Wish list items: a car periscope

The car periscopeI was trying to make a left turn without a light across a fairly busy two-lane road today. I'd already had to sit at the intersection for a couple minutes trying to wait out a possible opening and it seemed my patience was finally going to be rewarded. The closest lane was temporarily clear and there APPEARED to be a possible opening in the far lane about to make its way toward me.

The situation was fluid as there was a steady stream of cars in the far lane and the potential opening was still several hundred feet away. However, it looked like I might soon be able to break free.

As the opening closed to about a hundred feet a 4-Runner suddenly pulled up in the right turn lane just off my side. The 4-Runner pulled up a couple feet beyond my bumper and stopped for just a moment to make sure there was no oncoming traffic in the near lane. But a moment was all it took to completely obstruct my view and make me miss the opening. I wasn't about to dart out blindly across a lane of traffic hoping to hit what had been (at the last instant I'd seen it) a relatively small gap in a steady stream of cars. The hole passed, the 4-Runner (which didn't do anything wrong) turned right and was off on its merry way. Traffic in the near lane picked up again and I had to wait a couple more minutes until I was finally able to turn left. *sigh* Just the latest in a daily series of reminders of what it's like to be a smaller car in a world full of tall vehicles.

Even though I think a lot of people overestimate their actual need for space, I don't begrudge them their right to purchase a tall vehicle. We love our Honda CR-V. And if it wasn't for the horrible city mileage and the fact that I could sell my truck for more than twice the value of the Accord I'd still be driving the truck, which was relatively small and by today's standards. I only had it for a few years, but was quickly spoiled. The ride, the power and the hauling utility (which I actually used regularly as part of my soccer work) were all great.

But perhaps the most unappreciated factor (as I'm reminded daily in a car) was the nice, high view. Backing out of a parking space near other tall vehicles wasn't a process of slowly inching your way out hoping that oncoming cars would see your reverse lights and realize your inability to see them. Sitting in gridlock on the drive home (while horrible on the wallet) was at least easier on my compulsion to know my surroundings as I could see over other cars and around/through other large vehicles.

The Accord's just like you'd expect - a great car. But I do miss those truck-like attributes that I had previously taken for granted. However, with Holly about to stay home for a year, I'll have to put the temptation to look for my ideal vehicle on hold for a bit longer. Hopefully by the time I might be in the market again, vehicles like the fuel-efficient Honda Crossroad (currently only available in Japan but rumored to be a possible replacement for the Element) will finally be available.

Until then, have mercy on me as I try to back out of that parking spot between the Nissan Titan and the Ford Explorer.


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