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Cadillac STS Forum - 2005 through 2012 Discussion, First Crash in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; You guys must be looking at a different picture than the one that shows up on my computer.....LOL. The STS ...
  1. #16
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    Re: First Crash

    You guys must be looking at a different picture than the one that shows up on my computer.....LOL.

    The STS BUMPER did not take the hit. The impact is clearly ABOVE the bumper directly into the sheet metal. No car is going to take a hit like that even at crawling speeds. Bumper certification speeds have absolutely nothing to do with it.

    The bumpers are fine....you just have to take the impact on the bumper beam for the bumper to work....duh....

    In regard to getting the bumper standards reduced....did you all REALLY like the huge, shock absorbing bumpers that are required to meet the 5 MPH standard with no damage....????......LOL. I know...you only like them just after you've been hit at 5 MPH....LOL LOL

    Sheet metal is DESIGNED to crush like that. That is what makes the car safe so that it can "ride down" the crash impact to minimize the force the passengers feel.

    That Merc that was a tank that could hit anything and not deform was the most unsafe car around to get in an accident with....The car would look fine after the wreck but the people inside would be jelly.

    Keep this in mind in any wreck. Sheet metal can be replaced. Cars can be replaced. It is hard to mend people. So what if the crash cost $10,000 (which is likely).....???.....call the local hospital and ask what it costs to stay in intensive care for just ONE night. The IC costs of a one night stay will make most any accident look minor. Even one where the car is totalled.

    You cannot have safe cars that ride down accidents that do not deform and destroy sheet metal. Impossible. I know that this particular accident isn't that serious but the fact that the truck bumper over-rode the STS bumper and took the sheet metal on directly is what caused all the damage. The fact that you didn't feel it is a testament to the force that the sheet metal took.

  2. #17
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    Re: First Crash

    Quote Originally Posted by bbob
    You guys must be looking at a different picture than the one that shows up on my computer.....LOL.

    The STS BUMPER did not take the hit. The impact is clearly ABOVE the bumper directly into the sheet metal. No car is going to take a hit like that even at crawling speeds. Bumper certification speeds have absolutely nothing to do with it.

    The bumpers are fine....you just have to take the impact on the bumper beam for the bumper to work....duh....

    In regard to getting the bumper standards reduced....did you all REALLY like the huge, shock absorbing bumpers that are required to meet the 5 MPH standard with no damage....????......LOL. I know...you only like them just after you've been hit at 5 MPH....LOL LOL

    Sheet metal is DESIGNED to crush like that. That is what makes the car safe so that it can "ride down" the crash impact to minimize the force the passengers feel.

    That Merc that was a tank that could hit anything and not deform was the most unsafe car around to get in an accident with....The car would look fine after the wreck but the people inside would be jelly.

    Keep this in mind in any wreck. Sheet metal can be replaced. Cars can be replaced. It is hard to mend people. So what if the crash cost $10,000 (which is likely).....???.....call the local hospital and ask what it costs to stay in intensive care for just ONE night. The IC costs of a one night stay will make most any accident look minor. Even one where the car is totalled.

    You cannot have safe cars that ride down accidents that do not deform and destroy sheet metal. Impossible. I know that this particular accident isn't that serious but the fact that the truck bumper over-rode the STS bumper and took the sheet metal on directly is what caused all the damage. The fact that you didn't feel it is a testament to the force that the sheet metal took.
    I agree with everything you said except the part about the Merc being unsafe in an accident. To this day, all the accident reports I read show that full-frame cars are still more safe in an accident than uni-body cars. I understand the theory about the crumple-zones disipating energy but in most accidents, especially side-impact ones where passenger compartment intrusion is the main issue, having a full-frame seems to be more useful in preserving lives.

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    Re: First Crash

    Quote Originally Posted by skides1
    Holy Crap! That was a 5MPH hit! The lt front fender is pushed in! Reminds me of the time I hit a Civic in the rear. I totaled it(an 04) and only did 800 damage to mine. It was truly unbelievable. My front bumper was almost in her backseat and I went from zero to less than 5MPH. This is truly disturbing because I watched a CLK 430 run into more than 10 cars (on Real Video) with minimal damage. The construction must be far superior. Damn, sorry about the luck!
    I dont think that the Germans use crumple zones as much as the rest of the world due to the autoban.

  4. #19
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    Re: First Crash

    Quote Originally Posted by Slick V
    I dont think that the Germans use crumple zones as much as the rest of the world due to the autoban.

    Ahhh.....not so. EVERY car uses crumple zones. There is no other way to decelerate the car and let the CAR ride down the crash impulse instead of transfering it to the passengers. Look at the crash performance of the German cars.....they are quite good.

    By definition, to make a car survivable in an accident the car MUST take the energy in the crash. There is just no other way to do this other than having the structure of the car crush. The car structure is designed to crush at specific points and specific rates. High speed crashes have to accept more energy so the cars actually have to crush more. No way around it.

  5. #20
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    Re: First Crash

    Quote Originally Posted by Katshot
    I agree with everything you said except the part about the Merc being unsafe in an accident. To this day, all the accident reports I read show that full-frame cars are still more safe in an accident than uni-body cars. I understand the theory about the crumple-zones disipating energy but in most accidents, especially side-impact ones where passenger compartment intrusion is the main issue, having a full-frame seems to be more useful in preserving lives.

    Full frame cars can be safe in an accident...but unibody or frame integral cars are proving to be much better. Notice how very few full frame vehicles there are anymore?? Do you suspect that Mercedes switched from full frame cars to frame integral cars because they are LESS safe in a crash...??? Not likely given the increasingly tougher crash requirements. Even some of the larger SUV's and almost all the crossover SUV's and carlike SUV's are frame integral. Full frame cars have absolutely no advantage in a side impact situation. First, the structure of the bullet car overrides the frame instantly and very little of the crash energy gets transferred to the frame. There is no way to transfer the load of the crash coming into the door area straight down into the separate frame. The frame integral cars have high strength steel door beams that overlap and shingle into the structure of the firewall/A pillar and the center pillar or rear pillar if it is a two door. This directly picks up the load of the crash almost instantly (the first thing hard the bullet car touches is the side door beams) and the load then goes into a very strong part of the car. Frames are worse than useless in this situation...they add mass and no real structure to help the crash.

    Thinking that old cars that still looked good after serious crashes makes for safe cars is ass backwards. The more the car folds up around the passengers and absorbs energy the safer the car is, period. Look at seriously wrecked newer cars and you will see more and more apparent damage to the sheetmetal and higher integrity passenger compartments.

    Full frame cars are usefull for some things and trucks that have to carry heavy loads and tow will always be full frames but a passenger car does not benefit from this in terms of crash protection. Larger vehicles that typically have frames are just that...larger vehicles. They have more space for the passenger and can ride down the crash impulse easier since there is more space to give up before it gets to the occupants. Also, trucks tend to sit much higher so side impacts DO often pickup the frame in the process. In a car the frame is too low to be of help. Passenger cars are by definition smaller and the crash gets to the passengers sooner because they are sitting closer to it in the beginning. So the structure has to be more compliant and carefully designed to allow the crush to absorb the energy and yet keep a liveable space intact for the occupants.

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    Re: First Crash

    I agree the mercedes have such good technology with crash testing, i was rear ended in my moms s430 and its 00, i was rear ended from a dumb girl waving to her friends while i was at a red light, and she was maybe going about 5mph, i felt a slight jolt and turned and stopped to see what kinda damage it was, i barely had a scratch the exact shape of her license plate, it kinda indented the paint a bit, no body work required which made me happy.

  7. #22
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    Re: First Crash

    I think GM and most other companies are taking advantage of the crumple zone standards. They are using them as an excuse to reduce front fender, hood, and other components thickness-saving money while making crash test results "look"better. Look at the STS -It looks like the engineers concentrated all of the "structure"-mass just where it makes the crash test results "look" better. God forbid you and your spouse wanted to sit on the hood at the drive in. It might set off the airbags! Sure it may be safer-so should they build it out of marshmellows? I think a 68 firebird equipped with the stock 200lb front bumper( retrofitted dual stage airbag, pyrotechnic seatbelts, and 4w disc brakes) would drive rite through that STS like a hot knife through butter.-While sustaining minimal damage to the body-much like a S500 would. In highschool I rearended a pickup(I was driving the Firebird) at about 10MPH. The only damage was where the trailer hitch pierced the lower valance panel (about a hundred bucks) and my ego. I sure didn't need a crumple zone!I wanna know how much the damage est is on the other vehicle. I could care less about the crumple zone standards if it makes my car so fragile that only the passenger cabin survives a 20MPH hit. I bet the NHTSA and Insurance authorities will start catching on soon.

  8. #23
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    Re: First Crash

    Quote Originally Posted by skides1
    I think GM and most other companies are taking advantage of the crumple zone standards. They are using them as an excuse to reduce front fender, hood, and other components thickness-saving money while making crash test results "look"better. Look at the STS -It looks like the engineers concentrated all of the "structure"-mass just where it makes the crash test results "look" better. God forbid you and your spouse wanted to sit on the hood at the drive in. It might set off the airbags! Sure it may be safer-so should they build it out of marshmellows? I think a 68 firebird equipped with the stock 200lb front bumper( retrofitted dual stage airbag, pyrotechnic seatbelts, and 4w disc brakes) would drive rite through that STS like a hot knife through butter.-While sustaining minimal damage to the body-much like a S500 would. In highschool I rearended a pickup(I was driving the Firebird) at about 10MPH. The only damage was where the trailer hitch pierced the lower valance panel (about a hundred bucks) and my ego. I sure didn't need a crumple zone!I wanna know how much the damage est is on the other vehicle. I could care less about the crumple zone standards if it makes my car so fragile that only the passenger cabin survives a 20MPH hit. I bet the NHTSA and Insurance authorities will start catching on soon.


    Exactly how do you theorize that anyone can make a crash result "look" better without it being so....LOL.

    Trust me, GM and other companies spend billions of dollars simulating crash results, analyzing structure and then crashing countless cars to verify the results and confirm that the cars perform as designed. When you have duplicated that kind of effort then you can question what is going on with some validity.

    Driving into a parked car as you theorize when you rear ended the pickup at 10 MPH is like hitting an immoveable barrier at 5 MPH. Simple physics. The auto companies design and test cars into immovable barriers at 40 and 45 MPH. This is like hitting a parked car of the same mass at 80 or 90 MPH !!!! Solid bumpers and no crush will jelly the passengers regardless of what you do with seat belts and such.

    Your theories of crash protection are like NASCAR circa 1970.....make the car so stiff that it doesn't give and just belt the driver in....LOL...it doesn't work. Notice that race cars just fly apart and crush severely in accidents these days...??? That is not accidental. The racing community found the same thing that the passenger car safety guys knew that the structure of the vehicle has to give and crush to take the load and ride down the crash impulse. That is why indy cars have crash attenuators on the gearbox (they add 10 inches of controlled crush instead of a solid structure), shed wheels and side pods in seemingly minor crashes, etc. Crush is being built into them too.

    Hood thicknesses, sheet metal thicknesses , etc...are all carefully engineered to control the crash impulse. Modern cars have side rails constructed of laser welded stamping blanks that have three different thickness of metal to control this. Similarily the A pillars are like roll bar construction with internal hydroformed steel tubing reinforcement.

    You need to re-read my earlier post regarding your last comment. Look at the total cost of crashes. The largest cost , by far and away, is the cost of human life and human injury. One life flight costs more than a complete new car. One night in the intensive care unit costs more than most crash damage that doesn't total a car. So you get in a wreck and walk away yet the damage is $30K and you blame GM for wimping out on crush zones and such. Get real. Realize that you could walk away because the car sacrificed itself. Otherwise the car would look better, only cost $5K to fix and you could then pay $50K in medical bills to get well. Overall, the total costs of the modern cars in crashes is reduced.

    Heaven forbid that I defend insurance companies, however. Insurance companies cost you a premium if you don't have an airbag and then add a premium if you do because they are more expensive to replace....LOL. Insurance companies will survive and prosper regardless so you can leave them out of the picture. Notice that the insurance companies always have the nicest skyscrapers and buildings....LOL

    Even considering your commment about the insurance companies "catching on" as legitimate you must not see the news when the insurance companies publish THEIR test results of which cars have the best safety/crash ratings in their favorite offset barrier crash tests. They do NOT rate them on how much sheet metal was bent but on how the occupants fared. Watch the news or visit their website.

    Regarding the European connection and their crash protection. The Europeans brought the offset barrier testing to the party. The US companies and US fed requirements always tested to a full frontal barrier test so the car could utilize the structure across the entire front end. As a result the cars designed for this were a bit "soft" in the offset barrier test and fared relatively poorly. US cars have since been modified to perform better on the offset barrier (this happened back around 2000) with additional structure.

    BTW...regarding the idea that GM and other companies are making the sheet metal "thin" on purpose to save mass, money, or ?????... Notice that these cars are still pretty heavy?? Not just GM but Mercedes, BMW, etc....???? That is because of the structure in the 'black metal" under the skin. Sheet metal is allowed to crush and is desireable to be "thin" so that it can absorb energy and dissipate it without trapping the doors shut, spearing thru the windshield, etc.....

    If you think hoods are thin now wait a few years....LOL. The Europeans have already passed legislation and rules regarding pedestrian impact safety. So many peds get hit in Europe that this is becoming the next big traffic safety frontier. The universal solution is to make the bumper area soft and "friendly" to peds so as to scoop them up and onto the hood and then make the hood soft...i.e...thin....to act like a cushion. There are even pyrotechnic "hood poppers" that sense a ped impact and pop the hood up in the air 6 inches at the hinges to add crush space under the hood for the ped. Engines that almost touch the hood underneath do not allow for ped crush space so the hood poppers are mandatory. This technology is REQUIRED on newly designed platforms for the 2006 model in Europe.

    You guys' "conspiracy theory" idea here of what is going on with crash performance is way off base.....LOL.

  9. #24
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    Re: First Crash

    I stand corrected (educated) Bob. I still think one STS should be able to take a hit from a grocery cart without tripping an airbag! By looking better on a crashtest: The real world is far different from a lab.

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    Re: First Crash

    Quote Originally Posted by skides1
    I stand corrected (educated) Bob. I still think one STS should be able to take a hit from a grocery cart without tripping an airbag! By looking better on a crashtest: The real world is far different from a lab.

    A grocery cart will not trip an airbag. Don't know where that urban legend started but it won't happen. There is an interlocking systems of sensors that has to detect a deceleration in the chassis as well as impact on the front (or side) of the car that prevents that sort of thing. It isn't like it is a microswitch on the bumper skin or something. Unless, of course, the grocery cart weighs 4000 pounds and is traveling at 25 MPH.....

    Certainly the real world is different from a lab. No lab can duplicate all the situations, seating positions, etc. of the real world. The inescapable fact, though, is that the better the human injury factors from the crash test dummies looks in the lab the safer the car is in the field. NO QUESTION.

    You can always argue certain situations like the airbag interaction with child car seats and small adults and such. Things like that looked great in the lab until people put infants and rearwad facing car seats in the front seat with airbags. That was a matter of education. As gruesome as it sounds, in that instance, the lab was still correct for even though a number of children were hurt/killed by airbags (let us not forget that a crash did happen...) there were far greater numbers of crashes where adult lives were saved by airbags. So the lab does not tell all but it certainly can predict trends. Besides, the only way to develop the systems and perfect them is in the lab. It cannot be done on real people in real cars in real accidents after the fact.

    Another place your arguement about the lab holds water is in the full frontal vs. the offset barrier tests that I mentioned. To meet the lab numbers for the offset barrier (which is more dangerous but much less common in the real world) the car needs additional structure that makes it more stiff and can actually intensify the affects of a full frontal crash. Overall, the "safer" car was felt to be the vehicle optimized for a full frontal but the lab data for an offset barrier won out. Minor point in a way but....

    BTW....there is no standard for crush or "crumple zone standard". The standards are based on the data from the crash dummies that replicate and predict human injury potential in the crash. It is up to the manufacturer to meet those standards. Liken this to the classic college physics project of protecting a egg dropped from a 2 story building. The "standard" is that the egg remain unbroken. How you did it is up to you.

    In a car crash, crumple zones and crush is one of the major tools in mitigating the crash energy, riding down the crash impulse and decelerating the passenger compartment at a survivable rate. There is no standard , per se, on the crush....but it is the tool that is used to prevent the egg from being broken. Since the standards are the same for all manufacturers and everyone is working with the same set of physical laws it is no surprise that after all the crash tests and computer simulations everyone's crumple zones and crush patterns look very similar.....

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    Re: First Crash

    Ouch ! Glad no one was hurt. This is why we call them accidents....no one (i hope) plans this. My first car was a 1969 Eldorado, I was rear ended by a Ford Escort the first year they came out (I was in College) My left rear bumper sliced through her Grill, Radiator, then pushed her engine to the ground. When the police pulled up they thought my car would be totaled, and they were worried about my fuel tank. When the Wreckers pulled mine up and out of her pile of scrap metal we were all shocked to see that I only had a 3 in gash in the lower rear bumber and a shattered tail lamp lens. I sure do miss that car. PURE STEEL and I sold her after 334,000 miles still looking new and roaring own the highway in Virginia.

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    Re: First Crash

    Take myttruck as an example: Iam guessing it faired worse than the STS in the tests. But, I hate to admit it, I have crashed it 5 times and in 4/5 times-these were all my fault- totaled the other vehicles. These were all rear end collisions. My brakes suck and I admit fault so a lecture is not warranted. The only car that actually demolished my front bumper was a Subaru Outback. The bumpers actually matched and it had no damage but I had 1200 worth. In one crash I totaled a Windstar and pushed it into 4 other cars ahead of it with the same 1200 in damage. Nobody was hurt thank goodness. I am just saying that even if they say your safe doesn't mean you are. In conjunction with worthless tests and metal you can see through-I will stick with a Big a** SUV no matter what the "statistics" say. The art of stats-you gotta love it! They can make a Civic (or a STS)owner think they are safe, and they may be against a brick wall, but if they trully meet me head on(with my crappy off-set rating) they are not. No offense intended bob.

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    Re: First Crash

    Btw: I hope the STS doesn't encounter a light hail storm. It will surely be totalled by pea sized bits. I just want a DURABLE body. STS owners: If you do a Starsky and Hutch skid across the hood it may cost you a grand, so dont, whaterver you do, sit on your car. If the egg was wrapped in foil it sure wouldn't help. How did you keep you egg from breaking? I bet if you surronded it with marshmellows outside a low mass frame,and another layer of marshmellowsi nside the frame, it would be great. I n the real world the marsmellows would melt and be as practical as the body of an STS. Just a friendly jest.

  14. #29
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    Re: First Crash

    Keep in mind that crashing into an immovable barrier is the standard test used to rate the safety of a vehicle. The makes it common and standard for all vehicles.

    The difference in the real world is that a heavier vehicle (like the big ass SUV) will put more energy into the other car which is lighter.

    I mentioned earlier that crashing a car into the immovable barrier at 30 MPH is the same as hitting a parked car at 60 MPH. This is true if the other vehicle is exactly the same weight. If your vehicle is heavier (like the SUV) then hitting the barrier at 30 would be like hitting another SUV at 60....or, more importantly, hitting a lighter car at 45 or 50. THAT is why SUV's appear to be "safer" in the real world than in the lab.....and they are safer as long as you run into lighter vehicles. They are not going to fair any better than a car if you hit something of the same mass.

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    Re: First Crash

    Hey Bob!

    I used to read your posts over on Bruce's message board several years ago. It sure is a wonderful experience to read whatever you have to say. You have an incredible amount of knowlege regarding Caddy's and cars in general. If you ever start to wonder why you take the time to explain things to us plebes, just remember that there are some of us who read your posts, word for word, and are really learning from what you say.
    Thanks again!

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