Using the parking brake together with the transmission in PARK (or Reverse or First) is a very good idea. On slippery surfaces, most vehicles can still move if one of the drive wheels slides (the differential allows the other wheel to turn freely!). And as most FWD vehicles use the rear wheels to perform the parking brake function, with rear wheel brakes being now of the disc type, the smaller, puny parking brake shoes become way too small to perform effectively when parking on an inclined ramp or pronounced slope... an accident waiting to happen! Therefore, I prefer to use Both! Amclaussen.
While your language knowledge and semantics ("Hazard" vs. "Emergency") surely are better than mine (English is NOT my native Language), I was referring to a dangerous situation where the vehicle needs to be seen either travelling slowly or stopped. I never mentioned any use of horns, BTW. And the thing is that, even when a number of american cars have the switch somewhere on the steering column, the exact location and switch actuation varies. Lack of standarization abounds...
In many accidents, the driver becomes incapacitated, but other passengers (if any) can still easily actuate the "hazard" lights, specially in fog. My old 1967 Falcon had it on the left side of the column, and it was an inverted conical knob (that was pushed out when the steering was turned, turning it Off, wheter you still desired it to be On!). A latter 1978 Fairmont (same family of cars) had a different one. In both cases, the little knob lettering was too small and hidden from an easy view. From a design standpoint, a centrally located, big and clearly visible (illuminated)universal symbol, push-on/push-off is the best; regardless of cosmetics or style.
The accident I was referring to was not a Lear, but an Embraer Legacy 600 business jet colliding with a much larger B-737 from the Brazilian airline GOL, the bad placement of the transponder switch (susceptible to be actuated accidentally) was argued to explain or justify why the executive jet was travelling with the transponder off, thus rendering the Traffic Collision Avoidance (TCAS) system incapable of operating, rendering both planes unable to automatically detect each other. All 154 ocupants of the Boeing 737-800 perished. Amclaussen.
Using it as an Emergency notification is just what it isn't and if you have emergency lights and horns on your car and your not an emergency repsonse vehicle then your illegal. The giant triangle switch turns on the hazard warning lights. If your parked on the side of the road with a flat tire, you are a hazard to all passing traffic, thus hazard warning lights should be operating. Hazard lights don't make it okay to speed to your destination.
For placement, I think the driver should have priority access to the switch. Not the passengers. On all american cars I have ever owned it has always been on the steering column. No where else.
I am no pilot, but sounds like wiring wasn't well placed in the plane. The transponder in a lear jet is usually hanging from the roof or in the middle console. Gives the radar scope a number next to the blip and changes as your handed off to different traffic control. Sounds like radar scope watcher miss routed.
It is not a matter of "focal Point" or style John... the emergency button is just that: an EMERGENCY switch. By placing it at the center of the dash allows a front seat and even rear seat passengers to be able to see it directly, and be able to reach it and activate it quickly in case of an accident. Most european vehicles feature the switch in that logical, almost standarized place. (even the triangular logotype is standarized). But american designers fail to properly understand this. Thus, you can find it anywhere except in a central location!
And control placement is not only badly done in automobiles; one terrible mid-air crash has happened in Brazil between a B-737 and an executive jet, killing all the souls aboard the airliner.
One of the conclusions of the investigation, was that the damn transponder switch location was too close to the foot of the pilot on the executive jet when the pilot was resting his feet on the rest support, and it was too easy to disconnect the transponder with the foot tip without even noticing it! The damn stupid designers (monkeys!), directed by the even stupidier bean counters at the executive jet manufacturer (orangutans!) just decided to add a single line in the Pilot's Operationg Manual pointing to this (!!!)... and the design of the jet is still as it was, with the blessings of the FAA and everyone (another accident waiting to happen). Amclaussen.
I sometimes wonder how the placement of components is designed. I had a vehicle that did not have a tilt steering wheel, which isn't really so bad, except that the semicircular gauges prescribed the same arc as the steering wheel, so it was impossible to read the midpoint of the tachometer or the speedometer without slouching down in the seat, sort of like the gangster lean.
I set the brake. The Ford Escort, I had prior, the emergency brake never worked that well the last 10-12 years so I also left the car in 1st gear (it was a manual). Doing this is now a habit with the Subaru as well.
I was beginning to think my wife and I were the only drivers left who routinely set the emergency brake when we park our vehicles. When we were recently looking at used cars it was very rare to find them on the lot with the brake set.
Just an informal survey, but I would be curious as to how many drivers make it a habit to set the brake when parking.
radio-active, I agree about the swtiches. Humans are trainable. But it doesn't stop there. I have read that the ignition system in the Subaru tries to learn the driver's driving pattern. So now I am trying to learn the car and it is trying to learn me - we are have some communications issues. The radio has some quirks and I should write it up. The engine is an interference-type. But I fit in this car so well.
Charles, I can relate. I have been through the ringer when looking for a car. So much so that I ended up with a check list. Items on the list got moved up and down so that I could get in a car and in ten seconds I could begin eliminating it as a car for me. The first item? Can the seat be adjusted so I can even fit comfortably? Second: After the seat is adjusted, is the B-pillar blocking my side view? (The B-pillar is the support between the front and back door.) Three: Does the seat belt still fit properly? So many cars failed those two questions that the third is never asked. And there are more questions. But, I did learn that power seats provide more range of adjustment than manual seats. From my experience with cars and other things came a saying ; 'I am a tall guy stuck in a short world.' and its ... frustrating.
Charles, take your boys to a Subaru dealer and stick them in a 2012 or 2013 Outback and see how they fit. Mine is a 2012 Premium Outback, manual trans, moonroof, power seat (driver), etc. I have three, count them, three ... inches of head room clearance with a moonroof. The driver seat is NOT all the way back - but it is all the way down. Seats go back so far that I would have to point my foot to touch the gas petal. Dang seats go forward/backward, up/down, tilts and the back reclines. If they had another switch for yaw, you could sit in there and pretend to be flying a plane.
Two things on a car that should not be messed with; the steering and brakes. If I am going down hill and the vehicle has no power - I want to be able to steer and stop that vehicle. Everything else can be messed with but not steering and braking. Power brakes and steering may make it hard to do but at least I have a chance.
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