I'm glad you said in my opinion. One of the primary reasons the Senate has
been reluctant to up the CAFE for light trucks is the report form the NHTSA
that shows deaths and injures among children had been dropping over the past
five years. The drop was attributed to the fact more of them are riding,
properly belted, in the larger safer SUVs that buyers prefer to buy. ;)
With thirty years experience as an automotive design engineer, designing
vehicles, and working on crumple zones, you can bet the farm I do. Any fool
who does not understand, the large the vehicle in which a properly belted
passenger is riding, the safer they are is.......well a fool. One can not
defy the laws of physics. Search the Congressional Record, for the facts
you seek, WBMA. ;)
As an engineer, you know that the laws of physics also mean that if a huge
SUV hits a small car, the the occupants of the smaller car are in
proportionaly more danger than the SUV occupants, which of course you
already know. Whereas, if a small car hits another small car, then there
is less mass and less energy of motion to be absorbed by the cars and their
occupants, but of course smaller cars have less metal for use as crumple
zones. Are the odds of people getting hurt by crashing 2 small cars
together higher/more than that of 2 larger SUV type vehicles crashing? And
obviously, a crash between an SUV and a GEO Metro is unfortunate, and the
odds of the Metro driver getting hurt are high.
Mike Hunter wrote:
Perhaps it is because they have enough sense to not buy
a small less safe vehicle in which to transport their family,
simply save a few hundred dollars a year on fuel?
"John Horner" wrote:
Then why are fatality rates higher for pickup trucks and
SUVs than they are for passenger cars?
"The traffic safety agency reported that there were 16.42
deaths of S.U.V. occupants in accidents last year for every
100,000 registered S.U.V.'s. The figure for passenger cars
was 14.85 deaths for each 100,000 registered; pickups
were slightly higher than cars at 15.17 deaths per 100,000,
while vans were lowest at 11.2 occupant deaths for
every 100,000 registered. "
Apples to oranges. Mike referred to the safety risk of
small cars, and you refer to the safety risk of all cars.
Imagine a 60 MPH head-on collision between a 5000 Lb
RoadMaster and a 2000 Lb Gas-Saver. After colliding,
the R/M would have been slowed to 45 MPH and the G-S
would be shooting backward at 15 MPH. An R/M passenger
who didn't buckle his seat belt would hit the dashboard at
(60-45) = 15 MPH. A G-S passenger who didn't buckle his
seat belt would hit the dashboard at (60+15) = 75 MPH.
No collision is perfectly elastic, some energy would be
absorbed by car body crushing, but you get the picture.
I believe cars have been commoditized, like refrigerators,
and that one is about as good as the other, so there is
no reason to be committed to either foreign cars or to
domestic cars. This gives a buyer the flexibility and the
freedom to choose a vehicle based on his own judgement.
It is not necessary to justify one's own choices for value
and safety by moralizing about some else's preferences,
Best regards to all alt.autos enthusiasts.
And which have more rollover crashes? SUVs or cars?
There are tradeoffs in everything we do. If car crashes with SUVs take so
many car passengeror lives, why are there more SUV occupants killed,
compared to cars occupants?
Probably because SUV drivers gain a false confidence by having 4WD, so
they drive more carelessly in bad weather, and die more often in wrecks.
They think having 4WD means they're automatically safer. But the 4WD
only is operational if they actually have it in 4WD, and they may be
travelling too fast to have their vehicle in 4WD mode in the first
place. Sure when driving slow in the snow, a 4WD is safer than a FWD
car, but at the speeds that most people actually drive, you can't have
the 4WD engaged, so the FWD car is easier to control than the rear wheel
drive SUV, with its high center of gravity, that is going too fast to be
in 4WD mode. Also, SUV drivers tend to be aggressive people, so they
drive that way, thus raising their risk of dying behind the wheel.
Driving to work, I saw a brand new Ford Explorer weave in and out of
traffic wrecklessly, NASCAR style. Well, he flipped, and rolled end
over end about 3 times. He crawled out of the wreckage, cell phone in
hand. He was probably talking on it, as he was executing the NASCAR
Jeff Gordon type driving. Asshole. Deserved what he got. Thankfully,
the people he hurt by being the dumbass he is weren't hurt too bad.
All 4WD vehicles these days will cruise at highway speeds in 4High. There
is no such thing as too fast for 4WD anymore.
As well, 4WD offers nothing to benefit driving beyond the ability to go. It
does not help stop, it does not help turn, and in fact 4WD can often cause
control problems when trying to turn on slippery surfaces. Not problems
that are any greater or more of a risk than that of what FWD or RWD would
offer - only different. The driver has to be prepared and knowledgable in
how to control the vehicle. Most often for those who don't really
understand the vehicle under their ass, they experience surprise when a 4WD
takes off under them on a slippery curve. Shock even.
I would say that most SUV drivers tend to be women these days.
I would agree that the higher center of gravity of a 4WD vehicle makes it
less stable but none of them are simply prone to roll overs for most types
of driving conditions. It takes quite an extreme turn to upset one. That
said, they will roll faster than a car will. I suspect driver issues as
well, as the primary cause of accidents with these vehicles. I really do
not know what the crash numbers include so it is hard to argue why the SUV
statistics look to be so high. It is far too simplistic to simply say that
they experience more fatalities per 100,000 miles without really
understanding what is behind the numbers.
The anti SUV invironuts have been playing with statistics for years, in an
effort to scare buyers from buying the, larger safer, SUVs they prefer to
buy. Wheelbase, vis a v height, has a greater effect on a vehicles ability
to roll, when maneuvering, than the center of gravity. The center of
gravity of the average SUV is less than two inches higher that the average
car. No vehicle is prone to rollover, none. Even if lifted to 45 degrees
or more, they have a tendency to fall back on the wheels.
Watch all of the SUVs in movie stunts. Stunt drivers spin them in circles,
but they do not roll. To make a vehicle roll the stunt people run one side
of the vehicle up a four foot high ramp, hidden behind something, to create
the roll. Watch the NASCAR truck races. Even at 150 MPH, lots of spins,
but few roll unless the hit something. If the center of gravity was what
made a vehicle roll over, one should expect to see six wheeled trucks rolled
over daily. LOL
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