Here’s the deal: you answer a Craigslist ad to buy a set of vintage yellow foglamps for your car, with arrangements to meet behind a local grocery store. Instead of “Kevin” showing up, a magic talking horse appears, and offers to grant you one wish — provided the wish involves adding an instrument to your dash. What do you pick?
Also, the magic talking horse offers to give you a hoof job, because this is Craigslist, after all.
But, back to your wish — if you could have any instrument on your dashboard, existing or not, constrained by the limitations of technology and science or not, what would you want? The horse is letting you have anything here, so better make it good, right? Oh, and just to be cruel, let’s add one restriction — the gauge must be analog, and can only have one needle.
I think personally, after having done a lot of high-speed, two-lane/bidirectional traffic driving recently, I might want an instrument that tells me definitively if there’s an oncoming car in the opposite lane, regardless of hills, blind turns, bad weather, etc. That could be genuinely useful. Maybe it could use that one needle to point to the number of feet/meters to the next oncoming car. That’d work!
I briefly considered a “Are you going to die in the next 20 min?” indicator with a “YES/NO” for the needle to point to, thinking that would free me to know when to be risky, but that didn’t really tell me enough about other injuries or the fates of anyone around me. So I’m sticking with the ‘safe to blindly pass’ gauge.
And I think I’ll pass on the hoof job.