Which is More Important, Safety or Comfort?
Which is More Important, Safety or Comfort?
  • Natasha Willhite
  • 승인 2011.01.17 14:11
  • 댓글 0
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The interior view of Kia

When it comes to car safety, the seat belt is not the only concern anymore. People sometimes complain that it is uncomfortable and that it makes long trips unbearable. Recently, companies such as Hyundai and Kia, along with others, are introducing vehicles that ease this discomfort by installing features that play up the entertainment part of the ride and distract from these simple complaints. It appears that something else has taken the front seat when it comes to vehicle production and it is not the driver. The time in the car is not a scenic experience anymore but rather a party on wheels.

In the past month the Kia KV7, a futuristic spin on the modern van, made its smashing debut showing off its socializing space with its swivel chairs and tabletop computer. The interior resembles more of a small study room equipped with the best technologies rather than the van designed with safety in mind first. Do not get me wrong, it is fantastic that the passengers' experience will become more pleasant. However, there is a valid concern that the driver would be more distracted by what is happening in the car than back in the time when it was something as simple as loud children.

Many places, such as Washington State in the U.S., recognize that distractions can lead to death, so it implemented a law many years ago that protects young adults by prohibiting people under the age of 21 to be in the same vehicle when the driver is under this age as well. What the state did not foresee is that vehicles will change and bring in more distractions that could still lead to accidents and ultimately death. Is it possible for places to outlaw vehicles to certain age groups or is this a concern to all age groups

Interior view of the recently voted safest car in Korea, Kia


It is a common comeback to say that vehicle safety is advancing and almost all impacts in crashes are minimized. However, the driver's reactions are slowed when it could be focused on figuring out what messages have showed up in his or her inbox or after just watching and listening to the small party in the backseat. Basically, the impact would be harder and cause far more damage than what would initially happen to the car of the past.

Cars are designed in forward-facing positions to ensure the safety of the passengers as the impact in other directions could be far more severe. Overall, the safety in vehicles such as the KV7 is lowered. Safety is no longer a concern, but comfort and socialization is. In some reports, the safety standards are actually being compared to the cars of the 1950's. Are we regressing to this even though we know have the knowledge that this is risky


Cell phones, loud music, and other devices and noises can be responsibly directed by drivers. As some say, not all drivers will take out his or her cell phone and play with it even though it is in reaching distance. This logic should also be used when approaching this vehicle. However, the driver would need to be able to control the passengers too in this scenario as well.

Since vehicles like the KV7 have not hit the consumer market yet, it is not well known if comfort will help the driver experience fewer distractions as the passengers will be less restless and fatigued. If the prediction is correct, maybe this type of vehicle would be safe if the overall safety standards are brought up-to-date as other vehicles are like Kia's K7. If companies can keep the standards high and continue to enhance vehicles with passenger friendly features, the perfect car will be here in no time.

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