Do Smart Cars Breed Resentment?
There’s a curious discussion over on the bulletin boards of the Smart car owners site, oriented around the question of whether the drivers of other cars consider it an insult to be passed by a Smart car. Apparently the phrase “passed by a Smart” is highly Google-able.
Most theories seem to revolve around other drivers not considering the Smart a “real car” — i.e., they take umbrage when the smaller vehicle passes them (masculinity issues or some such), or the site of the small car hurtling along at an “impossible” speed makes them think they themselves must be driving slowly.
When I drove the smart in NYC, I found two general reactions: Versions of the above, and then outright, gushing approval (typically from pedestrians, though, more from other drivers). Sometimes people would seem to be upset that I had passed them, as they would then rev their engine to pass. As a side note, I occasionally witness this on a bike as well — drivers desperate to get ahead of me, even as we approach a red light (but a bike will always win because a car has to begin braking sooner, and because a bike can ride in the space in-between of course), almost as if they were trying to valiantly justify their automotive choice, or reclaim its presumed velocity advantage.
(Horn honk to Rick)
This entry was posted on Thursday, May 28th, 2009 at 9:56 am and is filed under Cars, Cities, Drivers, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.