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Old 04-14-2009, 11:14 AM   #1
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Weight does make a difference.

I'm not trying to dog on anyone's car or trying to persuade everyone to go out and buy a huge car, just making sure people are educated.

After a crash I got into on Thursday I started to think about different vehicle weights. A Jetta slammed into a grand prix behind me at 45mph(high on valium) and the grand prix hit me, we were both stopped at a light. I got hit pretty hard and I'm sure if I didn't have a 4975lb suv i would have hit the car in front of me. My car remained relatively unscathed but the front of her car was ruined with a nice square hole in the bumper lol. The Jetta was obviously totaled.

We all see the highway safety ratings for large cars and I think some of us have forgotten about what makes a car safe. It isn't how a car hits a wall, it's how a car hits another car on the road 99% of the time. I've seen a lot of talk about how much safer smaller cars are than big ones because they get better safety ratings. The video I link to below isn't in English, but it is a good reminder that even though you have the best safety ratings, physics is still the winner.

In the video the smart is only against a Mercedes S class, imagine against a suburban or excursion, but the video says it all.

http://www.koreus.com/video/smart-vs-class-s.html

Fox News also has a story out about the new highway safety data. They actually started testing against other cars.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,515516,00.html

On a side note, has anyone been in a crash that the airbags didn't go off in the car? Neither the Jetta or the Grand Prix airbags went off and in December when that Mercedes turned out in front of me mine didn't go off either(45mph direct side impact) hers did tho.
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Old 04-14-2009, 11:44 AM   #2
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Of course if all the cars weighed less...
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Old 04-14-2009, 11:50 AM   #3
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Getting a bigger vehicle for the safety of having more inertia and more crumple zone around you is an arms race that I dislike. It's part of what leads to soccer moms and executive commuters driving 6,000 pound Expeditions. That's wasteful enough on its own, but the gain in safety is at the expense of others; the people who drive less vehicle become exposed to greater risk.

IMO, drive the appropriate vehicle for your road/traffic conditions, driving style, comfort, and most importantly your needs.
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:01 PM   #4
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The short crumple zones in the smart do bother me. I have visions of my brain slamming into the jagged front of my skull. I like the idea of a trunk up front even if the engine is under the floor or whatever just to give more crumple. You also get a trunk out of the bargain.
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:48 PM   #5
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I'd never thought about it but, where exactly is the engine on a smart?

I was more surprised about the Yaris vs Camry results to be honest. An Accord or Camry wouldn't be considered an necessarily huge car by almost anyone's standards, especially someone with kids, and the Yaris didn't do well at all. They actually show the tests here. The Yaris test looks just plain ugly.

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=7329117&page=1
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theholycow View Post
Getting a bigger vehicle for the safety of having more inertia and more crumple zone around you is an arms race that I dislike.
I agree and those words describe it perfectly, not the crumple zone but vehicle weight being an arms race. when everyone is driving suv's the 18wheelers still win. if an 18wheeler loses control or runs a red light and hits you going 50mph, does it matter if you are on a bicycle or in a suburban?
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:16 PM   #7
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Engine is in the rear in a Smart.

My parents would be dead if they had been driving a large car. So would I, at least 3 times.

My parents and I were both driving small cars, within a few hundred yards of the same spot, in Marathon in the Florida keys, when 2 separate drunks came into our lanes. In both cases our small cars were agile enough to avoid the head on collision at close to 100 MPH combined speed.

SUV are many times more likely to roll over and kill occupants.

regards
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:19 PM   #8
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I almost don't even want to drive anymore with the way people are. After that crash I thought about what would have happened if I was on the Rebel. The next day I turned in my move-out notice to my existing apartment complex and paid the deposit on my new apartment walking distance from school and work then sold the bike Sunday.

Also, again my intention wasn't to encourage everyone to go buy Excursions or anything. The tests I'm talking about here were done against Camrys and Accords.
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:31 PM   #9
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I was actually going to say that you need to move. this is the second time you have been hit by someone.

I have been lucky enough not to be in an accident. maybe it is because I live way out, maybe it's luck. whatever the reason, I have avoided anything like that.

you can't live in fear. that keeps you from doing what you want to do. we all have to go sometimes, someway. no matter the size of the vehicle, there is always something bigger. the smaller cars have the advantage of maneuverability, the larger the advantage of shear mass. what is more important? depends.

I chose the smaller cars. the biggest thing I have ever owned personally is a regular cab short bed 2wd dodge dakota (relatively small truck) my wife has had a chevrolet blaser (the S-10 version) still not that big.

we have both been fortunate though. we have never had to deal with an accident in our married life.

given your experiences, I don't blame you for feeling the way you do.
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:35 PM   #10
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I wouldn't worry about the Smart's crumple zones. It's actually design to transmit impact forces around the cab to the other side. In front collision tests there'll be damage to the rear, but the cab is uncomprised.

At least one of the photos at the Fox link was mislabeled, and one of cars from the 70's says nothing about todays vehicles.

RIDE is right about the rolling. Once a SUV making tried cutting a left turn at a light. A jeep bumped it in rear quarter panel, and the SUV did a barrel roll.

Besides, most collisions are with stationary objects, which works out to colliding with a vehicle of the same weight. When the weight's the same, trucks and SUVs do worse than cars at the same weight.
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