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Old 12-21-2007, 02:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Was the show called Top Gear?

See, what they don't compare though, is a larger vehicle hitting it instead of a wall, when you hit a wall, you stop, if you hit a big rig, you stop.. and then get pushed backwards until the big rig comes to a stop.. and there is the problem with that. But yes, Small cars can DEFINITELY be safe. It just comes into play in a non-controlled environment. I think that side-curtain airbags need to be standard, not just an option though on all vehicles.

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Old 12-21-2007, 03:56 PM   #12 (permalink)
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It might have been top gear.... and you are correct, if a big rig runs over a car then it is lights out.
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Old 12-21-2007, 04:35 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Fifth gear ...

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Old 12-21-2007, 06:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Yep, that's Top Gear.

Not that I'm saying that the smart isn't safe, but it really doesn't matter what the car looks like after the crash, it's what your brain looks like after the crash, and what went on in the car. So it's not going for just the smart, but SUV's, big rigs, Vans, cars, and buses.
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Old 12-21-2007, 08:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I suspect this post might raise some hackles, so please read to the end before you reply.

If you compare the average person driving a small car to the average person driving an SUV, there is an insurmountable difference in crash survivability.

See the statistics on this. Open that page up now. No amount of wishful thinking is going to stop the fact that small masses have large changes in velocity in collisions with large masses. In fact, for cars as light as mine, I think it would be stupid not to extrapolate and estimate the probability of death in a collision with virtually any vehicle as a certainty. If you think that the SMART car has much chance of surviving a collision with Silverado, please don't drive with other passengers.

However, note that these statistics are for the AVERAGE person who drives a small car. No one dies if you can avoid collisions. Just as you can exceed the EPA estimates of mpg by driving a certain way, so too can you lower the risk of having an accident on the highway through defensive driving.

Basically, if you are driving at a safe speed, in the day, on a dry road, with lots of distance between you and the next car, in a lane that's not expected to be going very fast, in a well maintained car, having had enough sleep, paying close attention to your mirrors and other people on the road, only changing lanes when you have scoped out everything well in advance (and not because someone has just braked ahead of you and you want to coast a bit longer)... guess what? The risk of you having an accident is minimal.

And note that all of this can go hand in hand with hypermiling. Perhaps there needs to be a defensive driving sticky. One thing that is very helpful is to check the weather before you drive. Most places these days have doppler radar available on the internet, with a loop so that you can judge when rain is heading through an area, and either delay or expedite a trip, or at the very least remind yourself to leave lots of room between you and the next car.
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Old 12-21-2007, 08:35 PM   #16 (permalink)
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An exercise for those who would overly trust the crash safety of small vehicles:

Two vehicles collide head on, going 100kph (27.8m/s). One vehicle has mass 2200kg, the other has mass 1200kg.

1) Assume the masses stick together after collision. Calculate the change in momentum for both vehicles, and hence the change in velocity for both vehicles.

2) Assume that crumple zones of both vehicles cause the two vehicles to reach their state of moving together without further crumpling after 0.5 seconds. (If you can research a better estimate, please use it.) Assume constant acceleration. Assume both vehicles hold a passenger of mass 90kg. Calculate the acceleration of each passenger, and then calculate the force imposed on each passenger during the collision.

3) Consider the collision as perfectly inelastic. Calculate the required quantities as in 1 and 2.
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Old 12-22-2007, 02:14 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DifferentPointofView View Post
Yea, the Toyota Prius did drop a huge mpg difference from last year to this year. But not so bad that it's gotta be "that bad"
Fair Enough... But now we're comparing hybrids to non hybrids
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Old 12-23-2007, 10:56 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Wow, so that one time that one Chevy Cavalier almost smashed into the engine bay of my vehicle after running a stop sign had around 6-8 times the chance of death then me, depending on how much my vehicle weighed with me, a passenger, and my large amount of sub woofer box weight in the trunk, plus the likelihood of his car being wedged under mine and me running over the roof. That kinda sucks. they should do an all-weight crash test rating that goes along with the regular IIHS and NHTSA ratings.

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