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The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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First-year guard Aaryn Battle (1) dribbles the ball during Thursday evening’s game against Wake Forest in the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt women’s basketball falls back into their old habits, fall to Wake Forest 65-50
By Sara Meyer, Staff Writer • February 23, 2024

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First-year guard Aaryn Battle (1) dribbles the ball during Thursday evening’s game against Wake Forest in the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt women’s basketball falls back into their old habits, fall to Wake Forest 65-50
By Sara Meyer, Staff Writer • February 23, 2024

Editorial | Let your car get totaled

A+car+crash+on+Jagtvej%2C+a+road+in+Copenhagen%2C+Denmark.
Image via Wikimedia Commons
A car crash on Jagtvej, a road in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Over the holiday break, a Toyota Corolla swerved onto the wrong side of a California highway and collided with a Tesla Cybertruck, the first accident involving Elon Musk’s newly released electric pickup.

The Toyota suffered significant damage to the hood of the vehicle, while the driver walked away unscathed. The Cybertruck suffered minor damage to the driver, while the hood of the vehicle drove away unscathed. It’s easy to see the issue here.

Musk heavily advertises the Cybertruck’s “ultra-hard stainless-steel exoskeleton,” designed to reduce dents and damage, even though this is possibly the last thing anyone should look for in a passenger vehicle. One of the most important safety features on a car is its crumple zones.

When a car hits another object, there are generally two things that will absorb the impact — the car itself and the comparatively fragile body of the driver. Crumple zones allow the car’s hood or rear to absorb a portion of the force of the impact so the driver’s face doesn’t have to. It’s the difference between running directly into a wall and running into a wall with a backpack full of water strapped to your chest — you might still break your nose, but at least you won’t lose any teeth.

With this in mind, you don’t want your car to look like the Cybertruck after its first accident. It’s normal to get a feeling of worry when we see a car on the side of the road whose front is destroyed beyond repair, but it’s really one of the best things to see after a collision. One look at the crash tests for the winners of the Top Safety Pick+ award show us that a totaled car is a safe car.

You are more valuable than your vehicle. In the age of $800 rent and $200 trips to Giant Eagle, we crave things that will last and that won’t need more money for repairs. This is a great mindset as you shop for durable shoes or a case for your phone, but you should probably leave it behind when searching for the box of steel that will carry you across the highway at 70 miles per hour.

In case you end up in one of the 70,000 yearly car accidents in Pennsylvania, you want to find a car that will leave the scene completely mangled. As you prepare to enter the real world after college and give up your free PRT bus pass with your student ID, beware of selling points that prioritize the safety of the vehicle over the safety of the driver. Check out the safest cars of 2023 instead, and leave your desire for style and suavity for your handsome face.

You should always prioritize safety when you venture out onto the open road. If you’re staying in Pittsburgh for a while, you should strongly consider sticking with public transit — passenger cars get in more fatal accidents each year than buses get in total accidents. But if you do decide a car is the best option for you, find one that will bend and smash itself to protect you. Someone’s skeleton is going to shatter in a high-speed collision — make sure it’s the car’s and not your own.

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