( pp. Using one‘s car for working, playing, eating, grooming and other tasks normally performed at home or at the office.
carcoon v., n.

Example Citation:
Nationally, officials believe up to 30 percent of crashes are caused by driver distractions that include mobile communications devices. A March report by the National Conference of State Legislatures suggests device-related distractions that killed an estimated 600 to 1,000 motorists in 2001 could kill 2,000 a year by 2004.

Academics have coined the word "carcooning" to describe how people increasingly outfit their cars for comfort, entertainment and productivity. Phone systems are built in. New stereos pull in satellite radio broadcasts and play MP3 files downloaded from the Internet.
—Jim Wasserman, "Inattention at the wheel: It's so much more than cell phones," The Associated Press, August 22, 2002

Earliest Citation:
If you've been in Los Angeles for long enough to read this sentence, chances are you've spent more time stuck in traffic than you would care to consider. That annoying fact of Southern California life is only going to become more annoying and more of a factor with time, which is the point of "Car Trek," tonight's edition of "By the Year 2000" at 7:30 on KCET (Channel 28) [which] also looks at the phenomena of "carcooning" in which drivers turn their autos into virtual cocoons with all the amenities of home and the office.
—Phil Rosenthal, "L.A. Life: Television," Los Angeles Daily News, October 18, 1989


The Carcoon, a portable shelter for cars, is made of epoxy coated steel tubing and five-year UV-rated waterproof vinyl/polyester. It can be assembled without tools, and can be held in place with pads epoxied to the ground or tent stakes. In addition, the walls of the Carcoon have three bladders that can when filled add 600 lbs to the structure.
—"Accessories after the fact," AutoWeek, May 9, 1988

This word is a combination of car and cocooning, the famous term coined in the late 70s by futurist Faith Popcorn. It's defined in the Encarta World English Dictionary (yes, this sense of the verb cocoon now appears in at least a couple of dictionaries) as "withdrawing into a state of personal privacy in order to escape stressful everyday life." Now people are escaping the stress of everyday commuting by withdrawing into a state of personal vehicular privacy.

Related Words: