Yes, I know world hunger is still an issue. So is climate change, crime, city infrastructures, and you can fill in the blank from there. Unfortunately, I do not feel like I can change those things. However, one thing that has bothered me for years is why are some vehicles filled up from the right side, and others from the left side? Tell the truth, how many times have you pulled up to the wrong side to fill your vehicle?
Imagine a world where everyone was going the same direction when filling up. You pull into a gas station and one lane is going one direction, another the opposite direction, but everyone in your lane is entering and exiting the same direction. It sounds sort of tranquil, doesn’t it?
How nice would it be to never have to think about which side you fill up from? For me, as a car reviewer, I constantly have to search for the little tiny arrow to tell me which side the tank is on. I realize that not everyone drives over a hundred different cars a year like I do, but for families with multiple cars, it can be an issue. I feel sorry too, for people who rent cars a lot; they never know which side to fill up from.
I admit that the reasons above could be construed as trivial, compared to other issues. However, there is a real reason to push for this change: Personal safety, especially for women.
It doesn’t seem like a huge deal to be on the opposite side of a car when filling it up – until someone comes up to you to panhandle money, or worse to do you harm, especially at night. To get away, you have to go all the way around the vehicle, and depending on which way you choose to flee, you’ll have to deal with the filler hose.
In that same scenario, if your filler tank is on the driver’s side, you can more easily and quickly jump into your vehicle and lock the door, especially if you have left the driver’s door open.
Obviously, the change could not happen overnight. It will take some engineering changes to future vehicles, then it will take a decade or more for the older vehicles to get off the roads, but effective change has to start somewhere, which is what I am suggesting.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is constantly requiring automakers to make vehicles and their occupants safer. For me, this falls under the same umbrella. Therefore, I have started a petition that would have the NHTSA require all vehicles be fueled from the driver’s side by the 2020 model year. Many fuel filler necks are already on the correct side, so this is not an overwhelming task for automotive engineers.
I need 100,000 signatures on the petition by March 13, 2016 for the Government to consider this. I would ask that if you agree, share the link to the petition with everyone on your email list, your Facebook page, your Twitter account, and all social media platforms you have, and ask all those people to do the same. Things like this can snowball quickly if everyone participates.
Thank you for helping me bring about some needed change to the future of automobiles.