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Truly safe?

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 51,772
    I remember a woman neighbor who failed the driving test 7 times. She finally squeaked by. She was an AWFUL driver---horrible. She wore thick goggle-glasses. She was the type that was always tripping and walking into closed sliding doors in shopping malls (Ms. MaGoo?) I never followed up with how much damage, death and destruction she inspired, as I moved soon after, but I'm sure it was pure carnage.

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 49,629
    I have an outstanding ignition switch on the Grand Caravan that I've been ignoring. Now the news is saying that it's been recalled again.

    Maybe if I wait long enough, the third recall will actually be the fix and I won't have to cool my heels around the waiting room an extra three hours for the first two "repairs".

    Meanwhile, a press request:

    If you or your child recently took a driver's education course online, please email PR@edmunds.com by Friday, March 13, 2015 to tell a reporter what it was like.

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 49,629
    edited September 2015

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  • berriberri Posts: 5,888
    Maybe this isn't such a bad thing after so many years of "easy" on enforcement. Have to think some of that attitude emboldened VW here.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 49,629
    edited October 2015
    Good article on the Pinto and car safety from the New Yorker.

    "Last August, the traffic-safety expert Leonard Evans published a paper in the American Journal of Public Health. In the early nineteen-seventies, Evans wrote, the United States was often said to have the safest roads in the world, and since then traffic fatalities in the U.S. have declined by forty-one per cent. That sounds like an impressive number.

    But then Evans pointed out that, in the same period, traffic deaths in the Netherlands, for instance, declined at twice that rate. The United States, once No. 1 in the world in safety, has fallen to nineteenth place. If American highway deaths had followed the European pattern, Evans concluded, twenty thousand lives would have been saved in 2011 alone."

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  • slorenzenslorenzen Posts: 646
    stever said:

    Good article on the Pinto and car safety from the New Yorker.

    "Last August, the traffic-safety expert Leonard Evans published a paper in the American Journal of Public Health. In the early nineteen-seventies, Evans wrote, the United States was often said to have the safest roads in the world, and since then traffic fatalities in the U.S. have declined by forty-one per cent. That sounds like an impressive number.

    But then Evans pointed out that, in the same period, traffic deaths in the Netherlands, for instance, declined at twice that rate. The United States, once No. 1 in the world in safety, has fallen to nineteenth place. If American highway deaths had followed the European pattern, Evans concluded, twenty thousand lives would have been saved in 2011 alone."

    I wonder what the US numbers would be if people stayed off their phones.

    No talking.

    No texting.

  • texasestexases Posts: 6,903
    A good way to compare is deaths per billion passenger-km:
    Japan 8.3
    New Zealand 8.3
    Belgium 7.7
    Slovenia 7.6
    Spain 7.6
    United States 7.6
    Austria 6.9
    France 6.3
    Canada 6.1
    Australia 5.6
    Israel 5.2
    Germany 4.9
    Malta 4.9
    Netherlands 4.9
    Switzerland 4.9
    Finland 4.7
    United Kingdom 4.3
    Iceland 3.8
    Sweden 3.7
    Denmark 3.4
    Norway 3.3
    So the US is better than some, worse than others, not surprising given our lax licensing and often poor roads.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 37,174
    Distracted drivers, buy your way to a license standards, lax drunk driving laws, and poor infrastructure likely do most of that.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 6,562
    fintail said:

    Distracted drivers, buy your way to a license standards, lax drunk driving laws, and poor infrastructure likely do most of that.

    You mean US speed limits are not too high and the speed kills crowd is wrong? Seems to me some on these forums would argue we go in the wrong direction with speed limits despite Germany's strong showing on the above chart.

    2016 Audi TTS S-Tronic (DSG 6-Speed) quattro. Wife has 2015 VW Golf Sportwagen TDI SE
  • fintailfintail Posts: 37,174
    But but but...speed kills! Think of the children! Think of tenured secure positions and pensions! Oops, that wasn't supposed to get out, forget that.

    There are definitely a few here who likely think 55 was more than fast enough, thank you very much.
    andres3 said:



    You mean US speed limits are not too high and the speed kills crowd is wrong? Seems to me some on these forums would argue we go in the wrong direction with speed limits despite Germany's strong showing on the above chart.

  • berriberri Posts: 5,888
    Ironically, I think what the 55 speed rule really ended up accomplishing was giving the public a lack of trust in posted speed limits and therefore leading to more frequent speed limit violations. Government, business - any bureaucracy really, seldom thinks things through beyond the tip of their nose! Short term tactics, no real strategy. Besides, if anyone in the organization dare bring those kind of points up, they'd quickly get their loyalty to the organization questioned, rather than encourage some deeper thinking.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 49,629
    A reporter is looking to get in touch with car owners who are waiting for replacement parts, etc. for their faulty Takata air bags. If you're an affected owner and you'd like to help, please reach out to pr@edmunds.com by no later than Monday, November 9, 2015.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 51,772
    Hmmm...now why would New Zealand and Australia have such radically different rates? How odd.

    The reason the USA only has a mediocre rating is probably due to many complexities interacting, of which culture cannot be denied as a major player. As for Japan, anyone who has lived in Alaska knows that their climbers have had a pretty high fatality rate in the past. Is the samurai spirit still alive, deep in the psyche somewhere? Who knows.

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 49,629
    Hitting sheep in New Zealand must be deadlier than hitting 'roos in Australia.

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 49,629
    “For over half a century the automobile has brought death, injury and the most inestimable sorrow and deprivation to millions of people.”

    50 Years Ago, ‘Unsafe at Any Speed’ Shook the Auto World (NY Times)

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  • berriberri Posts: 5,888
    Ironically, I think compacts were fading for Intermediates by then anyway.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 51,772
    Still, you can't argue with the enormous drop in automobile fatalities per miles driven since the book was published.

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 49,629
    Tucker lives.

    "Automakers looking to earn top safety ratings are peering around the corner to prepare for the next directive from the industry’s de facto safety standard setter.

    This time, it will involve headlights.

    If all goes well...a good performance on the headlight assessment will become a requirement for a vehicle to earn the institute’s highest safety rating, Top Safety Pick+, as early as 2017."

    Insurance Institute trains its sights on headlights (autonews.com)

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  • texasestexases Posts: 6,903
    I'd rather they put more emphasis on visibility, many modern cars have terrible visibility to the rear.
  • agentorangeagentorange Posts: 844
    edited November 2015
    stever said:

    Tucker lives.

    "Automakers looking to earn top safety ratings are peering around the corner to prepare for the next directive from the industry’s de facto safety standard setter.

    This time, it will involve headlights.

    If all goes well...a good performance on the headlight assessment will become a requirement for a vehicle to earn the institute’s highest safety rating, Top Safety Pick+, as early as 2017."

    Insurance Institute trains its sights on headlights (autonews.com)

    It's about time. The USDoT wouldn't know a good headlight pattern if it fell on them. When I moved to the US in 1997 I was appalled at how far behind the US was in headlight performance compared to Europe. New cars with transverse filament sealed beams? I think they went away in the UK in about 1975. Small wonder the US came up with airbags first, a necessity when you cannot see where you are going.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 8,753


    It's about time. The USDoT wouldn't know a good headlight pattern if it fell on them. When I moved to the US in 1997 I was appalled at how far behind the US was in headlight performance compared to Europe. New cars with transverse filament sealed beams? I think they went away in the UK in about 1975. Small wonder the US came up with airbags first, a necessity when you cannot see where you are going.

    I agree 100%. Back in the '70s and '80s every car I bought was almost immediately fitted with a set of Cibie headlamps. I even installed a set of Hella E Codes on my 1999 Jeep Wrangler- and as a result it has better lighting than a majority of new cars.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2004 X3 2.5i Son's: 2009 328i


  • It's about time. The USDoT wouldn't know a good headlight pattern if it fell on them. When I moved to the US in 1997 I was appalled at how far behind the US was in headlight performance compared to Europe. New cars with transverse filament sealed beams? I think they went away in the UK in about 1975. Small wonder the US came up with airbags first, a necessity when you cannot see where you are going.

    I agree 100%. Back in the '70s and '80s every car I bought was almost immediately fitted with a set of Cibie headlamps. I even installed a set of Hella E Codes on my 1999 Jeep Wrangler- and as a result it has better lighting than a majority of new cars.

    I was using the SilverStar halogens in my car, but they burn out after about 2 years. I found HID adaptation from a company on line for less than the replacement Silverstars.

    VERY happy with them. Check it out if interested.

    http://ddmtuning.com/
  • berriberri Posts: 5,888
    I'd rather they put more emphasis on visibility, many modern cars have terrible visibility to the rear.

    Texases, you're thinking common sense. That doesn't seem to happen anymore in gov, universities or engineering. Complicated things bring in more money.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 6,562
    I wonder how many people would "opt-out" of mandated safety systems if it meant saving 25% or more on the car.
    2016 Audi TTS S-Tronic (DSG 6-Speed) quattro. Wife has 2015 VW Golf Sportwagen TDI SE
  • berriberri Posts: 5,888
    I'm guessing - Most!
  • texasestexases Posts: 6,903
    Not me. Death rates today are a fraction (1/10th) what they were in the '60s. I'm happy to pay for that.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 8,753
    I like ABS- and parking sensors on something with bad rear visibility, but I'd gladly forego all the stability/lane departure/blind spot nannies. Give me three pedals and a 25% locking diff and I'm good to go...

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2004 X3 2.5i Son's: 2009 328i

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,529
    texases said:

    A good way to compare is deaths per billion passenger-km:
    Japan 8.3
    New Zealand 8.3
    Belgium 7.7
    Slovenia 7.6
    Spain 7.6
    United States 7.6
    Austria 6.9
    France 6.3
    Canada 6.1
    Australia 5.6
    Israel 5.2
    Germany 4.9
    Malta 4.9
    Netherlands 4.9
    Switzerland 4.9
    Finland 4.7
    United Kingdom 4.3
    Iceland 3.8
    Sweden 3.7
    Denmark 3.4
    Norway 3.3
    So the US is better than some, worse than others, not surprising given our lax licensing and often poor roads.

    Italy is missing from the ranking. Hmmm, maybe they don't count kms. driven on sidewalks, alleys and shoulders!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 37,174
    I'll keep the airbags, ABS, ESP etc - it helps in emergencies when dodging the lowest common denominator being allowed on the road.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 51,772
    edited January 6
    Italian death rate per 100,000 inhabitants per year is way better than the USA. About the same as Canada. Italians are very good drivers--they just cut it real close but they know what they're doing. I spent a month driving there recently and I was duly impressed with their skill. And no road rage--zip, zero, did I observe. Now PARKING, that's a different story.

    I'm with roadburner--all I need is seat belts, air bags, ABS and a locking diff. A rear view camera on a small car like mine isn't necessary. I truly loathe all the other safety nannies. I bet someday we'll calculate that they cause as many accidents as they prevent, due to increasing the confidence of drivers who shouldn't have any.

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