Saturday, August 4, 2012

Crash Test Dummies Rule

 Safety Guy at a car show last year.

Safety Guy is really, really excited that we'll have to replace both of our cars over the next couple years.  This fall Tech Guy needs to replace his little old '99 Ford Escort wagon (it's been reliable, but it's rusting out from under him).  In a couple years or so I'll need to replace my '02 Santa Fe with something newer, either another SUV or a minivan.  (SG really, really wants us to get a minivan - he's been obsessed with them since he was about 3).  We never buy brand new cars - used is just fine for us.  We do our research, online and with Consumer Reports.  But now we also have an in-house expert on crash tests and safety ratings to help us choose:  Safety Guy.  As I'm typing, he's watching crash tests on YouTube.  LOTS of crash tests.  He's been bending my ear for over an hour now about various vehicles and their safety ratings, showing me video to back up his statements.  He's definitely showing his Aspergers today with this obsessive interest - but, I'm not really complaining.  THIS interest will protect him (and probably us too) in the future.

SG has been interested in crash tests for years.  He loves to mock-crash his Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars in slow-mo, making all the sound effects for the accidents.  (He's so realistic with his sound effects that we've had to ask him to NOT do them while we're driving.  It's really disconcerting to hear screeching, crashing, honking noises from the back seat while trying to change lanes on the freeway.)  All kinds of vehicles, all kinds of accidents.  He watches movie car chases and dissects if they're realistic or not, physically possible or Hollywood hype, actual cars or CGI or a combination.  He watches public service announcements about being safe while driving (don't text, don't drink, don't horse around etc.)  Somehow I'm NOT worried about Safety Guy being an unsafe driver.  And, as a side benefit, if we can hear him making crash test noises from his room or the family room (he often carries a couple cars in his pocket as a calming device), we know he's in a good mood.  Happy sounds, we call it.

He's earned his nickname many times over:  fire safety, auto safety, emergency safety, natural disaster safety.  I can see him pursuing a career related to these interests.  For now, he can be our in-house car safety expert.