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Headlights Really Are Getting Harder on the Eyes
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The car crash death rate has been trending upward along with the murder rate during recent years. 2020 was exceptionally unsafe per mile driven. One question I have had is whether any recent auto safety innovations have inadvertently led to getting more people killed. Headlights have been getting brighter, but are they now tending to blind oncoming traffic? Driving at night on the winding roads of the Hollywood Hills, where a lot of the cars are new and expensive with very bright LED headlights intended to make it safe for the drivers at high speeds without outrunning their headlights, can be hard on the eyes.

From the New York Times news section:

Blinded by Brighter Headlights? It’s Not Your Imagination.

The rising use of light-emitting diodes and the popularity of pickups and S.U.V.s have prompted complaints about the glare and intensity of headlights.

By Christopher Mele
June 5, 2021

…“Sealed-beam” headlights were used from the 1950s through the 1980s, and generally offered poor light output. Halogens, with tungsten filaments and better output, appeared in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

High-intensity discharge lights, which cast a bright glow that approximates the spectrum of daylight, came in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In the 2010s, LEDs became popular because they were longer-lasting, energy-efficient and perceived by automakers as sexy and modern.

But they also prompted complaints that they were too much of a good thing. There is even a Facebook group and an online petition dedicated to banning blinding headlights. …

The trend toward improved headlight illumination has been fueled in part by manufacturers seeking higher safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Professor Kennedy said.

When the institute, an independent, nonprofit research group, released its first headlight ratings in 2016, only one headlight system of more than 80 that were evaluated received a “good” rating. As of March, more than a quarter of those tested received such a rating, the institute said. …

It was not just older drivers complaining, either.

The report said 11 percent of those who rated oncoming glare as disturbing were older than 65, and 45 percent were between 35 and 54 years old. Drivers 18 to 24 years old complained the most about glare from vehicles behind them.

Lights have gotten smaller over time, and “any given intensity appears brighter if it’s emitted by a smaller apparent surface versus a larger one,” said Daniel Stern, chief editor of Driving Vision News, a technical journal that covers the automotive lighting industry.

Have they defrosted headlights?

… LED and high-intensity discharge headlights can appear more blue in their output spectrum than halogens, and they often provoke “significantly stronger discomfort reactions” than warm white or yellowish lights, Mr. Stern said.

“Blue light is difficult for the human visual system to process because blue wavelengths tend to focus just ahead of the retina rather than on it,” he said. …

“Brightness” is not a term generally recognized by scientists and researchers, who refer instead to lumens, or the output of a light. Halogen lights put out 1,000 to 1,500 lumens, while high-intensity discharge lights and LEDs can measure 3,000 to 4,000 lumens.

So, they’ve made them brighter and smaller.

 
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  1. Polistra says:

    Until the early 1990s headlights in Paris were required to have amber lenses for just this reason. It was beneficial and , since it was Paris, romantic.

    http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/lights/light_color/light_color.html

  2. I had a strong feeling that headlights were getting a lot brighter. An Illinois State Policeman told me I was correct.

    • Replies: @Mr. Grey
  3. Neoconned says:

    I moved out to the country so i noticed this with the pick up trucks that ride my ass in the country.

    I drive a hatchback…..and I’ve had several drivers do the “turn off your high beams” signal at me even though im on normal light atatus.

    Maybe there’s something to it…..

    • Replies: @DRA
  4. El Dato says:

    High-intensity discharge lights, which cast a bright glow that approximates the spectrum of daylight, came in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

    An idea that is ispo-facto retarded.

    The one thing you do not want during the night is “bright light that approximates the spectrum of daylight.” What do you want to do, admire the skillfully chosen colors of BLM street art? Take something reddish/yellowish.

    It’s on the same level of design stupid as the super-glossy and reflective laptop screens that were all the rage for a few years after 2000.

    France used to have the right idea: Yellow headlights. For reason of “EU harmonization”, which is a word combination that excites the G-Spot of Eurocrats, banned now.

    https://louis-slr.fr/why-did-france-have-yellow-headlights

  5. Veracitor says:

    The story doesn’t quite convey the relevant fact that many LED headlamps emit very blue light which is not “broad spectrum” but rather contains just a few sharp spectral lines spaced rather awkwardly through the color range, with a hell of a lot of blue and even violet because those wavelengths are used to excite phosphors to produce some of the other spectral components.

    That means that things often look washed-out and vague under color-deficient, sharply-blue LED-headlamp illumination. The difficulty of recognizing stuff (“seeing” it) in LED beams causes confused drivers to demand even-brighter LED headlamps as they try to compensate for their difficulty perceiving things in LED beams, which leads to more difficulty for other drivers (and pedestrians and really everyone) as the ever-brighter but still unsatisfying LED beams dazzle people.

    The NHTSA should simply force headlamp suppliers to emphasize yellowish, color-rich light, which would permit good perception with less luminosity and brightness, enabling limits on lumen output to be enforced without disappointing drivers.

  6. Charlotte says:

    Those blinding, blueish headlights really are a hazard, especially on unlighted, narrow two-lane roads. Add in hills, curves, and narrow shoulders and you’ve got a recipe for accidents.

  7. I knew it wasn’t my imagination, but thanks for bringing this up. Perhaps the manufacturers want to increase the real or imagined safety of their own vehicles at the expense of those in the other lane. I’ve had someone come up on my tail recently, just in a neighborhood, at 35 mph with those brights ones, and it seemed menacing, as if he was trying to tell me to get off the road. I puled over to let him pass just because I don’t like that light from the back either.

    Another question is whether young people even get the high/low beam idea anymore. How do you know if they are on high beams, besides flashing them and then seeing whether those lights get dimmer or even brighter?

  8. Anon[130] • Disclaimer says:

    Steve, did you ever buy a new car, or did that plan get back-burnered when Covid hit?

    For us the opposite happened. We’re in a car-optional metropolis, butt we ran out and bought a grocery run/medical transport car a year ago that only gets used two or three times a month.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  9. Brighter headlights with longer range are a sort of Darwinian IQ test. I remember driving one moonless night on a well-lit and well-marked Belgian 120kmh speed-limited motorway across the border onto an unlit and poorly marked speed-unlimited German Autobahn winding through the hills of the Schnee-Eifel, and it was quickly obvious that just because one may drive fast doesn’t mean one should drive fast. Brighter lights would have lulled me into flying into one of the valleys I could not see, bright lights or not.

    • LOL: El Dato
    • Replies: @Cortes
    , @Lurker
    , @BenKenobi
  10. AndrewR says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    We need an “OK, Boomer” reaction

    • Replies: @Tom Marvolo Riddle
  11. Clyde says:

    I like the pure white light the new LED headlights put out. If my headlights go kaput I will buy a pair. It would be ironic if they blind another driver, he swerves into your lane for a head on collision.
    How about wearing those yellow glasses for night driving? Do they work to reduce glare?

    • Replies: @Joe Paluka
  12. Purple is the best colour

  13. @Anon

    The 2001 minivan had some problems a year ago, so it’s been in the driveway ever since. But I will eventually try to get it running reliably. I don’t ever want to buy anything as massive as that again, but it’s sometimes convenient to own a such huge capacity vehicle. On the other hand, diminishing returns are an inevitability.

    The 1998 sedan is still running, but I’ve got to get it past the smog check over the next week. A valet parker told me that a 25 year old car is exempt from smog checks as a classic, but I suspect I will have to get the 1998 past the smog check again in 2023 before it reaches smog-check nirvana. So maybe I should just sell it now? If the 23 year old sedan fails the smog test, it will force a decision that I’d prefer to kick down the road.

    My son has been out of town, so he left me his compact in the meantime. It had some problems with the high tech electronics, which my normally reliable local fixer-upper failed to deal with, but the dealer fixed surprisingly cheaply.

    But in the meantime, I’ve been spending my money, like everybody else in America, on home improvements and I perhaps can limp along with really old cars for awhile. When my son needs his car back, though, I’d like to dispose of one of the two 20+-year-old vehicles and buy a new car, likely a two-row compact utility vehicle like everybody else in the neighborhood seems to have. I don’t have the DIY skills that make it cost-effective to buy old used cars. And newer used cars have gotten expensive, so it makes sense to buy a new mass market car.

    But hopefully I can kick that decision down the road.

  14. @Charlotte

    When I’m driving home on Laurel Canyon, as soon as I cross the crest at Mulholland Drive and start downhill on the curvy section, the headlights become blinding for the first half mile. I can’t visualize while downhill driving is worse than flat or uphill driving, but it seems to be.

  15. Cortes says:
    @The Alarmist

    Re-designed highway layouts are hazardous also. They lull drivers into persuading themselves that, hey, with a little practice and given the breaks they could have been contenders with Schumacher, Fittipaldi and the boys. Then when they hit stretches of unimproved road it’s hankies at funerals time.

    On the glare of headlights, I was overjoyed to be able to do without the wintertime commute by motorway and that’s nearly thirty years ago. I used to get terrible headaches.

  16. I. Racist says:
    @Steve Sailer

    A car driving uphill experiences weight transfer to the rear, causing the rear suspension to squat and the front to lift. This points the headlights up towards the eyes of oncoming drivers, even when dipped.

  17. @Achmed E. Newman

    One dark night on a SC Low Country swamp road some dickheads in a jacked up Jeep were tailgating us with ultra-bright LED headlights. My companion just happened to have his hand held deer spotter lamp with him.

    I’ll let you guess the rest of the story.

    • LOL: Achmed E. Newman
    • Replies: @Jim Christian
    , @JMcG
  18. @Steve Sailer

    A) Do you know someone well in the next county that has no smog check? I had to do that for one my cars for a while. On the way over there, I met a girl who came to talk to me to raise money for the “climb for clean air”. I didn’t give her any money (at the time) but got her phone number, and we damn near got married later on. Whewww!

    B) You call them crossovers. A car mechanic friend told me that those Hyundais and Kias get you as much quality as the Jap cars but for a decent amount lower, since the reputation isn’t so widespread yet.

    C) If your sedan is an automatic it’s bound to have transmission problems sometime when it gets to the high 100 thousands or 200,000 miles, per the same mechanic, so if you’ve got your money out of it, maybe it is time to let go.

  19. @Steve Sailer

    Indeed, especially when David Crosby is coming up the hill high on LSD.

    • LOL: Achmed E. Newman
  20. @Achmed E. Newman

    I don’t think there is any “Next county over” in California. Maybe he can register the car in Nevada or Mexico.

  21. I’ve hated those blue lights for a long time. They hamper night vision.

  22. @Steve Sailer

    Have found that headlight intensity creep has gotten so bad, that I got some sunglasses which you can wear at night. Even when you switch the rear view mirror to filter mode, the excess intensity of cars behind mean you also have to also adjust the side mirrors to blast their light straight back at them.
    The selfish arms race culture of high (sight line blocking) SUVs & overpowering headlights makes night time driving a huge hassle nowadays.

  23. @Achmed E. Newman

    I replaced a rather expensive Mercedes that had all sorts of niggling little problems with a far cheaper Hyundai Tucson that has had no problems.

    Parts and service with the rice-burners tend to be much cheaper too. What I really don’t miss is replacing the €26 star that got ripped off any time I parked it overnight on the street somewhere. I’d take the car in for a general service, and if it was sans star, the Mercedes service people would automatically replace it without even asking if I wanted it replaced and then try to bill me for the unsolicited replacement. Nobody’s ever tried to take my Hyundai logo.

    IKR, such problems.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  24. Mike Tre says:

    There’s no question the brighter headlights are a problem. I also hate that brake lights on newer vehicles now blink 3 times when the brakes are applied.

    There another, although perhaps less significant problem: Strobe lights. Aside from emergency vehicles, it seems every utility vehicle now operates with it’s LED strobes running under normal driving conditions. These strobes can be blinding and just distracting. School buses around here now have a single blinking LED strobe on top of the cab and I cannot understand why? So it doesn’t get hit by an aircraft? Garbage trucks’ rear strobes are now ridiculously bright. Tow trucks now run with their strobes on perpetually instead of just when they are stopped and performing a disabled vehicle recovery. There is no reason for a tow truck to run its strobes while it’s driving in a lane with a vehicle in tow. I see landscape vehicles now running them all the time, construction vehicles, and now bicyclists use them.

    Or is it the reverse of distracting? When every vehicle is running them, they become normalized, and regular motorists may merely ignore them, and perhaps that causes more accidents? I’m not sure. All I know is that if a non emergency vehicle is operating normally in traffic shut your damn strobes off.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @JMcG
  25. Brutes live better than this.

    It’s skynet meets fyre festival.

    • Agree: JMcG
  26. Ralph L says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I can’t visualize why(?) downhill driving is worse than flat or uphill driving, but it seems to be.

    Rear springs are relatively soft on most front engine cars, so weight transfer in an oncoming car driving uphill will likely push the rear of the car down a bit. Plus the extra power required to drive up a steep hill tends to raise the front of many cars. But the shape of the slope is probably the biggest factor.

  27. @Polistra

    Until the early 1990s headlights in Paris were required to have amber lenses

    It wasn’t only Paris, yellow headlights were obligatory throughout France until 1993. The requirement had been adopted in 1936, although not fully implemented until after WWII. It is generally accepted, although there is no documentary proof, that it was a military-inspired measure to make it easier to identify “foreign” autos.

  28. Woodsie says:

    I bought special yellow-tinted clip-ons for my glasses a few years ago for the commute. My next pair of glasses had a coating (not visible/not yellow) that let me retire the clip-ons. Those blue lights should be banned.

    Twenty years ago it was a trend that many cars came with floodlights (or it was fashionable enough to be a common “option”) and morons were driving around with them on all the time, blinding the pants off everyone. Thankfully, floods are once again rare on ‘normal’ automobiles.

    I’ve got an ’07 Impala and (knock on wood) intend to keep it on the road forever; six-cylinder, roomy front seat, giant trunk, and tall. Worth the upkeep with a new, smaller (cab and engine) one crammed with features I don’t want (like having my car turn off everytime I stop at a red light) which will cost me north of thirty grand.

  29. theMann says:
    @Charlotte

    Here in featureless West Texas, you can see vehicles with those damned blue lights from ten miles away. Gives you some opportunity to avoid them, as they are irritating at distance and absolutely punishing passing by.

    How these lights ever got approved when they clearly cause distress in other drivers is beyond me. Fog is extremely rare out here, so I can only imagine what is like to cope with in that circumstance.

  30. On the other hand, the plastic in those headlight housings degrades so that a decade out, half the light doesn’t even escape into the wild!

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
    , @Bubba
  31. Jack D says:
    @Steve Sailer

    It’s not that you are driving downhill, it’s that the other cars are driving UPhill. (Low beam) headlights are supposed to be aimed at a slight downward angle (with the car sitting on level ground) so that the beam lights up the road directly in front of you and not the retinas of oncoming drivers. But if the rear end of the car is lower than the front (as when you are climbing a hill) this RAISES the angle of the beam and now it hits oncoming drivers in the eyes.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @AnotherDad
  32. Jack D says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    so if you’ve got your money out of it, maybe it is time to let go.

    As an economic proposition it NEVER pays to buy a new car – no matter how much it costs to replace a transmission (or whatever) it’s still cheaper than a whole new car, especially in sunny California where cars never rust. There are many other reasons why you might want to replace a car (you get funny looks from people when you arrive in your faded rattling chariot, it lacks the latest safety and entertainment features such as blinding headlights and Bluetooth, etc.) but “you’ve got your money out of it” is not one of them. What does that even mean?

  33. Anon[274] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D

    Pickup trucks with those headlights are a major nuisance. Those beams just hit you right in the eyes because those trucks are raised up above the level of your own car on a perfectly level road.

    Somebody needs to start doing something to make those headlights illegal.

  34. @Jack D

    Buy a used car with ~one year of factory warranty remaining. Typically a lease return. Don’t waste your money on extended warranties, no matter how many clever lies they tell you. If the car has any issues, they’ll turn up within the year and you’ll get them fixed for free. Simples as the Brits say.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @Stan D Mute
  35. countenance says: • Website

    My BMW has laser headlights, the system is laser light being reflected off several mirrors, and it also adapts to its situation. The light to me is pure white, no hints of blue, and it focuses very well on the road, and doesn’t have the blinding other drivers problem that LEDs have.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @Paco Wové
  36. Anonymous[415] • Disclaimer says:

    Another good point of the article is that so many headlight are higher up now due to U.S. SUV and Truck tendencies. People still in cars get blinded right at eye level.

  37. Jack D says:

    “Brightness” is not a term generally recognized by scientists and researchers, who refer instead to lumens, or the output of a light.

    “Heaviness” is not a term generally recognized by scientists and researchers, who refer instead to grams, or the weight of an object.

    This is typical idiocy by a NY Times reporter who knows nothing about what he is writing about and understands even less.

    • Thanks: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @JMcG
    , @James J O'Meara
  38. Charles says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Maybe just as importantly, will the new generation get the joke when I say that a beautiful bra-less woman has her “high beams on”?

  39. @Achmed E. Newman

    Ach, Steve lives in California where it is now becoming near impossible for the police to pull over a driver for any mechanical or license or registration issue. Tint the windows as dark as possible so the cops don’t know if you are a White or black driver and you are good to go. Forget the smog test, drive on.

  40. Police lights have definitely gotten a lot brighter over the years. The goal seems to be to make them as uncomfortable to view as possible. Seeing those flashing blue lights on the side of the road is enough for a dangerous distraction, let alone them glaring in your rear view mirror.

    • Replies: @John Mansfield
  41. The elephant in the room for more car crashes, many of which are fatal, is distracted driving. Put the damn phone down, take the dog off your lap, stop looking at the screen of your info unit and drive safely.

    • Agree: mmack, Mr Mox, Cortes
    • Replies: @Clyde
    , @Almost Missouri
  42. I have not bought a new car in nearly 30 years. I buy 8 – 12 months old vehicles from Enterprise Rent a Car.. The vehicles are low mileage (15 to 20K miles), have all the bells, buzzers. and whistles, and are priced about 40% below original factory sticker. Unless you have to have the new car smell this is the way to go IMO.

  43. Anon7 says:

    The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has this problem well in hand, as always.

    SAE adds new standards for LED-based automotive lighting

  44. Jack D says:
    @countenance

    The laser is used only for the high beams. The low beams are just regular LEDs. This strikes me as a typical overly complex German engineering solution to a problem – it works really well when it is new but it is much more complex than necessary and is expensive and/or a nightmare to fix when all of those crazy mirrors and sensors, etc. inevitably break. BMW doesn’t want you to fix them when a solder joint comes loose or a capacitor fails and the warranty has expired, they want to sell you a entire brand new headlight (which they have “waterproofed” by gluing the entire thing together into a single unserviceable unit) for the modest price of SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. For one.

    Modern German luxury cars are just filled with these gee whiz high tech electronic subsystems and their value plummets like a stone as soon as the warranty expires, in order to discount for the cost of keeping these electronic nightmares on the road.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    , @JR Ewing
    , @SonOfStrom
  45. anon215 says:

    Talk about Occam’s Butterknife! Here in the real world, almost all head-on collisions are caused by people who can’t resist the urge to play Tik-Tok and Faceborg on their cell phones while driving.

  46. prosa123 says:

    Replacing a broken headlight on some cars can run over $2,000. When combined with other crash damage that can be enough to push the total repair cost over the threshold that will get the car hauled off to the junkyard.

    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
    , @Jack D
  47. JMcG says:
    @Jack D

    Grams are units of mass.

    • Troll: ScarletNumber
  48. JMcG says:
    @Jack D

    My buddy has a Porsche with the ceramic brakes. No dust, but TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS for a brake job. I tell him that, come the Revolution, his tumbril won’t have any brakes at all. Interestingly, autocorrect capitalizes Revolution. That can’t be good.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
  49. @Jack D

    I would say that most un-rusted/un-crash damaged cars reach the end of their useful lives due to some unsolvable electronic failure of a 25 cent component from China or Germany buried deep in the guts of the dashboard.

  50. @prosa123

    That’s when you mount a 2 x4 piece of treated lumber on the bumper or the hood and rig up a set of DOT approved generic lights from a truck stop parts store and keep on truckin’.

  51. Jack D says:
    @prosa123

    Back in the day, all cars in the US were required to have “sealed beam” headlights, which combined the filament, reflector and the lens into one sealed glass unit. There were only a few legal configurations permitted ( separate high beam and low beam or combined in one bulb, round or rectangular) so each headlight was produced by the millions by many different manufacturers and cost only a couple of $. If a rock hit your lens, you could go into any auto parts store and replace it in a few minutes.

    The main driver for getting rid of this system was that it limited what the car manufacturers could do stylistically. Many of the new headlight configurations were objectively worse than the sealed beams that they replaced but they introduced infinite styling possibilities.

    • Replies: @mmack
    , @JMcG
  52. anon[300] • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Yes on the Hyundai/Kia. The 100,000 warranty becomes a lifetime warranty at some point.

    I think a “sweet spot” are the current “compact” sedans which can be purchased for surprisingly close to $20K well equipped. The leading models are surprisingly good compared to 20 yo vehicles. A BMW 3 series is around 183″ long, and exactly in the center of that size class, which is one reason they are considered the “drivers” car.. A nicely equipped Honda, Toyota, HK, or Mazda are small luxury cars compared to something 20 years older.

    Compacts are insanely competitive, and they have been perfected over decades. Honda is putting outage 11th generation Civic this year.

    South Korean automaker Kia has been on a tear these last few years, proving it can compete on a global stage with sharp designs and outstanding driving dynmaics. A key component of its success is a string of smart, strategic recent hires, many of whom have come from lauded European brands like BMW. Albert Bierman, previously instrumental to BMW’s M performance brand, helped make the Kia Stinger into the great-driving car that it is. Kia’s current Chief Designer, Karim Habib, spent his career prior to 2019 working for BMW, Daimler, and Infiniti.
    Now, Kia has poached another great talent from BMW: Won Kyu Kang, now Vice President and Head of the Kia Design Innovation Group. Kang will work at Kia’s design headquarters in Namyang, South Korea, and report to Chief Designer Karim Habib.

    Globally, the compact segment is not thought of as a small car. Plus, I think HK are dumping production in the US, which accounts for the pricing.

  53. JR Ewing says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    My latest vehicle is newer model BMW. Best car I have ever owned, EXCEPT the headlights – tiny blue LED’s – are too bright. I routinely get flashes from oncoming traffic and all I can do is flash back and say, “I know, I’m sorry.”

    The good news is that it has auto-dimming brights which work pretty well, but even the low-beams are bright and sometimes the automatic doesn’t work and I don’t realize it and forget to do it manually.

    I wish there was a way to turn them down, even if it meant going to the dealer and paying them to do it, but I’ve asked and they won’t.

    Great car when there is nobody oncoming at night though.

  54. @Buffalo Joe

    That’s what I call the Cheech and Chong approach.

    • LOL: Buffalo Joe
  55. @countenance

    “and doesn’t have the blinding other drivers problem”

    How would you know?

  56. Clyde says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    The elephant in the room for more car crashes, many of which are fatal, is distracted driving. Put the damn phone down, take the dog off your lap, stop looking at the screen of your info unit and drive safely.

    I do none of the above. How about women applying makeup, glancing at the visor mirror while in traffic? At tollbooths when we had them, before electronic passes.
    But in my past I was an expert at eating a hot slice of pizza while driving in urban traffic. I never crashed once. Does eating hot pizza count as a distraction ? Not for me.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
  57. @Jack D

    There are many other reasons why you might want to replace a car (you get funny looks from people when you arrive in your faded rattling chariot, it lacks the latest safety and entertainment features such as blinding headlights and Bluetooth, etc.) but “you’ve got your money out of it” is not one of them. What does that even mean?

    It means at some point you unload it before the engine locks up or you get a repair that costs more than the value of the car.

    In most cases I would say that keeping a car past 200k is too risky unless it is a second car.

  58. utu says:

    Early Estimates of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities and Fatality Rate by Sub-Categories in 2020
    https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/813118

    Less miles driven but more fatalities. Occupant ejections up by 20%. Unrestrained occupants up by 15%.

    Did libertarian anti-masking rebelion extended to anti-seatbelts? Or were they out of spite for lockdowns subconscious suicides?

  59. JR Ewing says:
    @Jack D

    If we’re going to digress into German luxury cars, I’ll add that the true cost of buying one needs to include the value of getting the warranty up to 60 mo/100k. If you’re not willing to pay that, you’re asking for a world of hurt at 51k.

    I owned one a few years ago and bought the extended warranty at around 48k to get it up to 100k. Quite literally the week it turned 50k the AC compressor went out and the extended warranty had already paid for itself within 3-4 weeks.

    My current car, I just negotiated and bought the extra 50k miles when I bought the car and got about 75% off the retail price for the warranty.

    But as with all such vehicles – BMW, Benz, Audi, Porsche – if you can’t afford the maintenance and repairs (or the warranty), you can’t afford to buy one in the first place.

    Dealers want you to buy the warranty because then it’s easier to resell the car. That’s the main difference between “certified” and a regular used car.

  60. Last night I was driving home from a graduation party. My car is 20 years old and very low to the ground. There were many times I thought that people were driving towards me with their high beams on. I realized that most of these vehicles were SUV’s/CUV’s and that their lights were positioned higher up and consequently their lights were at my eye level. I drive slow within the speed limits but wow I was almost blinded at a few turns in the road. Later a deer appeared in my lane but I slowed down to 5 MPH and the deer stepped off the road back unto the grass area but if someone had been going at 50 mph then there might have been an impact. Hitting a deer at 50 can have disastrous results.

  61. @Polistra

    Back in the 1960s my parents bought a used Citroen. They had to have the headlights changed to American standards to pass inspection. Meaning bye bye amber light.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  62. mmack says:
    @Jack D

    “The main driver for getting rid of this system was that it limited what the car manufacturers could do stylistically. Many of the new headlight configurations were objectively worse than the sealed beams that they replaced but they introduced infinite styling possibilities.”

    Kind of. BTW, say hello to Uncle Sam and CAFE rules. Federally mandated fuel economy.

    Note that for passenger cars, to get good aerodynamics for good fuel economy, the front end must be very low to cut wind resistance. And it must be low because Uncle Sam mandates when you hit that pedestrian reading their iPhone and not watching traffic, you don’t kill them.

    So you get this:

    (2021 Hyundai Sonata)

    The stylists need to get air into the radiator so the grille gets wider and pushes the headlights further out to the fenders, and the sloped front fenders mean the headlamp assembly gets smaller, as you point out.

    So that explains passenger cars. Let’s talk trucks. I have no Earthly clue what Chevrolet is doing with the headlights on the Chevrolet Silverado.

    CUV/SUV is the wildcard. Kia’s Telluride looks like a typical SUV, even with the more modern headlights:

    Go across the hall to Hyundai’s styling department and goodness knows what the stylists were thinking with their Telluride version, the Pallisade:

    One imagines trucks, CUVs, and SUVs feel the pressure of increased fuel economy standards, but there’s only so much a stylist can do with a vehicle that sits up that high.

    • Replies: @Western
  63. I’ve always been one of those people who is extra sensitive to headlights. The new headlights make things even worse.

    • Agree: jamie b.
    • Replies: @JMcG
  64. @Steve Sailer

    I don’t have the DIY skills that make it cost-effective to buy old used cars. And newer used cars have gotten expensive, so it makes sense to buy a new mass market car.

    I think buying a newish car is the way to go. Something reliable with 60-70k miles on it. By that point any major factory problems will have been discovered.

    Definitely avoid new cars right now. Everyone is using their Biden bucks as a down payment and there is still a chip shortage. A lot of used trucks have actually increased in value. My local GM lot is mostly empty.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  65. @International Jew

    On the other hand, the plastic in those headlight housings degrades so that a decade out, half the light doesn’t even escape into the wild!

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  66. Real estate agents who sung in church choirs conquered the globe.

    Retvrn

    • Replies: @Saint Louis
  67. “No private vehicle may have an external light whose direction is controlled from the interior of the car.”

    Why Citroën’s steerable headlights were banned from North America.

    Around the same time, Detroit had a hissy fit about new bumper standards. There was no way the 5 mph standard could be met in time.

    Within months, Saab had come up with an elegant low-tech answer:

    1971: Self-repairing bumper

    • Thanks: Desiderius
    • Replies: @JMcG
    , @Jack D
  68. @Steve Sailer

    The 1998 sedan is still running, but I’ve got to get it past the smog check over the next week.

    These “smog checks” were conceived of in the 1970s. Now that cars have computers that automatically adjust the engine, do you think we can shut down all the state vehicle checking facilities and save a ton of dough by ridding us of all those employees?

  69. Lurker says:
    @Polistra

    Sort of related – there was a time when indicators (turn signals) had orange lenses and were very easy to see flashing, day or night. Then fashion changed – most cars having clear lenses for every light and relying on orange bulbs under a clear lens for turn signals. This used to, and still can, annoy me because at certain times in bright sunlight it is not always clear the lights are flashing at all. I don’t remember this being an issue with the orange lens era.

    The situation has improved somewhat with LEDs since they appear brighter. Of course not all cars employ LEDs in this role, for example my old jalopy doesn’t have any LED lights. Mrs Lurker has an almost new Kia which has a mixture. The all-LED doesn’t seem to have quite happened yet – or maybe I’m not paying enough attention?

    • Replies: @Jack D
  70. donut says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    I finally got rid of my 1993 standard transmission Toyota Camry last year . 27 years . I only got rid of it because the whole AC system needed to be replaced and the mechanic estimated it would cost too much to get the replacement parts . These days there aren’t many options for a standard transmission Toyota only makes the Supra with one . Nowadays I pay a friend to chauffeur me around a couple of times a week . If I want to go any distance I just rent a car for a a few days .

  71. Lurker says:
    @The Alarmist

    I have driven across the border in that very area. Me and Mrs Lurker were struck by the sudden drop in road quality when going from Germany into Belgium. This was on local roads though, not autobhan to motorway.

  72. Helmets mandatory for occupants of passenger vehicles, including kids riding the school bus.

  73. JMcG says:
    @Jack D

    Clear covers over the sealed beam lamps were banned too. The Jaguar E-Type in England had Perspex covers over the headlamps for streamlining, but they weren’t allowed in the US.

  74. Jack D says:
    @Paleo Liberal

    On the Citroen DS the two inner headlights were connected to the steering system so that when you went around a curve the headlights would follow the track of your front wheels.

    This was illegal in the US so they had to remove that system for cars sold in the US. The DS was a very cool car with an innovative hydraulic suspension which was miles ahead of most car suspensions today let alone 65 years ago. But due to quirks in the way that the French taxed automobiles, French cars were alway extremely underpowered, even by the standards of the day. In an era when even ordinary American family sedans had big V-8s with loads of torque, this “luxury” sedan had a pitiful 4 cylinder engine of ancient design. A great car for winding, potholed French country roads but not for American superhighways and so it never sold well here.

  75. JMcG says:
    @Paleo Liberal

    An extra-sensitive liberal!?!?

  76. JMcG says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Is that regulation the reason alley lights disappeared? The ones you see on cop cars that are installed in the A-pillar?

  77. Off topic:‘how did the Corona Virus come to America?

    Hint:1965

    • Agree: Alden
  78. Jack D says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    They subsequently cut back on the bumper standards under pressure from the auto industry. Nowadays painted bumpers are universal so if you so much as touch something with your bumper, you’re looking at a $500 paint job.

    I had an ’85 BMW which had those ridiculously protruding bumpers visually (though not structurally) similar to the Saab bumpers. The bumpers were big aluminum beams with a black rubber strip at the front and mounted on hydraulic cylinders. The Euro models had much smaller, better looking bumpers but, aside from looks, these monstrosities were fantastic – a tap that would send a modern car (or one with Euro bumpers) to the body shop meant absolutely nothing to these beasts.

    US manufacturers also said that emission control standards were “impossible” to meet. What they really meant was that it would require redesign to meet them and Detroit preferred to put all of its design effort into body styling. Styling is what moved the metal with customers whereas lower pollution and stronger bumpers were not a selling feature, especially if all cars were required to have them.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  79. IIRC Vance is from Middletown which was gritty MMC union/Dem manufacturing stronghold. GOPe exported all those manufacturing jobs to China to kill two birds with one stone.

    Hasn’t quite worked out the way they expected.

  80. Clyde says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Smog test? Many years ago I flunked a smog test. This car was on the way out due to rust and even worse problems, so I was not going to spend hundreds to pass the smog test.
    This was pre-internet, but somehow I learned that pure ethanol (ethyl alcohol) will allow my car to pass the smog test. Fortunately my local hardware store sold it by the gallon. 8 dollars back then. I ran my gas tank down to where there was a gallon or less gasoline in it. (you can keep a gallon of gasoline in your trunk if you are worried about running out of gasoline)…I poured in the ethanol and passed the smog test. Immediately after I filled the tank to the top with gasoline to dilute the ethanol. It corrodes plastics in the fuel line.

    https://tinyurl.com/fura5dra …. $34 at Walmart for a gallon. As always do your research on this. The internet does cover this ethanol trick.

    Also looky here >> https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=smog+check+ethanol

  81. El Dato says:

    OT: What the GOP shoudld really be like (except for the “Chinese farmlands” part, let Best China be best)

    Drones, 100s of people & vehicles sent to block UNSTOPPABLE herd of 15 elephants trampling Chinese towns & farmlands

  82. Jack D says:
    @Lurker

    The all-LED doesn’t seem to have quite happened yet – or maybe I’m not paying enough attention?

    I think it has happened on many cars – there’s not a single incandescent left anywhere. The good news is that LEDs rarely burn out but the bad news is that the LEDs are often integrated or customized so that instead of a 50 cent off the shelf light bulb you are looking at a very expensive (and often difficult to access) manufacturer’s part.

    • Thanks: Lurker
  83. SafeNow says:

    Here in S. California, an additional risk factor is that the other driver, upon being disrespected by your headlights, will shoot you.

  84. jamie b. says:
    @Veracitor

    More than that, high frequency light prevents your eyes from becoming dark adjusted. It’s funny, but the few occasions that I see people walking outside in the dark anymore, they always have these high frequency LED flashlights, even in the full moon. I’m wondering if the younger generations don’t even know how well they’re naturally able to see in fairly dark conditions, if they simply allow their eyes to adjust.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  85. jamie b. says:

    I’ve long had trouble driving at night. If I don’t hold my hand up to block the light from oncoming traffic, I’m literally unable to see the road.

  86. Fox says:
    @Polistra

    I remember the yellow lights of the Citroens, but not amber. I perceived the light as lemon yellow, somehow associating it with ‘citron’.

  87. Anon[412] • Disclaimer says:

    Also, pickup trucks have become massive. Apparently they no longer make normal sized pickups. They’re all gigantic behemoths that are much higher off the ground with massive headlights. Plus they have these new blinding headlights. So when these huge pickups approach from behind you, with their higher clearance their lights shine directly into your rear and side mirrors. And when they’re in oncoming traffic, they’re higher level of headlights makes it hard to see.

  88. Anonymous[329] • Disclaimer says:

    Maybe Ron Unz would be interested in your old car with a primitive control system which can’t be hacked and commandeered by Deep State??

    https://heavy.com/news/2017/03/wikileaks-vault-7-remote-car-hack-assassination-michael-hastings-conspiracy/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

  89. JMcG says:

    Another, related, issue is that High Beam indicators have simultaneously become less obtrusive. I’m a maniac about dimming my high beams for opposing traffic, but the indicator lamp on my instrument cluster is now a soothing blue rather than the big bright light that it was in all my previous vehicles. It’s much harder to monitor.

  90. @Polistra

    It’s great to see Steve post this about insufferable headlights. Relieved to know it’s not just me and my old eyes.

    Amber. Yes, the light emitted by older American cars standard bulbs was more towards the yellower end of the spectrum than today’s blue LEDs. There’s no reason today’s LEDs can’t be tilted more towards the red end of the spectrum. The blue is a fad, and a dangerous one at that.

    A few facts. Darkrooms were equipped with red safelights not only because b/w film wasn’t sensitive to light in that range of the spectrum, but also, red light didn’t destroy the developer’s night vision. He could navigate in his own darkroom. Night lighting on the bridge of ships is red for the same reason. The simple truth is that light towards the red end of the spectrum has a less deleterious effect on our night vision. Before blue headlights, after an oncoming car had gone by, one’s eyes could easily readjust to the darkness. Today, after you’ve been hit with the blue headlights, you are now literally blind until your eyes can readjust, which takes much longer than it did from exposure to the old amberish headlights.

    • Replies: @mmack
  91. Just saw a webmercial touting headlights which automatically dim against incoming headlights.

    The future’s so bright, everything’s AIDS.

    • Replies: @mmack
  92. siv says:

    Reduced visibility resulting from rear seat head restraints and the larger A-pillars required to contain airbags (and maybe meet rollover standards) almost certainly cause more accidents. I’m not sure about fatalities. I believe all the driver assist tech such as lane keeping and blind spot detection are intended in part to offset the reduced visibility hazard.

  93. “Brightness” is not a term generally recognized by scientists and researchers, who refer instead to lumens, or the output of a light.

    Gell-Mann amnesia time. In the optics world, brightness is a precisely-defined term, and it means the integral over wavelength of the spectral radiance of a source times the relative spectral sensitivity of the “standard” human eye. Spectral radiance is the power emitted by a source into a unit solid angle from a unit area projected in the direction from the source to the recipient, per wavelength interval. “Brightness” is the photometric quantity corresponding to the radiometric quantity “radiance.”

    Let’s quickly move on to another news story, addressing something I know nothing about, so I can believe it completely.

    • LOL: El Dato
  94. @Jack D

    It fits with their general idea that “scientists” are a class apart, holy beings totally unlike us. Like JHVH, their ways are not our ways, and we cannot hope to understand them — lese majeste to even try. Just hear and obey.

  95. @utu

    utu, add driving without a secured seat belt to the list of things Berkeley police can no longer use as a reason to pull a driver over. Actually they, the City of Berkeley Council, wants to ban the police from any traffic law enforcement and replace the cops with Berkeley Dept. of Transportation (BerkDOT). However, even though they are pushing ahead with the idea of BerkDOT, California law prohibits non LEO from enforcing traffic laws. Truth is, they probably don’t want to enforce any laws.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  96. @Jack D

    It means you got your money out of it. Simple concept, Jack. I look back at the older vehicles and remember what I’ve spent on anything big, a paint job (when one deserves it), a transmission (not so far on any of ’em), and how many miles and months of use I’ve gotten. (The latter is really more important than the former.) I’m not counting the standard oil changes, filters, brake pads/shoes, alternators, etc. which are easy and cheap.

    I’ve reached a point with a number of ’em in which I am way ahead, even not counting the 1 or 2 thousand bucks I could get for it, Maybe a timing belt is due (on some it’s cheap; on others it’s not) and maybe you or your mechanic says you’re gonna have to do something costly before long. Then it’s time to get out.*

    My problem is that sentimentality takes over, but then none of them is a plain old Japanese sedan either. There’s one I should let go of, one for which anyone with business sense would say I should. (New lifters, maybe new heads, electrical glitches that I’ve already replaced 2 boxes for but not fixed…) I don’t know if I can do it, but I’m not in Steve’s situation, as we’ve got other working vehicles.

    .

    * I’m not saying that you should pawn off junk on someone – you can be honest in selling it. It’s just that if this big job is done, and then someone smashes you in the side, the insurance company is not going to pay any extra because you had a $4,000 transmission job or a paint job.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  97. @Buffalo Joe

    Haha, good idea, Joe, I’ll add that cops will definitely know you are NOT a white driver.

    (That’s at least where I live. No white person goes around with tinted windows. No offense, I mean, if that’s your thing …)

    • LOL: Buffalo Joe
  98. The traffic death rate in the U.S. is because of the increasing number of low-IQ, nonWhite drivers. I see a LOT of insane things on the road, and I notice that most of the offenders are Black or Brown. Asians are particularly bad, bad drivers. Asians are unable to adapt to rapidly-changing circumstances. They rigidly expect for everything to go exactly to regulation. It never does. Asians are unable to deal with it. They freeze or exhibit confused behavior resulting in bad judgement.
    Blacks and Browns drive as if they are drunk and on drugs at all times. Many of them are. They are simply stupid. Loud, ugly and obnoxious too. Ha ha.

  99. That’s how dehumanization works, Ted.

    This is why curiosity was once considered a vice.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  100. Bubba says:
    @International Jew

    The kids doing the oil changes on my aging truck used to buff the cloudy headlight lenses and make them look brand new for less than $100. But it only lasted a little more than a year and you can’t repeat it too often.

  101. Prosa123 says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Before looking for a Hyundai or Kia it’s vitally important to look for dealers with good reputations. When these brands came on the market they attracted many buyers with bad credit who couldn’t qualify to buy other brands. As bad-credit buyers are easy suckers for all sorts of shenanigans some Hyundai and Kia dealers engaged in price gouging or hard-selling tactics or at least in providing poor customer service
    Most Hyundai and Kia dealers have gotten better as the brands have gone mainstream but there are still some old-school holdouts around. Jalopnik.com has some information about this.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  102. J.Ross says:
    @Desiderius

    Oh wow, what is Beijing going to say when Twitter insists on completely uncensored accounts for every Uighur and Hong Konger?

  103. J.Ross says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    I don’t remember if it was 4chan or here but the other day a poster asserted, apparently sincerely, that declining recorded arrests (for which they had a graph) proved that law enforcement was becoming less necessary. Dr Pangloss is in!

  104. Thanks for the info. and advice, Prosa.

  105. Alfa158 says:

    A component of the problem is that there is no safety standard regulating the maximum height at which headlights can be on a vehicle, only minimum height. With large trucks and SUVs the lights are so far off the ground that even from a distance an oncoming truck is shining them right down into your eyes. And that’s not even including idiots who use off-road auxiliary lights in the grill or overhead roll bar, even when they are on road. I have slight cataracts and don’t have much of an issue with glare from even the brightest oncoming headlights as long as they are on a regular auto.
    Regardless of the overall height of any vehicle, it can still illuminate the road just fine with lights a couple feet off the pavement, but the makers probably don’t like how that looks styling-wise. LED’s are not an issue if the design of the cut-off cone is properly regulated. When I look at the pattern of my BMW’s LED lights on a wall, the cut-off at the top of the pattern is the sharpest I’ve ever seen on a vehicle. It’s so sharp I can see the thin band of blue where the shortest wavelengths are refracted more.

  106. has Steve not noticed how incredibly bright police vehicle lights are now? and that’s on purpose, for sure. they definitely want to blind you. these new police SUVs put out a million lumens of LED light right into your eyes so you can’t see shit.

    sunglasses at night is not a joke anymore.

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
    , @tr
  107. JMcG says:
    @Prosa123

    Nissan seems to be the brand going after the credit-challenged these days. I avoid driving anywhere near an Altima if I can help it. Kia is a close second; Hyundai seems like it’s moving up, their Genesis nameplate is very well reviewed.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  108. Mr Mox says:
    @Jack D

    My cheap Renault Modus has something similar. A side lamp lights up towards the side you’re turning. It’s actually a quite nice feature when navigating through unknown terrain in the darkness.

    As for blinding headlights; Keep your eyes on the road, and your hands upon the wheel.

  109. @Jack D

    US manufacturers also said that emission control standards were “impossible” to meet. What they really meant was that it would require redesign to meet them and Detroit preferred to put all of its design effort into body styling.

    The faster something goes, the longer it takes to design.

    The Chicago marketer Milind Lele (did Steve know him?) wrote about shopping for minivans for his family. Honda was a little late to the game, but as with European television picture standards, that was more feature than bug. They designed a rear seat that folded down. No other minivan had had that yet.

    And it could take up to five years to get it. Retooling a factory is slow. At least it was then.

    The Toyota salesman was so proud of how easy the rear seat was to remove from the vehicle. But Lele bought the Honda in part because he didn’t have to remove the seat at all. Just fold it down.

    • Replies: @David
    , @Jack D
  110. Jack D says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Although as I said before, strictly speaking it NEVER pays to buy a new car ( the Click and Clack guys did an analysis of this years ago), as a practical matter I would not spend more than the car is worth, so that if a car that is worth $3,000 needs a $4,000 transmission, then it is time to let it go.

    With repairs on an older car you are always taking a chance. I have an older Japanese compact car (not as old as Steves!) that I use as my “around town” car. I park it without fear on the streets of Philadelphia. I take it out on days when they have salted the roads. Etc. Last year it needed a fairly substantial repair (4 struts) in order to pass inspection. This cost me less than the car was worth but more than say 25% of its value. Is it possible that the thing could have thrown a timing belt or gotten T-boned the next day and negated my investment? Sure, it’s possible but the odds are good – I’ve driven the thing for a year now and would have paid a lot more in new car payments than the replacement struts cost me so I have already “won” that bet. Once you are done making payments on a car, that car is in effect “free” (except for repair costs) from then on and it is tough to beat free.

    Of course the equation shifts a bit if you can do your own work on the car or have ways of circumventing the dealer – I was able to mail order struts and have my mechanic install them for half of what the same job would have cost at the dealer. A repair that is = 25% of a car’s value is less risky than one that is = half of its value. Especially in an older car where you might need multiple repairs in one year.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  111. “…so it makes sense to buy a new mass market car.”

    New as in a car that is used, but new for you? Brand new cars depreciate very rapidly as soon as they’re driven off the lot. You may want to buy one that is one to two years old.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  112. David says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Might have only happened once, but Kyle Plush died folded up in the folding rear seat of a 2002 Honda Odyssey.

    “I’m going to die here,” the sophomore told the dispatcher during his first 911 call, which was placed shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday. “I probably don’t have much time left. Tell my mom I love her if I die.”

    https://www.foxnews.com/us/boy-16-dies-after-being-crushed-by-minivan-seat-in-school-parking-lot-despite-2-calls-to-911

    • Replies: @Chris Renner
  113. Jack D says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Toyota has finally caught up and makes good conventional minivans (now that minivans are deeply out of fashion) but their early “minivans” were based on commercial vans that they sold in Japan and they were strange beasts – the engine was under the front seats, which does not lend itself to easy repairs. And the styling resembled a “dust buster” vacuum cleaner. They were actually very durable but not cheap so they never sold well in the US.

    Chrysler did Honda one better and made vans where ALL of the seats fold flat into the floor. Having owned a van where you had to remove the middle row seats manually, fully disappearing seats are a BIG improvement.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
  114. @Achmed E. Newman

    How do you know if they are on high beams?

    I’m not sure if you’re kidding, but in case you’re not there is a blue indicator on your dashboard that tell you your high beams are on.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  115. @Polistra

    …headlights in Paris were required to have amber lenses for just this reason. It was beneficial and , since it was Paris, romantic.

    And everything else is covered in urine anyway. Might as well fit in.

    • Replies: @El Dato
  116. Hasn’t it been quoted here that while many are gunshot each year that the vast improvements in emergency medical care have reduced the rate of death since 1960? Same is true for cars (all light duty passenger vehicles). LED lamps are a great improvement. Don’t require 13.8V for full illumination (wiring ages and lumens fall) and hit full brightness instantly. Not the problem except where LED installed in non-LED housings.

    My 1971 Chrysler sedan — longer and wider than today’s Chevrolet Suburban — is outweighed by any Ford F-150 or Jeep Wrangler. Vehicles once FAR lighter, as much 1,000-lbs back in the day to accentuate their performance.. All that extra weight isn’t for creature-comfort or road performance-enhancement. It’s mandated safety-hazard construction.

    The replacement population is TERRIBLE behind the wheel. Congenital difficulty that can’t be trained away re time, distance & mass perceptions. In short, another tragic failure of Magic Dirt. Isn’t there at least one TV commercial about, “accident forgiveness”? Expectation of wrecks every so often.

    I’d guess nearly every commenter here lives In the Bubble: major metro region doing his appointed rounds. Means, “little understanding of nation-wide phenomena where — when in minority-majority areas far apart as well as of different composition — exhibit the same driver-caused mass hazard almost but not perfectly unique.

    I’ve no problem telling you race & gender without seeing the driver in most instances. Add to this AGGRESSIVENESS and more bets fall flat, but two-three generations of divorce (boys without fathers the result; loss of institutional memory per family the context) have left the vast majority of drivers WHILE ON THE HIGHWAYS far from town without the common-sense training once encountered.

    They all can get away with bumper car pack formations due to instant LED brake lamp brightness.

    Much easier to walk away from a wreck that once would have been crippling or fatal, AND disregard for time-distance limits CONTINUALLY, otherwise.

    “Vehicle Space” the final arbiter for analysis. The born-incapable pay that no attention and think themselves clever they jam in between you and the car ahead. They’ve ruined the orderly flow of traffic. Everywhere. Have a look-see of videos from those other countries.

    Since the ethnic-cleansing of the cities we built since the 1960s, every adult is forced into a car to meet basic needs. Today’s cars are far safer in construction, need less maintenance & repairs plus tires FAR better than before (this used to ALSO kept the stupids off the highways as they could not do such work themselves) made even used cars reliable enough to travel great distances.

    There’s a C-store with fuel at every corner. Day AND night. Station owners used to close and go home. Hell, AMERICA used to go home. Not anymore. Who are the MANY thousands on-road past 2100? Who the HELL are the MILLIONS on-road in the middle of a work day 150-miles from any major metro? Who pays them to be out-of-work, but on the Interstates.

    The stupids also cannot map read. Gun-to-head, it won’t happen. “Smart phone” navigation changed that.

    Emissions-regulations — not necessary past circa 2006 rule set — causes private vehicles to be exorbitantly expensive without compensatory benefit (except to make Big Bro controlled “electric” viable).

    Building cars like Army tanks is to keep the born-parasites functional. Your cost of vehicle insurance — as with medical — is to underwrite their ascendancy. And, that construction NOT necessary for those with even a wrinkling of intelligence and to wear three-point belts.

    “Distracted driving” is secondary, not primary. The stress of CONSTANT guesses about how traffic is working near them makes watching the phone a NEEDED relief: Attach self to next bumper and look at FB. They’ll also exit the highway 3-4/times in a long trip of 3-400 miles then pass me at least three times, BUT at a 10-mph variance where I’m already cruising in the mid-60/mph range. Death-defying driving, make no mistake of what you see. (Ever run 99-mph and had to guess about actions of others to time your maneuvers?)

    Anyone here REALLY think government or bed-fellow private insurers have an interest in truth? If they did we’d have cars locked to a 40-mph governor with inability to travel limited access roadways for those millions. Many reasons since 1965 none of them have a claim on this country. It once was we had nice roads. Nation-wide. Again, they’re why we can’t have nice things any more. AND dangerous-as-hell behind the wheel.

  117. @Steve Sailer

    Pebble Beach and Riviera CC lets you on the grounds with those cars, Steve?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  118. UNIT472 says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    My father had a 1953/54 Oldsmobile 98 when I was a toddler. It had all the bells and whistles GM could put on a car for that time. Above the dash, in front of the driver were two devices. One was a lens that, because the vehicle had a sunscreen that protruded out over a foot above the windshield, allowed the driver to see if a traffic light had changed from red to green. The other was called an Altronic Eye that automatically dimmed your headlights if it detected the headlights of an approaching car.

    I thought about that when I bought a 2020 Mazda with the bright headlights. I wondered if I had my highbeams on as I never had to dim them but it seems they are automatic too ( at least until the sensor breaks). I noticed this by the way they would reflect light off a traffic sign along the side of a road. I could see my headlight beam click downward as I approached the sign. Otherwise it seems my lights are on perma bright unless there is oncoming traffic. There is no high beam indicator that I can see.

    I don’t like the new cars. There is no emergency brake to engage. It’s a button you must press and you must press it as it goes on automatically when you turn the engine off and you can’t move until you disengage it. I almost ran out of gas after I bought the car because there is no gas cap release inside the car. Instead you have to get out, unlock the car doors and press on the fuel port which then pops open. Can’t open the trunk if the car is running. Got to press unlock twice if you want to open the back door. The CAR is in command now not you. I like my 2015 Mazda more. Other than making me use a key fob it is more sensible to a 20th century analogue man like me but the new one has a turbo.

  119. JMcG says:
    @Jim Bob Lassiter

    I might have done that myself, once or twice.

  120. Anonymous[209] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mike Tre

    Snow plows are notorious for this in the Upper Midwest. Imagine driving behind one on the interstate during a blizzard, with four or five flashing at the rear. The news stories about “watching out for snow plows” have the same “I wanna go home to my family tonight” sob stories as the cops who fire first and ask questions later.

  121. JMcG says:
    @Mike Tre

    I’ll tell you exactly why this happens. Once upon a time, a utility vehicle was involved in a daytime collision. The driver of the offending car stated that they didn’t see the hulking cherry picker. A safety committee was convened to study the accident and any possible remedial action. The HR rep on the safety committee, guaranteed to be a woman, mentioned that she found strobes to be great attention-getters. The utility then adopted a policy of using strobes whenever the trucks were running. The HR Rep got a safety award for her perspicacity.
    She’s probably the same one who decided that white trucks were prettier than Hi Viz yellow. They might be invisible in snow or fog, but hey, sacrifices must be made.

    • Replies: @Mike Tre
  122. El Dato says:
    @Jack D

    The original NPC making his escape:

  123. JMcG says:
    @Anon

    I had such a pickup. It’s very easy to see where the demarcation for the top edge of the field of illumination is for those headlights. It’s also easy to drive in such a way that you don’t blind drivers in front of you. That most pickup drivers don’t drive in such a way is testament to the fact that they are a**holes, not to the way the trucks are built.

  124. El Dato says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Those were pre-globalist times. Life was better. The air was better. The politics were better.

    Have some DS

  125. Bill P says:
    @Steve Sailer

    If you want a compact crossover the Mazda CX-30 looks pretty good for the money. Just don’t get the turbo if you want it to last a long time without expensive repairs. The standard 2.5 liter is good enough.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    , @Anon
  126. Jon says:

    Attempting to game the safety ratings, and making a product more dangerous in the process

    A similar thing happened with motorcycle helmets. The American safety test basically consists of dropping a cannon ball on a helmet from various heights to see how much damage it inflicts. So the “safest” helmets are the most rigid. In a high speed crash, that means a scrambled brain, but at least your loved ones get to hold an open casket funeral, and you might even be able to sell the still intact helmet to offset some of the cost. Europe takes a different approach. Their safety test is more like those engineering experiments where students try to drop an egg off a building. As long as the egg doesn’t break, nobody cares if the basket got destroyed. The highest rated European helmets will have a lot more damage in a crash test than their American counterparts, but that is because they are designed to take that damage to soften the blow on the brain.

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  127. El Dato says:
    @Yak-15

    When Peak Negro and Peak Stupidity join together in Peak Climax.

  128. BenKenobi says:
    @The Alarmist

    BC’s Highway 5 passes over the Coquihalla Summit. One of those places that can easily be snowing in summer because of its elevation. Authorities will shut down the pass if conditions get too hazardous. I’m a pretty assertive driver, and I was astonished to see the speed limit was raised to 130km/h on top of a snowy mountain. People were flying past me.

  129. @prime noticer

    has Steve not noticed how incredibly bright police vehicle lights are now?

    Anyone could notice, the purpose of them is to dazzle and disorient the target motorist. They’re getting their comeuppance, though, I’m guessing. Cops getting hit by other motorists disoriented by these lights has to be going up, with the Navigator and Ford Edge sport utes boasting ever-brighter lights of every sort and one of em gets hit every week in the night time up here in Ma..

  130. Always On-Topic here at isteve: Sailer’s Law of Mass Shootings!

    Police: 3 dead, others hurt in Florida grad party shooting
    Police say three people are dead and at least five others injured following a shooting at a Florida graduation party, the latest in a string of such violence in the Miami area

    https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/police-dead-hurt-shooting-florida-grad-party-78116202

    Probably blacks, based just on the numbers 3 dead, 5 wounded. But Wakanda people shoot up a graduation party? And in case there’s any doubt remaining:

    “State corrections officials identified the officer who died as Tyleisha Taylor, 20, who had worked at Dade Correctional Institution since January 2020.”

  131. mmack says:
    @Joe Stalin

    “Now that cars have computers that automatically adjust the engine, do you think we can shut down all the state vehicle checking facilities and save a ton of dough by ridding us of all those employees?”

    C’mon, what government program have you ever seen that got reduced or ended? 😏

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
  132. mmack says:
    @ThreeCranes

    Airplane instruments have a red backlight for night flying for the same reason.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
  133. @Steve Sailer

    I’d like to dispose of one of the two 20+-year-old vehicles and buy a new car …

    Just don’t do it now. The automaker planners ridiculously misplayed the plague** and prices are insane.

    (Then again, I misplayed the plague and didn’t by a late-model van–which we’ve been meaning to do to get something reliable for the XC drive–when the rental companies were dumping last spring … because a bunch of our family didn’t want to have us come visit.)

    Wait.

    ** Weirdly Trump is the one major figure who more or less got it right. His ill-discipline, randomness, ego, huckersterism and inability to just find a solid scientist who could lay it out made it easy for the media to attack him. But basically he called it: death rate below 1%, not a crisis of civilization, we’ll waddle through and a vaccine will crush it. Pretty much spot on. Unfortunately we had to suffer bogus “lockdowns” and now Biden as a result of Trump’s incompetence empowering the evil minoritarians/super-state.

  134. mmack says:
    @Sick of Orcs

    Meh, I had a 1985 Lincoln LSC that had an electronic sensor on the rear view mirror that would automatically dim the high beams for oncoming cars. Unfortunately it would also dim the high beams if you drove under bright street lights too. 🤦🏻‍♂️

    • Thanks: Sick of Orcs
  135. @Jack D

    Not sure the angling is as aggressive, but BMW has had the, “Adaptive Headlights,” option that does the same thing for quite a few years.

    I’m sure other upmarket brands have had the same for quite a while.

  136. @JMcG

    Nissan seems to be the brand going after the credit-challenged these days.

    Vibrants really seem to like the rebadged Nissan sedans in the Infiniti lineup.

    I assume it’s because they are fairly fast, don’t require a lot of maintenance, and are cheaper to run and repair than the German competition.

  137. anon[306] • Disclaimer says:

    OT

    Sailer’s Law of shooting tested in Florida again.

    https://thepostmillennial.com/breaking-3-dead-multiple-wounded-in-florida-graduation-party-shooting/

    According to Miami-Dade Police director Freddy Ramirez, the shooting occurred at around 2 a.m. in a hookah lounge restaurant located in a strip mall. Ramirez said that two vehicles pulled up to the hookah lounge and one of the two vehicles began to open fire on people leaving the lounge. According to police, two men and a woman were killed, and at least five others, three men and two women, were injured and transported to the hospital in private vehicles. Those who were injured are in stable condition.

    Police say that the woman who was killed was a Florida corrections officer.

    Such a mystery.

  138. @Clyde

    Clyde, hot pizza is not a distraction, unless a slice of pepperoni falls off on your freshly dry cleaned taupe slacks.

    • Replies: @Clyde
  139. @Steve Sailer

    We just traded our 2003 and 2008 in on a 2017. Our other is a 2015. Went a couple years/20,000 miles/$5k more than we wanted, but got $3k more than we thought on the trades.

    Uncle is a longtime Pontiac dealer who picked up Kia in 97. I told him to get Hyundai too when he had a chance but Kia was such a quality headache at the time that was a hard sell. He dropped Pontiac around the time Olds died and has been doing great with Kia exclusively since.

    They’re having a hard time finding inventory now which is more or less unprecedented. If you find something you like Steve I’d say now is the time to pull the trigger and update your fleet. They’re not getting cheaper anytime soon and cash is depreciating faster than good cars.

  140. Anon[264] • Disclaimer says:
    @utu

    What’s the problem if blacks and Mexicans are the ones being ejected through the windshield because they won’t wear seatbelts? We have to weed stupidity out of the gene pool somehow. I’d love to see the breakdown of non-seatbelt wearing corpses by race.

  141. Anonymous[415] • Disclaimer says:
    @Joe Stalin

    Use Plexus. It’s used to clean lights on jumbo jets.

    http://www.plexusplasticcleaner.com/about.html

    Scotty Kilmer suggest it. He is a really good resource for buying a used Car. Listen to him. Buy a Toyota product built in Japan with up to 100,000 and you can’t go wrong.

  142. TG says:

    Interesting points.

    While one post suggests that cataracts are not an issue, I know many people with cataracts and they complain a lot about glare at night. With more and more older drivers with post-cataract surgery on the road – and just more and more older drivers period – it seems to me that this could be an issue.

    Another minor point: I have a 2016 Subaru Forester, it’s a nice car, and it doesn’t have really blinding headlights – but – at night the low beams are so low to the ground, that if the road curves up I can’t see more than about 20 feet away! I tend to flick on my high beams on hilly terrain, trying not to blind oncoming drivers but also see what’s on the road.

    So maybe also just the sheer variety of lights could be an issue. If everyone has the same color and brightness and size etc. lights, whatever they are we will get used to them. If car lights vary widely between models, perhaps that itself is an issue.

    I also note that in the old days I could adjust the radio and AC by pure feel without taking my hands off the road – kind of like the “Hands on Throttle and Stick” that fighter pilots use. Nowadays it’s not just texting and driving – fundamental controls are really hard to use without taking your eyes off the road (it’s kind of ironic that ‘touch screens’ are impossible to use by pure touch!). Maybe get the aerospace human factors people involved, they’re good at this sort of thing.

    And a final note on blindingly bright headlights: this is what a libertarian would call an “externality.” What’s good for one person could be bad for others. In other words, yet another example of the fact that strictly pure libertarianism – everyone just do what’s best for them and to hell with everyone else – just makes no sense in the real world.

    • Replies: @Prof. Woland
  143. @Joe Stalin

    Now that cars have computers that automatically adjust the engine, do you think we can shut down all the state vehicle checking facilities and save a ton of dough by ridding us of all those employees?

    That will happen the day after all the toll collectors who are no longer needed because of EZ-Pass are laid off. It’s scheduled for the 12th of Never.

    • Agree: Hangnail Hans
  144. Anonymous[141] • Disclaimer says:

    I figured it was age. The lens of the eye loses some plasticity as we age. That means night glare is more of an issue for older people. This is also what causes presbyopia (hard to read small print).

  145. @The Alarmist

    Nobody’s ever tried to take my Hyundai logo.

    Haha! It is just an emblem, isn’t it, they don’t have it sticking up on the hood? Yep, you can change the oil on that thing easily too, unexpectedly (10 or 12 screws on the plastic guard, and the filter and drain plug are right there).

  146. @Hapalong Cassidy

    I have wondered if the flashing police lights are part of a strategy to create tension and confusion and give the police, who are used to their flashing lights, a cognitive advantage.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  147. @Jack D

    It’s not that you are driving downhill, it’s that the other cars are driving UPhill. (Low beam) headlights are supposed to be aimed at a slight downward angle (with the car sitting on level ground) so that the beam lights up the road directly in front of you and not the retinas of oncoming drivers. But if the rear end of the car is lower than the front (as when you are climbing a hill) this RAISES the angle of the beam and now it hits oncoming drivers in the eyes.

    Uphill, straight or downhill doesn’t really make any difference as long as the plane is the same. Gravity doesn’t move the photons much one way or another.

    What matters is really the 2nd derivative. If the road is essentially convex between you and the approaching car the light beams are “lifted” up relative to the road surfaces and may be in your face. When the road is concave between you and the driver you’re both blasting you beams into the ground.

    My guess is that when Steve hits the first bit of Laurel Canyon downslope, Steve’s car being at the pass is more level but the cars coming up are on a steeper pitch–i.e. a convex shape. Then the slope becomes more level and lights less of a problem–more normal. Then at the bottom near his house the road is concave as the slope drops and drops down toward being level at the Valley bottom.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  148. Mr. Anon says:

    So, it isn’t just me. I’ve thought for a long time that head-lights are too damned bright now. Of course, my vision is getting poorer with age, but I knew there was more to it than just that.

    Not just the headlights, but those LED traffic lights are too bright as well. They screw with your night vision at precisely the place you need to be most aware – an intersection.

  149. @Bill P

    If you want a compact crossover the Mazda CX-30 looks pretty good for the money.

    Is Steve Japanese?

    • Replies: @Bill P
  150. mmack says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Steve,

    Everyone will tell you what to buy what not to buy. Some general advice I would give you:

    1) Buy a sedan. Midsize (Camry, Accord, Sonata, K5) or a step below (Corolla, Civic, Elantra, Forte). If you can still fit in one comfortably they are a good choice for bargaining. I say comfortably since with their lower ride height for fuel economy some folks don’t like stepping or leaning down to get in a passenger car. Everyone seemingly wants CUVs, SUVs, and Pickups. There’s still demand for sedans, but not at the levels there used to be.

    2) As others have said, consider Hyundai or Kia. We have a 2019 Sonata we bought brand new and it’s a pretty solid car with Japanese car quality without the Japanese car price.

    3) I’ll be contrarian. Buy now while Biden bucks haven’t been devalued and there are still cars on the lot. The pandemic really screwed with production schedules.

    It’s free advice so it’s worth every penny. 😆

  151. @Steve Sailer

    All lies. Sailer bought a 2021 Toyota Highlander using his CoronaBonu$$$ from the Democratic Party and China – all for pushing the CoronaHoax. And he has $50 large left over for a new roof and water heater.

    Oh and, btw, #RahmWon.

    • Replies: @mmack
  152. @Jack D

    Chrysler did Honda one better and made vans where ALL of the seats fold flat into the floor. Having owned a van where you had to remove the middle row seats manually, fully disappearing seats are a BIG improvement.

    Minivans are great. The combination of capacity, roadability and mileage–suburb.

    We had our three kids–and sometimes camping gear–driving all over–mostly the West but also our 8100 mile cross country and back trip–in comfort. I’ve packed it full incredible amounts of gear and/or scouts on numerous scout outings. When we moved my daughter down to the Bay Area for med school, she had some boxes in her SUV, but our old minivan ate most all her stuff–dresser, bed frame and mattress, desk, boxes of kitchen stuff and a papasan chair. Didn’t even have to rent a U-haul trailer. (Wallowed a bit on some of the turns/hills around Shasta Lake, but fine.)

    I never minded driving one, it was a statement that the most important job in my life was being a dad.

    And yeah, Chrysler’s fold flat–which we’ve got on our “new” van (2005), but weren’t in our old 2002 (bought right after 911)–are awesome.

    When prices ease, i’ll get a late model Pacifica. I’ll build a sleeping/gear stowage platform for the XC drive and await the grandchildren. They’ll have to pry my minivan from my cold dead fingers.

  153. anon[390] • Disclaimer says:

    Why are our best and brightest giving us advances
    that are undesirable, unwanted, unnecessary, unhealthy?

    Many auto advances, like spy cameras, best treated with a putter.

    Other Advances:

    Flying drones can be fun but not as much fun as a drone homerun.

  154. @John Johnson

    John (and for Steve too), I was ready to buy a brand new vehicle for my wife, money on hand, but then I checked how much the property tax would be. No go. I just wasn’t going to pay that much each year for a few years, so I went with a 1 1/2 year old one with 35,000 miles on it. It was about 70% of the price of a new one. I’ve never bought a new one. Then again, I don’t know about property tax on vehicles in CA and/or LA County.

  155. @AnotherDad

    Gravity doesn’t move the photons much one way or another.

    It does at quantum levels. You just can’t perceive it.

  156. Rob McX says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I suspect most fuel additives are a waste of money, but there are a few of them out there that will work wonders in emissions tests. I remember a few years ago when my car failed, my mechanic used his equipment to analyse the fumes and told me there was no way it could pass. But then I poured a bottle of stuff called NoSmoke into the tank and it sailed through the retest.

  157. tr says:
    @prime noticer

    The future’s so bright. I gotta wear shades.

  158. @Jack D

    I wrestled with the same issue on a Lincoln for almost a year – seemingly every month some insanely high tech, over-engineered piece of gadgetry going bad.

  159. Rob McX says:
    @Jack D

    But due to quirks in the way that the French taxed automobiles, French cars were alway extremely underpowered, even by the standards of the day.

    It’s both taxation and the price of fuel that keep European car engines smaller than American ones.

  160. Western says:
    @mmack

    Sedans are hideous now. They are too sporty. I like the old boxy look. It looks better and is easier to see out of the back. Thrown in the mandates that you mentioned and they are ugly.

    I don’t why they mandate that sedans have to be low to the ground but they don’t for pick-ups or SUVs. 58% percent of cars sold now are SUVs and 20 percent are pick-ups. Both have much higher front-ends than sedans I assume.

    • Replies: @Houston 1992
  161. @Anon

    What exactly is the utility of these utility vehicles? How many of their owners haul furniture or feed corn?

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    , @El Dato
  162. Alden says:

    Attention Men of UNZ Your favorite royal lady. Meghan the Magnificent had her baby girl Friday. Named Lilibet Dianna Guelph the true surname of the English royal family

  163. @Joe Stalin

    No way, Joe. You’d be ruining the dreams of those little kids who want to follow in their fathers’ and grandfathers’ footsteps by operating an automatic smog check station.

  164. Clyde says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    Clyde, hot pizza is not a distraction, unless a slice of pepperoni falls off on your freshly dry cleaned taupe slacks.

    I am definitely a pepperoni man. But I like anchovies even more. I know that most are repulsed by having those little fishes swimming around on top of their pizza. Even more better have green peppers with the anchovies. I like to take store bought frozen pizza, add the anchovies, green pepper slices, some salt and some hot pepper flakes as it cooks.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  165. @Reg Cæsar

    Reg, they pay all that money for that 12″ or whatever ground clearance, huge rear end, big shocks and wheels, and most of them don’t get off the road. Then, they slow down to 2 mph to go over speed bumps and slow me down in a little sedan, as Peak Stupidity made fun of in “Sport Utility Drivers – GET OFF the ROAD …”.

  166. @jamie b.

    OK, Boomer…

    I mean, you’re absolutely right, but that’s the proper reply. “OK, Boomer” is the young peoples’ way of saying “if this isn’t on an app or some website, there’s no way I can follow what you’re saying, so my mind will be closing now, OK, Boomer?”

  167. anon[261] • Disclaimer says:

    OT – Nigeria bans Twatter, Twatter issues declaration making a statement. Entertainment ensues.

  168. Jack D says:
    @Hangnail Hans

    Unfortunately not true because the modern day German manufacturers (especially) seem to engineer their components so that they last the length of the warranty but lasting longer is considered unnecessary and wasted cost. Most 3rd party extended warranties sold by dealers are highly marked up (and full of exclusions) but the factory program (or “certified pre-owned warranty”) is usually pretty sound (but is also marked up by the dealer and subject to negotiation).

  169. @Buffalo Joe

    Thanks for mentioning the “info unit” or whatever those new illuminated central console displays are called. I’ve been appalled at how bright they are in newer cars, and they’re almost all in the night-vision-killing blue spectrum. Finding the brightness-reduction control on them is not obvious. And then most drivers seem to like having these bright blue-white things spectroscopically blasting them in the face from just below their view out onto the road. How these drivers see anything at night is a mystery.

    Dashboard design used to understand that whatever is on the dashboard is only of secondary importance: the view of the road is the paramount concern. Modern design seem to be to make the dashboard interior as dazzling as possible, and to heck with whatever happens to be outside in the path of the vehicle.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
  170. Rahm was 18 under after three days. Cantlay finished 13 under after four days.

    Give Cantlay another week and he ties Rahm.

    Rahm won the tournament, laboring under a CoronaHoax-positive diagnosis.

    Covid19 is a hoax.

  171. @AnotherDad

    Back in the day, I had one of those spaceship-looking Chevy minivans with the wraparound windscreens. When my daughter got big enough to open the side door by herself, she discovered the minivan in the driveway was the perfect child-sized modernist “house” for her and her friends to play in, even climbing on the roof and sunning themselves on their “patio”. Many was the morning I went to the minivan to drive to school and found the seats reconfigured and the cabin full of bedding, pillows, dolls, etc. leftover from yesterday’s playdate. Sometimes the battery was dead from a cabin light being left on. But I could never be too angry about it when I recalled the fun the kids had building their little dream houses in there.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  172. @utu

    Hey, you missed the most HBD one:

    non-Hispanic Black people (up 23%)

    [Note reverential capitalization.]

    Once you have that one, the other statistical increases kind of fall into place.

    Turns out the poh-leece were right: driving while B!lack really is a road hazard.

  173. Clyde says:
    @AnotherDad

    When prices ease, i’ll get a late model Pacifica. I’ll build a sleeping/gear stowage platform for the XC drive and await the grandchildren. They’ll have to pry my minivan from my cold dead fingers.

    My next-door neighbor has a Pacifica. Dark blue color. It is huge inside. Very suitable for your purposes. The best place to see what new cars look like and how they drive is youtube. Tons of automobile reviews by enthusiasts.

    2021 Chrysler Pacifica · Fuel economy
    City: 17 – 19 mpg · Highway: 25 – 28 mpg

    If someone laid 23 thousand on me I would buy a base model Honda HR-V or Hyundai Kona. I like the crossover look (styling) and cargo capacity. Loading via the rear hatch back. I will never buy another sedan. They are boring and for old fogies. What are crossovers but severely updated station wagons.

  174. @Steve Sailer

    If you can hold out, there’s a chance some really good prices on some late model cars is just around the corner. Deagle dot com forecasts a rapid population crash leaving less than 100 milion alive in this country. Some other folks think the ‘rona is designed to reduce entitlement and health care costs for the elderly. Personally, I’m not worried b/c it is inconceivable that I would perish, and yes, the word means what I think it means. Dittos for you and all other Unzians.

    This means there will be a surplus of late model Buicks … because old people drive Buicks and … nevermind.

  175. Jack D says:
    @AnotherDad

    I still have a 10+ year old Chrysler van but not with the disappearing 2nd row. The “captain’s chairs” are heavy and awkward to remove but once they are out it’s cavernous – it will take a 4×8 sheet of plywood flat with the gate closed, which even many pickups won’t and will hold a ton of stuff. And with the seats back in it will seat 7 in reasonable comfort. They are really unbeatable in terms of flexibility. I’m holding onto mine for as long as it will last.

  176. Something other than brightness alone: there are a lot of beams not pointed the right way now, and I think it’s because getting a new bulb seated properly is very hard in a lot of the new cars.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Bill P
  177. cthulhu says:
    @Joe Stalin

    These “smog checks” were conceived of in the 1970s. Now that cars have computers that automatically adjust the engine, do you think we can shut down all the state vehicle checking facilities and save a ton of dough by ridding us of all those employees?

    For cars less than about 20 years old, just about all the smog check station does is read the codes from the electronic engine controller (EEC); they don’t actually test the exhaust. If your “check engine” light is on, you automatically fail the smog test. If you happen to have disconnected the battery in the last hundred miles or so, the EEC may not have finished all of its diagnostics, so the smog check station will tell you they can’t test your car and to come back after having driven the car through its recommended EEC re-initialization profile (e.g., X minutes at idle, Y minutes below 40 mph, Z minutes between 50 and 70 mph, etc., typically takes an hour or so of driving).

    So, yeah, basically the smog check stations are just a glorified state-approved data processing center.

  178. Anon[369] • Disclaimer says:
    @International Jew

    My wife has a new Volvo XC90. It has a sensor which at night detects oncoming headlights and will dim its own headlights until the other vehicle passes (or when all oncoming vehicles pass).

  179. I once got in an argument on this very topic with the sorts of people who read the New York Times. I assume they’ll be glad they can finally believe my lying eyes

    Edit: apparently no-one else has mentioned, but supposedly a factor is that people’s headlights are often not angled downward like they should be. This was for various reasons that I don’t remember and can’t vouch for. (Seemed irrelevant to me, and the person telling me this was trying to tell me that headlights hadn’t gotten any brighter, so fuck him anyway.)

  180. @Paco Wové

    lmao @ this fucking dipshit getting people killed and patting himself on the back at how sweet his lasers are

  181. Bill P says:
    @International Jew

    You can adjust the beams yourself in most cases. It usually isn’t hard. Sometimes you need an Allen wrench; sometimes a Phillips head does the trick. Bulb seating really shouldn’t be an issue. If it is, your manufacturer is cutting corners Chinese style.

  182. Bill P says:
    @AnotherDad

    Gimme a break. My old ’97 Ford ranger had a 2.3 liter Mazda four-banger (manufactured in Hiroshima) under the hood and it ran like a champ.

    How many cars are 100% manufactured in the USA today? None.

    What you want today is to keep the cheap Chinese components out of your car. Or at least to be sure that the quality control guys are doing a better job that Antonio Fauci and Pyotr Daszak.

    In that regard, I trust the Japs better than our own executives.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  183. @Jack D

    Buying a used car is like marrying a woman with kids; it’s waving a white flag that you have given up and can’t do any better.

    • Troll: Hangnail Hans
  184. @Return of Shawn

    You may want to buy one that is one to two years old.

    Yes, and I may want a pet unicorn as well.

    • Replies: @Return of Shawn
  185. @Almost Missouri

    even climbing on the roof and sunning themselves on their “patio”

    Did she and her friends do this as teenagers? Were they topless?

  186. @Anon

    Could they just design pickup trucks with headlights positioned lower in the front end?

    • Replies: @Bill P
  187. @David

    That was a crazy freak accident. I doubt Honda engineers had ever considered the possibility that someone would lean back over the third row seat to grab something out of the cargo area behind it – which is incredibly inconvenient compared to just opening the back hatch, but apparently the hatch on this kid’s van had a stuck latch or broken handle or something. Not sure if the seat latch just couldn’t handle the twisting force or if it just wasn’t latched properly (here’s an illustration of how it went).

    I own a much newer Odyssey and the 3rd-row seat design hasn’t really changed since the 2002 model, so I’ve made a mental note to not ever do that myself.

  188. @Western

    I liked the boxier look, but aerodynamics/ fuel economy CAFE etc makes boxiness impractical for CAFE standards

  189. @Achmed E. Newman

    A) Do you know someone well in the next county that has no smog check?

    Hey, Acchie! In the old days it was a sensor in the tailpipe and also a particulate count (smoke). Since the OBD 1, 2 and 3 systems came out, it’s not a smog check, it’s an OBD check. If there’s a check engine light, it’s a violation. You have to fix the problem, the light has to be reset and then the car driven for a period of time until the associated registers in the OBD check off the problem as clear. The entire process assumes if the Check Engine light is out, the car is clean. In my Massachusetts, a car at 15 doesn’t have to pass OBD, just mechanical. My Subaru is 15, is clean with no lights or codes set (as of a week or two back, I read my own).

    If your sedan is an automatic it’s bound to have transmission problems sometime when it gets to the high 100 thousands or 200,000 miles, per the same mechanic, so if you’ve got your money out of it, maybe it is time to let go.

    Ya have to make an economic decision, repairs vs. new/used/another vehicle. My Subaru Outback only has 150K, only worth 3 thousand, but it has the 5-speed and winter package and has always run perfectly. I just put new wheels and tires on it for $750.00 at Town Fair, new, the old ones were corroded. Then I put a timing belt in it, that cost $1200. Before those, in a years’ time a new alternator, power steering pump, a new compressor for the AC (one thing after another, but that’s cool), but I do it all DIY with new parts including my brakes. But then, fuck me, a new radiator last fall, $600.00 (I let the dealer do that one with hoses, etc.). It’s settled down the past couple thousand miles, the winter time plus a trip to Florida and back. It ran like a bastard at 80 and 90 there and back when all the traffic was still off the road without issues. So I guess that was all worth it. But you reach a point where your back teeth start to itch, ya know?

    My 2017 Taurus I usually use for road trips and the Subaru for around BahSton (My Boston Beater), but I needed the Subaru down there for a specific purpose. The Taurus is sweet, the last of the decent American passenger cars in a full-size. Great car the Taurus, the Subaru is what it is, for what it is, especially in the snow.

  190. Dube says:

    Aha Steve, so that was you on the winding dive (sic) down from Mulholland on Laurel Canyon Road. Have you a Canyon Country Store story? Right there at Kirkwood, the annual Laurel Canyon photograph of a few hundred quick steppers composed for a big smile with traffic stopped in both directions, arranged with approval of all the powers that be of the storied land. Were you in the picture or just clenching the steering wheel?

  191. @Jack D

    Unfortunately not true as CPO is just another variety of extended warranty scam. With the better makes the certification isn’t worthless as they do prep the cars, but even there the warranty itself is inclusionary.

    What’s more, in recent years the German makes have improved their game w.r.t. reliability and most make good used cars, notable exceptions being the expensive and exotic variants. Repairs remain very expensive though.

    That being said, I didn’t mention German cars.

  192. Anon[385] • Disclaimer says:

    OT

    There’s a cringey but hilarious reality-show-style YouTube video up where six people speak to each other, rank each other by intelligence, and then take an “IQ test” on a laptop that ranks them objectively.

    The “IQ test” ranks them from 112 to 136, so I don’t think it’s that valid. Too bad. This kind of video, done completely legitimately, with a psychologist-administered test or at least a legitimate standardized test, would have been great.

    One disappointment is that the test ranked four of the people within a third of a standard deviation of each other, and two were tied, so there wasn’t that big of a payoff from seeing people clearly ranked.

    Spoilers below:

    [MORE]

    The person with the most years of education, a biosciences Ph.D was lowest. Her IQ of 112 these days is probably enough to get you a Ph.D., but a STEM Ph.D. (admittedly bio, not hard STEM)? In days of yore 112 was the low end of college students (not counting athletes).

    The (sort of) black Yale woman who trashed the white high-school-graduate military guy tied with him in the middle (and he just came off better than her in general). She ranked herself highest and him lowest.

    The Asian guy was top. The other Asian guy was second to the bottom: He is a freaky gender-ambiguous guy, not very articulate.

    The white woman with a degree from a run-of-the-mill school was second. She made a good impression.

    When guessing myself (I was pretty good, although Ph.D. chick totally fooled me) I was wondering how much to factor in verbal presentation and behavior. I didn’t want to pollute my rankings with simple personality stuff. I would love to have a series of these videos, done with legitimate IQ tests, to help me test and hone my ability to perceive IQ without being influenced by irrelevant factors.

    Pewdiepie reacts to the video (entertaining and perceptive but, Trigger warning: Pewdiepie content):

    • Replies: @James Speaks
    , @anonymous
  193. Anonymous[346] • Disclaimer says:
    @Clyde

    I am definitely a pepperoni man. But I like anchovies even more. I know that most are repulsed by having those little fishes swimming around on top of their pizza. Even more better have green peppers with the anchovies. I like to take store bought frozen pizza, add the anchovies, green pepper slices, some salt and some hot pepper flakes as it cooks.

    Anchovy pizza is delicious. One of the best pizzas. I’ve never had it with green peppers, or any other topping, though. I’ll have to try it.

    It’s hard to find anchovy pizza these days outside of the northeast. Authentic NY style pizza with anchovies is just phenomenal. People who’ve never tried it are put off by the fishiness, but everyone I’ve introduced it to who thought they’d hate it or dislike fish have come to love it.

    Anchovy pizza used to be much more common when Catholics used to eat fish on Fridays.

    https://thefederalist.com/2019/03/22/catholic-church-destroy-anchovy-pizza/

    Throughout much of the 20th century, anchovies were as associated with pizza as cream cheese is with bagels, or mustard with hot dogs. In movies, television shows, and (of course) pizzerias, anchovy pizza was ubiquitous. The practice of eating fish on pizza goes back to ancient Rome, so it was natural for it to be a part of the development of modern American pizza.

    But today, though some restaurants keep it on the menu out of cultural lag or tradition, anchovies are the single least popular topping in America. So what caused this steep decline? Why did the anchovy pizza go from family favorite to gag-inducing?

    I place the blame squarely at the feet of the Roman Catholic Church. In particular the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican (Vatican 2), which closed in 1965 and officially made abstaining from meat on Friday optional except for the seven Fridays in Lent. If my theory is correct it is an example of religious observance, or lack thereof, having a host of unintended consequences.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Anon
    , @Clyde
  194. Anonymous[256] • Disclaimer says:
    @Bill P

    What you want today is to keep the cheap Chinese components out of your car. Or at least to be sure that the quality control guys are doing a better job that Antonio Fauci and Pyotr Daszak.

    The Mexican auto parts are considered worse than the Chinese.

    • Replies: @Bill P
  195. @Achmed E. Newman

    The other guy, SN.

    The corrector corrected.

    I thought it strange that there was no odometer light on our 20th-century Odyssey, a pre-Alabama model. When the sun went down, we had to rely on a penlight to read it.

    Then one night I hit a big buck. Suddenly the odometer light that had been there all along finally worked.

    This is not intended as a recommendation, however.

    • Replies: @Rob McX
  196. anon[300] • Disclaimer says:
    @ATBOTL

    Cuckservative media is notorious for not noticing things. Fortunately you read iSteve. You may have missed some posts, though.

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/jury-takes-2-hours-to-find-carjack-murderer-not-guilty/

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/more-on-carjacking-murderer-who-walked-free/

  197. Bill P says:
    @Steve Sailer

    The height isn’t the problem — it’s the angle. I’ve driven 18-wheelers and motorcoaches with high headlights, but they are aimed specifically to avoid blinding oncoming traffic. The high beams are literally higher, not just brighter.

    I’m not a big fan of regulation, but in the case of headlights it’s probably a good idea. People are selfish morons on the road. SUVs are an example of this. People feel better in a higher position. When I rode a motorcycle suburban housewives in huge SUVs treated me like an insect and almost ran me over a few times. Incidentally, this is why people like noisy, intimidating motorcycles. They are safer because people notice them.

    The lights that flood oncoming traffic are a selling point for asshole drivers. You could easily adjust reflectors and angle to prevent this, but people like it. So I think when people do their emissions test they should also do a light test. Yeah, it’s a pain in the ass, but I used to do it every single day. They can handle it once every year or two, and it would save lives.

  198. @Anonymous

    But I like anchovies even more. I know that most are repulsed by having those little fishes swimming around on top of their pizza. Even more better have green peppers with the anchovies.

    It’s hard to find anchovy pizza these days outside of the northeast. Authentic NY style pizza with anchovies is just phenomenal.

    Dig this cat who agrees with you:

    I finally got around to making my own “Hobbes special”. Damn, it was good!

    • LOL: El Dato
  199. @Anon

    The (sort of) black Yale woman who trashed the white high-school-graduate military guy tied with him in the middle (and he just came off better than her in general). She ranked herself highest and him lowest.

    Priceless. Obviously the test was rigged.

  200. @TG

    Another minor point: I have a 2016 Subaru Forester, it’s a nice car, and it doesn’t have really blinding headlights – but – at night the low beams are so low to the ground, that if the road curves up I can’t see more than about 20 feet away!

    I think that is a Subaru thing. I have a 2017 Outback and it does the exact same thing. Very annoying.
    Now my Mercedes w114 has Hella lights including foggers and between that and 340 degree vision I see everything, day and night. My Subaru needs the electronic sensors and reverse camera because I feel like I am driving in a space capsule. A lot of blind spots in that car.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  201. Read the comments.

  202. NVan says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Briefly washed cars circa 2002 Hyundai dealer. 2 mechanics vs 12 @ adjacent Toyota. Senior Mech was an ace – sold his shop, ‘Silk Cat Jag’, too young to retire, said ‘Can you handle STFU, get out of my space, FU to the Sales Mngr?’ JP Hyundai obliged. He soon told the 2nd Mech young Journeyman ‘You’re not good enough to be here – up your game.’ Guy left.
    1998 was the legendary Corporate seminal Hyundai milestone – Korean CEO said ‘We’re aiming for the top – are you with us or retired?’ So 2002 was the 1st shot – Accent, Elantra – others were lined up in the pipeline. I asked Chris: ‘Opinion?’
    ‘Tore ’em apart, handled every warranty claim, lifetime spent on XKE’s – this matches Toyota/ Corolla.’
    Following years were referred to as ‘What the auto writer/ reviewer writes’ vs ‘What the writer has in his garage.’

    • Replies: @Chris Renner
  203. Anonymous[601] • Disclaimer says:

    Re automatically-dimming headlights, it’s nothing new:
    Here’s an ad for a 1959 Chrysler. Note item (3) on the dashboard photo: it’s an “Automatic Beam-Changer — politely dim your lights.” And item (6) is a “Mirror-Matic — flips headlight glare out of your eyes…electronically.”
    Space-Age Magic, Daddy-O!

    • Replies: @mmack
  204. Anon[385] • Disclaimer says:
    @Bill P

    What is it about a turbo that causes problems? More mechanical complexity?

    We threw in the turbo option on the car we bought last year because my wife’s friend had a turbo engine car and my wife wanted one too. There’s one hill where I can get the engine revving way up before the variable transmission kicks in, which is kind of fun, but otherwise I question the value of the turbo.

    • Replies: @Bill P
    , @Jack D
  205. Anon[122] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    I’m convinced. I’m going to start some dough tonight, and make anchovy pizza tomorrow night.

    Former Chez Panisse chef Cal Peternell has anchovies on almost everything in a cookbook of his that I have. He says the prejudice against them is because they are often not used fresh. He says you need to use an entire can at a time, pop open the can, or jar, and eat them all within hours. Yikes!

    If you ever come across the Japanese food “shiokara,” the taste can be very similar to anchovies. It’s heavily salted, fermented squid viscera. Compared to the nice clean look of an anchovy fillet, it’s a little gross, but the taste is fine.

    • Replies: @Clyde
    , @Anonymous
  206. Bill P says:
    @AnotherDad

    I’ve tried to resist, but I just can’t let this rest.

    Minivans, in my opinion, are an aesthetic crime against humanity. I hate them with a passion beyond reason.

    Why not just get a station wagon? Why should I have to see this bastard of a vehicle cross my field of vision in an otherwise harmonious neighborhood with Queen Anne or Georgian architecture?

    Minivans look like they just slid out of a reptilian cloaca. Maybe they are utilitarian, but I don’t care. Would the world be better if we all wore onesies? Because that’s what they are: a sort of artificial, egg-like shell rolling around our streets and making people feel sick.

    I’m sorry if this comes off as intemperate, but it’s a visceral thing.

    • Replies: @mmack
    , @Anonymous
  207. @NVan

    As best as I can figure out, the story you’re telling in this comment is “grizzled old mechanic was highly impressed with the quality of new Hyundais in the early 2000s”.

    It’s a good story, but it would be a lot better if you wrote it with the idea that the people reading it have never worked anywhere near car sales or manufacturing.

  208. Bill P says:
    @Anon

    Turbo is great for a burst of power (which most of us really don’t need), but that power comes with higher heat and stress that wears things down faster. It uses a very high rpm compressor to create more powerful combustion in the engine, and it’s cooled by your engine oil, which degrades the oil. It also requires a richer fuel mixture, so you have to buy premium to get the most out of it.

    I’d love to have a hobby turbo rally car, and I just might built one someday when I have an old compact to play with, but for a reliable car to get around town or take vacations you really don’t need it or the accelerated maintenance schedule it comes with.

    But then again, if money isn’t an issue, go ahead and have fun with a turbocharged car. But in that case you might as well get some sweet German ride like a turbo Audi. I’m just giving Steve advice for a pragmatic American middle class guy who wants steady performance for years to come.

    • Replies: @Clyde
  209. Anonymous[194] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I don’t have the DIY skills that make it cost-effective to buy old used cars. And newer used cars have gotten expensive, so it makes sense to buy a new mass market car.

    Fixing issues on you’re car isn’t rocket science. Note your local mechanic. Does he seem like an intellectually inclined person? General spatial reasoning and decent working memory is all that’s required. The other challenge of fixing it yourself are the proprietary tools required. A decent torque wrench will set you back at least $150. Other stuff to facilitate a repair, same thing.

    And finally, It’s not so much you “don’t have the DIY skills as much as… you don’t want to.

    I was the same way with learning how to create and format spreadsheets. I just didn’t want to. I felt I didn’t have the capacity to deal with it. Until I got a contract for a job that required me to create and format spreadsheets that paid really well. Then I was a spreadsheet authoring em effer. It was a lot easier when I was getting paid.

    Anyway, even with the prices of used cars now, going used is cheaper.

    And never buy a Kia. They still have silly engine issues, and they try to weasel out of fixing the problems correctly until you’re out of warranty, since fixing them correctly would require a partial engine overhaul. Kia’s still suck.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  210. El Dato says:

    What are you guys doing?

    I certainly hope you are keeping up with the latest horrific noose incidents on construction sites.

    How do you stop constructions in USSA? Tie a noose at the site.

    The FBI is looking into it. Already over 1000000 offended. CDC about to declare a noode epidemic. Fauci on TV demonstrating anti-noose gear which suspiciously looks like a BDSM collar.

  211. Clyde says:
    @Bill P

    Thanks! I will never buy a turbo charged vehicle. You explained perfectly.

  212. Bill P says:
    @Anonymous

    Like he said it’s quality control. The Japanese are real hardasses with the Chinese workers. It’s an ancient tradition. Americans are pathetic softies when it comes to Chinese. I think this is because Americans are especially susceptible to ass kissing, which is a skill the Chinese excel at above all others.

    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
  213. @Anonymous

    “General spatial reasoning”

    3D cognitive ability I’ve never had and am unlikely to develop now. I’m okay at 2D visual thinking, but 3D … a man’s got to know his limitations.

  214. Mike Tre says:
    @JMcG

    LOL and thanks. Well said.

  215. @Jim Christian

    I did wonder about my junker car when I was invited to lunch at Riviera CC a couple of years ago, but the guard was very nice.

    • Replies: @Mike
    , @Anonymous
  216. mmack says:
    @Bill P

    “Why not just get a station wagon?”

    Where would you find one? Your choices in 2021 would be Mercedes Benz, Volvo, Audi, and Subaru. Not exactly inexpensive makes (well, Subaru).

    The station wagon died because:

    1) CAFE rules killed the big body on frame cars that your classic “Family Truckster” station wagon (Ford County Squire, Mercury Colony Park, Pontiac Safari, Chrysler Town and Country, etc.) was based on.

    2) People prefer minivans. To your eye they may not look pretty but they utilize space better than old station wagons and carry more people in comfort. Capitalism dictates companies make more of what people buy, and less of what they don’t.

    Ironically minivans are dying off because people are buying CUVs and SUVs 🚙 which utilize the wagon’s two box styling, now with 4WD / AWD.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  217. mmack says:
    @Anonymous

    GM has their “Autronic Eye” headlight dimmer way back in 1952:

    https://www.underhoodservice.com/gms-autronic-eye-1952/

    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/attachments/sat4672460831_32a52eaa8c_b-jpg.3199757/

    Sat in a little stylistic pod on your dashboard.

    BTW, nice ad for a 1959 Forward Look Chrysler. The only year of that 1957 – 59 styling cycle that didn’t rust away to nothing in three years.

  218. @mmack

    My 2001 Honda Odyssey minivan is more of a 1.5 box style:

    You can squeeze a pretty big engine these days under a pretty small hood if you want to. But people like the assertive statement made by a huge hood.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @Dube
  219. Yngvar says:

    Daniel Stern, chief editor of Driving Vision News, a technical journal that covers the automotive lighting industry.

    That’s just amazing.

  220. mmack says:
    @Je Suis Omar Mateen

    HIGHLANDER?!?!?

    Please. 😒 Our man Steve would roll a Lexus ES sedan.

    Steel gray, understated with a hint of aggression via the grill. The Thinking Man’s Luxury Car for The Man Who Notices ™.

    A mere plebeian Highlander. Ha! 😏

  221. Jack D says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Minivan styling has barely progressed. Here is the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica:

    It’s really not that different. Minivans need to be designed from the inside out – you need a cube of a certain volume in order for a minivan to be a minivan. You can try to soften the edges of the cube a bit to disguise the fact that it’s a giant cube on wheels but there are limits to what you can do.

  222. El Dato says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    I think those cars are mostly Black or Mobster driven.

    • Replies: @El Dato
  223. El Dato says:
    @El Dato

    From William Gibson’s “Zero History”:

    “I was in Iraq,” she said. “Three months. In the Green Zone. I got tired of that color too.”

    Milgrim could think of nothing to say. “Was it dangerous?” asked his robot.

    “They had a Cinnabon,” she said. “I missed my kids.” She finished her beer, and put the bottle down on a cut-glass coaster with a frilled sterling lip. “That was his wife you met, in the gift shop. He’s been in Iraq too. First in an elite unit, then later as a contractor.”

    “I was afraid of him,” Milgrim said.

    “I imagine he’s fairly dysfunctional,” she said, as though that wasn’t something warranting any surprise. “What is it with that Toyota?”

    “The Hilux?”

    “What local cooperation I have is via the FBI’s legal attaché here. The Brits were willing to follow you from the airport, and to let me know where you were staying. But they’re curious about the truck.”

    “It’s Bigend’s,” Milgrim said. “It has armor fitted by a firm named Jankel, special engine, tires that keep going if they’re shot up.” He didn’t say cartel grade.

    “Is that really his name?”

    “The French pronunciation would be ‘Bayh-jhan,’ I think. But he seems to favor the other.”

    “Why would he need a truck like that?”

    “He doesn’t need to need it. He just needs to be curious about it.”

    “Must be nice.”

    “I don’t know if I’d describe him that way,” Milgrim said. “But he’s definitely curious.”

    “And extremely well connected here. When my Brits ran the registration, I got the feeling, they decided that a tail from the airport and the name of your hotel was about all I’d be getting. Though that might have been all I’d have gotten anyway. But they did ask about the truck.”

    “There aren’t that many genuinely eccentric rich people,” Milgrim said. “Evidently. Not even here.”

    “Couldn’t prove it by me.”

    “No,” Milgrim agreed, and took a tiny, careful sip of his bitter lemon pop.

  224. Jack D says:
    @Anon

    In addition to the fact that the turbo system itself can break, the essence of a turbo setup is that you can make more power out of a small engine by forcing more air into it. Instead of a V-6 you can use a turbo 4 and make the same power. The increased power means everything in the engine (especially at the bottom end – the rods, the crank bearings, etc.) is getting hit harder. The pressures in the cylinder are higher, putting more stress on the head gasket. With more power comes more waste heat. Now it is possible to properly design an engine to take these increased stresses, but all things being equal the non-turbo engine is less stressed and is going to last longer.

    You’ll notice that Toyota has not exactly rushed to adopt turbos because they want to maintain their reputation for extreme longevity.

  225. Clyde says:
    @Anonymous

    Most informative! I will never apologize again for eating anchovy pizza. Those who make fun of me shall feel my wrath.

  226. Clyde says:
    @Anon

    Anchovies add some salty highlights too. To the pizza. I would cut the green peppers into large pieces and slightly pre-cook them. Sauté in anchovy oil? The ooni pizza ovens are selling like hotcakes at Amazon, at $500 on up. Prolly Covid related.

  227. peterike says:

    When I moved back to New York City after many years on Long Island, the day after my move I sold my car. And I’m blissfully happy about not having one. It’s really a great relief to not have to concern oneself with the constant, irksome upkeep, even keeping the damn thing clean or getting one of those useless inspections.

    Sure, De Blasio’s New York is steadily turning into Thunder Dome, but being able to live without a car is one of the true benefits of the urban lifestyle.

  228. Mr. Grey says:
    @John Up North

    I’ve complained about this for years now. Also aren’t SUV headlights higher off the ground, making normal headlights appear as highbeams?

    • Replies: @John Up North
  229. anonymous[194] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    The “IQ test” ranks them from 112 to 136, so I don’t think it’s that valid.

    You can get a great idea of a subject’s IQ with less stringent tests.

    One disappointment is that the test ranked four of the people within a third of a standard deviation of each other, and two were tied, so there wasn’t that big of a payoff from seeing people clearly ranked.

    There was plenty of payoff seeing little miss cunt at the bottom, especially since her reasoning skills were so obviously poor, as demonstrated.

    It’s funny how the more they would talk about “emotional IQ” or “dyslexia” hampering their IQ score, the less well they tended to do. People who aspire to a high IQ don’t tend to have one. When you live with being a smarty pants, you tend to take it for granted, and tend to have an “it is what it is” attitude.

  230. @ScarletNumber

    Buy a lease return. They are a bit more common than pet unicorns.

  231. @Jack D

    You can also buy the dealer warranties online from other dealers. I bought a Honda one online for about 70% of what the selling dealer wanted.

  232. @Almost Missouri

    Missouri , my 2019 SUV has a dimmer switch for the info screen. I can also simply push an icon and the screen goes black. I can not drive at night with that hi-def 9 inch screen in my vision. My daughter has a Mazda cross over. It has a clear screen that rises out of the dashboard directly behind the steering wheel. Magically tells you the name of the next cross street, the posted speed limit, construction ahead, curve arrows, etc. Too much. Drive safely. Oh, since fewer people smoke, cars don’t have ash trays anymore. Who can forget the occasional flare up in the ash tray or the dropped, lit butt to the carpet. Major distraction as your car seat smolders between your legs.

  233. @JMcG

    JMcg, nearby there was a company that did very well selling after market stainless steel brakes…rotors, calipers, lines etc. Seems to be out of business now. Years ago I owned a ’70 Corvette. Purchase price was doable, cost of keeping it on the road led to me sell it.

    • Replies: @JMcG
  234. @mmack

    mmack, I drive West on the I-90 to see the kids in Cleveland. ALL the NYS toll booths are unmanned, almost all are gone, the few remaining are being removed. No more toll collectors. If you don’t have EZ Pass the overhead plate readers scan your plate and they send you a bill. I crossed the Grand Island Bridge (I-190) and did not have my EZ Pass afixed to my windshield. They sent me a bill for the $1.00, which probably cost way more than the dollar toll. And they had no way to bill Canadians, who used to travel around here pre Covid.

  235. Jack D says:
    @Prof. Woland

    Maybe your headlights are not aimed properly? Most headlight housings have adjustment screws that allow you to adjust the aim up and down. Some also can be adjusted left-right.

    https://haynes.com/en-us/tips-tutorials/how-adjust-your-headlight-aim-emergency

    Headlight aim was one of the things that they used to check in state inspections in some states but it’s been years since I’ve seen a headlight aim checking device. If you follow the diagram in this tutorial you can check them yourself without any special equipment other than a tape measure and some tape. The basic idea is that your low beams should be aimed just slightly downward – when you are 25 feet back (and parked on a level surface) the center of the beam should be just 2 inches below the level line. In other words the downward slope is only 1 in 150. A very small change in the angle of the housing will change the aiming point at 25 feet considerably.

  236. @mmack

    C’mon, what government program have you ever seen that got reduced or ended? 😏

    Back in 2016, I was waiting at a CTA bus stop and read a sign that was put up by some businesses along a bus route. It said PLEASE patronize our stores or the CTA was going to slash that extended part of the route.

    We, as in the people who pay for all this stuff, absolutely should be reviewing all these expenditures periodically instead of grandfathering in everything that was paid for last funding cycle. Yeah, all the unions and politically connected businesses will cry, but wouldn’t you rather “INVEST” (to use the Democrat word in vogue) in YOUR bank account instead of THEIR bank account?

  237. @Mr. Grey

    Yeah, I think SUV headlights are higher off the ground. Once, while at a red light, I was completely blinded by an SUV’s lights. It was unbelievable. It must have been a gangster’s vehicle.

    Out of curiosity I actually contacted the Illinois State Police about the headlight brightness issue via their website a couple of years ago. To my surprise a State Policeman called me. I talked to him for a few minutes. He confirmed that headlights on cars are a lot brighter now.

  238. Dube says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Ah yes, the 2001 Odyssey, and in its best color! Put the mid-seats down, furnish the rear area with a mattress and down comforter, and you’re always at home, wherever you decide to stop. Front wheel drive for a sure grip on the road. Keep a service warranty plan going, however, to mitigate the periodic transmission catastrophes at $5000 a pop.

  239. @Mr. Anon

    Not just the headlights, but those LED traffic lights are too bright as well. They screw with your night vision at precisely the place you need to be most aware – an intersection.

    They could be connected to a photo sensor that would run them bright during the day, and slightly dimmed at night where the contrast would be just fine. As with the cop cars, our government chooses to let us suffer.

  240. Anonymous[132] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    Former Chez Panisse chef Cal Peternell has anchovies on almost everything in a cookbook of his that I have. He says the prejudice against them is because they are often not used fresh. He says you need to use an entire can at a time, pop open the can, or jar, and eat them all within hours. Yikes!

    One of the secrets to Italian cooking is the use of anchovies as a base. When starting the base for a sauce or a dish, they begin by dissolving an anchovy filet or two in some olive oil. You can’t tell that anchovy is in the final dish, but it adds that savory flavor that people love. The salt cured anchovies have glutamate, so it’s like a natural MSG. MSG was developed to replicate this savory glutamate flavor contained in cured anchovies.

  241. Anonymous[173] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I like driving beater cars, not just because I’m cheap, but mostly for peace of mind. I don’t want to worry about it getting dinged, get it expensively serviced, etc. I just want a reliable transportation machine that I can knock around and never think about at all.

    So when I’ve had to make appearances and show up to places, I’ve tended to use Uber. There’s also UberX which is a bit pricier and ferries you around in luxury cars.

    What’s annoying about having to keep up appearances in certain social settings is that it’s not enough to have a nice car. You have to have a late model nice car. You have to update the damn thing every few years, which means expensive leases or trade-ins every few years.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  242. Anonymous[437] • Disclaimer says:
    @Bill P

    Minivans, in my opinion, are an aesthetic crime against humanity. I hate them with a passion beyond reason.

    Why not just get a station wagon? Why should I have to see this bastard of a vehicle cross my field of vision in an otherwise harmonious neighborhood with Queen Anne or Georgian architecture?

    Minivans can’t be beat in terms of utility. Both for hauling lots of people comfortably, and for hauling lots of cargo. They’re better for most people for hauling lots of cargo around than even pickups are. Not just because of the self-contained aspect of minivans, but also in terms of size. For example, minivans can easily accommodate 4X8 sheets of plywood or drywall, whereas a typical pickup with a 5 and 1/2 ft cargo bed can’t. Pickups are only better if you’re hauling stuff like piles of dirt that you don’t want inside your van.

    Station wagons are great too for hauling people and cargo. Like minivans, they’re better in terms of utility than SUVs or pickups for most people. But they’ve largely disappeared.

  243. @Bill P

    East Asians are mean, but they know how to get results.

  244. Rob McX says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    I thought it strange that there was no odometer light on our 20th-century Odyssey, a pre-Alabama model. When the sun went down, we had to rely on a penlight to read it.

    You think you had problems. In 1976 Aston Martin brought out its Lagonda, a hand-built luxury saloon car. One of the many weird things about it was that the odometer was in the engine bay – yes, you had to pop the bonnet to see how many miles you’d driven, this in a car that was just a notch below the Rolls-Royce range. Nobody has ever explained this. Maybe it was the last hurrah of English eccentricity.

  245. I heard a proposal years ago that all headlights and all windshields should use differently polarized glass. This could be calculated to adjust the angles of the polarization so that the oncoming driver sees whatever is the optimal percentage of the brightness of the headlight. I think it would work but would require industry-wide co-ordination.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  246. The blue headlights that are put on high end cars are blinding and cause eyestrain when you drive on the highways. Similar eyestrain to that one gets from using computer monitors and laptops. If you wear yellow tinted glasses, this eyestrain is eliminated. I find driving on the highway very difficult at night with the blue headlights of some cars and being a frequent user of laptops, I have found that one of my eyes has actually gotten smaller. Since I normally wear progressive glasses all day for nearsightedness, I tended to take them off for using the computer. One day when I had my glasses off, a lady told me that one of my eyelids was about 30 percent lower than the other one, I had read about the blue light in computer screens causing one eye to dominate over another which can cause this condition. I ordered a pair of yellow tinted glasses and after a few months of wearing them I am not closing one eye so much any more when I use the computer.

  247. @Clyde

    “How about wearing those yellow glasses for night driving? Do they work to reduce glare?”

    Yes they do, also they reduce eyestrain when you use computer monitors.

  248. @Toronto Mike

    Edwin Land, legendary founder of Polaroid, promoted this from the 1920s to the 1940s before finally giving up.

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
  249. And people drive too fast too.

  250. @Desiderius

    Hey! That’s the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. I used to be a parishioner there.

  251. @Steve Sailer

    Edwin Land, legendary founder of Polaroid, promoted this from the 1920s to the 1940s before finally giving up.

    You can see the result of Land’s headlight polarization proposition at 1:31 of this Polaroid corporate film.

  252. JMcG says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    Hah! Let me tell you about the Alfa Romeo I used to have. Talk about bad marriages.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  253. Jack D says:
    @Anonymous

    What constitutes “appearances” varies depending on your social circle. In some (wealthy) circles, showing up in TOO nice a car is seen as nouveau riche and tacky. Ideally you show up in something not brand new but not so old that its age or condition in itself attract attention. You don’t want to show up in a Rolls but OTOH if you are well off it’s also obnoxious to show up in a Nissan Versa – you can obviously afford better. Nowadays you might want to show up in a somewhat generic SUV – maybe a Toyota Highlander. (You get away with a large SUV if you claim that you need it to tow your horse trailer). Or maybe a Japanese semi-luxury car – a 3 or 4 year old Acura. Nothing that attracts attention to yourself. That’s for rappers. After you have gone, no one can remember what sort of car you drove. If they take any note of the car, either because it is too old or too new, too expensive or too cheap, then you have failed.

  254. Jack D says:
    @JMcG

    The English and the Italians used to compete with each other as to who could make the most unreliable automobiles. The Italians were more unreliable mechanically but the English had more problems with their electricals so it was a tie.

    • Agree: JMcG
  255. DRA says:
    @Neoconned

    We live in the Texas hill country, where many of the rural roads have a lot of marginal horizontal and vertical curves. Our Prius, with LED lights, had a very sharp cut-off from bright to not very bright at all.

    This resulted in having a very limited sight distance on down grades, to the extent that one couldn’t see a safe stopping distance on the dims, and would be over powering for uncommon traffic on brights.

    In the end, we had the headlights adjusted to aim higher than spec, so that the dims could show the road a safe distance ahead. This had the side effect of a percentage of un-coming vehicles flashing their brights at us.

    Our VW, with non-LED lights had more of a blend of light at the cutoff, so no problem.

  256. @Charlotte

    I noticed a lot of this a couple of weeks ago as I traversed the rather antiquated section of US Highway 15 in VA. It’s 2-lane with lots of bad curves and dips. Trucks and SUV’s have gotten a lot TALLER and the headlights hit you right in the eyes. That road is bad enough in daylight; I had driven it once before during the day, but I will never take it at night again – it’s a death trap. The road is suitable for 40-45 mph, tops and people want to do sixty on it.

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  257. @Hangnail Hans

    Buy a used car with ~one year of factory warranty remaining. Typically a lease return. Don’t waste your money on extended warranties

    I’ve been in or adjacent to the auto industry for my entire life and I confirm the above with a couple minor modifications:

    1. An extended factory warranty can be an enormous value especially for high end luxury cars. No third party warranty is worth the paper it’s printed on, with the possible exception of CarMax (?) (see googtube video series of Doug Demuro’s experience with his Range Rover & CarMax warranty).

    The depreciation hit on a used car varies enormously by brand, color, features, etc. It’s entirely possible to find under-appreciated brands/models that represent exceptional value.

    Finally, if you don’t have the skills or tools to inspect a car properly, pay someone you can trust to do it for you. I can’t possibly emphasize how important this one step is for your wallet.

  258. @Jon

    Couldn’t be more wrong. There are two standards for motorcycle helmets in the U.S.: D.O.T. and Snell. The differences and the testing is far removed from ‘dropping a cannon ball’ on the hat. Go. Read. Learn something.

  259. @VivaLaMigra

    I traversed the rather antiquated section of US Highway 15 in VA.

    My folks moved to Lake Monticello in Fluvanna County in the early eighties. I hadda drive that road at least 25 times a year from Fairfax, through Orange to a couple of miles past the Zion Crossroads exit of I64 to Rt 617. It’s straight, but hilly. You forgot the deer and also, it you had to bail off the road to avoid a head-on, you’re like to be at a spot where the road bed is 15′ above the grade of the bordering corn fields. I drove that road for the last time in my life in May 2009. I always thought it miraculous that none of us kids (6 of us) never crashed on that track in all those years. Fun Fact, Sissy Spacek and her hubby live down there, I’ll not say where. She HATES Hollywood.

    Funny thing about that Rt 15, it was always beautifully paved and striped. I’d go down to spend a few days with my Pops golfing and fishing, it would be in excellent shape from Rt29 all the way down to I64. On the way back up to NoVa, in that four or five day stretch, they repaved it from Fluvanna all the way back to Rt 29. All I could figure was: Jobs.

    Peace. Be careful on that road.

  260. @AndrewR

    I don’t think this a generational attack. Probably just wondering if we even ever bother to use high beams since newer cars have really bright normal lights. The real problem with boomers is many seem to think we still live in the 90s. The majority seem to willfully ignore the social problems of today i.e. all the woke cancer anti-white shit. I confirmed this with my own parents.

    They don’t like it and pretend it’s not happening, admitting it explicitly, if you press them. Their thought patterns reflect this unfortunately e.g. my dad still thinks affirmative action is necessary and doesn’t believe me when I tell him that schools average less than 50% white now. He identifies as a moderate.

    They are living in the 90s the lucky fucks. Gotta admit I’m pretty jealous tbh.

  261. SOL says:

    Yes bright lights are a problem, but before the lockdown here in Silicon Valley it seemed that an increasing number of people were forgetting to turn their headlights on after starting their car at night…

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