Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

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Thesaints
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by Thesaints » Fri May 17, 2019 2:28 pm

sunny_socal wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 1:34 pm
And visibility in Odyssey > BMW.
Sure. Try to parallel park both and then we'll talk again.

MichCPA
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by MichCPA » Fri May 17, 2019 2:32 pm

Thesaints wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:28 pm
sunny_socal wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 1:34 pm
And visibility in Odyssey > BMW.
Sure. Try to parallel park both and then we'll talk again.
As much as many safety features can be over hyped, the rear view camera has massively improved driving from parallel parking, to backing out of a spot with larger cars on each side, to lining up a trailer. That is on a short list of safety improvements everyone should have on their car going forward (along with ESC).

stoptothink
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by stoptothink » Fri May 17, 2019 2:35 pm

MichCPA wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:32 pm
Thesaints wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:28 pm
sunny_socal wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 1:34 pm
And visibility in Odyssey > BMW.
Sure. Try to parallel park both and then we'll talk again.
As much as many safety features can be over hyped, the rear view camera has massively improved driving from parallel parking, to backing out of a spot with larger cars on each side, to lining up a trailer. That is on a short list of safety improvements everyone should have on their car going forward (along with ESC).
As of last year, all cars sold in the U.S. must have a back-up camera https://www.autotrader.com/car-news/new ... y-2-223739

Nowizard
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by Nowizard » Fri May 17, 2019 2:36 pm

22twain: Indeed, I did. the figure is 25+ mpg, as you probably surmised.

Tim

MichCPA
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by MichCPA » Fri May 17, 2019 2:37 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:35 pm
MichCPA wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:32 pm
Thesaints wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:28 pm
sunny_socal wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 1:34 pm
And visibility in Odyssey > BMW.
Sure. Try to parallel park both and then we'll talk again.
As much as many safety features can be over hyped, the rear view camera has massively improved driving from parallel parking, to backing out of a spot with larger cars on each side, to lining up a trailer. That is on a short list of safety improvements everyone should have on their car going forward (along with ESC).
As of last year, all cars sold in the U.S. must have a back-up camera https://www.autotrader.com/car-news/new ... y-2-223739
Even if you are buying used, don't buy a car without one.

crystalbank
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by crystalbank » Fri May 17, 2019 2:40 pm

You'll get used to the smaller car. It's a tragedy that vehicle shopping turned into an arms race. At this rate, soon we'll all be driving tankers for perceived 'safety'. The CUVs are usually just hatchbacks on stilts with body cladding and I'd be surprised if they have more safety benefits compared to the car of the same class. For example, CR-V and Civic probably have similar 'safety' protection but you might feel better in a CR-V. Likewise the HR-V in fact has worse safety rating than the Honda Fit (which it is based upon) but I know most might feel safer in the HR-V.

If you're really worried about safety, get a luxo-barge full size car. Long crumple zones, low center of gravity hence very low rollover risk compared to 'SUV'.

H-Town
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by H-Town » Fri May 17, 2019 3:08 pm

MichCPA wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:37 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:35 pm
MichCPA wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:32 pm
Thesaints wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:28 pm
sunny_socal wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 1:34 pm
And visibility in Odyssey > BMW.
Sure. Try to parallel park both and then we'll talk again.
As much as many safety features can be over hyped, the rear view camera has massively improved driving from parallel parking, to backing out of a spot with larger cars on each side, to lining up a trailer. That is on a short list of safety improvements everyone should have on their car going forward (along with ESC).
As of last year, all cars sold in the U.S. must have a back-up camera https://www.autotrader.com/car-news/new ... y-2-223739
Even if you are buying used, don't buy a car without one.
In a decade of driving, I never had the backup camera. When I drive my wife's car that has a back up camera and a fancy 360 camera, I never use it. It's overrated at best.

randomguy
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by randomguy » Fri May 17, 2019 3:17 pm

Kayakr wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 1:51 pm
What makes you think an SUV is safer? Their handling characteristics are crap. http://www.accessmagazine.org/fall-2002 ... afer-cars/

Probably just pay a small premium and buy midsized cars.
Good info if your buying a pre2002 car. For people looking to buy something built in the last 10 years, the IIHS data clearly shows how much safer most modern SUVs are.

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devdude
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by devdude » Fri May 17, 2019 3:26 pm

dbr wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:17 am
In any case the largest single variables affecting risk in auto accidents are driver behavior*, which is under your control, and exposure in miles in a vehicle per year, which is also under a person's control to a degree.

*alcohol/drug use, distracted driving, fatigue, reckless driving, inattention to conditions, poor education and training, physical impairments, age related deficiencies (younger drivers), failing to use seat belts, driving while committing/fleeing/chasing a crime etc.
Agreed. I drive a big rig. Sitting up high allows me to see inside most vehicles and it's ridiculous how distracted many people are. Cell phones are (of course) the biggest culprit. Big vehicles have their drawbacks: Difficult to maneuver, slower stopping power and are a larger target.
Has anyone switched out of an SUV to a car and actually felt comfortable again?

I switch out of a big rig to a 2001 Toyota Corolla and I'm comfortable. It's a toy, it weighs 2500 lbs. I only drive about 3,000 miles a year and have pay-per-mile insurance. It gets 38 mpg on the hwy. It's about savings for me. It's definitely more dangerous in an accident, but I'm smaller, more maneuverable and can stop quickly. If I had a family, I would probably drive something larger. Most accidents can be avoided through competence and awareness.
The Dude Abides by Simplicity

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Blue
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by Blue » Fri May 17, 2019 3:48 pm

~35,000 people die from motor vehicle accidents in the US. For every person killed in a motor vehicle accident, 8 were hospitalized and 99 were treated and released from an emergency department for a MVA. (Source CDC Injury Center). According to a recent NY times article, lifetime odds of dying in a motor vehicle accident is at 1 in 103. For comparison, death from Heart disease is 1/6 and cancer 1/7.

I think every driver including the OP should strongly consider the safety of a vehicle (including both active and passive safety features, safety ratings, class/weight of vehicle, and in the context of IIHS driver fatality data) when purchasing within the constraints of their budget. The risk of injury and death from motor vehicle accidents is sufficiently common and the consequences of the risk when it shows up is sufficiently severe that I think it bears serious contemplation when making a vehicle purchase.

Unless the OP is buying a fifteen year old vehicle, the 2004 data is simply not applicable given the extensive changes in vehicle safety since then.

The point that the the individual concerned with auto safety can reap higher dividends focusing on heart disease and cancer risk factors is well heeded and good advice. However, I suspect there is a high correlation among populations driving “safe” vehicles that are also doing their exercise, eating their veggies, and taking all of the other usual proactive health measures. It would be errant to focus on one to the exclusion of the others.

DonIce
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by DonIce » Fri May 17, 2019 3:55 pm

MichCPA wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:32 pm
As much as many safety features can be over hyped, the rear view camera has massively improved driving from parallel parking, to backing out of a spot with larger cars on each side, to lining up a trailer. That is on a short list of safety improvements everyone should have on their car going forward (along with ESC).
The other really big one is automatic pre-collision breaking. I've been saved from distracted drivers by it twice now. Sitting stopped at a red light, looking in my rear view mirror at some idiot coming at me at full speed while staring at their cell phone, only to have their car stop them automatically at the last moment, and then the driver look up all shocked. This feature alone will save a ton of lives and prevent a lot of injuries once its standard. Definitely the most important of the new electronic/prevention type safety technologies, in my opinion.

MichCPA
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by MichCPA » Fri May 17, 2019 3:59 pm

H-Town wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 3:08 pm
MichCPA wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:37 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:35 pm
MichCPA wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:32 pm
Thesaints wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:28 pm


Sure. Try to parallel park both and then we'll talk again.
As much as many safety features can be over hyped, the rear view camera has massively improved driving from parallel parking, to backing out of a spot with larger cars on each side, to lining up a trailer. That is on a short list of safety improvements everyone should have on their car going forward (along with ESC).
As of last year, all cars sold in the U.S. must have a back-up camera https://www.autotrader.com/car-news/new ... y-2-223739
Even if you are buying used, don't buy a car without one.
In a decade of driving, I never had the backup camera. When I drive my wife's car that has a back up camera and a fancy 360 camera, I never use it. It's overrated at best.
360 camera is pretty pointless, the rear facing camera has important applications.

MichCPA
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by MichCPA » Fri May 17, 2019 4:04 pm

DonIce wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 3:55 pm
MichCPA wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:32 pm
As much as many safety features can be over hyped, the rear view camera has massively improved driving from parallel parking, to backing out of a spot with larger cars on each side, to lining up a trailer. That is on a short list of safety improvements everyone should have on their car going forward (along with ESC).
The other really big one is automatic pre-collision breaking. I've been saved from distracted drivers by it twice now. Sitting stopped at a red light, looking in my rear view mirror at some idiot coming at me at full speed while staring at their cell phone, only to have their car stop them automatically at the last moment, and then the driver look up all shocked. This feature alone will save a ton of lives and prevent a lot of injuries once its standard. Definitely the most important of the new electronic/prevention type safety technologies, in my opinion.
Kind of surprised that a car would have AEB, but not have Android Auto/Apple Carplay. Those systems are great and allow you to do pretty much everything you could realistically ask, but I guess the other driver thought that applying the correct Snapchat filter couldn't wait.

Starfish
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by Starfish » Fri May 17, 2019 5:02 pm

Atilla wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:44 am
I have always leaned toward larger vehicles for the safety factor. My ideal crumple zone is the other guy who hits me. :happy
Or you hit them. It's a 50-50 chance.
Instead of 2 people in a hospital for a week, you have one walking away and one dead.

Starfish
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by Starfish » Fri May 17, 2019 5:08 pm

H-Town wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 3:08 pm
MichCPA wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:37 pm
stoptothink wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:35 pm
MichCPA wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:32 pm
Thesaints wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:28 pm


Sure. Try to parallel park both and then we'll talk again.
As much as many safety features can be over hyped, the rear view camera has massively improved driving from parallel parking, to backing out of a spot with larger cars on each side, to lining up a trailer. That is on a short list of safety improvements everyone should have on their car going forward (along with ESC).
As of last year, all cars sold in the U.S. must have a back-up camera https://www.autotrader.com/car-news/new ... y-2-223739
Even if you are buying used, don't buy a car without one.
In a decade of driving, I never had the backup camera. When I drive my wife's car that has a back up camera and a fancy 360 camera, I never use it. It's overrated at best.
I have a lot more then a decade of driving and I find back up camera great... I almost cannot back up without it now, I freak out at all the blind angles and the fact that I have look back and front at the same time.
I would like to have a camera in the front for parking close to the curbs.

JackoC
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by JackoC » Fri May 17, 2019 5:34 pm

Kayakr wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 1:51 pm
What makes you think an SUV is safer? Their handling characteristics are crap. http://www.accessmagazine.org/fall-2002 ... afer-cars/

Probably just pay a small premium and buy midsized cars.
Because SUV's especially larger ones in recent model years have lower driver death rates than midsize cars, as has been discussed. The blog stuff quoted is older data but iihs's data is fairly new, 2011-2014 model years:
https://www.iihs.org/ratings/driver-dea ... -and-model

As has also been mentioned those figures don't correct for what kind of drivers drive what kind of vehicle which may be a significant factor in the very low death rates of various luxury models in iihs data: more mature, financially better off drivers tend to be the main buyers of luxury brands. A lot of accidents are caused by a small % of very bad drivers and that tends to correlate with youth and poverty. Social patterns in some demographic groups which tend to be poorer also includes much less than universal use of seatbelts, whereas probably almost everyone reading this thread is assuming seatbelt use as a given for themselves. But I don't see social variation among drivers would be a huge factor between midsize sedans and large SUV's in general. The simpler answer to why the large SUV's would have a generally lower death rate is probably just physics: they're heavier so their occupants are subject to lower acceleration in crashes with cars or other light trucks (though not as much in a collision with a huge truck and no different at all in a collision with an immovable object) plus larger means more room for metal to crumple before it's occupants being crumpled. Apparently any inferiority in handling isn't enough to offset that. And has also been covered, a small % of traffic deaths now are from rollovers so the higher center of gravity of SUV's isn't a big factor either.

How much vehicle handling affects death rate is an interesting question. For example I have a BMW M2, ~3,500# despite its small external dimensions so a small but not especially light car. It handles, accelerates and brakes better than the vast majority of other cars. But I wouldn't claim any certainty that makes me a lot safer statistically. If I had to guess I'd say that's a modest factor. Also, drivers may adjust their driving style somewhat to compensate their vehicle's handling characteristics. I drove a Ford Expedition EL down the Pacific Coast Highway (a very curvy road on the edge of cliffs overlooking the ocean for a few 100 miles, for those not familiar) a few years ago and drove the M2 up it just a couple of weeks ago. I certainly didn't drive the two vehicles the same way on that road, though I believe I drove the M2 reasonably safely.

crystalbank
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by crystalbank » Fri May 17, 2019 5:56 pm

Starfish wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 5:02 pm
Atilla wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:44 am
I have always leaned toward larger vehicles for the safety factor. My ideal crumple zone is the other guy who hits me. :happy
Or you hit them. It's a 50-50 chance.
Instead of 2 people in a hospital for a week, you have one walking away and one dead.
Interesting point. I'm curious if there are any studies that show non-passenger fatalities with SUVs and Trucks.

fasteddie911
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by fasteddie911 » Sat May 18, 2019 6:04 am

I drive a compact suv and financially it's nearly the same as a midsize (camry, etc.) and slightly more than a corolla but I've come to like the elevated sight-lines, space and safety (which apparently is not so cut and dry). I also thought the size would make me more comfortable on the road in an area with plenty of trucks and big rigs. However I still feel like a small fish, especially on highways. A pickup is still bigger than my car, a lifted pickup or dually is bigger than that, then the box trucks and big rigs are bigger still. It's a never-ending cycle. Pick a car that you're comfortable driving well, that is comfortable for your long commute and be done with it. I've done long drives with a corolla and camry sized cars and I can say the camry felt much more comfortable overall.

tea_pirate
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by tea_pirate » Sat May 18, 2019 8:45 am

OP, I live in Massachusetts and I've also noticed the large vehicles growing much more popular over the last few years.

For a couple years I leased one of the smallest road legal vehicles in the US, a Smart ForTwo. It was fun driving around town but highways were a nightmare - overcompensators in their huge Suburbans, Escalades, and similar vehicles would nearly merge into me on a daily basis. I'm sure most of it was poor drivers combined with huge blind spots on those vehicles, but there's also a portion of the population that buys those vehicles an drives them with the attitude of bullying smaller cars out of their way.

It seems like the amount of "respect" you get from other drivers is directly correlated with your vehicle size. Anecdotally whenever I see a very small car like the Honda Fit on the road it seems like everybody is racing to tailgate them, cut them off, and block them out from merging at every opportunity. A 5,000 pound land yacht however gets a large berth when drivers approach from behind or enter the lane in front of them, and when they put on their signal other drivers politely wait for them to merge. So there's that aspect to safety too.

I've driven many SUVs and personally I feel much safer in a sedan. I drive about 30k miles per year and I've had a couple "close calls" due to no fault of my own where I had to swerve or take other evasive action to avoid a serious accident. I fully believe that not a single SUV (in my price range at least) would have provided the necessary handling and maneuverability to get me out of those situations.

tea_pirate
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by tea_pirate » Sat May 18, 2019 8:55 am

Starfish wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 5:02 pm
Atilla wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:44 am
I have always leaned toward larger vehicles for the safety factor. My ideal crumple zone is the other guy who hits me. :happy
Or you hit them. It's a 50-50 chance.
Instead of 2 people in a hospital for a week, you have one walking away and one dead.
Yup, it's pretty frightening the sheer number of bad drivers who fancy themselves experts - case in point, he can only see himself as the victim of an accident instead of a potential cause.

In my opinion, every vehicle over 4,000 pounds which was purchased for the sole sake of being large (i.e. not a legitimate need for a business) should be confiscated and replaced with a Geo Metro with no airbags. If the former overcompensator survives 3 years in the Metro, they can then be allowed to upgrade to a midsize sedan.

H-Town
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by H-Town » Sat May 18, 2019 9:05 am

tea_pirate wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 8:55 am
Starfish wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 5:02 pm
Atilla wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:44 am
I have always leaned toward larger vehicles for the safety factor. My ideal crumple zone is the other guy who hits me. :happy
Or you hit them. It's a 50-50 chance.
Instead of 2 people in a hospital for a week, you have one walking away and one dead.
Yup, it's pretty frightening the sheer number of bad drivers who fancy themselves experts - case in point, he can only see himself as the victim of an accident instead of a potential cause.

In my opinion, every vehicle over 4,000 pounds which was purchased for the sole sake of being large (i.e. not a legitimate need for a business) should be confiscated and replaced with a Geo Metro with no airbags. If the former overcompensator survives 3 years in the Metro, they can then be allowed to upgrade to a midsize sedan.
Hey this is a free country. No place for that dictatorship thinking.

J/K of course. Let them have their big car. They probably drive it for a short 10 mile or less... How else could they afford to pay for gas?
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tadamsmar
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by tadamsmar » Sun May 19, 2019 2:43 pm

Kayakr wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 1:51 pm
What makes you think an SUV is safer? Their handling characteristics are crap. http://www.accessmagazine.org/fall-2002 ... afer-cars/

Probably just pay a small premium and buy midsized cars.
That 2002 article applies to 20-year-old vehicles. All vehicles after the 2011 model year have electronic stability control (ESC) and that changed the equation. Here is a modern analysis:

"ESC greatly reduces the chance of a vehicle rollover, which is particularly important for top-heavy trucks and SUVs, according to IIHS."

https://www.edmunds.com/car-safety/are- ... -cars.html

ESC is among the top safety improvements in the history of the motor vehicle.

Read up on it, this will probably give you a case of future shock.

JackoC
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by JackoC » Sun May 19, 2019 4:22 pm

tea_pirate wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 8:55 am
Starfish wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 5:02 pm
Atilla wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:44 am
I have always leaned toward larger vehicles for the safety factor. My ideal crumple zone is the other guy who hits me. :happy
Or you hit them. It's a 50-50 chance.
Instead of 2 people in a hospital for a week, you have one walking away and one dead.
Yup, it's pretty frightening the sheer number of bad drivers who fancy themselves experts - case in point, he can only see himself as the victim of an accident instead of a potential cause.

In my opinion, every vehicle over 4,000 pounds which was purchased for the sole sake of being large (i.e. not a legitimate need for a business) should be confiscated and replaced with a Geo Metro with no airbags. If the former overcompensator survives 3 years in the Metro, they can then be allowed to upgrade to a midsize sedan.
On the second stuff like that gets threads shut down. I hope it's a joke but humor/sarcasm often doesn't work on the internet. And if it's not a joke here is a not a good place to float petty dictatorial proposals. So either way it doesn't work.

On the first you're free to speculate the one poster is a bad driver who doesn't realize it. I took the original 'instead of two people in the hospital it's one dead and one walks away' as a sort of avant garde ethical proposal to deliberately choose a vehicle which would put one in the hospital rather than killing somebody else, not related to whose fault the accident turned out to be. The poster is entitled to that opinion, but if I were really choosing for me and mine to be hospitalized or walk away from a car accident I'd choose walk away, no hesitation.

Though again I don't currently drive a heavy vehicle, we have sedan and coupe both ~3,500#, one nimble one extremely nimble, though again I doubt that makes a huge difference in itself (we had a #4500 SUV prior, no problem AFAICS). And although 'almost everyone thinks they are an above average driver', around half (or exactly half if it's median) *are*. Moreover I suspect a large % of fatal or critical/permanent serious injury accidents are caused by a pretty small % of *really* bad drivers. Most people are correct if they don't put themselves in that category. For example, I've been driving 45 yrs and had 2 fender benders, most recent 30+ years ago. To which one could say 'well lots of people have almost no accidents', but that would just make my point. A majority of people are very unlikely to cause serious car accidents though of course there are exceptions to every rule in a huge population. Also I live in the NY area and see pretty many people who are too aggressive in crowded traffic, passing you including on the right if you slow down just slightly, making a point of not letting you change lanes, etc. But that tends to result in crumpled metal not death and permanent injury. And OTOH in just driving 5k miles across/around the US I'd say in general a quite small % of vehicles I encountered were being driven stupidly.

Point is I don't think it's that unlikely actually that a given disembodied voice on the internet is a pretty good driver likely to be less at fault in a serious accident. I'm sure I'm unlikely to be the cause. Not for sure I *won't* be, I could screw up now, and at some point in the future my skills will decline to where I have to stop driving before I become the problem. But realistically it's true now. Causing fatal accidents in today's safe cars generally requires a high level of stupidity, negligence, substance abuse etc. For me that's highly likely to be the 'other guy'.

Atilla
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by Atilla » Wed May 22, 2019 4:49 pm

Starfish wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 5:02 pm
Atilla wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:44 am
I have always leaned toward larger vehicles for the safety factor. My ideal crumple zone is the other guy who hits me. :happy
Or you hit them. It's a 50-50 chance.
Instead of 2 people in a hospital for a week, you have one walking away and one dead.
Based on my history - not so much. Been in 4 accidents, all of them caused by the other driver. So far it's always been the other knucklehead; and if it's my choice I want the other knucklehead to suffer the consequences if it means I'm better off after he/she hits me.
Moderator Warning-Free Since 2017.

Starfish
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by Starfish » Thu May 23, 2019 2:43 am

Atilla wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 4:49 pm
Starfish wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 5:02 pm
Atilla wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:44 am
I have always leaned toward larger vehicles for the safety factor. My ideal crumple zone is the other guy who hits me. :happy
Or you hit them. It's a 50-50 chance.
Instead of 2 people in a hospital for a week, you have one walking away and one dead.
Based on my history - not so much. Been in 4 accidents, all of them caused by the other driver. So far it's always been the other knucklehead; and if it's my choice I want the other knucklehead to suffer the consequences if it means I'm better off after he/she hits me.

Even you are not infallible. Everybody makes mistakes. Are you ok with the idea that a small mistake can kill somebody else?

The other aspect is that the "statistical you" - everybody who thinks like you - makes the roads more dangerous.

JackoC
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by JackoC » Thu May 23, 2019 9:50 am

Starfish wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 2:43 am
Atilla wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 4:49 pm
Starfish wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 5:02 pm
Atilla wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:44 am
I have always leaned toward larger vehicles for the safety factor. My ideal crumple zone is the other guy who hits me. :happy
Or you hit them. It's a 50-50 chance.
Instead of 2 people in a hospital for a week, you have one walking away and one dead.
Based on my history - not so much. Been in 4 accidents, all of them caused by the other driver. So far it's always been the other knucklehead; and if it's my choice I want the other knucklehead to suffer the consequences if it means I'm better off after he/she hits me.
Even you are not infallible. Everybody makes mistakes. Are you ok with the idea that a small mistake can kill somebody else?

The other aspect is that the "statistical you" - everybody who thinks like you - makes the roads more dangerous.
You can't say anything definitive about any given disembodied voice on the internet. But, traffic deaths are highly skewed toward being caused by very bad drivers rather than the rare mistakes of good drivers. 28% of traffic fatalities involve alcohol, not counting drugs
https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/ ... sheet.html
More than half of people killed in cars were not wearing seat belts, a strong proxy for 'bad driver' (though overlapping with alcohol and drugs, not a separate half):
https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/ ... index.html

The simplest mental model of fatal car accidents might be that they are randomly distributed but it seems that's very far from true, and it has serious implications for the concept of buying a smaller vehicle specifically to give people in other cars a better chance of surviving. Likewise just because many people think they are better drivers than they are doesn't mean nobody is a better driver than anyone else, nor that people are entirely unable to make an reasonably objective judgement about it. I caused a fender bender when I'd had my license a few months, 45 yrs ago; another fender bender around 30 yrs ago was equal fault I think. That's it. This is for my purposes evidence (whether others accept it as evidence... I must admit I don't care :happy ) I'm a good driver, along with one pull over in 45 yrs for a speed warning, and just the way I know I approach driving. Infallible? Of course not. But '50-50 chance it's my fault or theirs' is not remotely close either, especially at the level of accident where people get killed, as opposed to minor crumpling of metal where it might not be *as* skewed. My involvement in a fatal car accident would highly likely involve somebody else who was very negligent or drunk/high that I failed to get out of the way of. And I'd 100% likely be buckled in, whereas it wouldn't help them that much if my vehicle were small if they were not buckled in, which would also be fairly likely per the stats.

Again our two cars now are both ~3,500# but we previously had a 4,500# SUV and I see no valid ethical issue wrt vehicle weight. If the answer were to be some extreme example of high weight it would IMO almost surely become practically silly first.

I'd also just add that the problems of the 'statistical you', all the people who (supposedly) think they are good drivers but are terrible drivers, that leads directly toward public policy debate. The only way to deal with perceived negatives of what 'everybody' does of their own free will is laws further limiting their free will (in this case say outlawing or specially taxing high weight personal vehicles). But we don't debate public policy here. From the 'individual actionable POV', 'thanks for your input, but I'd rather my family be in a bigger vehicle for their safety' is the end of the line, if you can't convince that individual your ethical formula applies to them. Maybe some people have silently read your idea and it will affect their future purchase decisions toward a smaller vehicle. I wouldn't bet on it, but who knows? :happy

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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by H-Town » Thu May 23, 2019 10:13 am

Just pay attention to the road and don't put yourself in sticky situations.

Other than that, the odds of getting into an accident is small enough that it should not live rent free in your mind.

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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by cherijoh » Thu May 23, 2019 10:41 am

Watty wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 6:38 pm
It is hard to really generalize some big cars have bad statistics and some smaller cars are better than you might expect.

Here is a website where you can look up the driver death rates for different models that can give you some insight into which cars are safer.

https://www.iihs.org/ratings/driver-dea ... -and-model
I agree. I also think you have to separate damage to the car from injuries to the passengers. There is no doubt that the smaller car will come out the loser against a bigger heavier car. But I'm more concerned about the people.

I had a former coworker who flipped her monster SUV in a single car accident when she was on the way home from picking up her daughter from daycare. She ended up with broken bones, but fortunately her daughter had been properly strapped into her properly-installed car seat, since the child ended up dangling upside down after the crash.

I was involved in a chain reaction collision on the interstate during morning rush hour (so at less than peak speeds). I ended up sandwiched between a Toyota Corolla and a Jeep (not sure of model). I was in a Saturn SL-2. My car was totaled in the wreck, but aside from the rear windshield being shattered when the Jeep hit me, the passenger compartment was undamaged and I walked away without any injuries.

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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by cherijoh » Thu May 23, 2019 11:02 am

Slacker wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:40 am
Except the risk of drivers in other vehicles is not under your control so much...
Too true. I sometimes wonder if my current car has an invisibility cloak based on the number of cars who pull out from side streets directly in front of me (usually when there is no one behind me on the main road for some distance) or who don't bother to slow down until they are riding my rear bumper (even though there are other lanes on the interstate to which they could switch to pass me).

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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by Starfish » Thu May 23, 2019 1:45 pm

JackoC wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 9:50 am
Starfish wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 2:43 am
Atilla wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 4:49 pm
Starfish wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 5:02 pm
Atilla wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:44 am
I have always leaned toward larger vehicles for the safety factor. My ideal crumple zone is the other guy who hits me. :happy
Or you hit them. It's a 50-50 chance.
Instead of 2 people in a hospital for a week, you have one walking away and one dead.
Based on my history - not so much. Been in 4 accidents, all of them caused by the other driver. So far it's always been the other knucklehead; and if it's my choice I want the other knucklehead to suffer the consequences if it means I'm better off after he/she hits me.
Even you are not infallible. Everybody makes mistakes. Are you ok with the idea that a small mistake can kill somebody else?

The other aspect is that the "statistical you" - everybody who thinks like you - makes the roads more dangerous.
You can't say anything definitive about any given disembodied voice on the internet. But, traffic deaths are highly skewed toward being caused by very bad drivers rather than the rare mistakes of good drivers. 28% of traffic fatalities involve alcohol, not counting drugs
https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/ ... sheet.html
More than half of people killed in cars were not wearing seat belts, a strong proxy for 'bad driver' (though overlapping with alcohol and drugs, not a separate half):
https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/ ... index.html

The simplest mental model of fatal car accidents might be that they are randomly distributed but it seems that's very far from true, and it has serious implications for the concept of buying a smaller vehicle specifically to give people in other cars a better chance of surviving. Likewise just because many people think they are better drivers than they are doesn't mean nobody is a better driver than anyone else, nor that people are entirely unable to make an reasonably objective judgement about it. I caused a fender bender when I'd had my license a few months, 45 yrs ago; another fender bender around 30 yrs ago was equal fault I think. That's it. This is for my purposes evidence (whether others accept it as evidence... I must admit I don't care :happy ) I'm a good driver, along with one pull over in 45 yrs for a speed warning, and just the way I know I approach driving. Infallible? Of course not. But '50-50 chance it's my fault or theirs' is not remotely close either, especially at the level of accident where people get killed, as opposed to minor crumpling of metal where it might not be *as* skewed. My involvement in a fatal car accident would highly likely involve somebody else who was very negligent or drunk/high that I failed to get out of the way of.
If you had your license 45 years ago I would say that the chances of getting in an accident from your own fault are already higher than 10-20 years ago and go higher every year. I wouldn't be so assertive about probabilities based on history....

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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by smalliebigs » Thu May 23, 2019 1:47 pm

I feel like I could weigh in on this topic given my profession. I am a combustion engineer at an automotive OEM.

The first thing that needs to be corrected is that there is no relation to crash safety to the size of the car itself.

The second thing is that the reason why there are fewer sedans on the road is just simply due to consumer preferences changing.

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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by Starfish » Thu May 23, 2019 1:49 pm

cherijoh wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 10:41 am
Watty wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 6:38 pm
It is hard to really generalize some big cars have bad statistics and some smaller cars are better than you might expect.

Here is a website where you can look up the driver death rates for different models that can give you some insight into which cars are safer.

https://www.iihs.org/ratings/driver-dea ... -and-model
I agree. I also think you have to separate damage to the car from injuries to the passengers. There is no doubt that the smaller car will come out the loser against a bigger heavier car. But I'm more concerned about the people.
Just a reminder of how easy is to flip an SUV even at 2-3mph.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwnyDdzvrA4

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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by ohai » Thu May 23, 2019 2:01 pm

smalliebigs wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 1:47 pm

The first thing that needs to be corrected is that there is no relation to crash safety to the size of the car itself.
Hi, buddy. I am interested in why you say this, as many studies, including those quoted here, show a decline in vehicle fatalities with size of vehicle. There might not be a difference in safety when your car hits a stationary object. However, a difference arises when you collide with another car, in which case, the larger car tends to kill occupants of smaller cars at high rates. In other words, you'd be fine in a small car only if you didn't live in a world where everyone else drives huge SUVs. What is your rebuttal to these studies? Thanks.

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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by smalliebigs » Thu May 23, 2019 2:07 pm

@ohai,

I'd love to see some of the studies that you quote. We need to separate correlation with causation. The newer vehicles are safer due to better materials, electronic intervention, etc., etc. And there is a continuous trend of people buying larger vehicles as the fuel economy hit isn't as large any more.

From a physics point of view, yes, a larger vehicle that has more mass will have more momentum. But this is still with many assumptions on how it relates to a crash.

Overall, my opinion is to just buy within your budget, a vehicle that fits your needs, and drive safely.

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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu May 23, 2019 2:09 pm

tea_pirate wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 8:45 am
OP, I live in Massachusetts and I've also noticed the large vehicles growing much more popular over the last few years.

For a couple years I leased one of the smallest road legal vehicles in the US, a Smart ForTwo. It was fun driving around town but highways were a nightmare - overcompensators in their huge Suburbans, Escalades, and similar vehicles would nearly merge into me on a daily basis. I'm sure most of it was poor drivers combined with huge blind spots on those vehicles, but there's also a portion of the population that buys those vehicles an drives them with the attitude of bullying smaller cars out of their way.
People don't pay attention, no matter what they're driving. Back when I drove a racecar, I'd be driving a Yukon XL (sort of hard to miss) pulling an 18 foot enclosed trailer (also very hard to miss). I wish I had a dash cam back then. The number of times someone tried to cut between me and my trailer to go from the middle lane to their exit that they were too distracted to realize they were right on top of was scary.

We don't need ginormous vehicles. We need devices where if someone looks at their phone, it locks their brakes to get their attention.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by elcadarj » Thu May 23, 2019 2:18 pm

ohai wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 2:01 pm
smalliebigs wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 1:47 pm

The first thing that needs to be corrected is that there is no relation to crash safety to the size of the car itself.
Hi, buddy. I am interested in why you say this, as many studies, including those quoted here, show a decline in vehicle fatalities with size of vehicle.
E.g. "IIHS used car lists help families choose safer, larger vehicles for teens...When it's time for a new driver's first set of wheels, many young people and their parents opt for something cute and inexpensive — in other words, small. In terms of safety, that's a mistake."
Source: https://www.iihs.org/news/detail/iihs-u ... -for-teens

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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by Starfish » Thu May 23, 2019 3:46 pm

elcadarj wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 2:18 pm
In terms of safety, that's a mistake."
Source: https://www.iihs.org/news/detail/iihs-u ... -for-teens

Whose safety?
Teenagers in SUVs definitely don't make the world a safer place.

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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by AviN » Thu May 23, 2019 4:43 pm

I looked into this years ago. I think the most comprehensive data available is from Monash University's research on vehicle crashes in Australia and New Zealand.

https://www.monash.edu/__data/assets/pd ... Update.pdf

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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by JackoC » Thu May 23, 2019 4:50 pm

Starfish wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 1:45 pm
JackoC wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 9:50 am
Starfish wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 2:43 am
Atilla wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 4:49 pm
Starfish wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 5:02 pm


Or you hit them. It's a 50-50 chance.
Instead of 2 people in a hospital for a week, you have one walking away and one dead.
Based on my history - not so much. Been in 4 accidents, all of them caused by the other driver. So far it's always been the other knucklehead; and if it's my choice I want the other knucklehead to suffer the consequences if it means I'm better off after he/she hits me.
Even you are not infallible. Everybody makes mistakes. Are you ok with the idea that a small mistake can kill somebody else?

The other aspect is that the "statistical you" - everybody who thinks like you - makes the roads more dangerous.
You can't say anything definitive about any given disembodied voice on the internet. But, traffic deaths are highly skewed toward being caused by very bad drivers rather than the rare mistakes of good drivers. 28% of traffic fatalities involve alcohol, not counting drugs
https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/ ... sheet.html
More than half of people killed in cars were not wearing seat belts, a strong proxy for 'bad driver' (though overlapping with alcohol and drugs, not a separate half):
https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/ ... index.html

The simplest mental model of fatal car accidents might be that they are randomly distributed but it seems that's very far from true, and it has serious implications for the concept of buying a smaller vehicle specifically to give people in other cars a better chance of surviving. Likewise just because many people think they are better drivers than they are doesn't mean nobody is a better driver than anyone else, nor that people are entirely unable to make an reasonably objective judgement about it. I caused a fender bender when I'd had my license a few months, 45 yrs ago; another fender bender around 30 yrs ago was equal fault I think. That's it. This is for my purposes evidence (whether others accept it as evidence... I must admit I don't care :happy ) I'm a good driver, along with one pull over in 45 yrs for a speed warning, and just the way I know I approach driving. Infallible? Of course not. But '50-50 chance it's my fault or theirs' is not remotely close either, especially at the level of accident where people get killed, as opposed to minor crumpling of metal where it might not be *as* skewed. My involvement in a fatal car accident would highly likely involve somebody else who was very negligent or drunk/high that I failed to get out of the way of.
If you had your license 45 years ago I would say that the chances of getting in an accident from your own fault are already higher than 10-20 years ago and go higher every year. I wouldn't be so assertive about probabilities based on history....
Perhaps getting gradually higher. Or maybe not yet, since I track/race now more than I used to and that's improved my driving skills. But sooner or later my skills will decline, sure, that's inevitable. But I still believe really low yet compared to the kind of drivers who typically cause fatal accidents. But the point really isn't me or the previous poster you tried this on. Moreover I don't care and I assume that poster doesn't either whether you think we're good drivers. :happy Whereas again if we generalize to the 'statistical you' the only way to address that is by govt action limiting what people drive, or if they drive (if you don't want to take *any* chance of killing somebody in a car accident, you can't drive)...and we don't debate public policy here.

I think the generalizable points within the scope of the forum are
a) you are underestimating how skewed a phenomenon fatal car accidents are, a large portion caused by a small proportion of *really* bad drivers. Most times it's egregious negligence (like no seat belts, and the kind of driving that implies, substance abuse etc). You seem to believe it's often the split second mistake of otherwise good drivers. That can happen, but the stats imply it's not that common.
b) your ethical concept of deliberately eschewing a heavier vehicle to boost the chances of people in other vehicles very likely to be the ones at fault in a potentially fatal accident is extremely unconvincing, to me. It wouldn't necessarily be that compelling IMO even if fatal accidents were not so skewed.

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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by random_walker_77 » Thu May 23, 2019 5:48 pm

bottlecap wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 1:03 am
These posts are always fun to listen in. Everyone can make the data say what they want. The driver is still the most important thing. Look ahead, anticipate, don't make quick moves.
That said, sometimes the driver that matters is the "other" driver. You know, the one that's staring at a phone, and just doesn't notice that traffic has stopped, so they rear-end you at full speed?

I agree that the 2004 data is too old to matter. SUVs with their high center-of-gravity tended to rollover a lot more back then, and that meant a lot more fatalities. Electronic stability control fixed most of that. They'll still rollover when t-boned hard enough, but that just doesn't happen as much.

Mass absolutely matters. Physics says that mass1 * acceleration1 = mass2 * acceleration2. So if the heavier car weighs 50% more (mass1 = mass2 * 3/2) than the lighter car, it experiences 2/3 of the deceleration. Put another way, if you get hit by another car that's 50% heavier, you'll experience 50% more acceleration. So if they get 40 g's, you'll get 60 g's.

Other factors of course matter. If your car structurally fails and there's "intrusion" into the passenger area (i.e. the steering column gets pushed through your chest), that's going to be bad. Air bags, crumple zones, stability control all help overall safety. So does defensive driving and an alert driver, but some accidents you just can't avoid. There's a lot of distracted driving out there.

Some smaller electric cars are actually pretty heavy, due to all the batteries. The teslas seem to be doing well due to all that crumple space in the front/rear trunks, plus they're heavy. Even a leaf can be 3800 lb, which is more than a small SUV like a rav4 or crv.

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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by smalliebigs » Thu May 23, 2019 6:46 pm

Just because a car is light or heavy doesn't not directly mean you are more or less safe in itself. Honestly, all modern cars are extremely safe, and will be more in the future. We in the industry are very careful to make the cars safer and safer. Just buy what you like.

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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by tea_pirate » Fri May 24, 2019 7:06 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 2:09 pm
tea_pirate wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 8:45 am
OP, I live in Massachusetts and I've also noticed the large vehicles growing much more popular over the last few years.

For a couple years I leased one of the smallest road legal vehicles in the US, a Smart ForTwo. It was fun driving around town but highways were a nightmare - overcompensators in their huge Suburbans, Escalades, and similar vehicles would nearly merge into me on a daily basis. I'm sure most of it was poor drivers combined with huge blind spots on those vehicles, but there's also a portion of the population that buys those vehicles an drives them with the attitude of bullying smaller cars out of their way.
People don't pay attention, no matter what they're driving. Back when I drove a racecar, I'd be driving a Yukon XL (sort of hard to miss) pulling an 18 foot enclosed trailer (also very hard to miss). I wish I had a dash cam back then. The number of times someone tried to cut between me and my trailer to go from the middle lane to their exit that they were too distracted to realize they were right on top of was scary.

We don't need ginormous vehicles. We need devices where if someone looks at their phone, it locks their brakes to get their attention.
It seems like the technology is there, and it would be nice if politicians would mandate the push with enforcement via insurance companies. I think AT&T has a type of parental controls app that locks out most functions of the phone by using the phone's GPS to detect speeds over 10 MPH or so to indicate that you're in a vehicle. Or something where you have to dock your phone to get the car to start. Participate in the program or get moved to the highest risk insurance pool and pay thousands extra in premiums per year.

I actually got a dash cam a few months ago. I haven't had to use it for an insurance claim yet but I've caught some wild stuff. If I get good footage of an egregiously bad driver who nearly causes an accident I like to vent by posting it on YouTube and tagging their license plate, in the hopes that when they cause an accident the other party may find previous evidence of their bad driving should they happen to search the plate. Imagine if there was some sort of national database where you could send evidence like that, and it would notify insurance companies if a vehicle covered by one of their policies was flagged in a certain number of complaints by other drivers?

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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by JackoC » Fri May 24, 2019 3:27 pm

smalliebigs wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 6:46 pm
Just because a car is light or heavy doesn't not directly mean you are more or less safe in itself. Honestly, all modern cars are extremely safe, and will be more in the future. We in the industry are very careful to make the cars safer and safer. Just buy what you like.
Sure it does. It's not the *only* factor but mass is a significant factor. That's obvious from the iihs stats you've been presented. There's no plausible story of 'other factors' explaining how much higher the death rates are in smaller cars, and lower in great big SUV's. In fact trying to explain it as big vehicle drivers tending to be safer would be the opposite way around to what other relative fans of small vehicles on the thread have to tried to imply, that a or the big cause of traffic fatalities is especially aggressive, oblivious drivers of *big* vehicles (who think they are good drivers). :happy Those big skews in death rate in iihs are somewhat explainable by social correlations when it comes to luxury brands (some larger luxury models with *zero* driver deaths in the survey period, though there's also statistical noise involved there) but harder to see why that would be as big a factor in mass market small v large, sedan v SUV (SUV's lower, just look at the stats).

Buy what you like, but realize you're at more risk in a smaller vehicle all else equal. The iihs data can give you some idea how much, although this is the kind of statistic where ethics basically prevent conducting 'double blind' scientific tests correcting for all factors. Some other factors will enter in. If a given buyer really thinks that makes the clear differences in death rate by size in those stats irrelevant, that's up to them. As is whether it actually changes their buying decision assuming they accept the stats as basically indicative. But the fact you work in the automotive industry doesn't negate those stats, or the basic physics behind them. :happy

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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by randomguy » Fri May 24, 2019 5:12 pm

JackoC wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 3:27 pm
smalliebigs wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 6:46 pm
Just because a car is light or heavy doesn't not directly mean you are more or less safe in itself. Honestly, all modern cars are extremely safe, and will be more in the future. We in the industry are very careful to make the cars safer and safer. Just buy what you like.
Sure it does. It's not the *only* factor but mass is a significant factor. That's obvious from the iihs stats you've been presented. There's no plausible story of 'other factors' explaining how much higher the death rates are in smaller cars, and lower in great big SUV's. In fact trying to explain it as big vehicle drivers tending to be safer would be the opposite way around to what other relative fans of small vehicles on the thread have to tried to imply, that a or the big cause of traffic fatalities is especially aggressive, oblivious drivers of *big* vehicles (who think they are good drivers). :happy Those big skews in death rate in iihs are somewhat explainable by social correlations when it comes to luxury brands (some larger luxury models with *zero* driver deaths in the survey period, though there's also statistical noise involved there) but harder to see why that would be as big a factor in mass market small v large, sedan v SUV (SUV's lower, just look at the stats).

Buy what you like, but realize you're at more risk in a smaller vehicle all else equal. The iihs data can give you some idea how much, although this is the kind of statistic where ethics basically prevent conducting 'double blind' scientific tests correcting for all factors. Some other factors will enter in. If a given buyer really thinks that makes the clear differences in death rate by size in those stats irrelevant, that's up to them. As is whether it actually changes their buying decision assuming they accept the stats as basically indicative. But the fact you work in the automotive industry doesn't negate those stats, or the basic physics behind them. :happy
Things though are never the same. A honda civic has a death rate of 39. A Chevy Suburban also has a death of 39. The small CRV has a death rate of 14. I sort of doubt civic drivers are safer than suburban.:) Mass is important. But its value declines rapidly as mass increases. The miniCars (spark, accent, rio,..) do really poorly. But as soon as you move up a size, the difference in drops off compared to engineering.

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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by Daryl » Fri May 24, 2019 6:00 pm

randomguy wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 10:18 am
Look at the civic versus CRV (same platform, same maker)

Honda CR-V 4WD 14 (6-22) 10 4 0
Honda Civic 39 (28-49) 27 11 2

That car has 2x the death rate. Back in 2004 the numbers were much closer

Honda Civic 74 (60-89) 47 27 7
Honda CR-V 4WD 67 (40-95) 41 24 22

And it should be noted how much safer both cars are in 2014 than 2004. The same general trend applies to most cars.
@randomguy - This is fascinating because I just switched from something very similar to the CR-V (I had the Rav4) to a Civic. It looks like I'm marginally safer than I was before!

Do these accident / safety studies have some way of controlling for factors such as age, gender, and marital status? I'm assuming that young, single men exhibit different driving behaviors than moms in their 40s, and that these driving behaviors could influence the frequency/severity of accidents in certain models more than others. For example, the type of person driving a Honda Odyssey, on average, is likely to have more experience driving, and be more conscientious, than a typical person driving a Civic (again, I have a Civic).

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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by smalliebigs » Fri May 24, 2019 6:28 pm

Seriously, you guys are way over thinking this. There's multiple other factors that influence driver safety. As long as you buy something within the last 10 years and aren't an idiot on the road, it's fine.

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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by LadyGeek » Fri May 24, 2019 8:41 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (car).
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

randomguy
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by randomguy » Fri May 24, 2019 10:16 pm

Daryl wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 6:00 pm

@randomguy - This is fascinating because I just switched from something very similar to the CR-V (I had the Rav4) to a Civic. It looks like I'm marginally safer than I was before!

Do these accident / safety studies have some way of controlling for factors such as age, gender, and marital status? I'm assuming that young, single men exhibit different driving behaviors than moms in their 40s, and that these driving behaviors could influence the frequency/severity of accidents in certain models more than others. For example, the type of person driving a Honda Odyssey, on average, is likely to have more experience driving, and be more conscientious, than a typical person driving a Civic (again, I have a Civic).
They adjust for age, gender, and "vehicle density". Obviously that is far from complete:) What everyone really wants to know is how many crashes would I survive in car A but die in car B but that just isn't possible.

Cycle
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by Cycle » Fri May 24, 2019 10:27 pm

If u feel exposed in a small car, try getting around by some non sedantary and obnoxiously loud mode of transportation, like walking or biking. You'll find the small car to be like fort Knox.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

mariezzz
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Re: Bigger car, less economical but more safe.. Get used to smaller car over time?

Post by mariezzz » Sat May 25, 2019 12:11 am

In terms of safety, what really matters is how you drive, and have good tires (and windshield wipers). You can look at Consumer Reports, the insurance organization that rates cars on safety. Look for the cars that are at least decently rated. Compared to just 20 years ago, cars have so many safety features, including air bags, that car size doesn't matter. Once you do that, the difference in safety between a Honda civic and an SUV (or any other car) is negligible. If you drive recklessly, you're going to end up injured or killed in either, sooner or later.

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