Is It Fast? Is It Safe? Ask the Experts!

I’ve been amused by the recent VW commercial that shows a boy asking in various stages of his life if the bicycle or beater car is fast.  The last scene shows him ask the alternate question, “Is It Safe?” and shows that he is now father to an infant. Very amusing evolution of his priorities.

Forgive me, then, for using this fun commercial to harp on information literacy.

Apparently this individual has never learned the information literacy skill of finding authoritative information when asking questions of quality.  What does he really expect to hear from the sales person when he asks if the car is safe?  Will the sales person provide objective information if that information shows that the car is not safe?  Of course not. The sales person is interested in making the sale and pocketing the commission.  The best the buyer can hope for is omission of negative information.

Instead, this individual should consult with expert sources before going to the car lot.  A simple search in his local library’s subscription to Consumer Reports for instance, will provide objective safety information that he can use to evaluate his purchase.

I don’t think they evaluate the acceleration properties of lightning bolts on mopeds however —  You’re on your own for that! OK. I’m off my soap box now. Time to watch more TV!

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