So, last weekend I found myself driving down a two lane road at about 45mph in a rented Chevrolet Impala, maybe four car lengths from the car in front of me in Western Michigan. Suddenly, a squirrel darts out into the road in front of the car in front of me. Not knowing if the driver is going to come to a complete stop (and wary of both the brakes and the chassis dynamics in the Impala), I initiated my braking with relatively firm pressure on the pedal. I can say with a relatively high degree of confidence that this was not a full on panic stop situation because my wife was completely nonplussed. The Impala, on the other had, freaked out. A series of bright red lights began flashing on the speedometer, and several loud beeps came out of nowhere. I was in the process of determining that on-coming traffic was relatively far away and shifting my eyes to an escape path that would allow me to remain on the road in the event I could not fully stop, while also evaluating the rate at which I was closing on the bumper of the car in front of me and deciding whether to increase the pressure on the brake pedal and bring the car fully to a stop. Meanwhile, I was left wondering WTF does all this flashing and beeping mean? Given that I had no idea what the car was doing, I determined to ignore whatever the lights and beeps were supposed to impart. At that same instant, the squirrel thought better of his decision to cross the road and returned to whence he came, causing the driver in front of me to release his brakes and accelerate away from me. I eased up on the brake pressure until the other car was comfortably in front of me, at which time I returned to driving. I later discovered that the Impala had a front collision warning option installed, and that this warning system was what caused the blinking and beeping. I personally do not find a panic alarm useful in situations that do not require panic. I'm interested in what others think.