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The Car Connection: It's Official: SUVs Are Safer Than Cars (Well, Mostly)

Discussion in 'Other Cars' started by cwerdna, Jun 9, 2011.

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  1. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    This related to http://priuschat.com/forums/freds-house-pancakes/94886-suvs-now-least-likely-rollover-crashes.html and the IIHS study mentioned there. Wasn't sure I should start another thread.

    It's Official: SUVs Are Safer Than Cars (Well, Mostly)


    Found out about it when a FB friend/acquaintance of mine posted the above along with...


    :rolleyes:
    I'm tempted to respond (but restraining myself, for now) from posting a response regarding the consequences being much more than just "higher fuel costs". I don't know his views are and don't know what he drives but long ago he posted a pic of how much he spent to fill up ($99.70 for 23.469 gallons). Someone commented "woah this is for ur hummer?" He didn't respond to that.
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  2. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    From my understanding, the reason attributed to the lower fatality rate is advanced safety options such as stability control are pretty standard now in SUVs.
    While lower priced cars, stability control is not as common.
    So the question shouldn't be 'is your life worth higher fuel costs', it should be 'is your life worth sending the extra on safety features'.
  3. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    IDIOTS. They are just inviting an arms race.
  4. slortzII

    slortzII New Member

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    Spot on. That's exactly the analogy I thought of too because the logical conclusion is that everyone should start moving towards bigger and bigger vehicles because that will always make you relatively safer.
    Hmmmm, the fatality rate for drivers of steamrollers is 0.0000001% so we should all drive steamrollers to be as safe as possible. Then when we all drive steamrollers someone will start driving a steamroller crusher and be even safer than the 0.00000001% fatality rate for regular steamrollers and then we're all having to gravitate towards the steamroller crushers. Brilliant.
  5. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    ^^
    The safety differences are a result of a larger vehicle hitting a smaller vehicle, all else being equal. Your neighbor's 'safe' SUV becomes less safe next year when the neighbor two houses down buys an even bigger monstrosity.
  6. Chuck.

    Chuck. Honda Enzyte Driver

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    Big, does not rollover and has the worst fuel economy of any land vehicle on the planet

    [​IMG]
  7. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Yep. Also, since people mentioned stability control, from the PDF:


  8. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    Physics 101 should make this clear. I don't know how single-vehicle accidents fare; e.g. a 5 star compact roll-over is it more or less safe than a 5 star SUV? I don't know. But I'd definitely rather be in a 4 star SUV than a 5 star compact if they hit each other.

    We ARE sacrificing safety in our vehicles vs certain other vehicles and we shouldn't have any illusion otherwise. I said certain, though; I just got rid of a minivan. Much larger than Prius, but was not well rated in accidents, had no side airbags, and no stability control. So I'd rather a new compact or midsize than an older fullsize or suv/minivan.
  9. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    So... passenger cars only? What about light trucks (which includes minivans)
  10. msvenable

    msvenable New Member

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    Hi; I'd posted a little earlier in another thread. I had both a 2010 IV prius that I loved and a 4runner. About 8 weeks ago around 5:45 am one morning in the dark going to work; I apparently had a major side impact (mine) with a large jeep much like my 4runner. I have absolutely no memory at all of the entire event and little memory for the next couple of weeks or more. I remember bits and pieces from the hospital, but not much. I got hit on the passenger side; throwing the passenger side into the driver's side.
    All air bags deployed but I was pretty injured. I'm now gripping with the fact I may not be completely the same and am not happy. I have no clue what actually happened as it was like a light was turned off after I drove to a certain road near where I would have entered our plant. I just looked at the pictures and it's brutal. Both cars were propelled into tanker stations and I hit those from the back and tore down a small tree in the process. Both vehicles ended up far from the impact. The back window was also impaled.

    I miss my prius as I really loved it. I'm now just driving the 4runner and it's difficult to turn the wheel. It gets around 16mpg.....and it's painful to steer and get into/out of. I'm able and would like to purchase another prius or another small vehicle but am so afraid to do so. I'm 54 and life may change for me. I'm still hoping to completely get over this.

    I'm just writing to see if anyone else has had this experience and how they made sense of it. How do you overcome this fear of side impacts with an SUV? Even driving mine now, I'm so afraid something will happen to cause me to crash with another small car. I have to drive to physical therapy but am not allowed to work yet. I had major spinal surgery 6 weeks ago to repair the damage and bolt a few vertabrae together. All that is ok; how about the extreme fear? What can I do to see beyond the fear now?

    P.S. I'm so grateful to be alive. I'm just venting my emotions and fears. Whatever happens with work, I'm alive.

    Attached Files:

  11. mmcdonal

    mmcdonal Active Member

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    I think it is important to point out that now that most SUV's are car-based, and not cheap cabins on top of truck frames (with the attendant higher center of gravity) there is nothing that makes them a "sport utility vehicle" anymore. They are just glorified station wagons. I think that we should all start calling them what they are, then. Anything that is car-based should just be called a station wagon. Are you with me?

    BTW, I want the Prius v, or Prius station wagon, when it comes out.
  12. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    A real station wagon still must conform to passenger car safety standards, including the crash compatibility standards that prevent the bumpers from riding over the top of the crash protection features of the cars they strike.

    The jeep that hit Msvenable obviously did not conform, as it did not engage the floor pan (photo #1) when it caved in the Prius's door. This is a major contributor to SUV and pickup non-occupant mortality.

    Until these SUVs are required to meet these standards, I refuse to dignify them with the 'station wagon' label.
  13. bruceha_2000

    bruceha_2000 Senior Member

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    I agree and it applies to crossovers as well; it is one of my pet peeves. ALL vehicles on the road should be REQUIRED to have bumpers at the SAME height as cars are REQUIRED to have.
    - People who drive vehicles with higher bumpers should be seen as 'at fault' for the damage in any accident BECAUSE they are driving something that is inherently unsafe in a 'non matching height' collision.
    - Those people should have MUCH higher insurance costs because they are much MORE likely to cause material and medical damage.
    - There is NO reason for them to be higher off the ground. They drive the same roads as cars. If they go 'off road' they can install pneumatic lifts.

    To Msvenable:
    First, I am sorry for your troubles and I hope the medical injuries heal!
    Second, given how hard you were hit, I suspect if the Jeep hit another SUV, the driver and vehicle would not have fared much better than you did.
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  14. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    Wow, glad to hear you made it out, that is a terrible accident.

    Your fear of driving is 100% understandable. If it's really causing you continual duress while driving, you might benefit from talking to a professional. I've been in 7 accidents in my life (virtually all as a teenager), but none major, somehow.

    We all take risks when we drive or do anything. At some point you just have to remain blissfully ignorant of it or else worrying about it constantly will ruin things for you.

    Agree with last poster about bumpers. Lifted trucks, which have been shown to absolutely F**K people in accidents, should be outright banned on public roads.
  15. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    wow! I'm just amazed at the damage shown in those photos. The SUV managed to miss the B-pillar and was high enough that it missed the door sills (both of which would have helped reduced the intrusion into the cabin, I would think). A side impact is quite difficult for a manufacturer because there's very little space to work with between the outside and the cabin. If that SUV hit another SUV, it may or may not have fared better. It might roll over. It might still miss the door sill and b-pillar.

    I'm happy to hear that you're safe and recovering (and hopefully onward to a full recovery!). I've been in a side impact where an older 70s style Ford coupe smashed into a Camry. He wasn't going that fast so the intrusion wasn't too bad (and I was on the passenger side which was the side that got it). All I remember from that was that I remembered my elbow, which was resting on the door armrest, was pushed in. The Camry had no side airbags and I'm not sure if it was built to the (at that time) new 1997 side impact passenger standards (which I believe was the dual door side-beams??).

    I'm not a physiotherapist or a psychologist, so I wouldn't know what to say with respect to getting over the fear or a side impact (either getting hit or hitting someone). Maybe stop driving for a while til you recover, then slowly ease in and drive again??

    Or just be extra careful as you drive around right now and be super attentive.
  16. Corwyn

    Corwyn Energy Curmudgeon

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    Can you please provide the equations from Physics 101 which make this clear.



    This makes star rating of cars completely useless in my opinion.
  17. mmcdonal

    mmcdonal Active Member

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    msvenable (good old Colonial era East Coast family name, btw) I would like to point out that white cars are the least likely to be struck by another vehicle by about 800%, according to a study done by BMW many years ago. Given the color of the car and the time of day, and the apparent angle of the impact, it looks like car color might have been an issue here.

    I purchased a white Prius specifically based on this data, and the times of day that I commute (6-7 am weekdays). Most of the year it is dark or dusk when I commute, which is when darker colored cars fade into the street - especially silver cars. Perhaps a white car, or side marker tape would help ease your fears.

    Consider, you have also expended a great deal of actuarial probability by having this accident, so unless there is something inherently dangerous about your driving, you probably have a pass for quite some time. (Yes, I know how probability works, but just being nice.)

    Hope all is well.
  18. tonyrenier

    tonyrenier I grew up, but it's still red!

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    Thanks for the link, I did post. Seems to justify the "it's all about me" mentality. I'm worth more than your family, you know that, don't you?
    And, I hope you know that's gallows humor.
  19. tonyrenier

    tonyrenier I grew up, but it's still red!

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    Tideland,
    Not sure if it was the motorcycle accident at 16 or the T-boning of my friend's car when I was 15 (hit the back where I was sitting-66 Mustang going very high rate of speed hit a 65 Buick Electra). Electra spun several times before hitting a ditch and flipping. But I am a Psychotherapist or "Psycho" therapist. Fortunately, I was a kid and "bullet Proof".
    Gonna get those Banff pictures up after I finish a very messy divorce.
  20. tonyrenier

    tonyrenier I grew up, but it's still red!

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    I wrote a response to "Tideland".

    I'm a therapist/counselor/whatever. You're probably suffering from Acute Stress; see a qualified counselor/therapist/whatever before it turns into PTSD. By the way, neither of these are "mental illness". They are natural, physical responses to experiences beyond the norm.
    Good Luck,
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