Modern Living: The National Trussed

There was a time when the automobile responded without question or objection to the turn of a key, the gentle pressure of a foot, a twist of the steering wheel and the occasional injection of vital fluids. Those freewheeling days, alas, have passed. As a result of the nation's commendable concern with driver safety, cars are no longer the mute mistresses of yore but have become instead the harridans of the highways, yowling at passengers and refusing orders until they are properly buckled in.

What transformed old faithful into a common scold was a series of federal safety regulations. As...

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