Mid-Year Upgrade - 2012 Civic

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wrote:


Oh, *absolutely*.
I was thinking something like the series that Honda offers:
http://www.midohio.com/School/Courses/Defensive-Driving/Honda-Teen-Defens ive-Driving-Program
http://www.midohio.com/School/Courses/Defensive-Driving/Advanced-Driving - Dynamics
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On 12/26/2011 10:10 PM, jim beam wrote:

another thing worth considering - a lot of the modern computerized technology that goes into cars these days doesn't weigh much. and a lot of already existing installations such as the engine computer can potentially display information such as safe stopping distances relative to speed for example. add things like proximity sensors, and suddenly you have a significant safety tool. use the g-force detectors already in your air bag computer system, and you could have safe cornering speed indicators. poor visibility sensors wouldn't cost much. [etc] all these are potentially very useful in crash avoidance and add little or even nothing to a vehicle's manufacture cost. and if it did cost something, it would be easily comparable to 500 extra lbs of processed steel.
now, if you think about the [lack of] government focus on crash avoidance, vs. weight increasing "crash safety", it's an interesting exercise. crash avoidance technology doesn't keep body shops in work. it doesn't keep manufacturers selling new cars after write-offs. and it doesn't keep insurance companies and all the multitudes of peripheral people involved with them in work. there's a /huge/ industry built around people getting into accidents. things that heavy, less maneuverable cars find it harder to avoid.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bumper_%28automobile%29#Weakening_standards
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sorry,but too much info can be a distraction and lead to LESS safety. if you need sensors to tell you you're cornering too hard,or you're too close to the car in front,you should not be driving. G-Force sensors don't tell you the road surface's condition,which is more critical to cornering. it won't warn you if you hit an oily,sandy,or icy patch. An indicator that tells you if there's car in a blind spot would be useful and practical,though.(although a decent driver should be aware that a vehcicle was approaching their blind spot) The IR Heads-Up Display could be good if you're caught in a heavy fog,BUT,should you be driving in those conditions,or be pulling off the road as far as you can get?
IMO,cars SHOULD be risky to crash,occupants should NOT be protected against extreme collisions. I also don't believe cars should be constructed idiot- proof for the "lowest common denominators";the clueless and incompetents. Let them walk,take the bus,or other modes of transpo. Such cars give drivers a sense of invulnerability (witness SUVs) and create a worse hazard than the "safety" they give the occupants. Becasue there are 18 wheelers on the roads,does that mean every other vehicle should be as well armored? I think not. Besides,put an idiot behind the wheel of a large semi,and you have a REAL hazard to others,both in vehicles and buildings. IMO,a driver in a lightweight,unarmored car pays more attention to their driving AND surroundings so that THEY don't get crunched,because they know they would not survive a crunch. Thus,everybody is safer.
But don't take this as my being against reasonable safety systems,like anti-lock brakes,seat belts or airbags.
I also agree with your arguments against unmaneuverable vehicles and accident avoidance.
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That information shouldn't be sent to the average end user; however, it's there and the computerized controls can easily be set up to use them to present a balanced chassis to the average driver, over a very wide range of conditions. In other words, that information can easily be used to prevent the driver from getting in over his head.

It exists today--it's called the side mirror.
Most people have their side mirrors set completely wrong, though, and that's where this idea that "we need electronic doodads to tell us when there's a car coming up beside us" comes from.
Just set the damn mirrors correctly. If you can't do that, you shouldn't be driving AT ALL. Once the mirrors are set correctly, both the side mirrors and the rear view mirror, AND if you're (correctly) scanning your environment, you will know exactly where every car is--when it's coming up behind you from the side, when it's beside you, and when it's passing up front of you on the side.
No electronic doodads required. Just DRIVER TRAINING. Oh--and driver responsibility, too. Of course, we're America--we can't have THAT! No sir, it must be the MANUFACTURER'S fault that I didn't know about the car beside me!
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On 12/29/2011 07:52 AM, Elmo P. Shagnasty wrote:

absolutely.
this mirrors thing is complete bullshit. in europe, they have drivers door mirrors where the inner portion is plane, then the outer portion is curved convex. the field of view is complete. yet they're neither seen, not i believe, even allowed in a single piece of glass over here. for the same retarded reason the passenger door mirror, which is all convex, has that stupid "objects in mirror are closer than they appear" message etched on it.
so, why do we continue to suffer from retarded regs that prevent use of decent mirrors that cover the blind spot from factory? follow the money. follow who stands to profit from drivers getting into accidents.
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On 12/29/2011 06:52 AM, Jim Yanik wrote:

that's easy to say, but as you are probably aware, what is common sense for you doesn't necessarily mean it's common sense for the other people on the road. i mean, tailgating is pretty much the norm despite it being ridiculously dangerous. it may not be popular, but a car that bugged the s*** out of you for being too close for your speed sure would be a significant safety improvement.

g-force sensors tell you if you're setting up to slide if there's a loss of traction for the reasons you list.

use a convex mirror. they should be standard on all cars imo.

sure. and in fact, an i.r. sensor/camera would be dirt cheap. the heads-up display would cost a little more, but if it contained all the instruments, the incremental cost would be reduced significantly.

there's a lot of logic to that - google "risk compensation". however, if you're taking the "crash industry" into account, with all the people that make huge amounts of money off people having crashes and either repairing or buying new cars, then killing off the customer base doesn't work. you need to shear your sheep, not skin them.

couldn't agree more.

indeed.
seat belts, yes. air bags, no. i've said it many times - if we were taking accident safety seriously, every vehicle would have a full safety cage, 6-point harness belts, and everyone would wear a helmet. just like race car drivers that can hit the barrier at 100+ and walk away, no airbags required.
anti-lock brakes? i don't like them personally. they're great for my grandmother whose idea of cadence braking is to try to press the pedal to the floor and just let the car sail on into a death spiral. but for myself, i like the option of locking brakes in mud or snow, and i know how to cadence brake in the dry or wet. there's nothing worse than driving an anti-lock braked car and finding yourself running out of road because it's not stopping as quickly as an ordinary braked car.
but then again, for some types of motorcycles, they're a life-saver. tough call.

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hey now, isn't the whole claim to fame of these things that they do bring you do a stop in the minimum time, exactly by spiking the pedal and letting the computer work?
I've wondered a bit, now and then when I hit the brakes hard and the antilock turns on at modest speeds (say 10-30mph) and especially if the wheels aren't dead-on straight forward, if it wouldn't stop me faster to lock the wheels, even if that did scrub the front or spin out the rear, a little.
J.
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On 12/29/2011 10:30 AM, zzznot wrote:

if you read the vehicle's owner manual, there is a carefully worded disclaimer about abs increasing braking distances, and waffle about "stomp and steer".
can abs stop you quicker in ideal circumstances? yes. [marginally]. but can it stop you quicker in /all/ circumstances? definitely not.
but it's a trade. abs offers the ability to implement cheap traction control, which is beneficial. and the abs sensors can also be used to detect flat tires that the driver might otherwise miss. and abs is /definitely/ useful on a heavy land yacht of a car where the driver has no feel for the brakes or their efficacy. [especially so for big rigs.]
but abs on a small light responsive vehicle where the driver braking feedback is strong and immediate? i think disadvantages outweigh advantages.
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wrote:

But it's not about stopping distance. It's about control--and keeping the wheels turning while at their optimum traction level for braking at least allows the driver the ability to turn the car to try to avoid the accident.
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On 12/29/2011 02:53 PM, Elmo P. Shagnasty wrote:

some things i've learned:
1. abs is completely ineffective if you happen to have wheels off the ground...
2. abs doesn't help even slightly when you crest a blind hill at speed only to find some doofus double-parked in your lane and someone else beside you so you can't change lane.
3. abs is simply dead weight if #2 is related to #1.
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problem is,most "drivers" don't even try to avoid an imminent collision,they stomp and pray. no attempt to steer around or dodge. most driver's are "straight line" drivers. any curve,and they immediately slow down,even if not necessary. Particularly SUVs.
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On 12/30/2011 06:16 AM, Jim Yanik wrote:

maybe "not necessary" with more modern suv's. but the old ones, with leafspring suspension, you had no choice. anyone who grew up driving stuff like that is never going to trust a car on a bend ever again.
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Their habit of no maneuvering is ingrained in the typical SUV/PU-truck driver.Even with a better vehicle,they still will not maneuver,just jam on the brakes and pray.(or ram and count on the airbags.)
One good trend is the "crossover" SUV,that are lowered SUVs,and also have better suspensions,along with electronic stability controls. They are less of a hazard to other vehicles.
But your average driver -of most cars- doesn't have any "maneuver reflex",it's total and blind reliance on brakes. And a reluctance for cornering.
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On 12/31/2011 11:08 AM, Jim Yanik wrote:

i've lived in europe, and found their small engined cars taught you a completely opposite set of driving skills. don't use the brakes unless you absolutely have to - because to takes so long to get up to speed in the first place, the last thing you want is to slow down again. this in turn teaches you the "maneuver reflex" in a big way.
then again, most of their cars handle and can be relied on to maneuver in the first place - unlike some of the crap we have here. the fact that it took the frod exploder fiasco and thousands of deaths [corporate homicides] to finally wean detroit off leaf springs is a complete disgrace.
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hmm. well, I guess I have seen some of those, then.

I thought maybe the Honda ABS was cutting in a little too early, maybe there could be some more tuning parameters, driver-selectable?
J.
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On 12/29/2011 08:55 PM, JRStern wrote:

somehow i doubt it. the whole point of abs is that it presumes to be able to do a better job than you. pretty much by definition, if you get to choose how it works, then it becomes redundant.

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The "heavier" part is a legal problem, mostly. "Safety" regulations see to that.

That's what they eventually do. The Fit has replaced the Civic as Honda's smallest model; the Tercel/Echo/Yaris has replaced the Corolla as Toyota's smallest (excepting the short-lived Starlet).
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Not to worry--the cheap Chinese steel they're moving to, as delivered directly to the factories in China, will rust away 1000 pounds between years 3 and 4.
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I want an aluminum car. the motor's already AL,so's the radiator,the tranny casting is AL,the wheels,brake calipers and MCs,might as well make the whole car out of AL.
ISTR Audi makes one.....
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"Jim Yanik" wrote in message wrote:

I want an aluminum car. the motor's already AL,so's the radiator,the tranny casting is AL,the wheels,brake calipers and MCs,might as well make the whole car out of AL.
Back in the in 1966 I had a used 64 Jaguar XKE roadster 3.8 -- the curb weight on that car was right around 2500 lbs. Of course, no power anything, a/c, safety devices etc. That car could really handle and run (most of the time). Poor electrics and it would tend to overheat in Texas when in town. We have come a long way I suppose when a Civic weighs several hundred lbs more.
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