Volume 10, Issue 2 - March/April 2008

Field of Vision
from the editor

No Laughing Matter
by Penny Stacey

A few weeks ago, I went out to eat with my husband and a couple of his friends, all of whom are what you might call car buffs, and one of them said something that made me laugh.

“You know, I just don’t understand it—they put all these safety features in cars now and they’re just so heavy and complicated and they use so much gas,” he said. “Do we really need all these safety features?”

At first I chimed in, telling him about a safety feature I’d heard about at the recent National Auto Glass Conference—a car that measures the distance in front of it and behind it automatically (see related story on page 36). I actually was commenting on the ridiculousness of this—what’s next? A car we don’t even have to drive?

But then I realized what he said really wasn’t funny. It’s really a very serious matter.

I told him about how General Motors just settled with a passenger who claims the company’s failure to use plastic sidelites caused him to go blind. Granted, a lot of people might believe this was a suit-happy person looking for a buck, but to say that safety features aren’t at all necessary is kind of frightening. I’m all for less government, fewer regulations, etc., but I don’t think putting the general public at risk is a good idea.

When I was interviewing people for my feature about the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS) on page 28, I found some disagreement over what exactly is needed in the industry—but no one disagreed that safety is an issue, and an important one at that.

That is why the AGRSS Council is working toward third-party validation—in an effort to help the industry, consumers and even insurance companies understand what an important issue this truly is.

But, a lot of shop owners noted that their customers just don’t care—and they don’t see safety as important; not until something bad happens, that is.I really hope the tide is changing on this and with the addition of third-party validation that consumers will take notice of the windshield as a safety mechanism, but, in the meantime, I’d love to hear from you. What do your customers think? Are they concerned with their safety?

Please e-mail me at pstacey@glass.com.

Penny Stacey is the editor of AGRR magazine/glassBYTEs.comTM

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