Central mounted instruments: Why?

No really, why do we need central mounted instruments?

When you’re handling machinery, you need to know instantly what’s happening within, whether it be a car, a train, or a nuclear reactor. So why would we want to increase the time we need to know this vital information?

I’ve watched silently as car companies move their instruments from directly in front of the driver over to the middle of the dash. Toyota has done it in the Yaris and most of their Scions, Hyundai has done it in their Matrix/Lavita, and the Mini has it in the center console as well. Fashionable as it is, this trend must fade into the pages of history, not just for aesthetics, but for safety purposes.

It doesn’t matter which way you cut it, moving the dashboard to the center console increases the time you need to look at the instruments. Tiny as this difference can be, it can still make a lot of a difference when you need to take evasive action for whatever reason.

I’m actually pretty surprised no one has complained about this. Perhaps they all bought the “better front visibility” image of it, disregarding the fact that human beings as a whole have gotten used to look directly down to check everything’s in order and that no one has ever complained about lack of visibility caused by the dashboard.

In the olden days, cars had the instruments on the center console, but the key part there is “in the olden days”.

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