Do Not Drive . . .

  • July 12, 2023

It was enough that a handful of kids were killed by drivers who were unable to see them when they inadvertently backed-up over them for the federal government to mandate that every car be fitted with a back-up camera system.

It is not enough, apparently, that a number of people have been killed by defective/aging air bags to reconsider the mandate that requires every new car made be fitted with multiple air bags.

Including the three kills confirmed by Stellantis, parent company of the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram truck brands. The most recent of these reportedly occurring on May 13, when an airbag killed the front seat passenger who was riding shotgun in a 2003 Ram 1500 pick-up.

Now Stellantis is urging people who own older Ram trucks (as well as Dodge and Chrysler vehicles) equipped with the potentially lethal “safety” devices to not drive them until the explosive devices in the steering wheel and dash can be replaced with new explosive devices.

Many people think of air bags as cushions – which they are, in part. It is the other part that has the potential to kill. That has killed.

And will kill, again.

That would be the explosive part.

In order for the air bag to cushion the person facing it from an impact with the steering wheel or dashboard it must inflate within fractions of a second after the car impacts (or is impacted by) something, such as another car. This requires explosive force (generated by fast-burning chemicals) which is supposed to be dissipated almost immediately, once the air bag, itself, has been inflated.

But for this to work properly, it is necessary that everything always work as designed – and that there are never any defects in the design. Neither risk can be eliminated entirely because nothing made by human hands will ever be – much less remain – perfect. It is defective air bags that are blamed for the recent spate of deaths but the fact is that airbags have also killed when they worked as designed.

It is as misleading to think of these devices as cushions as it is to think of the gene-therapy drugs that were pushed on people as “vaccines.” But there is a commonality in that both of these things have been pushed on people, who have been effectively forced to assume all of the risks – as well as the costs – for the sake of “benefits” regarded by others as worth the risks.

This is pretty halting thing, when you think about it a little.

If something can hurt you – if that something has proved hurtful to others – then no one else, arguably, has a moral right to pressure (much less force) you to assume the risks. For it is not the ones pressuring (and forcing) who pay the costs – in mayhem and money – if those risks prove to be actualities.

Maybe if the government promised to cover those costs a better case could be made for government imposing the risks. It would still be immoral in principle for the government to  place people at risk. But at least the people forced to assume the risks would not be left holding the bag for the costs of those risks.

Millions of people literally face such risks – as regards air bags – every single day. Each day that passes increasing the chances they will one day pay the costs. This latter is an important fact not being conveyed to people – for essentially the same reason that the facts about the gene-therapy drugs not being vaccines weren’t conveyed to them.

Air bags – including the explosive components – age. Just as we do. Just as cars do. Over time, the odds of something going wrong with the air bags increase, just the same as the odds of developing heart disease or a bad knee go up as we age. The wiring gets brittle. Connections fray. Materials deteriorate. Sensors go faulty. Eventually, something’s not going to work as  designed.

It is an inevitability – because it is just a matter of time.

So it’s not just the several hundred thousands “affected” Stellantis vehicles (including the Ram 1500) that could kill you. It is every single vehicle that came with an airbag – because every vehicle is affected by the passage of time.

It is probably true that most air bags won’t malfunction before the vehicle is so affected by the passage of time that the time has come to junk it. Just as it is true that most air bags are not defective. But that will be cold comfort if it turns out that one of those air bags – the one in your car – malfunctions.

Or was made with defective parts.

The government – the bureaucrats and politicians – do not care about any of this, of course. If they did, they would accept that it’s rightfully your business to decide whether the risks are worth the (supposed) benefits. And they would cover the costs of any injury or damages caused by their making you assume the risks.

From the point-of-view of these bureaucrats and politicians, you are a statistic. One of many – over whom they haughtily wield the power of cost-benefit.

As well as life and death.

. . .

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