It won’t be long before nothing happens when you floor the accelerator. Well, nothing dramatic. The car will gradually build speed – Not too much! Not too fast! – no matter how hard you push down on the pedal.
The principle has already been applied to breaking traction – via traction control – which in a number of cars cannot be turned off – or only turned partially off – or which comes back on after you thought you had turned it off.
The pull-up emergency brake is being emasculated for the same reason.
Or so they say.
If you can even find a new car that has a pull-up emergency brake.
The few car companies that still equip their new cars with a pull-up emergency brake (italicized to emphasize the difference vs. a parking brake) have been setting the tension to nearly nil – such that it is just barely sufficient to prevent the vehicle from rolling when fully applied.
When the vehicle isn’t moving.
By using it to lock up the rear wheels while the vehicle is moving.
Why on earth would anyone want to do that? Why, to change directions quickly, of course! Pull up the handle, lock the rear wheels, crank the wheel and – shazam! – you’re facing the other way. This is called a handbrake 180.
A bit less wheel-crank and you can do a 90 degree turn – and much more quickly than you could by slowing down first.
And of course, we can’t have that.
So the tension on the cable that connects the ever to the rear brakes is set so limp-dickly that it barely holds the vehicle in place when parked. When it is moving, there’s not enough force available to even slow the car down appreciably in an emergency – such as failure of the primary braking system – which renders it useless as emergency brake.
Not very ssssssssssssaaaaaaaaaaaaafe – is it?
But of course, it’s not really about ssssssssssssssssssssaaaaaaaaaaaaafety. Only children and adults with the mentality of children believe that.
Like so many other things pushed on us in the name of ssssssssssssssssssssaaaafety, the emasculation of the emergency brake is about control – marketed as ssssssaaaaaaaaaafety by our “parents” in government (and corporations; they’re basically the same people now).
If our sssssssssaaaaaaaaaaaafety (rather than their control) really were their “concern,” they would be consistent. They wouldn’t permit demonstrably unsafe systems and equipment to be installed in cars – and would demand their removal (or at least, their disabling) when shown to be unsafe.
Traction control that can’t be turned off – all the way off – makes loss of control more rather than less likely in certain situations. For example, when trying to make it up an ice-slicked road. The system cuts engine power when you need it most – to maintain momentum – and prevents wheelspin when you need it, in order to keep the wheels spinning at all.
Or at least, the car moving.
Same issue with ABS. On ice, it’s not sssssssssssssssssaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafe. You are more likely to slide into something – or someone – than in a car without ABS. Or in a car with an ABS off switch.
Which they will not allow us to have.
Just as they will not allow the hundreds of thousands of people forced to drive around in cars with known-to-be defective Takata air bags to install an off switch, even temporarily.
Just as they are blase about the just-revealed tendency of “emergency brake assist” in certain new cars so equipped to come on when there is no emergency, or need to brake.
The good news is, it’s easy to adjust a pull-up emergency brake so that it will actually be capable of applying braking force in an emergency. Just cinch up the tension. But of course, we can’t have that, either.
Which is why the pull-up emergency brake lever is being replaced by an electrically actuated parking brake that cannot be adjusted. Which allows no modulation by hand – and so takes away all driver control – beyond the pushing of a button.
Monkeys can push buttons. But in this case, the “monkey” (that’s us) doesn’t get any reward.
No kibble falls from a little trapdoor.
Just a faint whirrrring sound as the electric motor cinches the tension, as prescribed by our “parents.” One less thing for us to do – which is another way of saying more freedom-of-action taken away from us. They have decided we’re too incompetent – and too reckless – to be allowed even the slight liberty of being in control of our car’s braking system.
Even if it gets us killed.
PS and FYI: The handful of new cars still available with the old-style (and still adjustable) pull-up emergency brake lever are really old cars – models designed four or five years ago but not yet redesigned. They have vestigial design remnants of the way cars used to be four or five years ago, before this Race to Eloihood (i.e., the infantilization of the populace by a Morlockian elite) hit the open stretch, checkered flag in sight.
Adjust ’em – while you still can.
. . .
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