Today's cars as tall as those in '48

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Turner Classic Movies is showing the old cinema serial, "Superman". It was produced in 1948 in 15 chapters. Starred Kirk Alyn and Noel Neil. Very
entertaining and I recommend it.
What's remarkable are the old sedans. You'll see a gangster Lincoln in many scenes and what looks like a Dodge? coupe whenever Lois Lane or Jimmy Olsen goes anywhere. The actors often stand along side these vehicles, which tower over most of them. Cars were very tall in those days.
All through the 50's, 60's, and 70's passenger vehicles got longer and lower. It was highly advertised in those days that long and low was an improvement, not only in style, but also in performance (as in maneuvering). So what do we see in most of today's models, particularly SUV and crossovers? Very tall cars, not one iota better than those late 40's cars mentioned.
The elevated cars today are definitely a throwback. They're retrograde. They're stupid. The public knows they're stupid and unsafe because tall cars, especially since most are more narrow than those 40's cars are less stable than than those 40's models. Taller means more prone to rolling over on their sides and tops and killing their occupants dead. The fact that most newer cars are being equipped with optional electronic stability features is indicitive of there being something intrisically wrong with them. A proper car does not need stability control because it is naturally stable. You won't find stability control in a Humvee because it's stable even though its tall, but very wide to compensate. You won't find stability control in an Impala because its stable naturally because its low. But, all those tip over prone sport utility vehicles are being pushed with stability control because they're naturally unstable because they're tall and narrow and need all the help they can get to stay upright. Trouble is stability control cannot defeat the laws of nature and is nothing more than a Mickey Mouse setup. Don't buy any car that has stability control because those cars are death traps. If you buy one, your're stupid, stupid, stupid.
If everybody would get smart and stop buying these stupid SUVs, crossovers and pickup trucks unless your business absolutely requires that type for one reason or another, the makers would wise up and build good, safe cars like they used to, low and wide. If you forget what I tell you, you will recall it when you are laying in your hospital bed racked with pain, bankrupt from the bill, after your stupid SUV flips.
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Today's vehicles are vastly superior to 1940s cars, particularly in safety.

Many upscale sports sedans have some form of stability control and there's no safer cars on the road.
Safety has many factors, rollover is only one of them. Minivans have low accident rates, in spite of being tall. Why? The way they are driven.
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Dave Gower wrote:

Minivans also have a much lower center of gravity than do body-on-frame SUVs and are much less prone to roll-over. Rollover propensity is particularly bad when you combine high center of gravity, short wheelbase and big high-aspect ratio tires. See Ford Explorer for an example. Minivans do not have these characteristics and are much more difficult to roll. It isn't just the drivers.
I personally know two people who have rolled their Explorers, and they are both conservative driving mature people. In both cases a small problem became a big problem when the vehicle flipped itself over by pivoting on the front wheel. In one case it was contact with a curb at about 30 MPH in the rain and in the other case a wheel got caught in a ditch in the rain. In neither case would a sedan or a minivan have flipped over. The Chevy Tahoe shares similar dynamics and the little frame type SUVs like Trackers, etc. are even worse.
John
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hills. I've never seen a Van rolled, but some of them aren't the greatest at cornering so slide into the ditch. Mostly large SUVs and some pickups often slide to our huge ditches and flip over on the roof. Some like the Bronco swap ends when braking; too short a wheel base.
We just chug by in our mid sized car which is extremely stable in slippery conditions. Seldom is a mid sized or larger car in the ditch and if they do slide there they are still on their wheels sitting on the ditch slope.
It will be interesting to see how the new cross overs fare.
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wrote:

I don't believe what you say completely, but I do believe it is true to a point. It is though, just an underscore of the point that it's more about the driver than the vehicle. Likely you - as a driver who just "chugs along", would have no more problems in any of the vehicles mentioned than you do in your mid-sized car.
--

-Mike-
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Actually the center of gravity is near the centerline of the drive train. The difference is in only inches among all types of cars and light trucks. Six wheelers on the other hand have a centerline six or more inches higher than can cars or light trucks. Why does one not see them rolled over on a daily basis? LOL
mike

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They do roll if driven too fast on corners when heavily loaded, a common occurrence here.
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Ya right
mike
wrote:

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Count me in. My new car has stability control. It also handles better on curving roads than most others I've had. While the stability control has not kicked in, it may some day make the difference between avoiding another car (such as a rolling over SUV) or ending up in an accident.
Yes, for rmost people SUVs are dumb, but modern technology is good for any model.
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Mine does also, but I wonder how safe it is. For example, a child darts out into the street and I swerve hard to avoid hitting it. Will the stability control allow me to swerve, or will it take control and steer on it's own right into the child???
Bob
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Now here's a major misconception... Even with Interactive Vehicle Dynamics, it will still be quite easy to do something stupid enough to kill yourself. These types of systems do not allow the operator to abdicate common sense nor the laws of physics....
While they are quite advanced, these systems cannot "steer" the vehicle.... Through the Active Brake Booster, they can apply the brakes, through the ABS system, they can modulate brake fluid pressure to the individual wheels and they can limit engine torque production..... These actions will only ever "help" the operator retain control of the vehicle.
While one car may have better "survivability" than another, there are no cars currently being built that can stop stupidity.....
Cars don't cause accidents unless they are neglected to the point of being dangerous (and there are more of those out there than most realize).... people cause accidents (and , I suppose in the case of the neglected car, it is people that are the root cause there, as well).
Driving is a privelige, not a "right"... as responsible adults it is important for us to realize the limits of our talents and abilities as well as the limitations of our vehicles.
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You are kidding , right? ;)
mike hunt
wrote:

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Let's get this straight, you havent TESTED the feature? When you got your first car with ABS, bet you didnt test it, either.
What about driving in snow... did you ever do do-nuts in some deserted parking lot to see how the tires and car handled?
If the answer to all the above is no... then I wonder if you would be so kind as to post your location, so we can pinpoint at least ONE dumbass to look out for on the road.
--
Yeh, I'm a Krusty old Geezer, putting up with my 'smartass' is the price
you pay..DEAL with it!
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TEST ABS? Hell I helped in the design of ABS at Ford ;)
mike
wrote:

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Hell no! Do you expect me to take my new vehicle and put it into a situation where it's known to roll over? Not me bud!! I can imagine trying to explain that to the insurance company.

Yep, easy to test without risk to the vehicle.

Bob
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Do you have any snow on the roads yet? If so, take your car out to an empty parking lot and start throwing it around....you'll get the stability control to come on. Since I road test cars with stab control pretty much every day, I get a chance to see how they react. Very dummy proof for the most part.
Ian
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I'm looking forward to trying it. Serious snow is 4 to 6 weeks away. We have plenty of open space in the parking lot at our warehouse at work.
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You must be a journalist .. or practicing to be one...
Since you have a point ot make, and dont bother researching it..

Are you sure about that? I think you ought to try sitting in one befroe you make such statements.
Have you ever DRIVEN one of those old cars? The reason they were safer is that they FELT like they were about to roll over on any sharp curve.
And those sixties cars handled like shit, too
--
Yeh, I'm a Krusty old Geezer, putting up with my 'smartass' is the price
you pay..DEAL with it!
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George Orwell wrote:

higher than my 92 Grand Am. IMO, they are unstable compared to cars of a few years ago. It would be hard to roll my old G/A but the G-6's I've recently rented felt just the opposite.
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<...snip more of the same...>
If you are so discontented, why not just go buy yourself a '62 Lincoln and sit in the garage all day and admire it. Your rants are tiresome.
--

-Mike-
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