?Safer? cars are more dangerous for othe - Micky


ww w.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1522207.ece

">
Safer cars are more dangerous for other drivers in accidents
Ben Webster, Transport Correspondent

Modern cars are much safer in collisions for their occupants than older models, but their extra weight and height mean that they are more likely to kill people in other cars.

A study has found that drivers hit by a car registered from 2000-03 are 46 per cent more likely to die than if hit by a car registered from 1988-91.

The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), which conducted the study for the Department for Transport, said that the greater risk to other drivers posed by modern cars helped to explain why car occupant deaths had failed to fall significantly in the past eight years.

In 1998, 1,696 car occupants were killed, compared with 1,675 in 2005, a fall of only 1.2 per cent. Over the same period, the annual total for all road deaths fell by 6.4 per cent.

Modern cars have much better safety features, such as multiple air bags, side-impact protection and stronger frames. But these have added weight, the study says, so that the average new car is 20 per cent heavier than one built a decade ago.

Manufacturers have also increased the size of models to satisfy consumer demand for roomier cars with higher performance. Greater acceleration and higher top speed require larger, heavier engines.

For example, the new VW Beetle weighs 1.6 tonnes, double the weight of the rear-engined versions. The modern VW Golf is half a tonne heavier than the 1976 original, 2ft longer and 5in taller. It has a top speed of 146mph compared with 113mph for the Mark 1.

The increase in cars? average height means that they are more likely to override the stronger parts of another car?s shell in a side impact, increasingly the likelihood of killing occupants.

The study concludes: ?Improvements have come at a price: a more modern car tends to be more aggressive than an older car when in collision with another car.?

The average new car scores much higher in crash tests now than in 1998, but the tests measure only how well a car protects its own occupants or pedestrians, not how much damage it can inflict on another car.

Road safety groups called on the car industry yesterday to add an extra crash test to measure the risk that cars pose to occupants of other cars. The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety said: ?There is a good case for an extra test which will show prospective buyers how much damage a car will do to other cars.?

Andrew Howard, head of road safety at the AA, said that the growing disparity in the size of vehicles was also increasing the severity of crashes because there was now a greater risk of a small car colliding with a larger one.

People carriers and 4x4s, the two largest categories, accounted for only 5.6 per cent of new car sales in 1996 but 12.5 per cent in 2005. Over the same period, small cars also increased their market share, from 27.9 per cent to 31.1 per cent.

The TRL study found that drivers of the smallest cars, such as Ford Fiestas or Rover Metros, are four times as likely to be killed in collisions with other cars as drivers of the largest cars, such as a Ford Galaxy or Mitsubishi Shogun.

Drivers hit by the largest cars are twice as likely to die as those hit by the smallest.
<"

And what do the insurers force 17 year olds to drive? Although perhaps a good driver is more likely to avoid a crash whilst driving a nimble fiesta than a lumbering obesemobile. I'm never certain if I despise obesemobiles because the beggars don't get out of my way, or is it because most of the drivers of obesemobiles are overweight, slovenly mouth-breathers?
?Safer? cars are more dangerous for othe - mss1tw
is it because most of the
drivers of obesemobiles are overweight, slovenly mouth-breathers?


Come on now say what you feel :^D
?Safer? cars are more dangerous for othe - Blue {P}
I cant imagine that many drivers will be interested in learning their car's "aggressiveness rating" when choosing their next model. I'm interested in knowing how well my car protects me, not people who get in my way.

Am I heartless or just realistic?

I await the wrath or agreement of the BR! :-)

As an aside, the article doesn't state whether the danger is cancelled out if it's two new cars that hit each other rather than a new one hitting an old one or vice versa.

Blue
?Safer? cars are more dangerous for othe - Aprilia
What about hitting stationary objects like trees, walls etc? Simply put, weight tends to work in your favour when hitting another car, but against you when you hit something solid and stationary.
?Safer? cars are more dangerous for othe - CGNorwich
"Simply put, weight tends to work in your favour when hitting another car, but against you when you hit something solid and stationary."


Can you explain the last bit?. I would have thought the opposite.
?Safer? cars are more dangerous for othe - v0n
I remember watching that Grand Espace vs. Range Rover test 5th gear did some time ago with disbelief of how a 5 NCAP star MPV becomes a perfect killing machine. Upon impact the frame of Espace moved up together with engine and the whole car practically mounted taller Range Rover and then crashed the front with full force of its plummeting weight. It literally looked like Renault was designed to end up "on top" of any collision. I could only imagine how during side impact with normal car Espace would simply jump up and flatten the cabin like armoured tank...
--------------------
[Nissan 2.2 dCi are NOT Renault engines. Grrr...]
?Safer? cars are more dangerous for othe - Baskerville
Can you explain the last bit?. I would have thought
the opposite.


If the object you hit does not give way then the harder you hit it the more it hurts. Heavier vehicles bring more energy to the party so they hit things harder.
?Safer? cars are more dangerous for othe - CGNorwich
"Heavier vehicles bring more energy to the party so they hit things harder."


So I would be better driving into a rock at 30 mph in a 2cv rather than than a tank ? Won't the mass of the vehicle available to absorb the shock come int the equation?
?Safer? cars are more dangerous for othe - Baskerville
So I would be better driving into a rock at
30 mph in a 2cv rather than than
a tank ? Won't the mass of the vehicle available
to absorb the shock come int the equation?


There are several issues getting mixed up here. A tank is designed to withstand impacts and still be drivable. Occupant safety is less important than the survival of the vehicle. Therefore a tank can absorb more energy without breaking. What this means however is that the occupants are not cushioned from impacts. They wear protective clothing and headgear for this reason. In an impact of 30mph a 2CV would likely collapse significantly. It would absorb a lot of the energy at the expense of its own survival. The occupant would be less exposed to the force of the impact than in a tank, but more likely to get skewered by something broken. Large cars are of course designed to absorb the much greater forces they generate, but I think it's unlikely that a 2 tonne car is twice as safe in a crash as a 1 tonne car assuming the same number of airbags and so on.

In a bigger car you are of course also further from the accident when it happens, but none of this takes away from the fact that getting that extra energy away from the occupants is a big problem. The evidence is in the figures in the article. Despite modern cars having many more airbags, more sophisticated seatbelts and other safety features, the number of deaths for car occupants has hardly changed since 1998. If we all drove lighter cars they would require fewer or smaller airbags, and be a lot more economical.

In any case I'd rather drive into a big rock at 30mph in a 500kg F1 car than in a tank.
?Safer? cars are more dangerous for othe - L'escargot
Modern cars have much better safety features, such as multiple air
bags, side-impact protection and stronger frames.


Since the advent of monocoque construction very few cars have "frames".
--
L\'escargot.
?Safer? cars are more dangerous for othe - Leif
I knew there was a good reason why I feel ill at ease when a large 4x4 sits 6" behind me when I am on the motorway.

I have always wondered why cars get to big and heavy, and yet fuel economy stays the same. If they put these fuel efficient engines in lighter bodies you'd have incredible economy, but then again maybe safety would be too low?
?Safer? cars are more dangerous for othe - Group B
I have always wondered why cars get to big and heavy,
and yet fuel economy stays the same. If they put these
fuel efficient engines in lighter bodies you'd have incredible economy, but
then again maybe safety would be too low?



I find it ridiculous that cars have put on so much weight in the pursuit of NCAP ratings. IMO a modern supermini should not weigh more than a mid-sized family car of 20 years ago.

Gordon Murray has joined Caparo, to help develop the use of lightweight composite materials in mainstream car design. Sounds like good news to me. But they've probably got their work cut out to get major weight reductions; how much would a Focus cost with a carbon fibre chassis?

www.channel4.com/4car/news/news-story.jsp?news_id=...4
?Safer? cars are more dangerous for othe - Lud
I have always wondered why cars get to big and heavy,
and yet fuel economy stays the same. If they put these
fuel efficient engines in lighter bodies you'd have incredible economy, but
then again maybe safety would be too low?


I very much doubt if there would be much difference. I very much doubt that the improvement in safety with modern cars is worth the extra bulk. Cars have been getting fatter (and usually uglier) in recent years because of 'safety' lobbying by ignorant 'car buyers' (NB not motorists) and politicians and media sucking up to them and egging them on. It's a load of carp but since motorists are outnumbered a hundred to one by these people who might just as well be buying a washing machine or TV, and drive their cars like someone operating one of those devices, there's nothing that can be done on a large scale.

Motorists of course can try to find an old car or buy a Caterham 7 or something. If they can be bothered and have the time or money.
?Safer? cars are more dangerous for othe - L'escargot
And what do the insurers force 17 year olds to drive?


The reason for this is that in general smaller cars are less powerful. Becoming a good driver requires years of driving experience to recognise all the hazardous situations well in advance and to have the prudence to act accordingly ~ and this is what 17 year-olds lack.
--
L\'escargot.
?Safer? cars are more dangerous for othe - No Do$h
I've fitted an 8mm alloy sump guard, or "crushing ramp" to my 4x4*, so you won't even have time to register the tinkling glass of your broken rear lights before 2.7tonnes of car is sat on your headrests. Consider it a kindness on my part.

Frivolity aside, anyone here familiar with the laws of unintended consquences? We all demanded occupant safety and lo, we got it. At the time nobody was too bothered about altruism to the muppet who drove into you. Now we have a society that thrives on encouraging feelings of personal guilt (I thought the reformation did away with that, but there you go) and we now want to save the poor victims who drive into us. Perhaps so we can drag them from the wreckage and give them a proper kicking?

I can imagine the various design meetings where a lone voice from the back points out that making the new PedStroyer3000 from 15mm Titanium and filling it with airbags is all very well, but that there may be "collateral damage", only to be shouted down as focus groups haven't identified this as a problem yet.

(*yes, it has been declared to my insurers)
?Safer? cars are more dangerous for othe - No Do$h
I'm going to be buying shares in every aluminium smelter in the western world when the market next has a hiccup. A lot of manufacturers are looking to massively reduce the weight of their behemoths to improve economy and CO2 output through increased use of Aluminium and other light but strong materials.
?Safer? cars are more dangerous for othe - Ravenger
Another problem with modern cars are thick A-pillars that can seriously obstruct your view at junctions. They're obviously safer for the occupants in a crash, but they are a safety hazard when it comes to pulling out at junctions.

I love driving my C-Max, but I have to lean forward quite a bit a junctions just to make sure no vehicles or pedestians are obscured behind the A-Pillars, and often double check just to make sure.

I've had a few scary moments where I've looked, seen nothing, then looked again and spotted a car appearing from behind the pillar.
?Safer? cars are more dangerous for othe - Cliff Pope
to improve economy and CO2 output through increased
use of Aluminium and other light but strong materials.


I had an idea that smelting Aluminium uses a lot of energy? I seem to remember from school geography that Aluminium smelters were favoured in countries having very cheap hydro-electric power.
?Safer? cars are more dangerous for othe - Brian Tryzers
>Aluminium smelters were favoured in countries having very cheap hydro-electric power.

Yes - Iceland, for example. Two contrasting views of the situation here www.alcoa.com/iceland/en/home.asp and here www.savingiceland.org
?Safer? cars are more dangerous for othe - No Do$h
to improve economy and CO2 output through increased
>> use of Aluminium and other light but strong materials.
>>
I had an idea that smelting Aluminium uses a lot of
energy? I seem to remember from school geography that Aluminium smelters
were favoured in countries having very cheap hydro-electric power.


You don't think car manufacturers give a stuff about that do you? They will major on the consumer costs, otherwise eco disasters like the Prius wouldn't be on the road.
?Safer? cars are more dangerous for othe - Leif
A lot of manufacturers are looking to massively reduce the weight
of their behemoths to improve economy and CO2 output through increased
use of Aluminium and other light but strong materials.



Errrr, doesn't aluminium require far more energy to produce compared to iron and steel, in which case the CO2 savings are negated or worse? (I hear some Al smelters are using hydro power but not many.)
?Safer? cars are more dangerous for othe - bignick
Design of the front end of modern vehicles has been heavily influenced by the legal requirement to safely deflect a 'target' pedestrian up and to the side rather than down and under the vehicle.

I am sure one part of the NCAP test is how well a vehicle survives rear end and side impacts not just head on.

Cars tend to get larger during the models lifespan - the Mk 1 Golf is much smaller than the current model, in fact the current Polo looks larger than the MK1 golf to me.
?Safer? cars are more dangerous for othe - DP
I saw a beautiful, immaculate mk1 GTI in the local Halfords car park last weekend, and the first thing that strikes you is how dinky it is. I think you're right, a current Polo is probably bigger.

The latest generation of small cars seems to have "jumped" significantly again. The new Clio, 207 and Corsa look huge compared to their predecessors!!

Cheers
DP
?Safer? cars are more dangerous for othe - Brian Tryzers
Side impacts, yes, but not rear.
?Safer? cars are more dangerous for othe - f2
Don't forget that it's not just safety equipment that adds weight. We all want power steering, air con, etc.
And don't forget the weight penalty of all those cups of all those "costabucks" aspirational coffees sitting in the cupholders ...

 

Value my car