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Old 02-17-2009, 08:15 PM   #43
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Well that article has a 2009 copyright date but I did some more digging anyway. If your interested here you go.

IIHS names safest cars for 2009

Cars have gotten a lot safer in recent years, and that trend seems to have accelerated just in the past year. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released its annual list of Top Safety Picks. The big news is that 72 vehicles earned the Institute’s highest ranking this year, more than double the number of 2008 models and more than three times the number of 2007 winners.
To earn a Top Safety Pick award, a car has to receive the Institute’s highest rating of Good in front, side, and rear crash protection, including a Good rating in an assessment of head-restraint safety; and it must offer electronic stability control.

For the first time, there is at least one vehicle in every segment Consumer Reports tests that earns a Top Safety Pick award, giving consumers the ability to find a safe car, no matter their budget or transportation needs. All Acura and Subaru models earn Top Safety Pick awards. The IIHS doesn’t test two-seat roadsters, but three four-passenger convertibles made the grade: the Saab 9-3, Volkswagen Eos, and Volvo C70.
In addition to the 72 Top Safety Picks, another 26 models earn Good front- and side-crash-test scores and offer electronic stability control, but don’t have good head-restraint designs. While rear impacts are rarely fatal, they produce a high percentage of injuries in auto accidents.
Virtually all cars now earn Good front crash scores, but not all have Good side-crash scores and rear-impact scores.
It is important when choosing a new car to also consider its dynamic performance relative to safety. Consumer Reports Safety Ratings factor insurance industry and government crash tests, when available, as well as our own dry braking, wet braking, and accident avoidance test findings. On the model overview pages at ConsumerReports.org, we provide a complete breakdown of how each tested model fares in the full range of safety evaluations.
Below are the lists of 2009 Top Safety Picks, as well as those "Also-Ran" models that lack only good seat/head restraint designs.
Large cars
Acura RL
Audi A6
Cadillac CTS
Ford Taurus
Lincoln MKS
Mercury Sable
Toyota Avalon
Volvo S80
Midsize cars
Acura TL, TSX
Audi A3, A4
BMW 3 Series sedan
Ford Fusion with optional ESC
Honda Accord sedan
Mercedes C Class
Mercury Milan with optional ESC
Saab 9-3
Subaru Legacy
Volkswagen Jetta, Passat
Midsize convertibles
Saab 9-3
Volkswagen Eos
Volvo C70
Small cars
Honda Civic sedan with optional ESC (except Si)
Mitsubishi Lancer with optional ESC
Scion xB
Subaru Impreza with optional ESC
Toyota Corolla with optional ESC
Volkswagen Rabbit 4-door
Minicar
Honda Fit with optional ESC
Minivans
Honda Odyssey
Hyundai Entourage
Kia Sedona
Large SUVs
Audi Q7
Buick Enclave
Chevrolet Traverse
GMC Acadia
Saturn Outlook
Midsize SUVs
Acura MDX, RDX
BMW X3, X5
Ford Edge, Flex, Taurus X
Honda Pilot
Hyundai Santa Fe, Veracruz
Infiniti EX35
Lincoln MKX
Mercedes M Class
Nissan Murano
Saturn Vue
Subaru Tribeca
Toyota FJ Cruiser, Highlander
Volvo XC90
Small SUVs
Ford Escape
Honda CR-V, Element
Mazda Tribute
Mercury Mariner
Mitsubishi Outlander
Nissan Rogue
Subaru Forester
Toyota RAV4
Volkswagen Tiguan
Large pickups
Ford F-150
Honda Ridgeline
Toyota Tundra
Small pickup
Toyota Tacoma
Also-Rans
These 26 vehicles earn good ratings in front- and side-crash tests. They have ESC, standard or optional. They would be 2009 Top Safety Pick winners if their seat/head restraints also earn good ratings:
Chevrolet Malibu
Chrysler Sebring, Sebring convertible, Town & Country
Dodge Avenger, Grand Caravan
Infiniti G35, M35
Kia Amanti
Lexus ES, GS, IS
Mazda CX-7, CX-9
Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder, Endeavor
Nissan Altima, Pathfinder, Quest, Xterra
Saturn Aura
Smart Fortwo
Toyota 4Runner, Camry, Prius, Sienna
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:21 PM   #44
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In another article I found that the IIHS said that Chrysler was the only major automaker without one single car making the list. This is disappointing for us mopar fans. This combined with the fact that Ford was not begging for bailout money might have me looking at the blue oval for my next vehicle.

I gotta say I don't understand them rating the Honda Ridgeline as a full size truck. The toyota that was in small pickups is just about the same size. I think the Honda is a good vehicle but with it's tiny bed and 5000lb tow rating it shouldn't be considered a full size pickup.
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:30 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmossyone View Post
In another article I found that the IIHS said that Chrysler was the only major automaker without one single car making the list. This is disappointing for us mopar fans. This combined with the fact that Ford was not begging for bailout money might have me looking at the blue oval for my next vehicle.

I gotta say I don't understand them rating the Honda Ridgeline as a full size truck. The toyota that was in small pickups is just about the same size. I think the Honda is a good vehicle but with it's tiny bed and 5000lb tow rating it shouldn't be considered a full size pickup.
It is a bummer that Chrysler didnt do well in this arena. Keep in mind that when Ford bought Volvo in 98' (can you tell yet that i manage a volvo service department) it came along with the multimillion dollar crash lab that volvo had just developed The Volvo Crash Testing Center

This allowed Ford to bring all their vehicles over for testing. Remember the explorer and all its challenges? The roll stability control system came from the Volvo XC90 to fix the new Explorer. The S40 chassis is a Ford escort, The Ford five hundred is from the S80 chassis and so on. All the Ford trucks found their way over to the crash labs and Ford let the Swedes influence the vehicles to pass and exceed the specific tests the insurance institute was using. It just takes money. Safety costs money. Daimler had a big influence on Chrysler and the safety game is played at Mercedes so not sure why it didnt bleed over there too. In closing none of these tests have been factored with a 9000lb trailer in tow acting as the hammer to the nail one two punch. I hope i never experience that but if i do im not sure i will be around to talk about it. Even with a big truck like i drive. Maybe i would get lucky and be ejected!

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Old 02-17-2009, 09:39 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by mrmossyone View Post
I gotta say I don't understand them rating the Honda Ridgeline as a full size truck.
I'm not sure either.

Is a full sized pick up rated by physical size, weight, cargo capacity (weight or size), or tow rating??

A v6 Dodge Ram with manual transmission is tow rated at less than 5,000lbs.

The Honda Ridgeline has a payload rating of over 3/4 tons, more than some full sized pick ups.
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Old 02-18-2009, 12:14 AM   #47
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Wow, your right the V-6 Ram w/ manual is rated at only 3750 lbs towing. That is weak, they ought to be ashamed. For comparison a twenty year old Ford w/ straight 6 had a max. tow rating of 7500lbs. I know they changed how they rate but it would not account for anywhere near an almost 4000lb difference. Dodge should have stuck with the slant 6/super six.
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:28 AM   #48
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The Honda Ridgeline has a payload rating of over 3/4 tons, more than some full sized pick ups.
Payload ratings and the tradional "half-ton," "3/4-ton," and "1-ton" ratings haven't made any sense for years now. The '09 F-150 has a payload rating of up to 3,030 punds, which, last time I checked, was still equal to over a ton and a half. Some of the '09 F-250 Super Duty trucks are only rated at 2,910 pounds. Figure that one out, a 3/4-ton with a payload rating 110 pounds LESS than the same company's half-ton.
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:42 AM   #49
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Safe drivers!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Journalist View Post
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.
I think this statement makes the most sense. Most people think driving is a right not a privilege. Here in KY they have changed the laws for kids that are turning 16 years of age and they must go through two phases to get their full license. Personally I hate all the laws that our gov't tries to saddle the public with but I believe this is a step in the right direction to actually educate people how to drive. Back when I got my drivers license I took one written test and 30 days later I took a 10 minute driving test. Things have really changed.


Permit Phase
  • A parent or guardian must sign the permit application for applicants under the age of 18, taking responsibility for the applicant.
  • Applicant must successfully pass the written permit examination and the vision test to be issued a permit.
  • Applicants under the age of 21 must hold the driving permit for a minimum of 180 days.
  • Permit holders must drive with licensed driver over 21 years old accompanying them in the front passenger seat. (Must complete a minimum of 60 hours of practice driving, 10 of which must occur at night.)
  • Permit holders under the age of 18 are not allowed to drive between the hours of 12 midnight and 6 a.m. unless the driver can demonstrate a good cause for driving such as emergencies, school or work related activities.
  • Drivers receiving a moving traffic violation conviction under KRS 186, 189, 189A. will have to restart the 180 day Permit waiting period.
  • Permit holders shall not operate a motor vehicle at any time with more than 1 unrelated person under 20 years of age in the vehicle.

  • Intermediate License Phase
  • When applying for an Intermediate License the driver’s Parent/Guardian must certify the driver has completed 60 hours of practice driving, 10 of which must occur at night.
  • Drivers who receive a permit before 18 years of age who have successfully completed the permit phase must pass the driving skills test to be issued an intermediate license. After successfully completing the road test the Kentucky State Police driving examiner will place an “Intermediate License” sticker on the drivers permit.
  • Drivers who receive a permit when 18 years of age or older do not have to complete the Intermediate License phase and may apply for a full unrestricted driver license.
  • Intermediate License holders under the age of 18 are not allowed to drive between the hours of 12 midnight and 6 a.m. unless the driver can demonstrate a good cause for driving such as emergencies, school or work related activities.
  • Passenger restriction – limit 1 unrelated person under 20 years of age (secondary offense)
  • Drivers receiving a moving traffic conviction under KRS 186, 189, 189A. will have to restart the 180 day intermediate License waiting period.
  • Intermediate license holders must complete one of the following New Driver Education Programs before moving to the next licensing phase:
    • Graduated Licensing Course (Free 4 hour course provided by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in the drivers home county)
    • High School Drivers Education Course or a similar course offered by a Kentucky Community College, Vocational School or Job Corps.
    • Private Driver Training course at a Division of Driver License approved driver training school.
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Old 02-18-2009, 10:46 AM   #50
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If these rules were in effect when I got a license, I may never have gotten one. My father was too busy and my mother just wanted to stay home. I would have had to hire an adult.

Colorado put in a graduated system in the '90's and I think AAA was promoting it. If your parents are working two jobs each, or if you have only one parent, this system could be difficult. In rural areas there are no driving schools and a lot of school systems no longer offer driver training. It seems to me the idea is good, the implementation creates problems. It is based on a standard 2 parent middle class family and there are lots of kids who don't live like that. Imagine if a family has 3 or 4 kids in that age range—a lot of driving for the parent(s). It's like an unfunded mandate on those families.

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Old 02-18-2009, 05:44 PM   #51
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If a person makes a decision to have a child, in my book it is an 18 year decision. The parent needs to commit to the child for all the needs. In my opinionn this would be teaching the child how to behave and how to drive.

This may sound like a tall order, however when is it the responsibility of the school or other institution to teach my children something other than academics.

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Old 02-19-2009, 09:03 AM   #52
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[1] " . . 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".


[2] " . . So much vehicle advice here is being advocated solely for towing. Given what this forum is about, that makes sense. But towing is something that most of us do maybe a dozen weekends a year. If you full-time, or if you have a dedicated tow vehicle, great.

But otherwise, you're commuting in your tow vehicle 340 days vs. towing for 25. On those 340 days, it's preferable to have something with a shorter braking distance, or less chance of a tripped rollover, or optimized crash structure and safety equipment. The challenge is in the balance."



As to the first, I notice that people assume their skills AT ALL TIMES are consistent. They forget that they will be sick (sometimes chronically), emotionally-upset (the worst for skill degradation), and they will fail to maintain the vehicle (greasy, dirty windows, etc), and

in consequence

they WILL maintain their bad habits of: running stop signs (failure to stop behind the line, THEN rolling forward); failing to maintain braking distance;
failing to drive UNDER the speed limit in all places at all times; etcetera, since

under ideal conditions of weather, health and vehicle condition

they've been able to "get away with it" for so long. Then there comes the day of the "accident" and it will be explained away, rationalized.

Here's some food for thought. Ever notice how badly some old people drive? I don't mean just wandering a little bit, but truly bad driving. I realize that the common perception is that they are poor drivers at this stage because of age. Declining skills. I would counter that with this:

They never had good driving habits in the first place. Note, "habits". If the habitual driving is as poor as most peoples (the almost universal lack of PROPER turn signal use for example), then how can they, given the exigencies of age

have anything to fall back upon. Body, or "muscle memory", if you will. It isn't there, and they (and we) suffer for it.

My 81-yr old father has dementia. And the Dept of Public Safety, in collusion with his doctor (properly, per law) has tried to fail him in driving test after driving test. He doesn't fail. Period. And it's obvious that he's no longer "all there". (Looks like we'll have to sell the car out from under him) I don't remember his getting any moving violations, and I remember his banging up only one vehicle, one time (and not his fault). Since 1939, that ain't bad. (And we're talking some p.o.'d DPS troopers and doctor: the tests they give him are far harder, now, than anyone else has to pass. It's sort of like an idiot savant and numerical calculation at this point )

The reason I bring up old people, driving habits and the rest, in a post about pickup-based tow vehicles is that

they are designed with one thing in mind: to carry a heavy load AND to tow a trailer (so long as GAWR and GVWR limits aren't exceeded).

Empty, commuting (as in quote #2) they are a liability to the driver, his passengers and the drivers around them. (And, fuel use is high). An empty truck is something of a contradiction. As is a Suburban without five passengers.

My "solution" was to buy a manual-transmission Dodge diesel. 19 mpg for the city miles last year (logged). I'm probably the slowest guy around, as I ease that truck between the gears (speed as a function of gear selection, NOT throttle position; a fundamental change of driving style for most folks).

What it means is that, in a 35 or even 40 mph zone I am traveling at 33 mph, roughly, as this equates with the economy sweet spot in a Cummins, or, 1700-1900 rpm. Same on the highway. 66 mph is tops. In truth, my acceleration pattern is little different solo or towing. The motor is so overpowered for the truck that there is little difference, except at start-off in clearing an intersection of some sort. I wait when I can.

Having a dedicated tow vehicle made no sense from any standpoint. Not for the initial cost, not for maintenance scheduling (it would fall off; I challenge anyone with a "dedicated tow vehicle" to show me that it is kept up rigorously), not for space at home, etc.

The easier way was to accommodate that choice by changing the driving. "Making time" is simply out the window. There is no longer any such crutch (not that there ever was) to "avoid being late". Or, the moronic "going-with-the-flow".

Yes, I am recommending we drive as if we are passing the driving test at any given time IN ORDER to accommodate (not skill) but the daily or decade problems of health, weather, traffic or vehicle condition. I made that change, overall, and I find it works well. (I have a crappy brake controller, but it hardly matters . . I've never had to slam on the brakes, despite "outward" or "inward" problems. But, as the day comes when "skill" is not there, at that moment, I want a better controller. And trailer brakes.)

An empty 7,200# vehicle with a TERRIBLE front-to-rear weight bias, COG, etc, mandates different management. If I hadn't had need for it for other purposes (business), then I would have gone with a big-engined half ton (or Suburban) as the previous owner did. I suppose I could have, but the fuel penalty and shorter life of a gas-motored truck wouldn't have been worth it, overall.

And, accident/injury rates won't ever be good for a work vehicle. When I see teenagers driving a truck or a Jeep, I always think that there's a step-parent not averse to eliminating an emotional rival, permanently . . the statistics for teen driving and that vehicle-type coalescing beautifully.

So, to again use the second quote (the challenge is the balance), one needs different habits (as skill can be shown to vary on any day for any person NO MATTER the overall level); and one MUST respect the poor choice of vehicle not in service as designed. To maintain even the semblance of a comparable survival rate.
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Old 02-19-2009, 09:13 AM   #53
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Well thought out.

Thanks

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Old 02-19-2009, 11:31 AM   #54
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Rednax,

Thanks for your observations.

I'm not nearly concerned about speed as you are, but your comments about driving habits are worth reflecting on. It reminds of things I've read about Jackie Stewart - how he trained people to drive smoothly by putting a golf ball or ping pong ball into a bowl taped to the hood of the car.

When I ride with someone who races cars, I am always impressed with their deliberate control inputs and overall smoothness. The experience is typically relaxing and confidence-inspiring. Track training is probably the best way to develop car control skills, and a good understanding of one's personal limits. High school driver ed is mostly about getting someone to the point of passing the test.
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Old 02-19-2009, 12:49 PM   #55
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Crashworthiness is high on my list when buying a car or truck. ie: my 2005 F-150 and 2000 Audi S4 were both rated highly. Yes... the tests are not perfect, but they are a general indication within a class of vehicle.

There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old bold pilots.
But I can prove you wrong, on your last line quotation. "Boatdoc"
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