Jumper cables reversed

This is just a “what do you think” philosophical (and, unfortunately, probably political) question.

Seems to me that the “I connected the jumper cables backward and now the *** doesn’t work” query has been showing up lately. Back in the old days, when the radio was the only elex in the car, this was bad, but not a complete disaster. Maybe you had to also replace the battery and the generator/alternator. Nowadays, you could fry a few computers and expesive wiring harnesses.

So, is it time to prtect the ingnorant/careless – say, by making the cars come with polarized connectors for jumper cables – or do we continue letting people suffer for their mistakes?

(Forty years ago I was walking past a group of young men who were installing an electronic tachometer in a muscle car. I overheard them discussing which wire went to the positive battery. I offered some free advice, but one alpha-type insisted that the polarity did not matter because “electricity flows in either direction.” He even bet me money that he was right. After they fried the tach I let him keep his money.)

We don’t need to prtect the ingnorant/careless.

The battery connections are already polarized. There’s a positive and a negative. They are clearly marked. Let’s not try to “idiot proof” the world.

Some company makes a set of jumper cables with a test function. I have not used one of these but, from what I have understand, you either touch a test spot to the final connection or push a test button and get a red warning light if the connection is in error.

Probably the best proof against the “ignorant/careless” is a AAA membership and cell phone. Now, if the mechanic goofs up and reverses the jumper cables, the liability will be on his/her dime. Sometimes the best approach is to let the professional do the job.