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Size does matter

This topic contains 25 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Mikhail 9 mos, 1 week.

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Mikhail

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Jul 18 2013 at 8:38am #

http://www.iihs.org/news/rss/pr041409.html — about safety of small cars vs big cars.


gg

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Jul 18 2013 at 1:44pm #

I hate those dumb tests. They are so stupid because they just focus on crashes. There is something MUCH more important than that. Avoidance. So if I have a head on collision with a stupid Hummer in my Audi A4, the Hummer wins. Sure, I can buy that. What about the zillion other possibilities? Me being able to maneuver out of the way, while the moron in the Hummer can’t and hits a tree, or more likely flips over while trying to not crash. Good cars being able to brake hard AND swerve fast, while the Hummer just is totally out of control and plows into the nearest ditch or guardrail. I have driven pickups, SUVs and a host of great vehicles like BMW’s, Mercedes, Audi’s and more. Believe me, you are much safer in a great car than an SUV or Pickup. Studies never seem to understand that avoidance is more important than anything. How about just not crashing because you have one sweet European Sports Sedan. I will take my chances being in a car with real control thanks. Let the fake drivers buy SUVs and pretend they are safe, or most likely enjoy tailgating others.


Mikhail

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Jul 18 2013 at 2:12pm #

gg wrote:Avoidance.

IIHS has data on different car crashes. And fatalities. Last time I saw those most crashes were not due to avoidance. Even avoidance is important. But in even in highway crash (when all cars follow the same directions) heavier vehicle still has advantages over the small ones. As someone mentioned on the board — large vehicle is very safer by putting at risk all people in a smaller vehicles.


Mikhail

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Jul 18 2013 at 2:14pm #

gg wrote:while the Hummer just is totally out of control and plows into the nearest ditch or guardrail.

This is a big problem — heavier vehicles and pickups should not be driven as cars.

PS BTW hammer (especially first one) is much more stable in snow than small audi.


Drewbacca

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Jul 18 2013 at 2:15pm #

I’d rather have them tail-gate me than sit in front of me and block my view of downstream traffic…


Mikhail

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Jul 18 2013 at 2:16pm #

gg wrote:BMW’s, Mercedes, Audi’s

Those cars causes a lot of crashes in Russia. With a lot of fatalities. But it’s mostly due to driving style.


rsprake

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Jul 18 2013 at 2:28pm #

And bald tires…


RoadKillen

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Jul 18 2013 at 4:05pm #

I’ll second the notion that a smaller car with better suspension and lower center of gravity is safer than a larger car/truck with higher a center of gravity. The small car will likely have the ability to quickly change direction and speed that the larger vehicle lacks.

I have driven all-wheel-drive sedans/wagons on snow and ice. I have also driven all-wheel-drive trucks on snow and ice. I would take a Subaru Impreza over Chevy Suburban any day.

However, in a head on crash, I would rather be in an Escalade than a Smart Car because big fish eat little ones.

In my opinion, all of these stats are bogus, it all boils down to the driver’s ability to avoid the collision in the first place.


rice rocket

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Jul 18 2013 at 4:14pm #

Is this Mikhail’s semi-annual campaign against trucks/SUVs?


Mikhail

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Jul 18 2013 at 4:22pm #

rice rocket wrote:Is this Mikhail’s semi-annual campaign against trucks/SUVs?

Not exactly. :) I am against people driving SUV and pickups as cars. And reasonably against all cars when it’s not necessary.


Mikhail

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Jul 18 2013 at 4:35pm #

RoadKillen wrote:I have driven all-wheel-drive sedans/wagons on snow and ice. I have also driven all-wheel-drive trucks on snow and ice. I would take a Subaru Impreza over Chevy Suburban any day.

I also drove cars and SUVs on snow and ice. :)

I can easily give a lot of cases when Subaru would lose. :) Especially against track/SUVs with non-allwheel but 4×4 with ability to block differentials.

PS I have 3rd Subaru in my family. :)


Mikhail

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Jul 18 2013 at 4:46pm #

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ujac0nQ_do&feature=player_detailpage — typical situation where Subaru would lose.


Mick

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Jul 18 2013 at 5:15pm #

One safety problem with the big, hugely profitable vehicles like SUVs is how many other people they kill. Sure they mgiht help the safety of the occupants a little. That doesnt’ mean they are safer – they tend to be mroe of ahazard to innocent bistanders.


gg

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Jul 18 2013 at 6:06pm #

Mikhail wrote:PS BTW hammer (especially first one) is much more stable in snow than small audi.

I had a Jeep that was modified and I will tell you that my Audi is much more stable than that Jeep in snow, unless it is deep snow. Been a skier for years. You can keep your top heavy vehicles that can’t get out of their own way.


gg

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Jul 18 2013 at 6:10pm #

RoadKillen wrote:However, in a head on crash, I would rather be in an Escalade than a Smart Car because big fish eat little ones.
In my opinion, all of these stats are bogus, it all boils down to the driver’s ability to avoid the collision in the first place.

This is my opinion as well. Head on collisions are pretty rare and I would rather take my chances on avoiding them at the last second in a good car and let the SUV fly by and hit a tree or flip over. That is the problem with the studies. They just don’t tell the real story out there.


gg

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Jul 18 2013 at 6:22pm #

Mick wrote:One safety problem with the big, hugely profitable vehicles like SUVs is how many other people they kill. Sure they mgiht help the safety of the occupants a little. That doesnt’ mean they are safer – they tend to be mroe of ahazard to innocent bistanders.

True, but I contend that SUV kills passengers in them more often because they wreck in situations that a good car wouldn’t. Sadly I never see anything written up about avoiding crashes. They just live for the dumb head on crash. They love that one because it is so fatal and much of the time, no one survives them anyway.

Ah well, it is best just to slow down, but in Pittsburgh it has gotten so bad in the city with how fast people drive, I just don’t know what to say about it. Really bad out there.


Mick

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Jul 18 2013 at 7:44pm #

Well,
It’s only very modern SUVs that are safer for their occupants – up until a few years ago they ws (as they say) unsafe at any speed.


gg

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Jul 18 2013 at 7:51pm #

Mick wrote:Well,
It’s only very modern SUVs that are safer for their occupants – up until a few years ago they ws (as they say) unsafe at any speed.

I still feel today’s SUV’s are still unsafer than a good car. It is all about handling and braking while trying to avoid, or possibly accelerating out of a crash. Regardless, they won’t report real life. There is just too much money to be made selling SUV’s to the common American that love to drive a living room around. One thing everyone can agree on. If you are a “driver”, you would never buy a pickup or SUV as a primary vehicle. Real “drivers” would only drive a good car.


Mikhail

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Jul 19 2013 at 6:59am #

gg wrote:
It is all about handling and braking while trying to avoid, or possibly accelerating out of a crash.

They shouldn’t be driven as cars! And you would not have problems with avoidance.


mr marvelous

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Jul 19 2013 at 7:12am #

Is there a difference in driving a van over an suv?


ericf

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Jul 19 2013 at 7:53am #

@mr marvelous,
I think it is a matter of scale, there are minivans and behemoth vans, same with suv’s. That said, larger vehicles are inherently harder to drive safely, no matter if it is a pickup, van, suv or whatever.


RoadKillen

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Jul 19 2013 at 7:59am #

@Mikhail,
I agree that a dedicated 4×4 vehicle with locking diffs, appropriate tires and miles of ground clearance would ace a Subaru in deep snow and ice. However, apart from pulling another car out of a ditch, I didn’t see anything in those videos my ’92 Loyale wouldn’t do. The parallel parking bit I’ve done several times. It is quite fun.

The older Subys (pre 94 lineup) had loads of ground clearance and manually engaged 4wd that the newer models don’t have. IMO my 92′ Loyale was better in the snow than my 02′ Impreza. The Loyale also got better gas mileage because you could disengage 4wd with a button on the gear shift. It also came from the factory with a 3/16″ thick steel skid plate protecting the engine instead of the plastic the Impreza has.

Now that everyone is bored, here’s a video.


mr marvelous

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Jul 19 2013 at 8:13am #

The reason I asked is my old boss has 7 children and drives a large SUV to accommodate his large family. At one time I test drove different van’s and suv’s when my wife first became pregnant because we had plans for a VERY large family, after we realized we would only be able to have one child we ended up with a tiny Subaru Impreza. I just couldn’t imagine cramming a large family in a tiny car like my Subaru.


Mikhail

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Jul 19 2013 at 9:13am #

RoadKillen wrote:I didn’t see anything in those videos my ’92 Loyale wouldn’t do. The parallel parking bit I’ve done several times. It is quite fun.

Well, we have different background. :) The last video I posted is kind of like intercity highway in Siberia. When I was in St.Peterburg the city did not clean roads really well — on all major roads by February you have ice and packed snow for about 7 inches. And truck made a nice “tracks” so you very often cars just reap everything from bottom (one of the reasons bottom shield is so popular in Russia). And during big snow last winter Subary’s weren’t very “popular”. They just could not make it.

In regards of parking — in that video snow is too deep for allwheel cars. Usually they end up sitting on the bottom with spinning wheels. But even guy in BMW pressed gas pedal sometimes too much.

This is when almost all drivers should stay out of roads:


Mikhail

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Jul 19 2013 at 9:18am #

RoadKillen wrote:’92 Loyale wouldn’t do

I had Subaru GL SW 1989. :) Nice clearance and short ends, real light car. Good on snow, bad on ice and in side wind.


Mikhail

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Jul 19 2013 at 9:26am #

mr marvelous wrote:Is there a difference in driving a van over an suv?

There is. And size does matter here. Even among cars small car (Impreza, Audi 100, etc) drives differently from Camry and Camry behaves differently than Park Avenue. Cornering is different, stop distance is different, speed during avoidance is quite different. What happened after tires start to skid is different. IMHO minivan drives like a really big car and you should remember that center of gravity is also higher.

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