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If Bigger is Safer, Why so Many Local Articles Like This?

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Old 03-12-2008, 01:50 PM
Chuck Chuck is offline
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If Bigger is Safer, Why so Many Local Articles Like This?

BEDFORD - A fatal multi-vehicle car accident Tuesday on Airport Freeway shut down part of the highway in Bedford for hours as police investigated the scene.

Investigators said an SUV was changing lanes at about 6:30 p.m. when it clipped another car. Witnesses said the SUV flipped over four to five times. The driver of the SUV was killed. The driver of the other car was sent to a hospital with injuries that were reportedly not life-threatening.

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Old 03-12-2008, 03:10 PM
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xcel xcel is online now
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Re: If Bigger is Safer, Why so Many Local Articles Like This?

Hi Chuck:

___The P/U and SUV’s Fatal flaw

___Good Luck

___Wayne
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:01 PM
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basjoos basjoos is offline
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Re: If Bigger is Safer, Why so Many Local Articles Like This?

I've seen those police chase videos where a pursuing police car just needs to lightly kiss the rear inside wheel of the SUV with the front bumper of their patrol car while the SUV is making a low speed turn and the SUV will instantly flip onto its roof.
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:48 PM
worthywads worthywads is offline
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Re: If Bigger is Safer, Why so Many Local Articles Like This?

This may well be the way the local media reports it or simply a bias in perception but the IIHS data shows that bigger is safer.

http://www.iihs.org/research/fatalit...occupants.html

These figures are in "Driver deaths per million registered passenger vehicles 1-3 years old, by crash type, 2005". They are sub-divided into multiple vehicle (MV) accident deaths, single vehicle (SV), and single vehicle rollover (SVR) deaths and the combined ALL deaths.

Here are cars compared by size.

Size MV SV SVR ALL
Mini 94 50 31 144
small 61 45 24 106
Mid 39 32 14 70
Large 43 25 11 67
Huge 27 16 7 44

The first number Multiple Vehicle (MV) has an improving trend small to large from 94 mini to 27 Huge with the only exception being the Mid is slightly better than Large.

The second number Single Vehicle (SV) also has an improving trend small to large from 50 mini to 16 huge, no exceptions this time.

The third number Single Vehicle Rollover (SVR) is the portion of the SV number that were rollovers. Again the trend improves from small to huge.

The final number combines MV and SV and indeed trends strongly in favor of larger vehicles.

A comparison of Cars vs SUV finds that SUVs result in fewer deaths than cars.

Mini MV SV SVR ALL
Car 94 50 31 144
suv no such vehicle

Small
CAR 61 45 24 106
SUV
2WD 37 29 18 66
4wd 24 33 21 57

The smallest SUVs have less rollover deaths than small cars, but overall combined 42% less deaths. Compared to MINI small SUVs also have lower rollover and combined 134% less deaths.

Midsize
CAR 39 32 14 70
SUV
2WD 28 46 34 74
4wd 17 31 21 57

Now SUVs have a much higher rollover death rate, but if you subtract the SVR from the SV it appears that people die more frequently in SV car accidents than SV SUV accidents. Cars 18, 2wd 12, 4wd 10. That would suggest that plowing into an inanimate object is safer in an SUV.

Again overall midsize SUV combined are 6% less deaths.

The growing trend is 4wd SUV is much safer tha Car or 2wd SUV.

Large
CAR 43 25 11 67
SUV
2WD 19 33 30 52
4wd 16 28 18 45

Still bad news for SUV rollover and somehow 2wd SUV single vehicle is almost always a rollover, but still safer than a car. In all areas the Large vehicle is safer than the midsize. Similar trend, if you're going to crash into something, much safer in an SUV.

Very Large
CAR 27 16 7 44
SUV
4wd 8 16 8 24

Here the single vehicle numbers are almost identical but the 4wd SUV is by far the safest vehicle of all categories. Hard for me to conclude that the biggest 4wd SUV isn't the safest vehicle on the road.

If my top concern was personal safety, I'd explore the big SUVs to find which of them was the safest.

All
CAR 46 33 16 79
SUV
2WD 27 39 30 66
4wd 18 31 20 49

It is often speculated here that there is no value to 4wd, yet the IIHS data shows that in every size the 4wd vs 2wd SUV shows a reduction in deaths with 4wd.

I understand that these are simply averages and individual vehicles may perform a lot worse or a lot better than the average in each class size but it seems to be undeniable that on average larger cars have fewer deaths than smaller cars and larger 4wd SUVs have few deaths than smaller 4wd SUV and similar sized or smaller cars.
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Old 03-12-2008, 05:23 PM
Elixer Elixer is offline
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Re: If Bigger is Safer, Why so Many Local Articles Like This?

the problem with your statistics is that it doesn't take driving habits into account, which play as much of a factor in vehicle death rates as the vehicle driven.

This is clearly shown by the fact that 4wd cars have fewer deaths than 2wd cars. Obviously a identical car that is 4wd has no advantage over 2wd car in an accident. Are we really to believe then that 4wd prevented this many accidents? The kind of accidents 4wd could save you from are not the fatal ones - driving in snow/mud at 25mph and having an accident is very unlikely to be fatal. Therefore the difference must be the driver. People who buy 4wd cars are safer drivers than those who drive 2wd.

So, if there is such a large disparity between 2wd and 4wd cars based upon the driver, it's logical to assume that the same disparity exists between drivers of small and large cars.

To me it is logical that large cars are safer than smaller ones, however if safety is important you should consider the individual car's safety statistics and ratings, not the size of the car. Don't trust statistics, because they show correlation not cause.
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Old 03-12-2008, 05:26 PM
Chuck Chuck is offline
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Re: If Bigger is Safer, Why so Many Local Articles Like This?

As Elixer hints, false security behind the wheel often turns into hubris.
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:00 PM
Vooch Vooch is offline
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Re: If Bigger is Safer, Why so Many Local Articles Like This?

Sorry, but bigger isn't safer - I am familiar with the stats you cite, they are heavily skewed by some poorly designed small cars.

Well designed is safer. A tiny car beats almost every single large car in your survey:

the Audi A4 wagon

You are much safer in the tiny Audi A4 than a Lincoln or a Hummer


the mid sized Passat car beats 350 out of 372 cars in your survey - it beats every single pick-up, every single large US made car, almost every single SUV, every single Minivan, etc. etc.


There was a good article in Science magazine a couple of issues back which reviewed the empirical data in some detail. It concluded that bigger is not better.

Highway Loss 5 year data Safest:

36 Porsche(s) Mid Sports
41 Ford T-Bird Conv Large Sports
41 Toyota Land Cruiser Large SUV
45 Audi A4 wagon Small Wagon
46 Mercedes SL Class Mid Sports
49 Buck Park Ave Large Lux
49 Range Rover Large SUV
51 Jag XJ Large Lux
52 Lexus LS 430 Large Lux
53 Mercedes S class Very Large Lux
53 Subaru Outback Mid Wagon
53 Lexus LX 470 Large SUV
54 Ford Freestyle Mid Wagon
55 Buick LeSabre Large 4 DR
55 Volvo XC90 Mid SUV
56 Suburban Large SUV
56 Yukon Large SUV
56 VW Tourage Large SUV
58 Volvo V70 wagon Large Lux
58 Saab 9-5 Mid Lux
58 Toyota Sienna Very Large Minivan
58 Buick Rainier Mid SUV
59 BMW 7 series Very Large Lux
59 Audi A4 cabrio Small 2dr
60 Audi A8 Very Large Lux
60 Corvette Mid Sports
61 Cadillac DeVille Large Lux
61 Hummer H2 Very Large SUV
61 Buick Rendezvous Mid SUV
62 Mercedes E Class Large Lux
62 Lexus SC 430 Mid Sports

Death rates best cars (average 79)

11 Infiniti G35 Mid Lux
11 BMW 7 series V. large Lux
13 Toyota 4 runner Mid SUV
14 Audi A4 Mid Size
14 Merc E class Large Lux
14 Toyota Highlander Mid SUV
14 Mercedes M class Mid SUV
18 Lexus ES330 Mid Lux
18 Toyota Sequoia Large SUV
19 Honda Pilot Mid SUV
19 BMW X5 Mid SUV
21 Mercedes S class V. large Lux
21 Chvy Avalanche Large SUV
21 Infiniti QX56 Large SUV
24 Mercedes C Mid Lux
28 Lexus RX330 Mid SUV
29 Volvo V70 Large Lux
29 Volvo S80 Large Lux
30 Lexus LS430 Large Lux
30 Cadilac Seville Large Lux
31 Ford Expedition Large SUV

Last edited by Vooch : 03-12-2008 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:37 PM
chief302 chief302 is offline
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Re: If Bigger is Safer, Why so Many Local Articles Like This?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vooch View Post
Sorry, but bigger isn't safer - I am familiar with the stats you cite, they are heavily skewed by some poorly designed small cars.

Well designed is safer. A tiny car beats almost every single large car in your survey:

the Audi A4 wagon

You are much safer in the tiny Audi A4 than a Lincoln or a Hummer


the mid sized Passat car beats 350 out of 372 cars in your survey - it beats every single pick-up, every single large US made car, almost every single SUV, every single Minivan, etc. etc.


There was a good article in Science magazine a couple of issues back which reviewed the empirical data in some detail. It concluded that bigger is not better.

Highway Loss 5 year data Safest:

36 Porsche(s) Mid Sports
41 Ford T-Bird Conv Large Sports
41 Toyota Land Cruiser Large SUV
45 Audi A4 wagon Small Wagon
46 Mercedes SL Class Mid Sports
49 Buck Park Ave Large Lux
49 Range Rover Large SUV
51 Jag XJ Large Lux
52 Lexus LS 430 Large Lux
53 Mercedes S class Very Large Lux
53 Subaru Outback Mid Wagon
53 Lexus LX 470 Large SUV
54 Ford Freestyle Mid Wagon
55 Buick LeSabre Large 4 DR
55 Volvo XC90 Mid SUV
56 Suburban Large SUV
56 Yukon Large SUV
56 VW Tourage Large SUV
58 Volvo V70 wagon Large Lux
58 Saab 9-5 Mid Lux
58 Toyota Sienna Very Large Minivan
58 Buick Rainier Mid SUV
59 BMW 7 series Very Large Lux
59 Audi A4 cabrio Small 2dr
60 Audi A8 Very Large Lux
60 Corvette Mid Sports
61 Cadillac DeVille Large Lux
61 Hummer H2 Very Large SUV
61 Buick Rendezvous Mid SUV
62 Mercedes E Class Large Lux
62 Lexus SC 430 Mid Sports

Death rates best cars (average 79)

11 Infiniti G35 Mid Lux
11 BMW 7 series V. large Lux
13 Toyota 4 runner Mid SUV
14 Audi A4 Mid Size
14 Merc E class Large Lux
14 Toyota Highlander Mid SUV
14 Mercedes M class Mid SUV
18 Lexus ES330 Mid Lux
18 Toyota Sequoia Large SUV
19 Honda Pilot Mid SUV
19 BMW X5 Mid SUV
21 Mercedes S class V. large Lux
21 Chvy Avalanche Large SUV
21 Infiniti QX56 Large SUV
24 Mercedes C Mid Lux
28 Lexus RX330 Mid SUV
29 Volvo V70 Large Lux
29 Volvo S80 Large Lux
30 Lexus LS430 Large Lux
30 Cadilac Seville Large Lux
31 Ford Expedition Large SUV
It appears more expensive is better, however...and you still can't deny the fact that most of the 'safer' vehicles are mid to large. I only see two small vehicles in the lot. I would say the Audi is an anomaly, not the norm, unfortunately. It also starts at over 30k, correct? It would be interesting to see the FE average for these top safety vehicles, not too many seem like real "hypermilers".
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:42 PM
Chuck Chuck is offline
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Re: If Bigger is Safer, Why so Many Local Articles Like This?

Seems like a lot of those safer vehicles are negated by having overconfident, inattentive drivers.

Those larger vehicles are more hazardous to whatever they collide with - particullary pedestrians...they tend to get more organ damage from a hit by the blunt front end.
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Old 03-12-2008, 10:12 PM
phoebeisis phoebeisis is offline
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Re: If Bigger is Safer, Why so Many Local Articles Like This?

"The tiny Audi A4 wagon"- it is right on the edge of an outright lie to call the 3671 LB Audi A4 wagon tiny! 3671 is for the lightest version-the 4 cyl with the MT.The heaviest version-6 cyl AT with all the BS options is pushing 4000 lbs.I understand exaggerating to make a point, but....
A 3671 lb car is pretty stout-explains its safety-lotta metal between the passengers and whatever hits it.All the German cars seem to be heavy for their length,width,height-no accident that MB brags about their safety-they use lots of metal to make them crashworthy(not a bad idea considering their no speed limit road).No surprise that expensive, heavily built cars are very safe.
Charlie
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