It happens to the best of us: we’re driving along, maybe a little too spiritedly, and then the dreaded red and blue flashes light up our rearview mirror like it’s the Fourth of goddamn July. Shit.
Being a careless or bad driver isn’t something that should be taken lightly. It’s irresponsible and dangerous we should all strive to be better. Because until all the cars become autonomous, this is what we’ve got.
As drivers, though we sit in our own private spaces in our own private cars, we actually spend our time sharing the road with other drivers. Drivers who aren’t the best at driving.
We love our cars. As much as we like to think that they’ll be there for us forever, sometimes that just isn’t the case.
The topic of future classics is an interesting one, especially when it involves an expensive purchase you may or may not be trying to justify in your own mind. But of course, any car enthusiast’s guess about what cars will be hip and cool decades in the future is just that—a guess.
Here at Jalopnik, we get a whole lot of emails. But a recent message we received raised a good question: As a car person, what is the most appropriate way to respond if you happen to catch someone peeking under your car cover? And, on the other side of that, is it right to peek under a cover at all?
Have you gotten stuck before? Was it a cold and stormy night? Dear God—did you have to sleep in your car before help arrived?
Here’s the thing about phobias and paranoia: it only has to happen to you once for it to be totally justified. Which is why some of these seem totally plausible to me.
We can’t help it: we get a new car and we just gotta make it our own. This sometimes includes distasteful and bad mods. But it’s okay! We’re allowed to learn from our mistakes.
Car culture is weird and bizarre and, thankfully, gives us no shortage of whack shit to be afraid of. Do you have strange and totally irrational fears when it comes to cars and driving?
We learn in psychology that the last part of the brain to fully develop is the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in handy things like judgment, impulse control, learning from mistakes and forethought. This development can extend into a person’s mid-twenties. Which means that most teenagers have poor judgement when…
Whether or not you’re still together, you can never change your feelings regarding That Car.
To answer this question, first you have to answer how you define “best.”
We can choose our lovers, but we can’t choose their cars.
I can tell when my Mitsubishi Lancer is out of alignment. It’s like The Princess and the Pea: I use this car every day. If anything is off, I know. My alignment is borked right now, and ugh. It’s the one thing that takes my car from zero to hero. What have you done to your car that made it exponentially better?
They say hindsight is 20/20 and they’re right. As respectable and responsible citizens of the roads now, we’ve come a long way from the papery provisional license days of our teenage dream years. We’re richer in experience and knowledge and we’re better off because of it. Mostly.
Whether the car is new or old, chances are that some little electronic gremlin lives in it somewhere. We generally don’t mind, though. It’s what gives the car “personality.” And we sure love personality.
As a journalist, I talk to a lot of people. Those people tell me a lot of old stories, and most of those stories make me forever grateful for the conversation I had. But they also make me sad that I never got a chance to experience the things I heard about, and that I’ll never be able to tell the stories as my own.
I don’t hold anything against anyone who likes to mod their car. It’s your car and you can do with it what you please. Make it your own! Sometimes, though, the mods are a dead giveaway that the person really has no idea what they’re doing.