The thought of my impending fatherhood is beginning to sink in. While it hasn’t yet altered my daily life I feel like I’m beginning to see the world through fatherly-tinted glasses. In my 20s I could laugh-off or turn a blind eye to a group of teenage hooligans blowing through red lights or mocking the elderly. Now I have the urge to shake my finger at them and tilt my head in disappointment followed by a short speech about respect. Then I imagine I tell them to get off my lawn before sorting through unwatched episodes of Matlock on the video recording machine.
I’m most critical of this when it comes to safe driving. I somehow imagine my unborn child out in the world of careless and aggressive drivers and feel like I should get a head-start now with the judgmental finger shaking. It’s easy to pin all drivers as “idiots”, but the reality of it is, everyone drives aggressively and selfishly. We’re all idiot drivers and it’s mind boggling to me that there are not more highway accidents than there really are. Thousands of cars move independently at 60+ miles per hour and more often than not arrive at their destinations successfully. Every single driver is seen by at least one other driver on the road as the idiot on the road that needs to get off.
Trucks, buses and vans add a further degree of danger and difficulty to the roads but I see them as necessary. In an attempt to level the playing field SUVs now litter the roads carrying small families to Applebee’s on the weekend, but most likely serving as a single occupancy vehicles on the average weekday. Much has already been written about the gas-guzzling excess of SUVs, but my inspiration today comes from the tinted windows that most of today’s SUVs have.
Picture this. An average sized sedan is parked between 2 large SUVs with tinted windows. The driver can’t see anything to the left or right of his vehicle, only directly behind him. The common solution to this dilemma is to inch out slowly in hopes that any oncoming traffic will slow down. Since it’s been concluded that every driver is an idiot driver doesn’t that seem a bit dangerous?
The windows of the SUV could have been used to see oncoming traffic. While a sedan can’t see over an SUV it can certainly see through it. But SUVs have taken the extra step to make sure the guessing game continues by tinting their back windows. I understand that SUVs are most often used to transport a growing family and that parents may want to “protect” their children from outside peepers. But in reality I question if this is an actual danger or just parental paranoia. In my opinion, the dangers that the tinting impose is greater than the threat of a child predator endangering a child simply because they can more easily see the child in full color. Another reason for tinted windows is heat control, but is an SUV so much closer to the sun that it’s more of a concern than the heat control of the un-tinted sedan? I can get a blistering sun burn after an hour in the mid-day sun, but never once received an in-car burn. The pure “coolness” factor isn’t being considered here, nor is the fact that the tint hides illegal activity. If this is the reason for the tinting, consider my finger shaken in your general direction.
I just see the the SUV as the bully of the road and the tinted windows are the punch to the groin as the victim has already fallen. SUVs can be tall, but let me see through them. If tinted windows are a game changer, how about a smaller car?