: Safety Question Regarding Impacts



Ralph
07-05-04, 02:56 AM
Our friend "Caddy Man's" recent accident involving his 2000 DTS got me thinking about something. Some small cars have good safety ratings for side and frontal impact. Some larger cars have good to excellent ratings for safety, but not always.

If given a choice, what do you feel safer in? A small car (like the Mini) with good safety ratings according to the NHTSA, of a larger car with lower ratings. (for example, Chrysler Sebring with only 3 stars for side impact)

Physics dictates that larger objects are more difficult to move and should hold up better in a severe impact accident. Look at all the Semi-truck drivers on the news that have a collision with a car, the big rig driver is never hurt, just a little shaken up. I've also read that for multiple impacts (like a chain reaction on the highway) a larger car is physically better because after the crumple zones are used up on a smaller car, there is nothing left.(multiple hits are more rare IMO) However, are people that say "I feel safer in a big car" just saying that because it is more of a psychological "feeling" of safety knowing you are surrounded by all that extra steel?

Has anyone on this Forum been in a car accident with a smaller car? How did it hold up?

ben72227
07-05-04, 03:19 AM
Has anyone on this Forum been in a car accident with a smaller car? How did it hold up?Actually, last month i was riding in a Volkswagen GTI (my grandma was driving) and we were going about 70mph down the interstate. then, this green jeep cherokee comes up on us (he must have been going AT LEAST 100mph) and rams into from behind.

He clips us on the drivers side rear (im assuming he looked up from his radio at the last minute and tried to swerve out of the way) so we spin out about 2 or 3 times. I hear glass shatter (this is a hatchback by the way) so i know that the back window is out.

finally, we get the car under control and pull over to the shoulder. the jeep pulls over to the median. he(young black guy, probably about 18 or 20) gets out, looks at his car to see how much damage was done, and then he speeds away (leaving us for dead:annoyed: )

Luckily, no one was seriously hurt:) . the seatbelts worked (one of them on a passenger in the back was pulled so hard that it came out of the tract, but it still held the passenger in) and the airbags didn't deploy (since we were hit from behind). As for the GTI, the whole rear end was basically crushed:helpless: , as his grill was in the hatchback:bonkers: . But other than that, the car held up pretty well. It was good enough to drive it around town and finally to the bodyshop.

Bad story, but there is a good ending. Supposedly this guy had been driving irratically all day (this was memorial day weekend) and tons of people saw him and got his license. so, he got charged with a bunch of felonies - wreckless driving, fleeing the scene of an accident, etc. and he had insurance, so Geiko (sp?) will be paying for the repairs to Grandma's VW GTI.....

Funny thing too - my grandma is stuck with a Pontiac Grand Prix for a rental car (which is huge compared to her GTI) so (poor her) shes having trouble even seeing over the dashboard:helpless: .

Personally, i feel safest in a tank (a.k.a. VOLVO:p :p :p )

Ralph
07-05-04, 03:41 AM
Actually, last month i was riding in a Volkswagen GTI (my grandma was driving) and we were going about 70mph down the interstate. then, this green jeep cherokee comes up on us (he must have been going AT LEAST 100mph) and rams into from behind.

He clips us on the drivers side rear (im assuming he looked up from his radio at the last minute and tried to swerve out of the way) so we spin out about 2 or 3 times. I hear glass shatter (this is a hatchback by the way) so i know that the back window is out.

finally, we get the car under control and pull over to the shoulder. the jeep pulls over to the median. he(young black guy, probably about 18 or 20) gets out, looks at his car to see how much damage was done, and then he speeds away (leaving us for dead:annoyed: )

Luckily, no one was seriously hurt:) . the seatbelts worked (one of them on a passenger in the back was pulled so hard that it came out of the tract, but it still held the passenger in) and the airbags didn't deploy (since we were hit from behind). As for the GTI, the whole rear end was basically crushed:helpless: , as his grill was in the hatchback:bonkers: . But other than that, the car held up pretty well. It was good enough to drive it around town and finally to the bodyshop.

Bad story, but there is a good ending. Supposedly this guy had been driving irratically all day (this was memorial day weekend) and tons of people saw him and got his license. so, he got charged with a bunch of felonies - wreckless driving, fleeing the scene of an accident, etc. and he had insurance, so Geiko (sp?) will be paying for the repairs to Grandma's VW GTI.....

Funny thing too - my grandma is stuck with a Pontiac Grand Prix for a rental car (which is huge compared to her GTI) so (poor her) shes having trouble even seeing over the dashboard:helpless: .

Personally, i feel safest in a tank (a.k.a. VOLVO:p :p :p )

Wow, that's a good story! I've heard that VW's are tested up to around 40 or 50 mph for rear-impact and the doors are still able to be opened! Considering that the jeep is a higher vehicle, it's a good thing it was not a Dodge Ram 4 by 4! It might have crushed the cabin through the C-pillar. I know Volvos are built for safety, but only the S80 is a large car. (I bet smaller than a Deville) The S60 and 40's are fairly small IMO. Plus, Volvo is the only car company that I know of that tests for deer or large animal impact through the front windshield, and the object cannot go through the windshield area or it fails. If you go to the volvo website, you can see how they test this by hanging a heavy bag from the ceiling and driving the Volvo into it.

Spock
07-05-04, 03:51 AM
A good friend of mine was in an accident in his neon, doing 100kph and broadsided a car that crossed the median, as he had a stroke. He was in a K car and it was cut in half. The neon sufficed to say was decimated, crumple zones worked perfectly, and he had one of his kidneys bruised and a bruise on his arm. Back pain etc ensued. But he lived

On the other hand, my dad was in an accident with a K car in his 78 impala and it was destroyed, my dad was able to drive away with fender, bumper and frame warpage. So, go figure eh.


The moral of the story...don't drive a K car...:p

Ralph
07-05-04, 04:03 AM
A good friend of mine was in an accident in his neon, doing 100kph and broadsided a car that crossed the median, as he had a stroke. He was in a K car and it was cut in half. The neon sufficed to say was decimated, crumple zones worked perfectly, and he had one of his kidneys bruised and a bruise on his arm. Back pain etc ensued. But he lived

On the other hand, my dad was in an accident with a K car in his 78 impala and it was destroyed, my dad was able to drive away with fender, bumper and frame warpage. So, go figure eh.


The moral of the story...don't drive a K car...:p

I'm always interested to hear about Neons (SX 2.0's) because I almost bought one last year! I know that they are rated 4 stars frontal, and 3 stars for side impact. Glad it took the abuse and he survived.

In 1978 my Dad was in a bad highway head-on collision going to Regina. He was driving a Tilden rent a car (Nova) and was hit by a drunk driver in a rather large 70's Buick! The Buick guy died instantly, so did one of the two kids in the back seat. (Family of 4) This guy had no business behind the wheel, and it was in the days before anyone would even think of sueing. My Dad had a broken leg in three places, lost all his teeth on the steering wheel, and had to get wires in his jaw! He also had a limp the rest of his life. I know Novas are safe cars or he wouldn't have survived, and they were small by 1970's standards. It's ironic that my stepdad still has his 1979 Nova in awsome condition.

Ralph
07-05-04, 04:12 AM
Warp factor 9!

http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/NCAP/Cars/2303.html

Spock
07-05-04, 05:13 AM
Don't forget to raise shields and full power to inertial dampners! :P

Msilva954
07-05-04, 10:13 AM
Back in the early 90's my mother had a Mazda MPV...while she was heading to work (nightshift...police) a drunk driver ran a red light and colided sp?? into the front of her van at only the speed of about 20 mph if that at all.......well my mother cracked/broke her knee (requiring surgery) and her skin completely ripped off of her forehead near her left eye....(requiring plastic surgery) This also caused life time numbness/ no feeling in her upper head. And over the years I notice slower reaction times and memory loss. Take it, she was in a large vehicle wearing her seat belt, but that can only take you so far.....it was a 90' vehicle and had no air bags.....and while the seat belt saved her life I bet the air bag would have saved her from all the trauma in the head.

Then in 97' also going to work another trunk ran a red light and she T-Boned him.....causing her car to spin 360 style for about 4-5 times....leading to her stricking a telephone poll really hard (telephone poll had to be replaced). The next morning when the police called...me and my dad picked her up from the hospital with just a few airbag burns/bruises. The car was totaled beyond recognition.

All in all we bought that 94' Pontiac Firebird because it had the maximum crash testing scores for that year according to edmunds.com in 95' and this payed off big time.

I see it like this.......if I were to buy a small car I would get one with the best rating because it probably has better designed crash zones....if I were to get a big car like a Deville or Town car and it had only a 3/5 crash rating, it wouldnt bother me too much because when you think about it....cars today have advanced much since 94' and no matter what car you buy today, Big or small, it is way passed the famous 1997 Fed Crash ratings that the 94' Firebird passed.....so I see it all cars built today are safe to a degree better then ever.

Ralph
07-06-04, 03:11 AM
Back in the early 90's my mother had a Mazda MPV...while she was heading to work (nightshift...police) a drunk driver ran a red light and colided sp?? into the front of her van at only the speed of about 20 mph if that at all.......well my mother cracked/broke her knee (requiring surgery) and her skin completely ripped off of her forehead near her left eye....(requiring plastic surgery) This also caused life time numbness/ no feeling in her upper head. And over the years I notice slower reaction times and memory loss. Take it, she was in a large vehicle wearing her seat belt, but that can only take you so far.....it was a 90' vehicle and had no air bags.....and while the seat belt saved her life I bet the air bag would have saved her from all the trauma in the head.

Then in 97' also going to work another trunk ran a red light and she T-Boned him.....causing her car to spin 360 style for about 4-5 times....leading to her stricking a telephone poll really hard (telephone poll had to be replaced). The next morning when the police called...me and my dad picked her up from the hospital with just a few airbag burns/bruises. The car was totaled beyond recognition.

All in all we bought that 94' Pontiac Firebird because it had the maximum crash testing scores for that year according to edmunds.com in 95' and this payed off big time.

I see it like this.......if I were to buy a small car I would get one with the best rating because it probably has better designed crash zones....if I were to get a big car like a Deville or Town car and it had only a 3/5 crash rating, it wouldnt bother me too much because when you think about it....cars today have advanced much since 94' and no matter what car you buy today, Big or small, it is way passed the famous 1997 Fed Crash ratings that the 94' Firebird passed.....so I see it all cars built today are safe to a degree better then ever.

Ouch! Your poor Mom. I hope she will be ok in the future. Was there legal action? (don't bother answering if too personal) :) Good point about the advancements in safety technology over the years. BMW has an interesting side "air bag" It's sort of a tube that rolls upward as the accident progresses. What I can't understand is how the "tube" knows where your head is during that split millisecond when the impact occurs. My next car will have side airbags, even if I have to pay extra.

Msilva954
07-06-04, 09:39 AM
Yep there was legal action on both.....the first fell through because she never had uninsurred motorist back then......the second one took like 4-5 years to finally get over with.....but it was pretty much worth the weight....now were goin to put a down payment on a preconstructed house as an investment...rent it out etc...

Back to the cars......about the BMW....she now drives a 2001 325ci Conv that she won....when she won it she had a 97' Ford thunderbird..(also top of the line scores) while it is very small...(smallest she has ever owned except for her MGB conv and VW) and clostaphobic inside (conv) you feel very safe while driving it...BMW makes very sterdy cars that have a great Driver--Car connection that makes you feel safer then anything. It also has a good rating and side airbags.....I also love that it has automatic roll bars that deploy from the rear seat head rests when it senses a roll over.

But I made sure I bought a large car (deville) because my 6'5" long legged self really feels like a circus clown in that BMW. Id have to say the safest I have ever felt in a car is my grandfathers 1985 Mercedes 500SEC......my fav mercedes ever....built like a tank.