Thursday, September 25, 2008

Is it possible for it to be too quiet?

So many new cars come out every year it is hard to keep track of them all. One of the latest selling points in cars has being how quiet a car can be while you drive. Everyone loves to relax while they drive and nearly soundproof cars are very popular. I just read an article from ABC Science news about how quiet cars give people a false sense of security. Australian researcher Dr. Mark Horswill recently quoted, "The main design principle of making cars these days to be as quiet as you possibly can, is actually a real problem for road safety." After reading through this article, I completely agreed with Horswill. I understand why people would like to have a quiet car ride, however I realize the danger in it. You could be driving twice as fast as you think you are, but wouldn't notice it cause it is silent. Noise helps trigger our reactions so it helps us drive the speed limit, hear car horns and also listen for sirens. It does not only risk the drivers safety but also other people on the road as well as off the road. I personally feel we need to rethink where we want to go with car manufacturing and consider the effects of sound. My car, a Honda CR-V, is far from sound proof and I love it because I am more aware while driving and can hear little things such sirens in the distance and the noise of my engine telling me I need to slow down. I feel it is a necessity to be able to use all five of your senses to be fully aware of your environment.


bshah3> said...

I totally agree that having quiet cars can be dangerous. There are already many car accidents as it is and if the cars were too quiet, then I feel like it would just raise the percent of car crashes. But cars in general are becoming more and more "high tech". Take for example, the car that can go in water. I read about a year or two ago that they have made cars that can drive through and float on water. I was truly amazed, but also wondered how much it would affect the environment. Which is actually another good quality that many car companies are using in their new models. More environment safe cars are being used and made.

Adam Cohn said...

Auto manufacturers seem to have got the idea wrong again. Although we cant have excessively loud cars there is no need to be making quieter cars. We need more fuel efficient cars and lower emissions.