Trope-a-Day: Failsafe Failure

Failsafe Failure: Averted.  Strongly.  Given the extraordinarily dangerous technologies they’re quite happy to use, the failsafes have failsafes.  On their failsafes.  And as this is not Starfleet engineering, the reactors don’t run hot (i.e., with ludicrous amounts of excess reactivity), prisoners and diseases are never contained with force-fields when a bottle would do perfectly well, and just to be absolutely clear about this, EVERYTHING COMES WITH FUSES.

[A comment on the original posting of this trope read as follows:

“Do they have seat belts?”

This, actually, I am not sure about.  I know that if they do, it’s certainly not legally required for the manufacturers to fit them or for anyone to use them (although your tort and health/incarnation insurance underwriters may insist on that point, if their actuaries are of the opinion that it’s worth it, on pain of higher premiums).  And I’m fairly certain that ground vehicles do, although since they’re mostly working vehicles and rugged all-terrain types like Mass Effect‘s Mako, they may well be the multipoint harness type, rather than conventional seat belts.

As for the regular “family car” type flitter, though, it may well be that since they’re high-speed flying vehicles, the number of potential “mid-air collision/fall right out of the sky” issues left, after the failure of all the other assorted safety systems, for which a seat belt could have any impact on your chances of survival, is small enough that it’s just not worth doing.  Most small-vehicle collisions or falls from operating altitudes are, I think, pretty clearly raspberry-jam time, with later restoration from backup.

But I haven’t yet run numbers on that point.

(There’s also one part of me that suggests that the last-resort safety device for a flitter should be a bomb, on the grounds that the passengers are already near-certainly dead, and it’s better for everyone below, especially in a city, that it come down as metal confetti rather than one, or a few, big lump(s).  But I don’t think that part is entirely serious…)]