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Old 11-15-2010, 05:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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A newer small car is as "safe" as a newer large pickup.

Are Small Cars Safe?

Course, "safe" in this context really isn't a good word to use. In order to determine how safe the vehicles actually are in the real world someone needs to remove socio-economic influences from the mix. If more young dumb people buy small cars because that's all they can afford then that will impact the outcome versus a bunch of older individuals who tend to drive in a safer manner buying luxo-yachts.

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Old 11-15-2010, 05:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The real price for our addiction to driving isn't just deaths and the increased cost of auto repairs. There are three million injuries in addition to those 40,000 deaths annually, so you're 75 times more likely to be injured in an automobile accident than you are to be killed.

There's no guarantee you're going to drive 6300 years before you die in an auto accident. That's obviously faulty reasoning. If we could all drive 6300 years before dying in a crash, there wouldn't be any need for seat belts, airbags, highway patrolmen, EMTs, insurance agents, and lawyers, and none of us would know anyone who was killed or maimed in an auto accident. The very fact that you will pick up tomorrow's newspaper, or listen to this afternoon's newscast, and learn about a traffic fatality within a few miles of your home, should tell you that Frank's "facts" aren't telling you the real story.

I drove a late '80s Chevy Astro van for 23 years. It had NHTSA ratings of 1, 1 for driver and passenger safety (>45% chance of serious injury in a 35 mph frontal collision). The Astro's non-collapsible steering column would impale the driver in an accident. I didn't get rid of it for a long time. I also know I'm infinitely safer in any modern car than I was driving that deathtrap.
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:53 PM   #13 (permalink)
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^OK What's the proper way to present the odds from the data I found?
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
^OK What's the proper way to present the odds from the data I found?
As an American citizen, you have a 1 in 142 chance of being injured in a traffic accident each year (2.217 million injuries in a population of 315 million in 2009.) Your chance of dying is significantly lower (1 in 7,875), but speaking as someone with several friends and acquaintances suffering lifelong pain from traffic accident-related injuries, I'll trade the extra 50 pounds for side door beams and 25 pounds for airbags.

(BTW, I have a family member who was killed in a side collision that very likely would have been a minor- to moderate-injury accident in a car with side beams and curtain airbags. It can, as they say, happen to you.)
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:27 PM   #15 (permalink)
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What makes that more proper?

More fun with numbers: If a lifetime of driving is over a 60 year span, one would have to drive 1,475,000 miles per year, every year, to hit the odds for a fatality.

One of the things I'm saying is, this oft-stated "mission" from Highway Patrols, MADD, NHTSA, etc., is for "ZERO deaths". Well, it is patently ridiculous to expect zero deaths no matter what... well, if vehicles and drivers are banned I suppose it could happen. No, the real purpose of having and promoting such a ridiculous mission statement is 1)it sounds good- it's a good sell 2)it'll never happen= job security= never ending rationale for ever increasing staffing, wages, and draconian legislation which = 3)CONTROL OVER THE PLEBES.

@ Clev: I know it can happen to me. I frequently throw a leg over bicycles and motorcycles, and had a pretty good motorcycle crash a few years ago that left a mark. Yup, were I in even my most unsafe car, the cause of that motorcycle crash would have been almost a complete non-event!

Curious, how many tough guys (and girls) that think they need a 2 Ton cage for "safety" also ride bikes? That would pretty much be the height of hypocrisy.
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Old 11-15-2010, 07:06 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
What makes that more proper?

More fun with numbers: If a lifetime of driving is over a 60 year span, one would have to drive 1,475,000 miles per year, every year, to hit the odds for a fatality.
Which goes to show that numbers can be manipulated to mean anything, or nothing. 1,475,000 miles per year is 168 MPH, continuously without stopping. Yet 40,000 people manage to die each year without hittting 168 MPH even once.

Quote:
One of the things I'm saying is, this oft-stated "mission" from Highway Patrols, MADD, NHTSA, etc., is for "ZERO deaths". Well, it is patently ridiculous to expect zero deaths no matter what... well, if vehicles and drivers are banned I suppose it could happen. No, the real purpose of having and promoting such a ridiculous mission statement is 1)it sounds good- it's a good sell 2)it'll never happen= job security= never ending rationale for ever increasing staffing, wages, and draconian legislation which = 3)CONTROL OVER THE PLEBES.
The program is actually called "Toward Zero Deaths." While I'm sure there's a bit of the "keep making yourself relevant" groupthink going on here, it's still a laudable goal to try to reduce the 40,000 deaths and 2.2 million injuries that happen every year.

I'm fine with small incremental changes that improve the inherent safety of the vehicle without a lot of cost or inconvenience. You can pack seat belts, tire pressure monitoring, front and side airbags, door beams, traction control and ABS into a Yaris. That Yaris is safer, cleaner, cheaper and longer lasting than econoboxes of yore, while generally getting better mileage.

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Curious, how many tough guys (and girls) that think they need a 2 Ton cage for "safety" also ride bikes? That would pretty much be the height of hypocrisy.
Dunno, I don't think I need a 2 ton cage. I drive a 1.15 ton cage (which, incidentally, doesn't have airbags, door beams, etc.) because that's what I can afford to drive right now, but I did give up my motorcycle for my current commute specifically because it's unsuitable and unsafe for the hazards of that commute.

And yes, MADD needs to go away.
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Old 11-15-2010, 07:47 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Just so you know, NHTSA's ratings of a vehicle are only good for the year in which they were tested, as it is a standardized test that is rated against the group norms. This means that if you were to test a merc. topaz today, it would probably be much lower in score due to that fact. This is the same reason why the number one car one year can be the 4th the next year.

As for statistics, it is foolish to think that if you odds are one in a million for a lightening strike that you can just run around in a thunderstorm for 999,999 days and then just stay inside from that point forward. Obviously I offended you by picking on your topaz in another thread, and for that I am not sorry. You obviously took what I said the wrong way. A complaint was made about the weight of the cruze and how "stupid" safety standards had engorged the vehicles of today. The cars of today are much safer for that exact reasoning. I think you should be asking some different questions if you are worried about vehicle weight. Sound deadening/insulation, electronics, heated seats, etc do weigh down a vehicle, and I would guess if you looked at those items that would be valuable weight lost for someone like yourself. I just wouldnt be in a hurry to tear out the airbags, door beams, and bumper supports to meet some weight goal.
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:08 PM   #18 (permalink)
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That ain't how odds work and you know it. Do I need to preface a simple "odds" statement with 3 paragraphs of lawyer-speak in order for it to be relevant?

No I didn't take it the wrong way. My Tempo is not me and Tempos get dissed all the time, which I really don't care about because I know how worthless many people's opinions are. The point I made then and the point I make now is that a vehicle needn't weigh 3500 lbs in order to be safe, and the reason we have engineers doing B.S. like reducing a 2mm spot weld down to 1 mm, saving 4 ounces, then bragging about it and making a 3500 lb small car sound like a breakthrough, is that stupid govt regulations mandate that every vehicle be burdened with all this crap. Suzuki/GM COULD NOT put the Metro dies back in the presses today and crank out more Metros if they wanted to because of all the re-engineering and additional **** that is required now. As I've been attempting to illustrate, there is a point at which a level of safety features becomes more of an onerous burden than a benefit i.e. taken to the extreme, for ultimate safety perhaps the only legal vehicle on U.S. roads should be a Sherman tank?

I'm not anti-safety but I think a line has been crossed as far as the law of diminishing returns is concerned. And as someone alluded to, when the motorists get the mindset that they no longer need to have/develop any decent defensive driving skills because they think the vehicle will do it all for them, what have we achieved???
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:10 PM   #19 (permalink)
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My cousin was on the carrier Hornet (Dolittle Raid) when it was commissioned and he was there when it was sunk about a year later.

He retired from the Navy in 1955 and opened a Yamaha motorcycle dealership in Key West Florida.

He rode bikes over 300,000 miles and the only time he ever lost control was on a patch of black ice in the Rocky Mountains.

I see stupid driving every day, and the last 3 times I have been in real danger was when an oncoming car came into my lane head on at over 45 MPH. You are dead scenarios.

I remember a recent news clip about a UPS driver than had never been in an accident in 40 years working for the company. They asked him how he had managed to avoid an accident for 40 years, and he told them he just considered every other driver a distracted idiot that was about to do something stupid enough to get him involved in a collision.

On 10 different occasions I have pulled off the road to keep some moron from hitting me in the rear end when I was sitting still.

As I said earlier you can never make a car idiot proof, but you can produce more idiots by making a car that requires less attention to drive safely.

Drove my bike 40 miles today, never got close to any dangerous situation. I keep my eyes peeled for danger and constantly reassess to potential danger points around me. While a better designed for safety car is very important, a driver who anticipates and allows for the inevitable careless actions of others will always be in less danger, than someone who operates a car with absolutely no understanding of the physics of impact and the capabilities of their vehicle.

Ride a bike for a few thousand miles and you will learn to stay alive and show consideration for others, If you don't, like Frank said, you will solve the problem of your own inattention and carelessness.

That being said, most people who have learned to drive for best economy have also applied situational awareness to the same extent as those who drive for self preservation.

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Old 11-15-2010, 10:23 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
I'm not anti-safety but I think a line has been crossed as far as the law of diminishing returns is concerned. And as someone alluded to, when the motorists get the mindset that they no longer need to have/develop any decent defensive driving skills because they think the vehicle will do it all for them, what have we achieved???
In the past 40 years, cars have gotten smaller, lighter and more fuel efficient, roads have gotten worse, more cars are on the road, drivers' training is all but worthless, more semis are on the road and speed limits have increased. During that same period, fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles have gone from over 6 to 1.13. How do you think this was accomplished? It sure as hell isn't because we're better drivers.

Hell, the fatalities per miles traveled has been cut almost in half just since 1990, which was the year of the introduction of the Ford Explorer and the beginning of the massive adoption of SUVs. The fact that we've made enough progress to cut the death rate in half since then despite the increasing widening of the gap between the heaviest and lightest cars on the road should speak to how effective these measures have been.

By the way, who has been saying that cars need to be 3,500 pounds to be safe? You keep trotting that out over and over again, but in a collision, I'll take a 2,311 pound Yaris over your 2,723 pound Tempo any day.

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