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Old 01-30-2013, 08:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Should Cars Have External Airbags to Protect Cyclists and Pedestrians?

Should Cars Have External Airbags to Protect Cyclists and Pedestrians? : TreeHugger



This might be a good thing in a "perfect" world - but I think we need to work on the efficiency of our cars until we can't improve it anymore first.

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Old 01-30-2013, 08:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sure we should improve their fuel-efficiency before pushing for more "supernanny" features. Nothing is more important to prevent crashes than defensive-driving.
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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in the article they think drivers would applaud this as a form of risk compensation... but i think if these were common place it would make more sense to call it risk compensation for the cyclist
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Cars will have accident avoidance features as standard equipment before too long. This will negate the need for external airbags.

I'm already trying to convince my grandpa to buy a Subaru Outback with brake assist. The system monitors obstacles and applies the brakes automatically to avoid a collision.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I like the idea of raised cross walks, because that is where you are most likely to hit someone, a raised cross walk is almost like a speed bump, only it's slightly lower and is the width of the cross walk making it uncomfortable to drive to fast over, then it doesn't matter what car you are driving because you'll get used to slowing down at cross walks and if you slow down at a cross walk you are more likely to see someone crossing.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
I like the idea of raised cross walks, because that is where you are most likely to hit someone, a raised cross walk is almost like a speed bump...
Speed bumps aren't effective and just wear out suspension components. It's actually more comfortable to hit speed bumps at higher speeds and let the suspension absorb it than to roll slowly over, causing the entire vehicle to move up and down.

If I could remove only 1 traffic control device, it would be the worthless speed bump.

There are already laws that determine right of way issues. People should just follow these rules or loose their driving privilege. I'd be happy to see the bottom 5% of drivers currently on the road loose their license. As a side benefit, public transportation demand would increase.

The fact that my grandpa is still allowed on the road tells me that it is way too easy to obtain and maintain a license in the U.S.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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That, and fuel usage would increase from constantly having to slow down and speed up due to the crosswalks.

i'd rather treat the cause of the stupidity(either the stupid driver or the stupid pedestrian), not the symptom(the bicycle or shoes or car).
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
Speed bumps aren't effective and just wear out suspension components.

It's actually more comfortable to hit speed bumps at higher speeds and let the suspension absorb it than to roll slowly over, causing the entire vehicle to move up and down.
Ah-hah..... Second sentence explains the first. LOL

I try to manuever so one set of wheels miss the speed bump altogether, either by putting the right set in the gutter, or the left set off the other end of the bump. This casues the "jolt" to be reduced by 1/2 overall, and even more for the side that misses it.

If I can't miss one end or the other, then I try to hit it at an angle, so both fronts and both rears don't hit it at the exact same time. In that case, going a little faster smooths it out, but it's harder to do combined with the "angle manuever".
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
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An airbag, honestly, doesn't weigh all that much. But the electronics and controllers for the system will cost a whole lot.

External airbags make more sense than pop-up hoods. A Jaguar test unit hit a cone at the racetrack here a while back and that caused some insanely expensive damage to the hood from the explosive bolts triggered by the collision.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I don't see the concept of external airbags as viable for the following reasons.

The cost and complexity would be fought hard against by the automakers lobbyists.

Timing the airbag deployment would be nearly impossible. For example, car - deer collisions rarely trigger the passenger compartment airbags. The triggering would have to be so sensitive that it would create its own hazard by creating a condition of deployment that would likely trigger the airbags in non pedestrian collisions and obscure the drivers vision with the airbags creating a hazardous condition. The TV advertising lawyers would be lined up.

As CAFE standards continue to go higher, windshield rake goes lower. With each passing model year, a struck pedestrian is more likely to go over than through a windshield.

As bicycling has become more encouraged and mainstream, infrastructure for bicyclists has been increasing in many areas. States and cities are taking advantage of Federal grant money to create bicycle lanes and pathways and this trend will undoubtedly continue helping to separate the disparate transportation modes.

Just as the penalties for drunk driving have become more severe and as a result have reduced collisions, penalties for distracted driving (handheld cell devices) are beginning to follow suit. The penalties should also apply to distracted pedestrians as they are every bit as culpable in collisions.

As Darwin theorists and insurance actuarials all know, some fatal stupidity is just going to happen and we have to accept that. There is a certain percentage that all the engineering in the world can't fix.

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