It’s hard to believe that the shiny and sleek new vehicle that you so coveted one day will fall into disrepair and you will be making its “final arrangements”. May your car and you travel many safe miles together and may the parting at the very end be bittersweet. You know… if you stop to think about it, the life of your car takes on many phases from the very moment that it is a concept on paper in some automotive engineer’s mind, to an idea shared via a storyboard or slideshow during a meeting of the minds, to the actual construction of that vehicle, and the eventual purchase of it by you.
Everyone is familiar with how a major thoroughfare will close down after a fully-loaded tanker truck or semi-truck flips over. It contents often are strewn across the expressway or highway necessitating detours for drivers. But hand-in-hand with those detours is often the need to declare a hazmat situation. “Hazmat”, as you know, is the common term to describe hazardous materials. A fuel spill, followed by a nasty quick-starting fire, could close down a busy thoroughfare for hours, if not days.
But surprisingly, hazmat situations on the highway are not limited to fuel haulers or large trucks that have lost their load. A violent crash of two passenger vehicles can just as easily cause a hazardous materials situation.
It seems that everyone has a different opinion on the definition of a “junk car”. To the little old lady who only drove her Buick to church on Sundays, even though that car may be pushing classic car status (i.e. a car that is 25 years old), it is her “wheels” – her only mode of transportation – and, if she has faithfully maintained her vehicle at a trustworthy repair shop, she may have that car for many more years to come. Someone else may scoff at the idea of keeping a vehicle for more than a few years and will insist on buying a new one that has all the bells and whistles on it.
While these are two factions of vehicle owners, obviously at opposite ends of the spectrum, actually, the truth is, that older vehicles were easier to maintain and less likely than their modern counterparts to develop electrical issues causing serious malfunctions. With older vehicles, there certainly were no worries about lights flashing off and on that need your attention and have you worrying, then scurrying, to the dealership to determine if the vehicle is safe to drive. But… newfangled satellite radio and wireless connections will make you feel like you are a pilot in the cockpit of a jet airliner.