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Old 01-26-2010, 09:42 PM   #350 (permalink)
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weight safcety falacy

Auto accidents are complex dynamic and can be highly individualized. The same could be said of people. When analyzing either,the complexities often overwhelm. Biases and distortions leap in as people notice recurring pattern and mistakenly assign causal rather than coincidental relations.

When we think about a 1967 Cadilac Sedan Deville in a head on collision with a 2003 Honda S2000, we tend to judge the safety of each vehicle by the potential threat to passengers in that ONE accident. That is a falacy in logiic. The passengers in the S2000 were in a completly different accident (thay hit a Caddillac) than the passengers in the Cadillac (they hit an S2000).

Safety might usefully be compared analyzing potential passenger outcomes had each vehicle been in a head on accident withthe same thing: a GMC Jimmy, or a tree, or a concrete barrier, but not by different objects for each vehicle.

That is probably a large factor in the widelyheld belief that heavier cars are safer...inequitable comparicons. I have hit a concrete barrier in an S2000 and i have been in an accident in a Deville. I would not have survived if I had hit the concrete barrier in a Deville instead of the S2000.

There is truth to the logic that a stronger shell can be constructed with more mass, but just because something is heavier does not necessitate it is stronger. Racecar cockpits are very light and driver sometimes survive impacts over
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