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Old 05-22-2008, 10:07 AM   #1
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I need an SUV, small cars are dangerous! and other hooey

I found This Chapter from the Transportation Energy Data Book: Edition 26 2007, and it is a very interesting read.

Check out page 26, it has a chart of 9 different test vehicles and their MPG at speeds from 5-75mph. It shows rather clearly the relative losses in mpg at higher speeds. Great evidence for slowing down.

But the page that really interested me (and the source for the subject line) was page 34. It shows deaths from accidents for various classes of vehicles fro the last 30 years.

2005 is the newest year. In that year there were 2,979 deaths in Subcompacts, 6,245 in Compacts and 5,548 deaths in Intermediates. And in Light Trucks (which include those SUVs everybody buys for "safety") there were 12,975 deaths. That means Light Truck deaths are more than twice that of Compacts and more than four times as many deaths as Subcompacts. Or to make it worse, 1.4 times as many as Compacts & Subcompacts combined.
Thought you folxs might want to see that.
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Old 05-22-2008, 10:14 AM   #2
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I ought to show that to my wife. She says she doesn't feel safe unless she is driving in her 'tank'.
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Old 05-22-2008, 10:18 AM   #3
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Yep, some of those big suckers fold up in the middle crushing the passenger cabin at relatively light speeds.... it's their own momentum and weight overcoming the design limits of steel...

instead of...
"I've got 5000lb of vehicle protecting me..."
They should be thinking
"Hmmm there's 2500lb that side of me, and 2500lb that side of me, and at 60mph I'm the squishy bit in the middle."

So instead of being as safe as a driver of a compact, it's like being the pedestrian in the middle of a head on collision between two compacts.
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Old 05-22-2008, 10:22 AM   #4
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I agree with the article, but years ago we traded our `94 Suzuki Swift for our current `93 Volvo wagon for basically the same reason...although our new born daughter was the motivating factor.
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Old 05-22-2008, 10:31 AM   #5
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Several decades of riding motorcycles has brought me to the realization that the safest vehicle is the one that avoids the collision in the first place..

Handling, braking and road holding ability are biggest safety factors for the aware and competent driver. It's interesting that, in general, the larger the vehicle the less intrinsically safe it is because it is firstly a bigger target and secondly far less able to avoid potential collisions.

You'll note that I used the term "collision" rather than "accident". This is because the great majority of collisions are not truly accidental, they are the result of negligence, inattention, distraction, lack of driving skill, rudeness and other avoidable causes.

True "accidents" are actually quite rare.
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Old 05-22-2008, 10:34 AM   #6
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It's not equal data. How many more big cars are one the road than compacts? Also what did they run into? If two compacts have an accident it's a whole lot safer than a 1-ton creaming a Geo. Bottom line is everyone needs to drive a compact and I think the passing lane on all highways should be a compact only lane 3,000lbs max weight. It would make the road safer and save fuel. I would love to buy a scooter or a small motorcycle but I'm holding out until everyone drives one for the same reason. I'm not going to run the risk of getting killed because some DA in a 4x4 isn't paying attention.
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Old 05-22-2008, 10:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Improbcat View Post
That means Light Truck deaths are more than twice that of Compacts and more than four times as many deaths as Subcompacts. Or to make it worse, 1.4 times as many as Compacts & Subcompacts combined.
Thought you folxs might want to see that.
Even with ABS, pickups are dangerous when unloaded, they just don't stop or handle all that well. Without ABS, pickups are death traps when unloaded, the rear wheels lock up and the truck spins out when the brakes are applied vigorously, such as in a panic stop.

It would be interesting to know how many light trucks there are on the road versus compacts and subcompacts.. The figures you give for deaths are really meaningless unless matched with percentages of the total fleet each category falls under.
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Old 05-22-2008, 10:42 AM   #8
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I will second fumesucker, as driving a small, manuverable car has kept me from several traffic collisions. Personally, I think everyone should take a motorcycle safety coarse as well, whether or not you are going to drive a motorcycle, as they teach you to be observant in traffic, and how to avoid putting yourself in a bad situation.
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Old 05-22-2008, 10:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waddie View Post
It's not equal data. How many more big cars are one the road than compacts? Also what did they run into? If two compacts have an accident it's a whole lot safer than a 1-ton creaming a Geo. Bottom line is everyone needs to drive a compact and I think the passing lane on all highways should be a compact only lane 3,000lbs max weight. It would make the road safer and save fuel. I would love to buy a scooter or a small motorcycle but I'm holding out until everyone drives one for the same reason. I'm not going to run the risk of getting killed because some DA in a 4x4 isn't paying attention.
The passing lane on highways should be just that, the passing lane. I'm convinced that more than a few collisions on our roads are the result of a lack of lane discipline in American drivers..

Go to many European countries and you don't see cars dawdling in the passing lane forcing people to pass on the inside.

I'm most familiar with the UK since I have family there and visit fairly often, the level of driving skill and courtesy there far eclipses that in America.
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Old 05-22-2008, 10:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Improbcat View Post
I found This Chapter from the Transportation Energy Data Book: Edition 26 2007, and it is a very interesting read.

Check out page 26, it has a chart of 9 different test vehicles and their MPG at speeds from 5-75mph. It shows rather clearly the relative losses in mpg at higher speeds. Great evidence for slowing down.

But the page that really interested me (and the source for the subject line) was page 34. It shows deaths from accidents for various classes of vehicles fro the last 30 years.

2005 is the newest year. In that year there were 2,979 deaths in Subcompacts, 6,245 in Compacts and 5,548 deaths in Intermediates. And in Light Trucks (which include those SUVs everybody buys for "safety") there were 12,975 deaths. That means Light Truck deaths are more than twice that of Compacts and more than four times as many deaths as Subcompacts. Or to make it worse, 1.4 times as many as Compacts & Subcompacts combined.
Thought you folxs might want to see that.
Isn't that kind of a flawed observation? Look at the number of each of those classes of vehicles sold. If the market is 54% light trucks, wouldn't it make sense that there would be more wrecks for those trucks?
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