View Full Version : Am I just claustrophobic, or should my grand kids be able see out the back windows?

08-02-11, 01:06 PM
I keep seeing more and more of these high waisted, slot windowed, non functioning hatch back design coming to the marketplace, and it suddenly occurred to me that if my 5 and 2 year old grand kids were properly seated in their child seats they couldn't see anything but the seat backs, the door panels, the headliner and their video screen! And that this would be the case, probably until they reached the age of twelve!

Now I know many of today's kids are being raised in a gadget filled womb where TV, electronic toys and games provide a good part of their sensory perception during their day. But I wonder do we really want to isolate them completely from the complexities of going places in the modern world, or the natural wonders they might see from the back seat of the family car?

I remember when my son was very little and just beginning to talk that he took great pleasure in asking questions about everything he was seeing out the window while seated in his rear seat mounted safety seat. On a corner near our house was a house that was a replica of a French château, a smaller version of a Disney castle, once he discovered that it was called a castle he let us know that he had sighted yet another "cathal" when he saw something that had any kind of a tower of turret. As he got older he was a nonstop question machine, asking about the things he saw from his rear perch. I doubt my grandkids can see anything out the back of their parents car, and if my son and daughter-in-law bought something new, I am sure the kids visual stimulation would be confined to what was running on the individual video screens.

Unfortunately, I think we are going to raise a whole generation who will have missed a whole lot of visual and sensual experience, while the kids in less affluent societies are learning to do stuff in the real world. Put that together with the superior educational results achieved by some second world nations and our ability to compete in the future may be critically impaired.

08-02-11, 01:25 PM
This is what I loved about riding in Gary's old Impala. You could see the whole damn world from the back seat, arguably even better than from the front.

08-02-11, 02:37 PM
Riding in my girlfriend's old Cherokee was like riding in a fishbowl. You could see everything everywhere. Lol

08-02-11, 05:53 PM
At least you can roll the rear windows all the way down now.

08-03-11, 06:08 AM
I feel minivans and real, full size SUV's like the Suburban, Escalade, Tahoe, Expedition, etc still offer great visibility from the rear seat. I agree with Orconn though, rear seats in most sedans just suck now days, unless you buy something BIG like a Caddy DTS, Benz S class, Buick Lucerene, Toyota Avalon, Town Car, etc. I will say that as much as I hate the current Accord and Camry, they both have nice back seats.

08-03-11, 07:12 AM
At least you can roll the rear windows all the way down now.

Because in order for small children to fall out the window they would need mountain climbing gear.

08-05-11, 08:13 PM
Since we all seem to have air conditioning, I don't see the need for the rear windows to roll all the way down. Although I would prefer that the rear windows retracted all the way.

08-05-11, 08:52 PM
I HATE rear windows that don't go all the way down. It's probably the one thing I really really hate about my wagon. I wish my rear door frames were square so they could have gotten away with it.

Also, from the rear of the wagon (I've only sat there a few times) you can see like... everything.

08-06-11, 12:01 AM
Now this is what I like about convertibles. When we cruise in the '67 Cutlass the kids love looking at the sky, the buildings, soaking in all there is to see and asking questions. It doesn't happen in the Jag or in my windowless extended E250 van although they do have fun running around in the van when we take a vacation. My kids (ages 7 and 11) are becoming zombies with their Mac books, video games and phones (the 11 year old has one). Things I swore I would not let them succumb too but did because I'm a complete dumbass that sometimes takes the easy way out. Before my Olds I had a Cobra 'vert and a '95 Z28 'vert but they didn't provide the same top down enjoyment with their tall doors and all. The 60's cars, even in non convertible form with their low waistlines and panoramic views were much more fun.

08-08-11, 02:27 PM
I'll take the exponentially safer new cars. kthanks.

08-08-11, 02:49 PM
I'll take the exponentially safer new cars. kthanks.Good point... Eh. Lol

08-08-11, 03:17 PM
I also miss cars with better outward views. But there are reasons cars are the way they are. I'll deal with the few cons to enjoy the many pros...

08-08-11, 03:47 PM
Given that so many of the livery cars have tinted windows anyway, I guess it wouldn't make much difference. However, the old Lincoln Town Cars that are still seeing service have decent visibility for the rear seat passengers if they do not have windows so darkly tinted as to seeing out of them . Although I have to admit that when I have been using a livery car I have been too busy working in the the back seat to pay too much attention to what is going by outside!

I don't agree that cars have to be virtual tanks or bunkers to keep the passengers safe, there comes a point when lack of visibility becomes safety hazard of its' own. The multitude of "airbags" that cars come equipped with today, not to mention side door re-enforcement bars, etc all deliver excellent crash protection. I believe the slit windows are more of a fashion statement in contemporary cars than a true safety necessity.

08-08-11, 06:04 PM
The European mandated tall front ends are helping to dictate high cowls and less glass area. I'm sure styling takes some sort of responsibility but I'd bet safety regs hold more prominence than you think...