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CARS SHOULD DRIVE THEMSELVES?
By Chuck Wells

In New York, our legislators think they can help us drive better by passing the cell phone law that says you can talk on your cell phone while driving as long as you don’t have the phone up to your ear and use a “hands free” device. This is so we avoid “inattention blindness” where we see things but they don’t register because our attention is directed elsewhere (a common problem with guys). A study done by the University of Utah says that our inattention is the same whether we are “hands free” or talking on the phone with it up to our ear. Use of the cell phone quadruples the chance we will have an accident.

Well, Honda is developing a new “collision mitigation brake system” and a sophisticated cruise-control system as reported by Todd Zaun of the Wall Street Journal. This new technology may save the day for those who want to talk on the phone, read the Times, or do their hair and toenails while driving.

The “collision mitigation brake system” is a computer radar sensor that detects if you are getting too close (no definition as to “too close”)to another car. Since you are too occupied with other things or maybe drowsy from a late night, the car will let you know that something bad is going to happen to you. First of all, a buzzer goes off. If you don’t slam on the brakes, your seat belt will tug on you three times (in case you are asleep) and the brakes are activated for you.

So that takes care of not smashing into the guy in front of you. But what about steering around people? Don’t worry, we have the sophisticated cruise control. This thing uses radar and cameras tied to the accelerator, brakes and steering so you don’t get too close to the car in front of you and keeps you in your lane of traffic.

The manufacturer says that since the car will drive itself now, you won’t get as tired driving. You will be relaxed, fresh, having done your nails and hair, and having read the paper before you get into work! Sounds like a commercial from the 1950’s.

The best part is if you do have an accident, you can blame it on your car rather than yourself, sue the car company to collect big bucks, and argue with your insurance company when they try to increase your rates.

GOT CAT?

Heidi Erickson of Boston is in deep do-do. She is a cat hoarder. Authorities raided her apartment and rescued 112 cats and found several cat carcasses. She tried to mask the smell of her apartment by putting air fresheners throughout the apartment and taped her windows shut. She said that she was breeding Persian cats to get the “imperfections” out of them. Police also found 60 dead Persian cats in her freezer. Erickson said they were not dead cats in here freezer. “I have 150 pounds of beef kidneys in the freezer, but it certainly isn’t what they claim it is. I do get beef kidneys at a really good price and got receipts up the yin-yang.” Police then checked out a second apartment rented by Erickson and found a dozen frozen cats in the freezer and 52 sick cats at that apartment. She says authorities are discriminating against her because of her epileptic disability and sexual lifestyle. She lives alone and has sued the city 40 times in 7 years. No word as to when she will have her next dinner party.

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