Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

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rkhusky
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by rkhusky »

Small cars might be more nimble and avoid accidents in the first place.
Jack FFR1846
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

rkhusky wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:21 pm Small cars might be more nimble and avoid accidents in the first place.
Cue the old Audi ad. A Volvo crashes into a test barrier and it's safe design saves the test dummy......while the Audi swerves around the barrier. Good handling cars and proper training can very much increase one's chances of not physically being in the spot where an accident may have happened.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by Normchad »

I didn’t see it mentioned above, but this link is what the IIHS has to say about vehicle safety and how it correlates to vehicle size.

https://www.iihs.org/topics/vehicle-size-and-weight

Pretty interesting.

To the OP, it seems you aren’t comfortable with your current situation, and have the means to change it to something more to your liking. In your shoes, I would do that. Whether it’s rational or not, you should have something you are comfortable with.
Wenonah
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by Wenonah »

One of my main considerations when buying a car is the safety rating you used from the Highway Safety Institute. They having only been doing the small overlap test for a few years. If you like your left leg and want to lessen your worries, go buy a new car. How about a Forester? or an Outback?
https://www.iihs.org/ratings/vehicle/su ... r-suv/2020
Spring garden
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by Spring garden »

OP, what would you tell a hypothetical child if they faced this decision with your assets?

Right or wrong if I were in your shoes I would get a different vehicle after reviewing iihs driver death rate data. I would echo Normchad and read that IIHS article on vehicle size and weight ( note the prius c is actually a little heavier than a similar sized vehicle due to traction battery).

If you review the IIHS driver death rate data for 2014 and equivalent model year which includes the 2012 prius c you will find the overall driver death rate is 44 (18-71).

The larger Prius(traditional size not c or V) has a rate of 31 (21-42), so I think you can narrow that confidence interval a bit combining the two models (excluding the much larger V)

For comparison, the forum's beloved Camry is 39 (29-49), Outback is 12 (5-20), Rav4 13 (3-39), CR-V 14 (6-22), Explorer 4 (0-9), S60 16 (2-56), RX 350 2wd 0 (0-12).

Several of these have less than 1/3 the driver death rate of your current vehicle. It is notable that some even reach statistical significance for their association with reduced driver fatality rate compared to your current vehicle despite the low absolute number of outcomes and imprecision in death rate estimates. One way to feel more comfortable there is a true difference is to look at the same data for the 2011 model year group where you may find the same trends (but I dont believe you can statistically aggregate the years to narrow the confidence intervals because I think both contain 2012 model year vehicles).

It is true that living is associated with a 100% chance of death, and it's also true that vehicle crashes were the cause of 36,560 of those deaths in the U.S in 2018. This doesn't even account for the significant life changing injuries of many more, which by the way will be even more difficult to recover from as you age.

Look at these data, compare the costs of changing, and then make the change without regret. There are no guarantees that you wont end up like Mrs. Landingham in season 2 of The West Wing, but you have the money and desire to improve on your current odds.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by IMO »

Normchad wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:00 pm I didn’t see it mentioned above, but this link is what the IIHS has to say about vehicle safety and how it correlates to vehicle size.

https://www.iihs.org/topics/vehicle-size-and-weight

Pretty interesting.

To the OP, it seems you aren’t comfortable with your current situation, and have the means to change it to something more to your liking. In your shoes, I would do that. Whether it’s rational or not, you should have something you are comfortable with.
Could have sworn I was recently posting about the above vehicle size regarding safety. Apparently, per the above, my older pick-up would be more likely to kill the driver of a sedan or minivan, just as I suspected. There is without a doubt a great deal to vehicle safety, including vehicle size, age/safety features, weight, bumper height, etc.

What people don't seem to discuss is your road/highway risks concerning accidents/types of accidents. For example, if your drive is on a typical LA freeway, there are relatively less large pick-up trucks (think F-150/F-250) size vehicles than if you live in a more rural area. In that case you'd be more likely to be hit by another sedan or a modern SUV with a lower bumper height. In typical SoCal driving, you're not on high speed single lane (each way) highways where there are potentially people passing and a higher risk of head-on or offset collisions. Hell, someone commuting in LA traffic to/from work may be lucky to even get up to 55 mph on many commutes. Overall, my long experience in SoCal would note yeah plenty of accidents happen (mostly fender-benders), but they are not typically to the severity of what is seen living in other states and more rural areas (jaws of life type of crashes). Those accidents are the ones where you see the high speed roll-over's and the more common head-on crashes. Not that these don't happen in big cities, but just seem less common, even though I don't have the stats/reference to back up that observation. Someone from LA would of course be at higher risk if they were driving the 395 to go ski up in Mammoth, taking the I5 Friday night to go to San Diego, not so much.

OP: For myself, I lower my risks by not texting, not drinking/driving, avoiding excessive speeds, not driving aggressively, by not tailgating and defensively slowing down to incrementally slow drivings coming up on me in traffic or at stops, avoid being the lead car on single lane highways, assume drivers will run yellow turning red lights, among other things etc. etc. You can never eliminate all risk, but you can minimize some risk by driving safe and defensively, however one can never eliminate other idiots. Mostly I'll drive my daily driver sedan and take that risk, and at other times if I'm on roads/areas of higher concern, I'll drive the truck for added safety of vehicle size/weight.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by likegarden »

22 years ago our son decided to go to a local college. He had to drive an often very busy expressway. We bought him a new average size car with a V6 engine. We thought that during an accident the extra power would permit him to get away from it, and that the extra metal would protect him, when compared to a small car.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

I have an arguably irrational fear of my kids getting injured or worse in a car. I bought them Volvos.

I made clear to them that it wasn’t a gift to them, but rather to me. We could afford it, and the “regret avoidance” was worth it to me. Thankfully, they’re also good drivers.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by dbr »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:40 am I have an arguably irrational fear of my kids getting injured or worse in a car. I bought them Volvos.

I made clear to them that it wasn’t a gift to them, but rather to me. We could afford it, and the “regret avoidance” was worth it to me. Thankfully, they’re also good drivers.
At no less than 3600 lbs upward of 4000 lbs Volvo keeps you out of the tiny car classes, as do many other makes and models.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by EnjoyIt »

1) Your car is safe already with airbags, antilock breaks, seat belt, crumple zones, and probably electronic stabilization. Sure it is not the safest car on the road, but as someone mentioned, unless you are driving a tank, it will never be the safest on the road. This is not a good reason to get a new car because 3 years from now there will be more safety features and you will be behind again. Also to point out there are plenty of car accidents that kills/maim passengers in F150s and other large cars so just having a safer vehicle does not prevent being t-boned and dying.

2) I believe, your biggest reason to get a safer car is because you are getting older, your reaction time is getting slower, your observation of other cars on the road is getting poorer. Getting a car with side assist and front impact protection will be more and more valuable to you as years go on. At some point I highly recommend a car that has those features. It will not only protect you, but will help protect the people around you.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by EnjoyIt »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:47 pm
rkhusky wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:21 pm Small cars might be more nimble and avoid accidents in the first place.
Cue the old Audi ad. A Volvo crashes into a test barrier and it's safe design saves the test dummy......while the Audi swerves around the barrier. Good handling cars and proper training can very much increase one's chances of not physically being in the spot where an accident may have happened.
Despite the ad being an advertisement for Audi, there is something to be said about learning to drive in a way that decreases your own risk. Although you can't keep other people from doing dangerous things, you can learn to drive in such a way that helps you avoid them.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by hicabob »

Here's a list of the most dangerous cars to be in on the US highway. Most are small but the Corvette, Camaro, Challenger and 370z are not so small.

https://www.iseecars.com/most-dangerous-cars-2019-study
drg02b
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by drg02b »

Normchad wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:00 pm I didn’t see it mentioned above, but this link is what the IIHS has to say about vehicle safety and how it correlates to vehicle size.

https://www.iihs.org/topics/vehicle-size-and-weight

Pretty interesting.

To the OP, it seems you aren’t comfortable with your current situation, and have the means to change it to something more to your liking. In your shoes, I would do that. Whether it’s rational or not, you should have something you are comfortable with.
Interesting... I also wonder how much of a vehicle's safety/risk rating (as cited in crashes) might be explained by certain driver personalities aggregating towards certain car models. My guess is that some evidence might be found in the single v. multi-car crash stats, as I'd think single car crashes would have a higher percentage of cases in which the driver was at fault.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by JAZZISCOOL »

Silk McCue wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:03 pm I'll cut to the chase.

Nothing wrong in buying new or newish car that provides greater safety through structural integrity and improved safety features. You don't need anyone's approval to do so whether it is rational or irrational doesn't matter.

You can clearly afford it so just do it. No reason to explain to anyone regarding your motivations.

Cheers
+1

Having survived a Subaru Outback vs. 800 pound elk collision without physical injury, I believe safety is a key consideration. :shock:
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by BolderBoy »

margaritaville wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:41 pmThat got me thinking about the safety of my own vehicle.

In the interests of frugality...

If it matters, I can afford a newer/safer car... I’m 54 with annual income of $215K and net worth just over 7 figures (most in tax deferred). I also have 2 pensions that will total around $65K. Mortgage is paid and we have zero other debt, however we’re saving cash to fund a new house. 1 year of expenses in an EF.

First world problems right? So, am I being stupid by considering tossing out a perfectly functional car in the interest of a marginal safety increase?
You are not being irrational and I don't think it is a, "marginal safety increase at all". When I was 55 I bought my first SUV, a Mercedes with good safety stats. It will likely be my last vehicle (had it for 14 years now). I intentionally paid attention to the safety stats when I was looking for a new vehicle.

The other thing I do is take the AARP driver safety course every 3 years or more often. Learn something every time. As we age we lose our youthful abilities and driving smaller, less-safe (but much less expensive) autos becomes evermore problematic.

From what I quoted of your OP, I think you can see that you know what the decision needs to be.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by stoptothink »

hicabob wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:20 am Here's a list of the most dangerous cars to be in on the US highway. Most are small but the Corvette, Camaro, Challenger and 370z are not so small.

https://www.iseecars.com/most-dangerous-cars-2019-study
Driver behavior plays a huge role that is hard to quantify. Who do you think is a more cautious driver, the average Volvo driver or the average corvette/camaro/challenger/Z driver? This also probably explains (partially) the higher rates for smaller cars; these vehicles are generally driven by younger and less experienced drivers.
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dm200
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by dm200 »

While I acknowledge that there is an average higher risk of injury or death in a small car vs. a larger one, I believe that many folks overestimate (and fear) such risks. Today, I believe most small cars have features that improve safety over those of previous decades. I also wonder (do not know) if a good and experienced driver of a small car lowers risk substantially. I think it does. I do acknowledge that there are risks completely out of control of the driver.

During much of my driving (about 60 years), I have driven many small cars - as well as larger ones. My first car that I owned (having driven larger domestic family cars and pickup trucks) was a brand new 1967 VW Beetle.

I find the whole matter of how we all perceive the various risks we may have.
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dm200
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by dm200 »

Driver behavior plays a huge role that is hard to quantify. Who do you think is a more cautious driver, the average Volvo driver or the average corvette/camaro/challenger/Z driver? This also probably explains (partially) the higher rates for smaller cars; these vehicles are generally driven by younger and less experienced drivers.
Yes -

If you drive mostly in very local, "city" type, lower speed, environments - I believe a smaller car would not be especially risky since you would not be hit at a high speed.
Interesting... I also wonder how much of a vehicle's safety/risk rating (as cited in crashes) might be explained by certain driver personalities aggregating towards certain car models. My guess is that some evidence might be found in the single v. multi-car crash stats, as I'd think single car crashes would have a higher percentage of cases in which the driver was at fault.
I wonder the same things.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:40 am I have an arguably irrational fear of my kids getting injured or worse in a car. I bought them Volvos.

I made clear to them that it wasn’t a gift to them, but rather to me. We could afford it, and the “regret avoidance” was worth it to me. Thankfully, they’re also good drivers.
Excellent use of funds, IMHO!

You "insure" things you want to keep safe from harm, including family members. Nothing is guaranteed, but if you can find better odds, why not do do is the way I feel.

This is a subject that will become very personal when our grandchildren start driving. Fortunately DDs aren't driving econoboxes themselves.

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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by BogleMelon »

123 wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:52 pm The easiest way to make ANY car safer is to put your smart phone in the trunk while you are driving.
And how to make my vehicle safer if the guy driving in the opposite direction, on a non-divided highway is using his phone?!
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by squirm »

I know people with chronic pain because of car wrecks. It doesn't help that half of drivers text while driving. In fact one girl at work for mangled up because the idiot behind her was texting and slammed into her.

Drive defensively and always pay attention to the idiots around you
Slow down and leave space
Don't drive stoned or impaired, like many others
Don't text or play with your phone
Get a bigger car if you can
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by seawolf21 »

azanon wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:48 pm
BuckyBadger wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:40 pm We as a family made a choice to only buy cars that were rated IIHS Top Safety Pick or Pick+.

It helps us sleep at night and we can afford it.
All should be careful deriving too much peace from these, due to something the IIHS has pointed out on a few occasions:

Those rankings are vs. other cars in their respective classes. But, in a situation such as the safest subcompact car colliding with the least safe large SUV - you're going to want to be in the SUV. So to the OP's point, a top safety pick+ subcompact car is not very safe at all when compared to something much larger/heavier. They're only safe compared to other tiny cars.
Agreed. You can buy the best engineered safest small vehicle available but laws of physics still override.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by dm200 »

BogleMelon wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:06 am
123 wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:52 pm The easiest way to make ANY car safer is to put your smart phone in the trunk while you are driving.
And how to make my vehicle safer if the guy driving in the opposite direction, on a non-divided highway is using his phone?!
Or "gal"!

Just do your best to see this coming - and how/where to drive off the road.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by randomguy »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:47 pm
rkhusky wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:21 pm Small cars might be more nimble and avoid accidents in the first place.
Cue the old Audi ad. A Volvo crashes into a test barrier and it's safe design saves the test dummy......while the Audi swerves around the barrier. Good handling cars and proper training can very much increase one's chances of not physically being in the spot where an accident may have happened.
Yeah nimble motorcyles are clearly the safest way to travel:) Pretty much any time you need to be nimble to avoid an accident, you have screwed up as a driver. It is a very small subset of accidents where maneuverability makes a difference.

As far as car size, the benefits drop rapidly once you get out of the tiny car segment that the prius c inhabits. You don't need to be buying 50k luxury cars to be pretty darn safe these days. It is debatable how much spending money on safer cars is most people. If your car spending causes you to work another 2 years (queue taylor's cost of car posts:)), you bought a safer commute but added 20k miles of risk. How exactly that balances out is pretty hard to say. What about the cost of spending that money on a car versus a personal trainer/better food that would reduce your heart attack/diabetes/stroke risks?
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by squirm »

BogleMelon wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:06 am
123 wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:52 pm The easiest way to make ANY car safer is to put your smart phone in the trunk while you are driving.
And how to make my vehicle safer if the guy driving in the opposite direction, on a non-divided highway is using his phone?!
A head on messed up my neighbors for good, twenty years later they were still messed up until the day they died. I hate undivided two lane roads.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

I'll have to pause for just a bit. I'm going to first give myself an insulin injection before lunch, then walk across a busy street to get my normal Subway lunch. Of course, being a pedestrian, even a Lotus Elise might kill me. I'm not worried, the doctors in Boston did a great job 3 years ago on my triple bypass.

If I'm not dead after lunch, I'll be back. And no....I don't plan my portfolio to last till I'm 100.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by Beehave »

Camry hybrid. Safer structure. Advanced safety features. Better MPG.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by hicabob »

Beehave wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:40 am Camry hybrid. Safer structure. Advanced safety features. Better MPG.
It seems peculiar but apparently in the NYC metro area, assuming the data is reliable, the Camry Hybrid is the most dangerous car .
See the second to last table.
https://www.iseecars.com/most-dangerous-cars-2019-study
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by Sandtrap »

Not irrational at all.
In fact, perhaps common sense, perhaps personal preference, though some may and will differ.
For example: one example:
DW drives a large SUV. Does not like cars because of lack of vision, sight lines, too low to the ground, and vulnerability.
And, the capacity to carry 600+ lbs of horse grain feed bags.. . . :shock:

I have always driven a large full size pickup truck. (although if I could, I would drive a Toyota Landcruiser).

These things depend on a person's needs. IE: city life in the city vs. . . . .

j :happy
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by randomguy »

hicabob wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:50 am
Beehave wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:40 am Camry hybrid. Safer structure. Advanced safety features. Better MPG.
It seems peculiar but apparently in the NYC metro area, assuming the data is reliable, the Camry Hybrid is the most dangerous car .
See the second to last table.
https://www.iseecars.com/most-dangerous-cars-2019-study
You would need to drill into the data to learn why this happened but only in NYC. Hybrid Camrys were a very popular uber car a while back. We might learn that these cars are driving by an abnormal number of people who don't wear seat belts during risky times. You can also run into sample size issues. If there are only say 100 million camary miles, the difference between 1 accident (i.e. 10/billion miles) and 2 (20/billion miles) is pretty big. Or the mileage estimates (i.e. they estimate camrys .do . 12k/year but . they actually do 24k).

Or of course the cars could be unsafe. Toyota isn't exactly a company know for putting driver safety first. They have a history of building to pass tests . rather than focusing on driver safety. Granted they aren't worse than a bunch of other companies.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by celia »

Have you talked to your wife about this decision? What does she think?
margaritaville wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:41 pm 3. Spend $25-30K to buy something closer to new or brand new with all the latest safety tech and minimal miles...

Option 3 would probably require borrowing $10-15K since we’re going to need a significant chunk of money to pay cash for the new house in a little over a year and I wouldn't want to pull the entire $30K from my EF.
Note that interest rates for a mortgage would be lower than for a car loan. However, the car loan would likely be paid off sooner.

And it isn't just the size of the car that gives you more protection. You should look at all the safety features that are out there to see what you think you need. We're in retirement now and we think we bought our "forever" car last year. We realize that our reflexes are not as fast as when we were younger and our vision is different and .... we got as many safety features that we could. Even a back-up camera (which we never had before) will save us from fender benders and the car alerts us to something in the "blind spot". Here are more features to consider:

https://www.consumerreports.org/car-saf ... y-systems/
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by trevorshhh »

I absolutely love my Yaris subcompact sedan. I like the amazing gas mileage (it's got a Mazda SkyActiv engine), easy maneuverability, and in general its a joy to drive. Despite being light and a subcompact, its taller than some sedans. It also gets good safety ratings in its class and is a good upgrade from the much older, but larger sedan it replaced. It's also larger in most dimensions than the first 90s Honda Accord I drove. Cars are larger now than they used to be, even subcompacts. Objectively, a larger car would be safer, but I feel comfortable in a smaller car.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by Beehave »

hicabob wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:50 am
Beehave wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:40 am Camry hybrid. Safer structure. Advanced safety features. Better MPG.
It seems peculiar but apparently in the NYC metro area, assuming the data is reliable, the Camry Hybrid is the most dangerous car .
See the second to last table.
https://www.iseecars.com/most-dangerous-cars-2019-study
Wow, that's an extraordinary link to ponder. My takeaway, tongue-in-cheek and extrapolating from the off-the-charts death rate in NY metro for the Camry hybrid (the worst of any car in any metro area) together with the fact that the Camry hybrid is nowhere to be found on the overall most-dangerous list, would be that it's playing beat-the-reaper to drive a Camry hybrid in the NY vicinity but flat-out-safe-as-can-be anywhere else.
:sharebeer

Thanks for your post - - very interesting, and shows that there are no guarantees.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by IMO »

squirm wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:18 am
BogleMelon wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:06 am
123 wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:52 pm The easiest way to make ANY car safer is to put your smart phone in the trunk while you are driving.
And how to make my vehicle safer if the guy driving in the opposite direction, on a non-divided highway is using his phone?!
A head on messed up my neighbors for good, twenty years later they were still messed up until the day they died. I hate undivided two lane roads.
Nothing more concerning than undivided two lane roads, especially high speed ones. Changes one's thought when you have to deal with roads like this on a regular basis which includes inattentive drivers/texting drivers, impaired (alcohol/drugs) and idiotic passing. Much different risk than those that drive in big cities primarily, such as LA or SF. Honestly, I don't think some big city folk really understand this risk/concern especially in states/areas where there isn't significant law enforcement present like there is with California Highway Patrol (CHP). Whenever I drive these type of roads, I do my best to let some other car be ahead of me to act as a head-on collision bumper/crumple zone.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by bubbadog »

trevorshhh wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 1:18 pm I absolutely love my Yaris subcompact sedan. I like the amazing gas mileage (it's got a Mazda SkyActiv engine), easy maneuverability, and in general its a joy to drive. Despite being light and a subcompact, its taller than some sedans. It also gets good safety ratings in its class and is a good upgrade from the much older, but larger sedan it replaced. It's also larger in most dimensions than the first 90s Honda Accord I drove. Cars are larger now than they used to be, even subcompacts. Objectively, a larger car would be safer, but I feel comfortable in a smaller car.
A Toyota Yaris with a Mazda engine?

Are you sure?
Texanbybirth
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by Texanbybirth »

bubbadog wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:54 pm
trevorshhh wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 1:18 pm I absolutely love my Yaris subcompact sedan. I like the amazing gas mileage (it's got a Mazda SkyActiv engine), easy maneuverability, and in general its a joy to drive. Despite being light and a subcompact, its taller than some sedans. It also gets good safety ratings in its class and is a good upgrade from the much older, but larger sedan it replaced. It's also larger in most dimensions than the first 90s Honda Accord I drove. Cars are larger now than they used to be, even subcompacts. Objectively, a larger car would be safer, but I feel comfortable in a smaller car.
A Toyota Yaris with a Mazda engine?

Are you sure?
Probably the Yaris iA, which is basically a Mazda 2 with Toyota branding; some kind of weird partnership they have.
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dbr
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by dbr »

Beehave wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:47 pm
hicabob wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:50 am
Beehave wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:40 am Camry hybrid. Safer structure. Advanced safety features. Better MPG.
It seems peculiar but apparently in the NYC metro area, assuming the data is reliable, the Camry Hybrid is the most dangerous car .
See the second to last table.
https://www.iseecars.com/most-dangerous-cars-2019-study
Wow, that's an extraordinary link to ponder. My takeaway, tongue-in-cheek and extrapolating from the off-the-charts death rate in NY metro for the Camry hybrid (the worst of any car in any metro area) together with the fact that the Camry hybrid is nowhere to be found on the overall most-dangerous list, would be that it's playing beat-the-reaper to drive a Camry hybrid in the NY vicinity but flat-out-safe-as-can-be anywhere else.
:sharebeer

Thanks for your post - - very interesting, and shows that there are no guarantees.
Those numbers are not reliable in the sense that while the arithmetic might be right, as a statistical sample of an ongoing process there is a huge range of uncertainty around numbers like that. The number of deaths in a Camry hybrid in NYC is going to be so few that the rate quoted has no significance. IN 2016 I think there were about 85 people killed in vehicle accidents (not pedestrians or bicycles) in NYC. Considering how many vehicles on the road are hybrids, let alone Camry, the statistic quoted could well come from a single death.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by Fletch »

EnjoyIt wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:12 am 1) Your car is safe already with airbags, antilock breaks, seat belt, crumple zones, and probably electronic stabilization. Sure it is not the safest car on the road, but as someone mentioned, unless you are driving a tank, it will never be the safest on the road. This is not a good reason to get a new car because 3 years from now there will be more safety features and you will be behind again. Also to point out there are plenty of car accidents that kills/maim passengers in F150s and other large cars so just having a safer vehicle does not prevent being t-boned and dying.

2) I believe, your biggest reason to get a safer car is because you are getting older, your reaction time is getting slower, your observation of other cars on the road is getting poorer. Getting a car with side assist and front impact protection will be more and more valuable to you as years go on. At some point I highly recommend a car that has those features. It will not only protect you, but will help protect the people around you.
And, keep current on defensive driving classes, which also lowers your insurance rates (Perhaps someone has already mentioned this). One example: http://delawaresafety.org/Online-Defensive-Driving
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by margaritaville »

dbr wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:46 pm IN 2016 I think there were about 85 people killed in vehicle accidents (not pedestrians or bicycles) in NYC. Considering how many vehicles on the road are hybrids, let alone Camry, the statistic quoted could well come from a single death.
A few more than 85 (230), but still a very small sample to draw any conclusions from.

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2017/02/ ... -2016.html
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by AnonLady »

I had a 99 Saturn SL2 that died in the Fall and I replaced it with a 99 Chevy Lumina, larger and much more solid. I was hit in a hit and run accident a couple of months ago and it made me appreciate my "new" car.

Once I'm out of debt and have a good Emergency fund, I'm going to buy a newer car with the new safety features. I've driven my parents' car with those cool features and I truly believe they could save my life. I won't rely on them and will do my best to be a safe driver regardless, but no one is perfect and my life is worth more than what I'm saving on a car.

Get a car that makes you feel safe and just take good care of it so you don't need another car anytime soon.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by dbr »

margaritaville wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:16 pm
dbr wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:46 pm IN 2016 I think there were about 85 people killed in vehicle accidents (not pedestrians or bicycles) in NYC. Considering how many vehicles on the road are hybrids, let alone Camry, the statistic quoted could well come from a single death.
A few more than 85 (230), but still a very small sample to draw any conclusions from.

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2017/02/ ... -2016.html
I had the idea peds and bikes are included in the 230 total, leaving the 85 killed in vehicles. I agree the reporting is not always completely clear.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by spae »

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Last edited by spae on Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by JPM »

Random thoughts on being safe as a driver/passenger.

In 1965 I was a front seat passenger in a Mustang with a new driver at the wheel. Someone had stolen a stop sign (a popular teenage prank in those days) so my buddy, unfamiliar with the locality, crossed a moderately busy half-mile through street without stopping. I came within about 2 feet of an early meeting with Jesus. Thanks to my buddy's reflex acceleration when he saw trouble coming from the right, I am here to tell stories, as I was only hurt a little.

From 1984-2000 I drove full size Broncos. Rear ended by an inattentive driver in a full size Chevy, stove in his front end, gave my bumper a little dent. Neither me nor my 8 year old daughter injured in the slightest. Son #2 was hit by a full size pickup truck in it while he was making an ill advised left turn during his first summer driving. Spun him around and into the ditch but nobody hurt. Put the Bronco in 4wheel and climbed out of the ditch. Modest damage to each vehicle. Loved those Broncos. Not green, but I'd be down one son if he had been in a Prius. I hear they are going to start making Broncos again!

Friend of mine bought a Prius first year they came out. He was really excited about the great mileage he was getting. Got hit by a truck driven by an inattentive driver and my friend's back was wrecked, he had to retire on medical a few years before his planned date.

Have seen several people in the past few years rear ended by unbraked vehicles, while stopped at a sign or stop light, by teenagers or young adults texting and driving. Total wrecks even to fullsize pickups and vans, injuries to the victims various. Another had a head-on with a teenager who crossed the midline while texting and driving. Multiple injuries there.

Have cared for many people injured in motorcycle wrecks over my doctor career, as bikes remain a popular mode of recreation in our area. Only one in 20 -30 was the fault of the biker. Almost all were hit and injured by an impaired or inattentive automobile driver blowing a traffic signal or going the wrong way on a one-way street. No matter how skilled, experienced, and careful you are as a rider, if a drunk in a Buick makes a big enough mistake, you will pay the price of his mistake. The national trend toward legalizing Mary Jane won't help traffic safety very much. Small cars are safer than bikes, but not by much against a Buick or a pickup.

Younger people have extraordinary faith in their reflexes and brake systems these days. They tailgate at 65-75 MPH on limited access roadways often while texting with the phone held atop the steering wheel with one hand and typing with the other, or while applying makeup in the rear view mirror.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by Atilla »

All things being equal, size matters. That's why safety ratings are given for each class of vehicle size; and you can't really compare a subcompact's safety to full size.

My preference is always for the crumple zone to be the other vehicle, so I lean toward somewhat larger vehicles. Plus they are generally more comfortable.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by Quirkz »

If it's keeping you up at night (it seems to be) and you can afford it (it seems you can), go for it. It's very unlikely to actually make a difference, but it's also very unlikely to hurt anything.

If you're really serious about protecting yourself, I'd strongly recommend taking some defensive driving classes. They'll probably do more to improve your odds than changing the car would. Of course you can do this in addition to changing the car.

While I'm at it, for my sake I recommend that *everyone* take defensive driving classes, with refreshers every now and then. That's just beneficial for everyone, and probably ought to be considered a civic duty.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by Barefoot »

hicabob wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:50 am It seems peculiar but apparently in the NYC metro area, assuming the data is reliable, the Camry Hybrid is the most dangerous car .
See the second to last table.
https://www.iseecars.com/most-dangerous-cars-2019-study
According to the last table in that link, you really don't want to be a Yaris driver in Pa.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by abuss368 »

I did think about it years ago when we owned cars. Now we have small SUVs and feel safer.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by randomguy »

Atilla wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:12 pm All things being equal, size matters. That's why safety ratings are given for each class of vehicle size; and you can't really compare a subcompact's safety to full size.

My preference is always for the crumple zone to be the other vehicle, so I lean toward somewhat larger vehicles. Plus they are generally more comfortable.
Things are though never equal. And it is important to remember that size really only helps you in half your fatal crashes. When you drive your 4500lb car into a bridge, you aren't doing a lot better than being in a 3000lb car. Heck the 3000lb car might be better as they tend to brake a bit quickly so you hit that bridge at 35mph instead of 40mph.

If you look at the death rates (imperfect as they are), it is pretty clear you don't want to be in the sub compacts (~2500lb). Once you start getting up to the 3500lb+ range, the benefits of mass really seem to start dropping off and engineering tends to dominate.

If my #1 criteria for was safety, I would be in some midsize luxury suv like the XC60. They weight 4000lb. They have high bumpers for . good impact with other SUVs, pickups. And they still handle and break well enough. They death rate of these type of cars (feel free to use the glc if you prefer Mercedes. Or even the GLE if you want a slight bigger car. Or most offering from Lexus, acura, audi, bmw. The american makers have a few stinkers but I think that was more of a sampling error where those cars were on old platforms) tend to be very low. Going the next step up and buying some 5500lb tank like a suburban just doesn't buy you any more safety. And . whatever you do, don't buy a pickup. Those things are death traps.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by Yooper »

randomguy wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:23 pm And . whatever you do, don't buy a pickup. Those things are death traps.
Just curious, and not picking a fight, but why are pickups so bad? I'm serious.
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Re: Irrational Fear of Injury in Small Car?

Post by sergeant »

I have investigated thousands of traffic accidents and I'm a court certified expert in traffic accident reconstruction. I bought my daughter a small, new car two years ago and have no worries.
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