ChasChas, I was thinking something along the same lines. It's easy to blame "the courts", and there may be a mechanism even at the lowest levels for judges to refuse to hear a case because "it's too stupid". (There probably shouldn't be at the lowest level, or lazy/bought judges will refuse to hear too much, but that's another subject.)
Anyway, the courts listen to brought suits, and that usually involves lawyers. But in order to be paid, they need a target with deep pockets.
Hmmm...perhaps money is the root of all kinds of evil after all. Sometimes it's the reason for design changes (to save it) and nearly always it's the target of a lawsuit later. No, even that is blaming something else, rather than taking responsibility. Without personal, individual responsibility for actions, the whole legal system becomes very knotty, subject to whoever can swing the jury most effectively.
3drob, cars have had enough horsepower to be lethal in the wrong hands almost since the first horseless carriages. Certainly they have had that much horsepower for the full amount of our own lifetimes.
As for standards on pedal spacing and related features, it would probably not be necessary for the government to make the rules, but only to require that the rules be made and all manufacturer's live by them. However, no such rules, as useful for any number of reasons as they might be, would in themselves prevent drivers from stacking mats, or cheap mats from curling, or restraints from breaking or being unused.
Drivers must take responsibility.
In Japan, when I lived there 20 years ago, in order to drive you had to purchase JCI (Japanese Compulsory Insurance). It attached to the car, not the driver, so became a selling point between us GIs when it was time to go to another assignment. But the license to drive in Japan implies the driver is a professional. If my car was rear-ended by another, in Japan both drivers are at fault, because we both made a choice to be on that road.
Toyota vehicles are as much made in America as any of the big three now, at least in some lines. But Toyota's roots are in Japan and I would not be surprised if there is a cultural expectation within the company that the driver is responsible to not be stupid.
TJ, I agree with your opinion and feel your frustration. Before reading this article I would never have anticipated that drivers would use even two floor mats on top of each other. As a teenage driver (about 30 years ago) I was instructed in the danger of dropping items on the floor in front of the driver's seat precisely because it might block the brake pedal, so the idea of stacking floor mats would be unthinkable to me.
While I patently distrust dealership repair garages, and like the freedom to buy aftermarket parts, perhaps Toyota's engineers should include an ignition kill switch logic tied to their floor mats that will prevent starting the vehicle unless a compatible mat is present and in the correct location. And then put photo/IR sensors looking up so that if another mat was placed on top that would also prevent engine start.
But even that would probably not be enough. You know, "Make it idiot-proof, and they'll find a better idiot."
Since safety is such a big concern, then maybe the customer should be required to ask the manufacturer about any 'modifications'. Rather than the current, "well the manufacturer should have though of that" system we have now.
My roomate drinks tea. He fills the tea pot up with hot water, dumps that, and then adds the tea and hot water. I on the other hand put the tea bag in the cup and add hot water. If the cup is ceramic, the tea pretty quickly cools off as the cup warms up. Hopefully, the tea was warm enough originally that by the time I finish drinking the tea it will still be warm enough to be enjoyable. If I were to take a guess, I'd guess that the range of temperatures that generally would do what I wanted would top out at about 140. Anything higher might be considered extra heat that does nothing of value, but on the other hand makes the tea unusable until it cools down. So although 140 degree tea can scald you, there is a functional reason to have tea at 140 degrees. On the other hand 180 degree tea can scald but there is no functional reason to have it that hot, rather 180 degrees coulf be disfuntional because 180 could requirr someone to not drink the tea but instead wait. In the case of someone with an automobile, this heat could be the difference between drinking the tea in the store or carrying the tea in the car until it cools down.
If someone buys coffee every morning in the insulated paper cup, they get to the point where they know how long to wait until they can blow on it to take a sip and how long they have to wait for it to be the right temperature to gulp down. Constantcy is one of the biggest selling points around.
Yes, Chuck, even 140 degrees would hurt. I do find it interesting that coffe at 140 degrees would be acceptable, while coffee at 180 degrees would be considered a public hazzard. But I guess it depends on the difference in how 180 affects skin versus 140.
State laws for hot tubs generally top out around 106 degrees, and it is said that a 110-degree hot tub can burn your skin if you sit in it for any length of time. I know that sitting in a hot tub must be a lot different (thermodynamically speaking) than pouring coffee on yourself, but I would hate to imagine what 180 degrees feels like.
Rob Spiegel; An internet search shows several links, some ridiculous. But one does mention 3rd drgree burns happen much quicker with 180F liquids. And that a more 'common' coffee temperature is 140F. And that there had been many previous complaints of burns.
That theory is new on me, GlennA. I didn't know there was something such as coffee that is too hot. That theory would have it that at 140 degrees, the coffee would not have done any damage to the woman. Is that right?
In honor of Earth Day, the National Security Agency has launched the STEM Recycling Challenge in Maryland schools to encourage kids to think about where the garbage they throw out every day actually goes. The agency has also introduced “Dunk,” a muscular blue cartoon recycling bin wearing shorts and sneakers.
A slew of announcements about new materials and design concepts for transportation have come out of several trade shows focusing on plastics, aircraft interiors, heavy trucks, and automotive engineering. A few more announcements have come independent of any trade shows, maybe just because it's spring.
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