DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: I AM OLD ENOUGH TO GET MY OWN CAR AND HAVE BEEN SHOPPING FOR A USED ONE WITH MY PARENTS. WE REALLY DISAGREE ON THE FEATURES. I WANT A CAR THAT HAS APPLE CARPLAY SO THAT I CAN SEE THE MAPS, AND STREAM MUSIC AND DO OTHER THINGS. MY PARENTS DON’T SEE THE NEED FOR ME TO HAVE A CAR WITH THIS FEATURE AND SAY THAT IT IS LIMITING OUR CHOICES. I PLAN TO PAY FOR MOST OF THE CAR AND THEY WILL PICK UP THE INSURANCE. PLEASE HELP! Emily, Mill Valley.
Dear Emily: Many young people, like yourself, expect cars to have state-of-the-art infotainment centers.. Older people are not accustomed to these and do not see all the advantages. It is important to remember that .you are buying a car, not an entertainment system, so don’t put the cart before the horse. Your safety comes first. Look at the reliability of the vehicle, and since it is used, make sure it is equipped with airbags, anti-lock brakes, and stability control. Those should take priority over smartphone connections! Your parents may be worried about your future driving. That big entertainment console is hands free, and that’s a good thing, but playing around with your phone will still keep your visual attention and cognitive focus off the road.