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Weight vs Visibility, Which is Safer?

mbriguy11mbriguy11 New JerseyPosts: 4
edited October 2016 in Chevrolet
Hi all,
I'm interested in the Subaru Outback, which I know is one of the top cars for visibility, and has lots of cool safety features. But I'm also interested in the Chevy Traverse due to it weight being 1,000+ pounds heavier than the Outback. The Traverse and Outback have the best safety for my price, but the Traverse has very poor visibility, I know from driving my cousin's around a lot. My question is, what is better? 1,000 lbs heavier or superior visibility?

I'm driving on suburban roads and congested NJ highways. Really at a dilemma here, and could use some input. Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 104,425
    mbriguy11 said:

    Hi all,
    I'm interested in the Subaru Outback, which I know is one of the top cars for visibility, and has lots of cool safety features. But I'm also interested in the Chevy Traverse due to it weight being 1,000+ pounds heavier than the Outback. The Traverse and Outback have the best safety for my price, but the Traverse has very poor visibility, I know from driving my cousin's around a lot. My question is, what is better? 1,000 lbs heavier or superior visibility?

    I'm driving on suburban roads and congested NJ highways. Really at a dilemma here, and could use some input. Thanks in advance.

    What is more important to you, when considering safety? How well you stay out of accidents or what happens if you get into one?

    I tend to value the former, but you can't alter the laws of physics, either.

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  • mbriguy11mbriguy11 New JerseyPosts: 4
    Yeah I guess my question is then, would 1,000 lbs be enough of a difference to be a major factor in what happens in an accident?
  • mbriguy11mbriguy11 New JerseyPosts: 4
    edited October 2016
    I am experienced with the Traverse, but still see its visibility as a hindrance. If the case can be made that 1,000lbs is a large safety difference, I would probably choose it.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 104,425
    mbriguy11 said:

    I am experienced with the Traverse, but still see its visibility as a hindrance. If the case can be made that 1,000lbs is a large safety difference, I would probably choose it.

    I'm not an expert, but I would guess the difference is minimal.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 63,010
    edited October 2016
    As far as weight being a safety factor, I always liked the answer: "Depends what you hit, and how fast you hit it".

    I think the dynamics of car accidents are too complex to give some additional weight an automatic advantage. So much depends not only on dynamics of the accident, but construction of the vehicle.

    Some of the safest cars in the world after all (race cars) are among the lightest.

    One could argue that visibility and the agility of the lighter vehicle are worth as much as sheer poundage.

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  • mbriguy11mbriguy11 New JerseyPosts: 4

    As far as weight being a safety factor, I always liked the answer: "Depends what you hit, and how fast you hit it".

    I think the dynamics of car accidents are too complex to give some additional weight an automatic advantage. So much depends not only on dynamics of the accident, but construction of the vehicle.

    Some of the safest cars in the world after all (race cars) are among the lightest.

    One could argue that visibility and the agility of the lighter vehicle are worth as much as sheer poundage.

    Yes I agree that the dynamics of the accident are very important. I am asking specifically of the Traverse due to its weight + great safety ratings in tests of multiple kinds of accidents. There are cars just as heavy as the Traverse, but with poorer ratings in certain types of accidents. Additionally I believe the Traverse is unibody design, which is much safer than body-on-frame.

    I was recently in an accident in a Ford Escape, that has excellent visibility and maneuverability. An elderly woman made a left in front of my car in an intersection, as I was going straight through at around 35mph, and there was no avoiding it, no-matter the agility and visibility of my Escape. She was in a sedan, which was lighter than my Escape, and she was badly injured. I escaped with minor injured, however the car was totaled.

    So I'm pretty 'enthusiastic' about safety now, and just feel like the bigger and heavier, along with top safety ratings, the better. The Traverse is about 4,800 lbs, whereas my Escape was about 3,400 lbs. The Outback is slightly heavier than the Escape at around 3,700 lbs, but also includes really advanced safety features and technology, such as lane departure warning and automatic braking for forward collisions. Essentially I am still at a big dilemma, because in an accident I can't avoid, a heavier car with better ratings would be optimal. But the blind spots and bad visibility are still making me reluctant.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 63,010
    No easy answer here because of all the variables. I personally would find poor visibility very annoying but I guess the newer safety features and cameras tend to mitigate this problem.

    It's difficult to second-guess an accident. What can you say if some object comes through your windshield? All the weight and safety ratings in the world won't help you there.

    When it comes right down to it, I think there is no such thing as a "safe" car. Some are "safer" than others, or better yet, "less dangerous" but no vehicle in an accident is "safe". You're always vulnerable to something.

    Best you can do is control everything that it is within your power to control. You can't control other drivers.

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  • texasestexases Posts: 8,548
    According to this web site, the Outback is one of the safest cars available, and they include weight in their ranking scheme:
    http://www.informedforlife.org/viewartcl.php?index=1
    So unless you need 3 rows, I would go for the Outback.
    Once you get into the mid-size and up range, weight is less of a factor.
    That web site includes lots of info on lots of cars, along with a discussion and facts regarding the role of weight in vehicle safety.
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