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Old 02-17-2009, 11:40 AM   #29
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Death or serious injury from rollover is a more prevalent cause than a head-on. And pickup trucks are about the worst for this. No matter how safe one feels in a big 'un, I can roll you over using a Camry . . and it wouldn't be hard to do when traveling in the same direction in adjacent lanes.

Safety barriers on highways, for example, are not designed to contain a pickup or Suburban . . they'll hit them and roll over them.

Etcetera.

Driving a pickup/Sub means traveling the same road at a slower speed, overall, to achieve the same "safety". Anyone who drives one like a car is being imprudent.
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Old 02-17-2009, 12:24 PM   #30
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Death or serious injury from rollover is a more prevalent cause than a head-on. And pickup trucks are about the worst for this. No matter how safe one feels in a big 'un, I can roll you over using a Camry . . and it wouldn't be hard to do when traveling in the same direction in adjacent lanes.

Safety barriers on highways, for example, are not designed to contain a pickup or Suburban . . they'll hit them and roll over them.

Etcetera.

Driving a pickup/Sub means traveling the same road at a slower speed, overall, to achieve the same "safety". Anyone who drives one like a car is being imprudent.
Does anyone really tow with a Cambry?
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Old 02-17-2009, 12:54 PM   #31
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Nope, unless they live in Canada. Up there they pull 52' Spartans with a double compound low gear set . . . .
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Old 02-17-2009, 01:35 PM   #32
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Look around you when you drive. How many 1970 and 1980 Honda, Toyotas and Nissans do you see? There are some, but you have to look for them really long and hard as they are few and far between.

Then tell me how many Fords, Chevys, Dodges you see on the roads from the same vintage. Apparently the testing folks don't test for longevity
The comparison doesn't work. The US cars far outsold the Japanese in those years. I don't think there was even a Honda car in 1970—if I remember correctly, the first Civics were in '71. The question is percentages of cars sold and the numbers of Japanese cars sold even in 1980 may be too low to get good stats. I had a '73 Civic and it was a throw away car—rust, coil, and bad oil pump housing were problems, though it handled very well and went through deep snow like a tank (a very small tank). I think Honda figured it out, but I've never been able to buy one since.

I think it's obvious more mass crushes less mass, all things being equal. I'd rather be in a small vehicle that's built safely if I'm going to be in a small vehicle. Crash avoidance is easier in a car that handles well than a truck, so that should count in which type of vehicle is safer. If I have to avoid a problem in our pickup I feel a lot less safe than I would in a car or even the 4Runner.

I think they are making trucks and truck based SUV's lower to the ground because of concerns about catastrophic collisions between them and cars. That's good for stability because of the lower center of gravity, but bad for off roading and deep snow. It's also harder for me to get under the '06 4Runner to grease it and has nothing to do with my enhanced stomach.

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Old 02-17-2009, 01:38 PM   #33
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Ok, look for early to mid 90s Japanese cars vs domestic then...it's still roughly about the same.....me, I'm sticking with my truck and my Impala SS.
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Old 02-17-2009, 02:10 PM   #34
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Though I have never owned one I had heard it rumored that the best car to be in a wreck is a Volvo. Don't know if that rumor is true.
If it is true then it seems that cars can be engineered to make the occupants safer without relying on sheer mass.

Just my .02 to stir the pot.
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Old 02-17-2009, 02:54 PM   #35
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Though I have never owned one I had heard it rumored that the best car to be in a wreck is a Volvo. Don't know if that rumor is true.
If it is true then it seems that cars can be engineered to make the occupants safer without relying on sheer mass.

Just my .02 to stir the pot.
Luv it when the pot gets stirred cb. Makes for interesting conversation.

Not long ago a Volvo went of the side of an over pass not far from here. It fell about 3 stories. Saw the pic of the vehicle in the newspaper after the fall and it looked more like it had been involved in a fender bender rather than a 30' drop.

I know of a number of Volvo's towing Airstreams. Seem to work fine.
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Old 02-17-2009, 03:05 PM   #36
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This was actually a promotional safety video Volvo produced during the launch of the 740 GLE in Sweden. The car is shown driving off a dry dock in a shipping area to simulate what happens in a 30mph impact. Pretty dramatic.

YouTube - 1982-1993 Volvo 740/760 Drop Tests

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Old 02-17-2009, 03:17 PM   #37
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My sister buys early 90's Volvos for her kids. Hard to argue with. Plus, as their anonymity is deeper than the Mariannas Trench, they age -- in looks -- quite well.
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Old 02-17-2009, 03:37 PM   #38
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I think this is what they are getting to. Its all about crash absorbtion. This video shows the actual impact forces.

YouTube - Crash Test 2005 - 08 Volvo XC90 (Side Impact) IIHS
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Old 02-17-2009, 05:10 PM   #39
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Ok, look for early to mid 90s Japanese cars vs domestic then...it's still roughly about the same.....me, I'm sticking with my truck and my Impala SS.
I have to disagree with this anecdotal evidence as my experience has been different. I see a crap load of old Hondas and Toyotas on the road all the time. I'm not saying there are more of them even proportionately but I wouldn't say there are lot less either. Look at ebay and see how many you find for sale.

This aside, these cars aren't typically used for towing and aren't anywhere near being in the same category as trucks and SUVs.

I believe more important than how "safe" a vehicle is rated is how much the driver is aware of his/her surroundings, how skilled the driver is and wether or not they are experienced with emergency manuevers. Oh, and whether or not they are wearing seatbelts.
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Old 02-17-2009, 05:20 PM   #40
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For those interested.

The Basics25 safest cars on the road

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All vehicles are safer these days, but Consumer Reports has crunched the crash-test numbers to find the best. The biggest safety factor, though, is still the person at the wheel.


Safety by design
There are two major factors at play: prevention, or how well the vehicle is designed to prevent an accident, and crashworthiness, how well the vehicle performs in a crash.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a government agency, performs full-frontal crashes and side-impact collisions and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which is sponsored by the insurance industry, tests vehicles in an offset-frontal crash, a more common type.

Consumer Reports magazine uses the test results of these two agencies to compare 85 vehicles in terms of accident avoidance, crash protection and overall safety. Higher overall scores go to the models that have done well in accident avoidance and crash protection and can improve your chance of avoiding or surviving a crash.

As for avoiding accidents in the first place, the magazine looks at braking performance on both dry and wet pavement, the effectiveness of the anti-lock braking system, emergency handling, acceleration, driving position, visibility and even seat comfort. A vehicle that accelerates quickly makes it easier to merge safely into traffic. Driving position can affect comfort and your ability to see the road clearly, and visibility increases your awareness of road conditions and other vehicles. Seat comfort plays a role, also. A driver who is tired or uncomfortable may concentrate less on the road.

Safest cars, from sedans to SUVs
Consumer Reports publishes its results in five categories:

Upscale and large sedans. The Lexus ES300, the Audi A4 and the BMW 330i topped the charts. The Buick LeSabre Limited and Chrysler 300M came in at the bottom of 14 vehicles tested in this category.

Family sedans. The Volkswagen Passat GLX (V6) came in at number one, with the Toyota Camry XLE (V6) close behind. The four-cylinder Passat GLS, the Nissan Altima 3.5 SE and the Subaru Legacy also did well in this category. Safety dogs were the Pontiac Grand Prix GT, the Oldsmobile Alero and the Pontiac Grand Am.

Small cars. Volkswagen also took top honors in the battle of the bantamweights. The VW Golf TDI came in at No.1. Close behind was the Honda Civic EX and the Volkswagen Jetta GLS TDI. Trailing in this category were the Hyundai Elantra GLS and the Chevrolet Cavalier LS.

Pickup trucks. In the full-sized pickup category, pole position went to the Toyota Tundra SR5 4.7, the Dodge Ram SLT 4.7 and the Ford F.150 XLT 5.4. Taking the top honors in the compact crew-cab pickups were the Toyota Tacoma TRD (V6) and the Nissan Frontier (V6). Rated as poor were the Dodge Dakota SLT, the Chevrolet S-10 L5 (V6) and the GMC Sonoma 5LS (V6). "Pickups generally don't do well in these assessments," says Champion. "They usually don't protect the driver in crashes and some of them have poor brakes and sloppy handling."

Sport utility vehicles and minivans. In the small-sized SUV category, the top vehicles for safety were the Saturn VUE (V6), the Honda CR-V EX and the Hyundai Santa Fe GLS (V6). In the midsized category, the winners were the Lexus RX300, the Acura MDX and the Toyota Highlander. SUVs that did poorly were the Chevrolet Trail Blazer, the GMC Envoy and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. As for minivans, the Honda Odyssey EX, the Toyota Sienna LE and the Mazda MPV LX all did well. But the Chevrolet Venture LS, the Oldsmobile Silhouette GLS and Pontiac Montana fared poorly.

Zuby says that the Pontiac Montana, a minivan, probably was the worst vehicle the institute has tested that's still being sold. "The crush zone didn't crush as much as it should have done, meaning there's a high likelihood of a serious injury in an accident."

For full crash-test results from NHTSA and from IIHS, see the links at left.

The top factor: Who's behind the wheel
Daniel Pund, associate editor for Car and Driver magazine, says there's no such thing as a totally safe car. "Because of legislation and because of government testing, they're all pretty close," Pund says. "For example, they're all now required to have air bags. Vehicles are safer today than they were 15 or 20 years ago. There's no question that cars are better designed these days to handle crashes."

Tires also are much better today than they were 30 years ago, which means better handling, he says. Seat belts are also better designed so that the belt itself does not injure an occupant and still protects you from hitting the windshield.

In the end, no matter how safe the vehicle is, the way it's driven can have a lot to do with whether you'll suffer a serious injury.

"The safest car in the world is one that never leaves the garage," says Champion. "How safe a vehicle is depends a lot on the way it's driven."
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Old 02-17-2009, 07:10 PM   #41
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That article above is a few years old - most of those cars are off the market or in another design generation.

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I know of a number of Volvo's towing Airstreams. Seem to work fine.
In my sordid youth (such as it was), I've towed boats and other Volvos with Volvos. Not quick, but they did well.

I've owned 2 megamile Volvos in the past, a 84 244GL (wretched) and a 87 745 turbo wagon (lovely.) While I think there was something to their safety domination when they were new, I'm not sure that they retain that advantage now. The increased emphasis on crash testing has raised the game of a lot of competition. There are other marques that also do better at accident avoidance - handling and braking - than Volvo.

Indeed, it's gotten to the point where Volvo is trying to lead safety innovation through electronic aids - drowsiness awareness, crash warnings (big flashing light warns you of impending doom ahead), blind zone detection, automatic braking. This is the next step in safety innovation, given the general high level of the best vehicles in frontal and side impacts. Only problem for Volvo is that other car companies catch up quickly to these innovations - and you get false alarms from this early-generation stuff.

There will also be renewed emphasis on roof crush. Volvo got a lead on that with boron-reinforced pillars on the XC90. Caused all sorts of problems during the Explorer litigation, given the Ford-owned Volvo had warned of weak roof structures and designed an improvement....
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Old 02-17-2009, 07:20 PM   #42
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The bottom line here is that trucks are a different breed of vehicle from modern day cars in any crash. Unfortunately, the truck based SUV craze has made even the safest cars on the road unsafe since people tend to drive these massive SUVs like they do a car. If the woman who just had to have that nine passenger diesel 4x4 Ford Excursion to haul one 35 pound kid happens to run over you in your little econobox because she could't take a break from yapping on her cell phone, putting on makeup and sucking down the latest overpriced Starbucks creation all at the same time, you are done. I don't care how safe some test said your Mini Cooper is. I drive a VW Golf GTI when I'm not towing, and I have learned to keep a close eye on the nearest SUV because that's the person most likely to misjudge stopping distances and run over me.
This country already has more safety equipment on our cars than any other country in the world, but we have far more accidents. We don't need safer cars, we need safer drivers.
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