Are We Part of Our Cars and Bikes?

Driving is a dangerous endeavor—in fact for  most people who drive to work every day it’s probably the most dangerous aspect of their lives.  In the immediate, operating a motor vehicle is deadly because of physics and metallurgy: steel boxes hitting each other at 45 MPH create several spheres of danger outside of pure impact. It’s also dangerous because—and if Immanuel Kant drove a Chevy he would have probably coined the term—of a mind-machine separation. Between ignition and park most people become lesser animals: differentiating between car and driver becomes cognitively impossible, like an elephant considering a jeep and its riders one strange beast.

Like some sort of  quotidian Japanese kid’s shows/videogame, a car becomes a Zord/Xenogear/Voltron, a mirror of their owner’s personalities and quirks. Anxious people make for anxious drivers, agression begets agression, and—this is generally the most disheartening on the highway—short fuses make for quick road rage triggers. The mind merge that happens when we get into a cars even affects how we interact with other people on the road: pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles.

This, of course, isn’t good for most people as a car will typically win a joust with any number of other machinery or human.