Is the risk of driving small worth it? - Fuelly Forums

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Old 08-09-2009, 09:57 PM   #1
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Is the risk of driving small worth it?

This video just has me thinking:

http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/80712005/

The Smart was crash tested at 40 mph against the Mercedes at 40 mph. Due to the gross difference in weight, it would appear that the impact equivalence to each is closer to 60 vs. 20 mph. Clearly the Smart driver is at the losing end of this one. Now imagine the same test against an SUV or full size pickup.
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:33 PM   #2
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For that car, absolutely not. It gets atrocious mileage for what it is!
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:55 PM   #3
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In general, how do you value risk, Snax? Since so many things have risk associated with them, it makes sense to have a consistent policy worked out, especially if you have dependents. It's sort of a personal thing, although you can use stats from the insurance and medical industries as a rough guide. At least the benefits (and increase in risk of death or serious injury) of owning a more efficient car are reasonably easy to quantify. In general, I'd have to agree about the Smart; the American version of the Fortwo really dissapoints.
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:51 AM   #4
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Who gives a crap? How many head-ons are you planning on participating in?

Imagine an SUV against a dump truck.

Imagine a dump truck against a semi.

Imagine a semi against a bridge abutment.

Imagine a Smart against a bridge abutment.

Pretty much the same result.

I'd roll this if it was legal:




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Old 08-10-2009, 05:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theclencher View Post
Who gives a crap? How many head-ons are you planning on participating in?
I would imagine zero, but I don't thinking planning has much to do with it. I agree that the ever bigger car arms race makes no sense, but it's worth at least considering safety when deciding on a vehicle, especially if safer ones have reasonably equivalent efficiency.
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Old 08-10-2009, 05:36 AM   #6
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Give me a Porsche Carrera and you take a Greyhound bus. The scenario is a giant paved parking lot. You have to run over me in the bus. I have to avoid the collision in the Porsche.

My parents were driving a 1977 Honda Accord on US 1 in the Florida Keys, headed Northeast. A drunk in a Cadillac came over into their lane at 50 MPH.
Mom was driving and she flicked the wheel and went left of the Cadillac and then back into her lane.

A few years later I was driving the same direction in almost exactly the same spot. This time it was at night and in a heavy rain. Another drunk, another Cadillac, the same scenario. Visibility was terrible. I swerved left into a parking lot. Going right was not an option because they were replacing the water mains and had dug a 6 foot wide 12 foot deep trench just off the right side of the road. The were telephone poles in the parking lot, that I missed, but that was just luck.

In both of these potential accident scenarios, a collision would have been certain if either of us had been driving a less maneuverable vehicle.

Today both parents are in their 80S and both drive Cadillac Eldorados. Their reaction times are not what they were 30 years ago, but they don't drink and drive either.

We could all drive 3 ton vehicles and the effect would be the same if we all drove 1 to vehicles.

There are other factors involved like emergency maneuverability and roll over resistance that tend to even out the odds, but in the end it's the "nut behind the wheel" who is the ultimate equalizer.

regards
gary
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Old 08-10-2009, 05:55 AM   #7
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The big thing up here is drunk driving (often in large trucks). It seems like there's almost no social stigma about it. Quite a few times I've had conversations about Canada with people (I live on the border) and they volunteer the fact that they can't enter into it because of a DUI. If I were in such a position, I'd be embarrassed beyond belief and keep my mouth shut!
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Old 08-10-2009, 06:42 AM   #8
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Oh, yeah, forgot this: examine not the relative increase in risk compared to other cars, but the absolute increase in risk from all sources (not just driving). That change would be much smaller and is more relevant.
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co de pen den cy
Pronunciation: \kō-di-ˈpen-dən(t)-sē\
Function: noun
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:02 AM   #9
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Large trucks have come a long way in the handling department. I feel my GMC K1500 handles EXTREMELY well, especially for an extended cab, 4x4 pickup. I remember not long after I bought it a friend and I were driving in an unfamiliar part of town, at night, in the rain. We were looking for a particular street. All of a sudden she exclaims THERE IT IS! as I was just about to pass it. I pulled a hard 90 degree turn at 35 - 40 MPH thinking oh well, its night, and there's no headlights down the street so I can take the oncoming lane just to make the turn. To our amazement, the truck made the turn, didn't go into the oncoming lane, and no tire squeal or loss of traction.

When I was younger I used to drive an ambulance in my hometown. We had a fatal crash involving one of our ambulances. The ambulance hydroplaned off a windy back road @ 40 MPH, hit a tree, and flipped on its side.





Large vehicles don't always save you.
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:15 AM   #10
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I once heard most auto collisions involve one car with a stationary object, which works out to being the same hitting a equal weight vehicle at matching speeds head on.

Now, was there sound with the video that I wasn't getting? It looks dramatic, but doesn't actually tells us anything. Was there intrusion into the Smart's passenger cabin? If so, how much? Enough to connect with occupant? What were the force measurements experienced by the dummy? A F1 disintegrating after hitting a barrier looks pretty horrible too, but most of the time the driver walks away.
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