Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Smaller Cars

We've all heard how much help GM, Ford and Chrysler are asking from the government (us).
We've also heard from some members of congress of their requirements from the auto makers.

There is one stipulation that I heard today that makes no sense. It has been suggested that we need smaller, more efficient cars. The idea being that, "If you build it they will come". I don't see how that will happen.

Back in 1981 we bought a Datsun to cope with the gas crisis and cost of fuel. It was a good car. Now, with all the new safety regulations in effect, I don't see how a family could use one. As it stands now in some states, if not all, you need a well padded car seat for children up to two years of age. After two that child graduates to another car seat and then there is a booster seat for smaller children five years and up.

A two parent family with two children under five would not be able to travel together, thereby necessitating two cars and twice as much fuel consumption. Unless the small cars are larger than our Datsun was, there wouldn't be enough room for two car seats in the back, along with the other gear needed for travel with children, i.e., toys, snacks, blankets, etc.

There was a time when I felt that a large car such as an SUV was unnecessary until I saw my niece and nephew travel about 30 miles with their two children. You need that room in the back, if for no other reason than to give the children a little elbow room in their car seats.

Don't get me wrong, I believe in all the safety measures for children, but you can't squeeze them into a subcompact car. Families won't buy sub or compact cars, there simply isn't enough room for a family with small children. It won't work with older children either, have you ever tried to fit two teenagers or one teenager and one adult into the back seat of a subcompact or compact car? It's not a pretty sight.

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