Thursday, November 29, 2007

When Is Fast Too Fast?

I actually can’t believe I’m writing a blog about cracking down on excessive speeding yet I’m doing it. I must be getting old.

Car fans desire only speed, road feel and a wonderful exhaust note. Thanks to amazing strides in automotive technology, we pertrolheads find all three elements more readily available every day. The latter two are safe, with better handling characteristics comes a car that has better active safety components and a more compliant suspension. With the exhaust, the only danger is annoying people with your active exhaust that exaggerates the engine note, similar to the Lamborghini Gallardo’s active exhaust that actually makes the exhaust louder and sound more aggressive at peak RPM’s.

However, speed still remains the most dangerous element to driving.

In the 1960’s and early 1970’s top-of-the-line Ferraris came with 250+ horsepower and could hit a 0 to 60 time of the high 5 to mid 6 second range and a top speed in the 150 to 170 range. By today’s standards a 2008 Honda Accord has the exact same performance specs.

So, if an Accord can do that in 2008, then what’s the upper stratosphere of the car world pulling off? Well, a Ferrari Enzo is now capable of a 3.5 second 0 to 60 time and can push past 200 MPH for top speed coming in at a moderately priced $645,000. Too expensive? Well now we have 4-door midsize sedans breaking the 200 MPH barrier with the likes of the much more affordable BMW M5 for only $80,000. Too cheap? Alright Goldie Locks, then take an Lamborghini LP640 that has a top speed of at least 219MPH for only $311,000.

How do we know the LP640 can hit 219 MPH(besides being advertised as such)? Because this ass hat tried it:

The background on the video is Ass Hat (We’ll be referring to the driver as such for the remainder of the blog) took a Lambo LP640 to exactly 219 on a public highway somewhere in Arizona. If you watch the video there are numerous points at which he admits to either not seeing a car until the last nanosecond while going 200+ or having to shut down from 200+ MPH due to increased traffic. What’s worse is the video ends with the driver bragging and daring someone to best his 219 MPH run.

This leads to only one very simple question: What the hell is wrong with Ass Hat? Did you eat paint chips as a child or live under powerlines?

Do people not grasp the repercussions of their actions anymore? Can anyone possibly imagine the overwhelming danger in doing this?

Seriously, consider that if he is traveling at 219MPH and approaching you, who traveling at 70 MPH. That means the speed differential between his car and yours is 149MPH, so if you were standing still, he’d still be doing 149MPH as he approached you. At that speed, it is guaranteed nobody would survive a collision.

Scary, huh?

So, now the real question: with the wonderful technological strides and 200+MPH now readily available, should humans have access to the vehicles capable of such speeds? My answer is a resounding NO. 9 out of 9.5 people without a doubt do not have the talent/ability to control car at such speeds on public roads, myself included.

What scares me is that now, thanks to more readily available, cheaper technology, is any Ass Hat who had a good week on NASDAQ or who inherited more money than brain cells(see above video) can more easily access machinery capable of speeds that even Formula One cars wouldn’t see on an open track. I’m starting to see why Europe has speed cameras and more severe speeding-related penalties for drivers.

So the question I pose to all of you: Just because technology is out there and someone can afford it, should drivers be given access to this kind of machinery, despite the inherent risk of Ass Hats killing innocents attempting to placate their egos?