T Nation

CAFE Standards Kill 2000 per Year

[quote]Damici wrote:
The point is that in a high-speed collision, a smaller, lighter car will be crushed/rumpled/smooshed beyond belief, whereas a bigger, heavier, more sturdily built car will fare better. If a Mini Cooper smashed into a tree at 45 mph in an offset head-on collision – (keeping in mind that they’d both have airbags, seatbelts, etc.) – do you think the passengers would fare as well as if they’d had that same collision in a Mercedes-Benz S600? Not a chance.

[/quote]

No offense man, but you don’t understand physics. The smaller, lighter car would have much less momentum, and the force at the point of impact would be much less so than with a heavier car with more momentum.

M = mv and F = mv/t = ma

This is using the simplified forms and not bringing calculus into the picture.

But the force of impact isn’t the main concern either, it’s the amount of force displaced on the driver and passengers of the car, which is what crumple zones, air bags, and all those other safety features are for that you mentioned.

A heavy car hitting a tree at 30 mph will be a more forceful accident than a smaller car travelling at the same speed. In addition, the impacts will be exponentially more forceful (dangerous) the higher the speed.

Now the same doesn’t necessarily apply when a small car impacts a large car or truck. In those cases, yes, it might be safer to be in the big car (It’s hard to say, they don’t do tests like that unfortunately), but in general, smaller cars are safer and the crash data backs that up.

[quote]Damici wrote:
We’re not talking about safety features – I think all cars nowadays are required to have front and side airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability control (soon), etc. That’s not the issue, as that’s all a given at this point. What we are talking about is the fact that increased fuel economy standards will necessitate lighter cars across the board.

The point is that in a high-speed collision, a smaller, lighter car will be crushed/rumpled/smooshed beyond belief, whereas a bigger, heavier, more sturdily built car will fare better. If a Mini Cooper smashed into a tree at 45 mph in an offset head-on collision – (keeping in mind that they’d both have airbags, seatbelts, etc.) – do you think the passengers would fare as well as if they’d had that same collision in a Mercedes-Benz S600? Not a chance.

[/quote]

Except the mini makes the turn and doesn’t hit the tree while the typical heavier vehicle goes out of control and smashes the tree.

[quote]Carnak wrote:
Damici wrote:
The point is that in a high-speed collision, a smaller, lighter car will be crushed/rumpled/smooshed beyond belief, whereas a bigger, heavier, more sturdily built car will fare better. If a Mini Cooper smashed into a tree at 45 mph in an offset head-on collision – (keeping in mind that they’d both have airbags, seatbelts, etc.) – do you think the passengers would fare as well as if they’d had that same collision in a Mercedes-Benz S600? Not a chance.

No offense man, but you don’t understand physics. The smaller, lighter car would have much less momentum, and the force at the point of impact would be much less so than with a heavier car with more momentum.

M = mv and F = mv/t = ma

This is using the simplified forms and not bringing calculus into the picture.

But the force of impact isn’t the main concern either, it’s the amount of force displaced on the driver and passengers of the car, which is what crumple zones, air bags, and all those other safety features are for that you mentioned.

A heavy car hitting a tree at 30 mph will be a more forceful accident than a smaller car travelling at the same speed. In addition, the impacts will be exponentially more forceful (dangerous) the higher the speed.

Now the same doesn’t necessarily apply when a small car impacts a large car or truck. In those cases, yes, it might be safer to be in the big car (It’s hard to say, they don’t do tests like that unfortunately), but in general, smaller cars are safer and the crash data backs that up.[/quote]

Exactly, it’s simply a matter of the car deforming and absorbing as much force as possible versus transferring the force to the driver. If an Abrams tank rams into a concrete wall at 60mph, yes the tank will probably be much more structurally intact than say a Toyota Camry. But all the force that the Camry absorbed by crumpling spared the driver significant trauma, while the tank transefered all of that force to the passengers.

The only possible advantage to a larger vehicle is increased space for crumple zones, or in a moving collision with a smaller car. In which you could make the case that the larger vehicles themselves are a danger to other drivers.

If anything, this bill will force automakers to build more efficient motors and maximize use of newer materials that offer greater strength than traditional stamped steel and are lighter.

[quote]dk44 wrote:
Ban Women from Driving[/quote]

You never fail to give me a chuckle! Thanks, man!

No offense to you either, but you’re completely misunderstanding how the physics work in this particular situation. Assuming they hit the tree at at the same rate, traveling at a steady state of, say, 45 mph, the passengers in the Benz are far better off for a number of reasons, all of which contribute to that car being heavier, for better or worse:

More size (longer front end and larger passenger compartment in particular), which indeed provides a larger crumple zone which can absorb the impact, as well as more space in the interior of the car between passengers and the dashboard, or between rear seat passengers and the seat in front of them; more overall mass (steel etc.) in the frame, chassis and engine of the vehicle, which past a certain speed (beyond which the crumple zones have already done their job) prevents the passenger compartment from being crushed like it would be in the Mini; a stronger, stiffer, heavier “safety cage” around the passenger compartment than the Mini has, due in part to just a lot more metal being used to form it.

If you honestly mean to tell me that you’d rather be in a freaking MINI when you hit that tree at 45 mph versus a MERCEDES S600, then you, my friend, have serious judgement issues.

[quote]Carnak wrote:
Damici wrote:
The point is that in a high-speed collision, a smaller, lighter car will be crushed/rumpled/smooshed beyond belief, whereas a bigger, heavier, more sturdily built car will fare better. If a Mini Cooper smashed into a tree at 45 mph in an offset head-on collision – (keeping in mind that they’d both have airbags, seatbelts, etc.) – do you think the passengers would fare as well as if they’d had that same collision in a Mercedes-Benz S600? Not a chance.

No offense man, but you don’t understand physics. The smaller, lighter car would have much less momentum, and the force at the point of impact would be much less so than with a heavier car with more momentum.

M = mv and F = mv/t = ma

This is using the simplified forms and not bringing calculus into the picture.

But the force of impact isn’t the main concern either, it’s the amount of force displaced on the driver and passengers of the car, which is what crumple zones, air bags, and all those other safety features are for that you mentioned.

A heavy car hitting a tree at 30 mph will be a more forceful accident than a smaller car travelling at the same speed. In addition, the impacts will be exponentially more forceful (dangerous) the higher the speed.

Now the same doesn’t necessarily apply when a small car impacts a large car or truck. In those cases, yes, it might be safer to be in the big car (It’s hard to say, they don’t do tests like that unfortunately), but in general, smaller cars are safer and the crash data backs that up.[/quote]

First off, I think this thread is absolute ludicrous. Complaining that higher fuel economy standards will lead to “less safe” cars?

Yes, one way to improve fuel economy is to make cars lighter. Does this make them necessarily less safe? NO. It just requires some marginally better engineering. (However, simply making a car lighter is not the only way to increase efficiency)

Plus, if cars do indeed become less bulky, then it wouldn’t be surprising if lots of people drove a little bit safer. After all, which would you take more risks in: a big monster of a SUV, or a small sedan.

Another point: Since SUV are so much more massive, they are less maneuverable and nimble. And while some crashes may be safer if you were in a SUV, wouldn’t it be safer still to avoid the accident altogether?

(Note, I tend to think the physics of a car crash are way to complicated to be simplified for a internet forum discussion)

SUVs are safer, it’s the drivers at times that are dangerous.

As someone said, it’s simple physics if you collide with a fixed object or another vehicle. The bigger vehicle always wins.

I have a mid sized SUV, a Honda Pilot. I was rear ended in a fairly serious condition by a mid sized Dodge pickup truck, ending up with a torn right labrum.

I was just thinking I should have bought a civic for the gas mileage. My injuries would have been a whole lot worse with a civic than the Pilot.

As for avoidance, that’s all the driver. Yes a Corvette will handle better than a pickup truck or SUV, but if you’re on the cell phone, assing around with the radio, or do other silly stuff, you will lose.

Paying attention and watching the road beats all. Yes in some rare cases the better handling will save your bacon, but it’s rare and more of a last ditch thing. Seeing the problem in time is better than relying on superior handling.

When we talk about this stuff, everyone always forgets the driver error in these stats. But whne it comes down to it, nothing beats mass x velocity.

[quote]burntfrenchfry wrote:
First off, I think this thread is absolute ludicrous. Complaining that higher fuel economy standards will lead to “less safe” cars?

Yes, one way to improve fuel economy is to make cars lighter. Does this make them necessarily less safe? NO. It just requires some marginally better engineering. (However, simply making a car lighter is not the only way to increase efficiency)

Plus, if cars do indeed become less bulky, then it wouldn’t be surprising if lots of people drove a little bit safer. After all, which would you take more risks in: a big monster of a SUV, or a small sedan.

Another point: Since SUV are so much more massive, they are less maneuverable and nimble. And while some crashes may be safer if you were in a SUV, wouldn’t it be safer still to avoid the accident altogether?

(Note, I tend to think the physics of a car crash are way to complicated to be simplified for a internet forum discussion)[/quote]

It’s not that difficult really, the bigger vehicle will win compared to the same whack on a smaller vehicle. And there are limits to fuel mileage and vehicle weight. The more gas mileage, the smaller and lighter the vehicle which loses in the same identical collision as the SUV.

And by identical , I mean hitting whatever just the same way. Bigger always wins.

As an aside, I’m a chiropractor who has taken whiplash courses. there is a constant battle between insurance companies and the govt. Ins. companies want safer vehicles and the governement wants better fuel efficiency.

Tom,

After this law goes into effect next time you are rear ended it is much more likely that the car that does it will be lighter and does less damage to you. It is also more likely that the car will be able to stop in time if it is lighter.

One big problem with safety right now is disparity in the weight of vehicles. Those that are driving SUV’s are more likely to kill themselves AND kill others.

SUV’s like the Pilot have less chance of roll-over than some others on the road but they still do not have the accident avoidance capabilities of a car.

This law is going to wipe out the use of SUV’s as commuter vehicles. We are going to see far less of them on the road and we will all be safer for it.

I’m just going out on a limb here, as I have no crystal ball, but my GUESS is that SUVs won’t by any means be wiped out, but that (just a guess) many of them will go hybrid. Yes, hybrids cost more than their equivalent with a traditional engine, but (a.) I think the disparity in prices between hybrids and regular engines will come down quite a bit in time, and (b.) I do think prices (of ALL cars, not just SUVs) will go up because of the new CAFE standards, so the numbers of SUVs on the road will certainly decrease somewhat, but probably not massively so.

That’s just my prediction.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Tom,

After this law goes into effect next time you are rear ended it is much more likely that the car that does it will be lighter and does less damage to you. It is also more likely that the car will be able to stop in time if it is lighter.

One big problem with safety right now is disparity in the weight of vehicles. Those that are driving SUV’s are more likely to kill themselves AND kill others.

SUV’s like the Pilot have less chance of roll-over than some others on the road but they still do not have the accident avoidance capabilities of a car.

This law is going to wipe out the use of SUV’s as commuter vehicles. We are going to see far less of them on the road and we will all be safer for it.

[/quote]

[quote]Damici wrote:
I’m just going out on a limb here, as I have no crystal ball, but my GUESS is that SUVs won’t by any means be wiped out, but that (just a guess) many of them will go hybrid. Yes, hybrids cost more than their equivalent with a traditional engine, but (a.) I think the disparity in prices between hybrids and regular engines will come down quite a bit in time, and (b.) I do think prices (of ALL cars, not just SUVs) will go up because of the new CAFE standards, so the numbers of SUVs on the road will certainly decrease somewhat, but probably not massively so.

That’s just my prediction.

[/quote]

I hope you are wrong about that.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:

This law is going to wipe out the use of SUV’s as commuter vehicles. We are going to see far less of them on the road and we will all be safer for it.

[/quote]

In other words, the Nanny State wins another one.

Whatever happened to free markets and letting individuals decide things for themselves? Pathetic…

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Damici wrote:
I’m just going out on a limb here, as I have no crystal ball, but my GUESS is that SUVs won’t by any means be wiped out, but that (just a guess) many of them will go hybrid. Yes, hybrids cost more than their equivalent with a traditional engine, but (a.) I think the disparity in prices between hybrids and regular engines will come down quite a bit in time, and (b.) I do think prices (of ALL cars, not just SUVs) will go up because of the new CAFE standards, so the numbers of SUVs on the road will certainly decrease somewhat, but probably not massively so.

That’s just my prediction.

I hope you are wrong about that. [/quote]

In the future, only the elite and essential personnel will have vehicles. The rest of us will be herded like sardines into public transportation.

Al Gore and you will finally realize your dream — clean air and no crowded roads. The peons are on the subway.

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:

This law is going to wipe out the use of SUV’s as commuter vehicles. We are going to see far less of them on the road and we will all be safer for it.

In other words, the Nanny State wins another one.

Whatever happened to free markets and letting individuals decide things for themselves? Pathetic…

[/quote]

The same Nanny State that built the roads in the first place want a say in the type of vehicles that use them.

The same Nanny State that brought us horrors like child labor laws, clean air act and clean water act. The market does a pretty fucking horrible job in many areas. It takes many shortcuts in safety and environmental areas if there is no regulation.

The problem with a one size fits all philosophy is that it often doesn’t fit very well.

[quote]Damici wrote:
No offense to you either, but you’re completely misunderstanding how the physics work in this particular situation. Assuming they hit the tree at at the same rate, traveling at a steady state of, say, 45 mph, the passengers in the Benz are far better off for a number of reasons, all of which contribute to that car being heavier, for better or worse:

More size (longer front end and larger passenger compartment in particular), which indeed provides a larger crumple zone which can absorb the impact, as well as more space in the interior of the car between passengers and the dashboard, or between rear seat passengers and the seat in front of them; more overall mass (steel etc.) in the frame, chassis and engine of the vehicle, which past a certain speed (beyond which the crumple zones have already done their job) prevents the passenger compartment from being crushed like it would be in the Mini; a stronger, stiffer, heavier “safety cage” around the passenger compartment than the Mini has, due in part to just a lot more metal being used to form it.

If you honestly mean to tell me that you’d rather be in a freaking MINI when you hit that tree at 45 mph versus a MERCEDES S600, then you, my friend, have serious judgement issues.

[/quote]

No, what I’m telling you is that size/weight does not necessarily equate to safety. Also, you are confusing a vehicle vs vehicle collision with vehicle vs stationary object (tree or concrete barrier). In a vehicle vs. vehicle collision, it will most likely be “safer” to be in the larger vehicle, largely because of its larger mass. It’s all about momentum. The heavier vehicle traveling at the same speed will have a lot more momentum than the smaller one and will transfer more force onto the smaller vehicle when they impact than the smaller vehicle will to the larger. Then you take in their safety ratios and force transfer ratings and you get an idea of how injured people might be.

When hitting a stationary object, it will LIKELY be safer to be in the smaller car, due to less force being involved in the collision. It is not necessarily so, due to different safety ratings in the vehicles. It also wouldn’t be so if the vehicle has much more kinetic energy than the potential energy of the thing it’s hitting. A semi could plow through a barrier and the driver would be alright whereas somebody in a civic might be fucked (assuming very high speeds).

Anyways, it’s silly to argue large vs small. I’ll take the vehicle with the best ratings. I used to own a Saab and I’d get another one. There’s a small, heavy car with wonderful safety ratings. It’s an engineering problem, not a size one. Same thing with fuel economy standards.

The really ironic thing is it’s always “safer” to be the person hitting someone else. Cars have the most safety features if they get hit in the front. Hence all the tragic accidents where somebody gets t-boned and killed by some careless (or maybe drunk) asshole, and the asshole doesn’t have a scratch.

I’m not saying that it’s the weight IN AND OF ITSELF that causes the larger vehicle to be safer in a given crash situation (like hitting a tree, in this example). It’s ALL THE FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO MAKING IT A SAFER CAR (which I listed) that make it safer – and those things all CAUSE THE CAR TO BE HEAVIER. (Much sturdier passenger safety cage with more metal in it; longer front end, which entails more metal; bigger, longer, more spacious passenger compartment, which entails more metal . . . ). It’s not the weight itself that makes it safer – it’s all the things I mentioned – (which happen to make it weigh a lot) – which make it safer.

The bottom line remains:

You’re much better off hitting a tree at 45 mph in a Mercedes S600 than you are doing the same thing in a Mini Cooper.

And yes, or course, if the two were to hit each other, it’s a given, as you mentioned, that the person in the bigger car is better off.

[quote]Carnak wrote:
Damici wrote:
No offense to you either, but you’re completely misunderstanding how the physics work in this particular situation. Assuming they hit the tree at at the same rate, traveling at a steady state of, say, 45 mph, the passengers in the Benz are far better off for a number of reasons, all of which contribute to that car being heavier, for better or worse:

More size (longer front end and larger passenger compartment in particular), which indeed provides a larger crumple zone which can absorb the impact, as well as more space in the interior of the car between passengers and the dashboard, or between rear seat passengers and the seat in front of them; more overall mass (steel etc.) in the frame, chassis and engine of the vehicle, which past a certain speed (beyond which the crumple zones have already done their job) prevents the passenger compartment from being crushed like it would be in the Mini; a stronger, stiffer, heavier “safety cage” around the passenger compartment than the Mini has, due in part to just a lot more metal being used to form it.

If you honestly mean to tell me that you’d rather be in a freaking MINI when you hit that tree at 45 mph versus a MERCEDES S600, then you, my friend, have serious judgement issues.

No, what I’m telling you is that size/weight does not necessarily equate to safety. Also, you are confusing a vehicle vs vehicle collision with vehicle vs stationary object (tree or concrete barrier). In a vehicle vs. vehicle collision, it will most likely be “safer” to be in the larger vehicle, largely because of its larger mass. It’s all about momentum. The heavier vehicle traveling at the same speed will have a lot more momentum than the smaller one and will transfer more force onto the smaller vehicle when they impact than the smaller vehicle will to the larger. Then you take in their safety ratios and force transfer ratings and you get an idea of how injured people might be.

When hitting a stationary object, it will LIKELY be safer to be in the smaller car, due to less force being involved in the collision. It is not necessarily so, due to different safety ratings in the vehicles. It also wouldn’t be so if the vehicle has much more kinetic energy than the potential energy of the thing it’s hitting. A semi could plow through a barrier and the driver would be alright whereas somebody in a civic might be fucked (assuming very high speeds).

Anyways, it’s silly to argue large vs small. I’ll take the vehicle with the best ratings. I used to own a Saab and I’d get another one. There’s a small, heavy car with wonderful safety ratings. It’s an engineering problem, not a size one. Same thing with fuel economy standards.

The really ironic thing is it’s always “safer” to be the person hitting someone else. Cars have the most safety features if they get hit in the front. Hence all the tragic accidents where somebody gets t-boned and killed by some careless (or maybe drunk) asshole, and the asshole doesn’t have a scratch.
[/quote]

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:

This law is going to wipe out the use of SUV’s as commuter vehicles. We are going to see far less of them on the road and we will all be safer for it.

In other words, the Nanny State wins another one.

Whatever happened to free markets and letting individuals decide things for themselves? Pathetic…

[/quote]

Then stay off my fucking roads, Mr. Rand. A real libertarian would buy the property and resources to build his own roads to his destinations, not cow-tow to the nanny state and use their roads. Driving on government roads is a privilege, not a right.

But I do thank you for the gas tax money that funds my salary. Keep filling up your SUV, I need a bigger bonus.

[quote]Damici wrote:
I’m not saying that it’s the weight IN AND OF ITSELF that causes the larger vehicle to be safer in a given crash situation (like hitting a tree, in this example). It’s ALL THE FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO MAKING IT A SAFER CAR (which I listed) that make it safer – and those things all CAUSE THE CAR TO BE HEAVIER. (Much sturdier passenger safety cage with more metal in it; longer front end, which entails more metal; bigger, longer, more spacious passenger compartment, which entails more metal . . . ). It’s not the weight itself that makes it safer – it’s all the things I mentioned – (which happen to make it weigh a lot) – which make it safer.

The bottom line remains:

You’re much better off hitting a tree at 45 mph in a Mercedes S600 than you are doing the same thing in a Mini Cooper.

And yes, or course, if the two were to hit each other, it’s a given, as you mentioned, that the person in the bigger car is better off.

Carnak wrote:
Damici wrote:
No offense to you either, but you’re completely misunderstanding how the physics work in this particular situation. Assuming they hit the tree at at the same rate, traveling at a steady state of, say, 45 mph, the passengers in the Benz are far better off for a number of reasons, all of which contribute to that car being heavier, for better or worse:

More size (longer front end and larger passenger compartment in particular), which indeed provides a larger crumple zone which can absorb the impact, as well as more space in the interior of the car between passengers and the dashboard, or between rear seat passengers and the seat in front of them; more overall mass (steel etc.) in the frame, chassis and engine of the vehicle, which past a certain speed (beyond which the crumple zones have already done their job) prevents the passenger compartment from being crushed like it would be in the Mini; a stronger, stiffer, heavier “safety cage” around the passenger compartment than the Mini has, due in part to just a lot more metal being used to form it.

If you honestly mean to tell me that you’d rather be in a freaking MINI when you hit that tree at 45 mph versus a MERCEDES S600, then you, my friend, have serious judgement issues.

No, what I’m telling you is that size/weight does not necessarily equate to safety. Also, you are confusing a vehicle vs vehicle collision with vehicle vs stationary object (tree or concrete barrier). In a vehicle vs. vehicle collision, it will most likely be “safer” to be in the larger vehicle, largely because of its larger mass. It’s all about momentum. The heavier vehicle traveling at the same speed will have a lot more momentum than the smaller one and will transfer more force onto the smaller vehicle when they impact than the smaller vehicle will to the larger. Then you take in their safety ratios and force transfer ratings and you get an idea of how injured people might be.

When hitting a stationary object, it will LIKELY be safer to be in the smaller car, due to less force being involved in the collision. It is not necessarily so, due to different safety ratings in the vehicles. It also wouldn’t be so if the vehicle has much more kinetic energy than the potential energy of the thing it’s hitting. A semi could plow through a barrier and the driver would be alright whereas somebody in a civic might be fucked (assuming very high speeds).

Anyways, it’s silly to argue large vs small. I’ll take the vehicle with the best ratings. I used to own a Saab and I’d get another one. There’s a small, heavy car with wonderful safety ratings. It’s an engineering problem, not a size one. Same thing with fuel economy standards.

The really ironic thing is it’s always “safer” to be the person hitting someone else. Cars have the most safety features if they get hit in the front. Hence all the tragic accidents where somebody gets t-boned and killed by some careless (or maybe drunk) asshole, and the asshole doesn’t have a scratch.

[/quote]

You’re wrong about hitting the inanimate object. The bigger vehicle always wins, because of the greater amount of metal a stated previously. It’s bigger for a reason. The weight added isn’t just extra weight for it’s own sake, but greater reinforcing and so on.

As for the odds likely I’ll get hit by a smaller vehicle, you can’t use statistics for a general population and then use them for a sample size of me. It doesn’t work, since the amount of collisions I’ll have is hopefully no more.

The odds are 100% yes or no for me, not 75%, 22%, or so on.

[quote]Damici wrote:
I’m not saying that it’s the weight IN AND OF ITSELF that causes the larger vehicle to be safer in a given crash situation (like hitting a tree, in this example). It’s ALL THE FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO MAKING IT A SAFER CAR (which I listed) that make it safer – and those things all CAUSE THE CAR TO BE HEAVIER. (Much sturdier passenger safety cage with more metal in it; longer front end, which entails more metal; bigger, longer, more spacious passenger compartment, which entails more metal . . . ). It’s not the weight itself that makes it safer – it’s all the things I mentioned – (which happen to make it weigh a lot) – which make it safer.

The bottom line remains:

You’re much better off hitting a tree at 45 mph in a Mercedes S600 than you are doing the same thing in a Mini Cooper.

And yes, or course, if the two were to hit each other, it’s a given, as you mentioned, that the person in the bigger car is better off.

Carnak wrote:
Damici wrote:
No offense to you either, but you’re completely misunderstanding how the physics work in this particular situation. Assuming they hit the tree at at the same rate, traveling at a steady state of, say, 45 mph, the passengers in the Benz are far better off for a number of reasons, all of which contribute to that car being heavier, for better or worse:

More size (longer front end and larger passenger compartment in particular), which indeed provides a larger crumple zone which can absorb the impact, as well as more space in the interior of the car between passengers and the dashboard, or between rear seat passengers and the seat in front of them; more overall mass (steel etc.) in the frame, chassis and engine of the vehicle, which past a certain speed (beyond which the crumple zones have already done their job) prevents the passenger compartment from being crushed like it would be in the Mini; a stronger, stiffer, heavier “safety cage” around the passenger compartment than the Mini has, due in part to just a lot more metal being used to form it.

If you honestly mean to tell me that you’d rather be in a freaking MINI when you hit that tree at 45 mph versus a MERCEDES S600, then you, my friend, have serious judgement issues.

No, what I’m telling you is that size/weight does not necessarily equate to safety. Also, you are confusing a vehicle vs vehicle collision with vehicle vs stationary object (tree or concrete barrier). In a vehicle vs. vehicle collision, it will most likely be “safer” to be in the larger vehicle, largely because of its larger mass. It’s all about momentum. The heavier vehicle traveling at the same speed will have a lot more momentum than the smaller one and will transfer more force onto the smaller vehicle when they impact than the smaller vehicle will to the larger. Then you take in their safety ratios and force transfer ratings and you get an idea of how injured people might be.

When hitting a stationary object, it will LIKELY be safer to be in the smaller car, due to less force being involved in the collision. It is not necessarily so, due to different safety ratings in the vehicles. It also wouldn’t be so if the vehicle has much more kinetic energy than the potential energy of the thing it’s hitting. A semi could plow through a barrier and the driver would be alright whereas somebody in a civic might be fucked (assuming very high speeds).

Anyways, it’s silly to argue large vs small. I’ll take the vehicle with the best ratings. I used to own a Saab and I’d get another one. There’s a small, heavy car with wonderful safety ratings. It’s an engineering problem, not a size one. Same thing with fuel economy standards.

The really ironic thing is it’s always “safer” to be the person hitting someone else. Cars have the most safety features if they get hit in the front. Hence all the tragic accidents where somebody gets t-boned and killed by some careless (or maybe drunk) asshole, and the asshole doesn’t have a scratch.

[/quote]

Actually, safety rating are essentially running your car into a car of the same size, so smaller with a great rating still might have a worse outcome than larger and a lesser rating. This is were it gets tricky.Many cars have great safety features. I would personally select a car that meets my daily requirements with the best safety rating.

[quote]Donut62 wrote:
Headhunter wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:

This law is going to wipe out the use of SUV’s as commuter vehicles. We are going to see far less of them on the road and we will all be safer for it.

In other words, the Nanny State wins another one.

Whatever happened to free markets and letting individuals decide things for themselves? Pathetic…

Then stay off my fucking roads, Mr. Rand. A real libertarian would buy the property and resources to build his own roads to his destinations, not cow-tow to the nanny state and use their roads. Driving on government roads is a privilege, not a right.

But I do thank you for the gas tax money that funds my salary. Keep filling up your SUV, I need a bigger bonus.[/quote]

So you don’t like the idea of freedom, eh? WHOSE roads are they again? Whose?

A government ‘employee’ who hates freedom…how shocking!!

If you want to surrender your freedoms to choose and force others to drive YOUR cars and follow YOUR rules, you’ll get an argument. You’ll also get bent over.

I didn’t know welfare recipients got bonuses btw.