mine, or better yet, police cruisers have such a device that they use to fake an explosive in the steering wheel when they find a single car, fatal accident with no witnesses. We have the fear of explosives in our car without additional fatalities.
rlbell, Jul 11 2001

       And my friends say I'm stupid when I tell them spikiness is the answer to all our problems....
kaz, Aug 01 2001

       Sorry ---eagle thought this was a new idea. But re-erected now for new comments.
English Pete, Jun 10 2002

       This is a good idea. I had a similar idea although did not manage to get it on line before ---eagle.   

       This would overtime result in safer driving. Only safe drivers would survive long enough to breed resulting in a World full of safe drivers. Roads would be less busy as unsafe drivers would be dead (unfortunately often taking somebody out with them ! OOphs !) And many new drivers would be discouraged from learning. Reverse parking in learners causing excessive fatalities !
English Pete, Jun 10 2002

       Now available from the KMLabs mini-market: driving gloves, complete with interlocking Teflon/Steel vest, guaranteed to prevent penetration by any spike-shaped object.   

       (Legal note: use of these gloves whilst driving may contravene local laws)
kmlabs, Dec 22 2004


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