Do We Really Need the Airbags?

Do We Really Need the Airbags?

November 15, 2017

I was having a conversation with someone the other day about her car. It had broken down and she had no idea what was wrong with it and she said to me,

“If it was a bicycle, I could fix it!”

My response was,

“If it was a 30-year-old car you could probably fix it too.”

We then went on to have a conversation about how cars have changed.

I am fascinated with how we have all accepted that we need all of these safety features and fancy gadgets in our cars. I see two problems with this (well, at least two); first, we don’t question that we need these things and second, we are making ourselves useless.

I am as guilty as the next person, I am sure. I like comfort and I don’t always question it. Sure, I will take the rental with heated seats over the one without. Oh, it’s nice to get that designer handbag that makes me feel more successful. But do we really need the airbags? Why haven’t I read the studies conducted around if airbags actually make a difference. Sure, they go off in an accident but are there studies that show if they are more effective than having a sturdy well-built car from the 50’s? Do seatbelts actually protect more than they hurt? I have had a stiff neck from having to brake quickly for a deer and if I didn’t have the seatbelt would I still have had a stiff neck? Yet we wear the seatbelts and we buy the car with the “extra safety features” without looking into whether or not they are needed.

Then, when we have bought into the idea that more is better and big brother is looking out for us, we find ourselves with things we cannot easily or affordably fix and a growing inability to question.

What happens when we are no longer needed for the work that we do? When we no longer have human interaction because there is no need to leave our homes? When things are so complex that we are unable to fix them and there is nowhere left to dispose of them?

Know that I am not advocating doing away with airbags or seatbelts because, well, I haven’t done the research, but I am asking that we stop and think about what we are buying into; the whole package, the good, the bad, and the things that make us prisoners.

If we don’t think about what we think about, or better yet, actually think so that we have something to think about, where will that lead us? Are we contributing to bigger problems because we have not considered the outcome of our choices?

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