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IIHS Picks Safest Vehicles



  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    The preceding 15 or 16 posts have been moved from another discussion. :)
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    OK, so here's an analogy: suppose there are two car-sized boxes. One weighs 10 pounds. The other weighs 4000 pounds. Both run head-on (maybe at an offset) into another box that weighs 3000 pounds, with each box traveling at 20 mph. Which box do you think would have the most damage? The box that weighs 10 pounds, or the box that weighs 4000 pounds? Or would they suffer the same amount of damage?

    If you had a choice of being hit by the 10 pound box or the 4000 pound box, which would you choose?

    These are extreme examples of course, but do you see that the weight of the car does factor into the test if the car is moving?
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    Yes, of course the weight of the cars is a factor in a collision. This is a weakness of the current frontal tests. They adequately simulate a single vehicle crash or a crash with a similar weight vehicle.

    If a "good" rated civic has a head-on crash with lower rated, but 1000 pound haevier car (eg Impala)...which will prove to be safer. I'm pretty sure it would be the Impala. Now what if the weight difference is only 500 pounds? Is an "acceptable" Fusion safer (based on frontal crash test results) than a "good" civic? I'd guess probably...but it is only a guess.

    In a two vehicle accident the weight of both vehicles is a factor, because weight (actually mass :) ) is a factor in energy and momentum. So if a test has moving standard simulated vehicle crashing into a moving test vehicle, yes the weight of the test vehicle would be a factor...but this is just as it is in the real world.

    IIHS managed to come up with a moving sled for side impacts, not sure why something similar would not be done frontal. Design something mimicing the front end of 3000 or 3500 pound car (and/or truck/suv) and crash it into the front end of a moving test vehicle.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    ...yes the weight of the test vehicle would be a factor...but this is just as it is in the real world.

    OK, then we are in agreement I think. If the IIHS were to implement a frontal test as you have suggested, where a moving car hits a moving barrier, then the tests could not be compared across weight classes. That was the original question we were discussing. The question was not whether the IIHS could design such a test and if it would be useful, but just whether the results could be compared across weight classes.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    I don't see why you say it could not be compared across weight classes. :confuse:

    If they smashed a 3000 pound device into a Civic, the results would simulate what would happen in the real world if the civic were hit by a 3000 pound vehicle.

    If they smashed the same 3000 pound device into an Impala, the results would be indicative of what would happen in the real world if the impala were hit by a 3000 pound vehicle.

    Comparing them would tell you how one would do relative to other in a real world frontal collision with the same 3000 pound vehicle.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Didn't you just agree that weight would be a factor if both the cars and the sled were moving?? :confuse: :confuse: :confuse:

    We weren't talking about smashing a device into a car. I thought you had proposed taking a moving device and smashing it into a moving car.

    I'm done on this topic.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    I thought you had proposed taking a moving device and smashing it into a moving car.

    Yes, and this would mimic what would happen when a 3000 pound moving car smashes into the other moving (tested) car in the real world. Civics do not collide only with other Civics and Impalas with other Impalas in the real world.

    What is wrong with the idea of a standardized test that mimics a 2 vehicle accident? The Civic owner is just as likely to collide with a 3000 pound vehicle as is the Impala owner.
  • jim314jim314 Member Posts: 491
    To a first approximation it is the closing velocity of the two given vehicles that is relevant in determining the effect of a collison, and not their motion relative to the ground.

    Consider a head-on collision between a specific 4000-lb car and a specific 2000-lb car. The following different scenarios result in the same damage to the each of the cars, and in each case the crash accelerations will be twice as much to the smaller car.

    1. 4000-lb car is stationary and is hit head-on by the 2000-lb car travelling at 40 mph

    2. 2000-lb car is stationary and is hit head-on by the 2000-lb car travelling 40 mph

    3. 4000-lb car travelling 20 mph and 2000-lb car travelling 20 mph collide head on.

    The way to think of a vehicle collision, to a good first approximation, is to think of them as being out in space where there is no local frame of reference for speed.
  • jim314jim314 Member Posts: 491
    Correction to #111

    2. 2000-lb car is stationary and is hit head-on by the 4000-lb car travelling 40 mph.

    Addition: Remember that a 4000-lb car will in general be larger (and hence have a larger crush zone) and will in general be stronger (stiffer) than the 2000-lb car. This will reduce the likelihood of intrustions into the passenger space of the larger car.

    The two vehicle will exert equal but opposite collision forces on each other, but since F = ma the resulting accelerations (or changes in velocity) caused by the crash will be different and will be inversely proportional to the masses. This means that unrestrained occupants of the 2000-lb car will experience twice the force if they contact the inside of their own car than unrestrained occupants of the larger car. Unless an occupant is wholly or partially ejected from their car what injures them is the collision of their body with the inside of their own car.
  • rockyleerockylee Member Posts: 14,014
    Ford, GM fall off list as insurance industry group toughens criteria to promote improvements. 1148/AUTO01


    P.S. It's all a buncha B.S. because some cars don't have ESC. :mad:
  • rockyleerockylee Member Posts: 14,014
  • rockyleerockylee Member Posts: 14,014
    ARLINGTON, Va. — Thirteen cars and trucks from foreign manufacturers — including the Kia Sedona and Hyundai Entourage — won Top Safety Pick honors for 2007 models from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    One thing I don't get...they just came up with the gold and silver concept last year and now they already have changed to something different? :confuse:
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Not entirely different, but they have upped the ante as automakers have continued to improve the safety features of their cars. It was not long ago that active head restraints and ESC were pretty rare in non-luxury cars. Now they are becoming more common, with moderately-priced cars such as the Civic, Sentra, and Elantra having standard active head restraints and vehicles like the Tucson and Sonata having ESC standard. So now the IIHS is telling automakers, "Get with it! You did well on the frontal and side crash tests, Silver and Gold award winners, but times have changed and it will take more now to win our 'top pick' award."
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    Right, but I mean they are not using the gold and silver terminology. Now it is just something "best pick" and "also rans"
  • rockyleerockylee Member Posts: 14,014

    Oh boy....oh boy....Ford, sure is taking "bold moves" in it's advertising. :surprise:

  • orbit9090orbit9090 Member Posts: 116
    >> It's amazing not to see VW group receive the highest (safety) honors.

    Not surprising to me.

    After all, it's really not safe to be driving around in a Volkswagen :lemon: having no brake-lights
    or turn-signals after the "affordable German engineering" electrical system shorts out.

  • orbit9090orbit9090 Member Posts: 116


    Thanks in part to the IIHS, vehicle structural crash safety has greatly improved in recent years,
    in contrast to the dismal results from a 40mph crash test of a Ford Tempo.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 56,191
    Wow, that thing looks to have lost a couple feet of wheelbase. Scary.

    Reminds me of the tests of the late 90s F-150 extra cab that folded up like a pop can.
  • orbit9090orbit9090 Member Posts: 116
    >>jeffyscott said: IIHS managed to come up with a moving sled for side impacts, not sure why something similar would not be done frontal.


    The IIHS offset crash test is designed to simulate an offset head-on crash between two vehicles of the same size and weight travelling at the same speed. This allows consumers and insurance companies to judge which vehicles will provide the best protection PER CLASS. It is assumed the car buyer has a specific vehicle type and class in mind when shopping, and will then look to see which model offers the best protection in that class. Better protection theoretically will translate into lower insurance premiums over time.

    Consumers that place more trust in the "safety-of-size" may of course opt to purchase a class-size heavier, but this does not invalidate the categorical results of IIHS crash testing. One could also choose to travel at a slower speed in order to minimize potential injury in any potential collision. Or, one could simply stay home rather than venture-out into traffic at all. Because all of these human variable exist, crash-testing must make certain assumptions, using a "baseline", in order to make comparisons. You will hopefully learn more about these concepts in college physics.

    It is not reasonable to expect any organization to crash test every weight\size against every weight\size. However, vehicle manufacturers often take it upon themselves to crash-test their own vehicles of different sizes. In fact, Honda's ACE Safety Structure is specifically designed to minimize damage from crashes involving vehicles of different sizes.

  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    IIRC, when I posted that (7 months ago) I never suggested crash testing against all other sizes. I did suggest that they could simulate a crash with a standardized vehicle...just as they do in the side test.

    The current crash test simulates a single vehicle accident or one with a similar vehicle. An additional test, such as I suggest could be conducted to allow comparisons of a two vehicle collision across all vehicle classifications.

    BTW, your attitude comes off as rather arrogant. I do know a bit of physics having gotten a degree in that subject about 25 years ago.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    This is a very informative article. Awesome story:

    Why we Loved SUVs and Oh How Stupid It Was

    According to Bradsher, internal industry market research concluded that S.U.V.s tend to be bought by people who are insecure, vain, self-centered, and self-absorbed, who are frequently nervous about their marriages, and who lack confidence in their driving skills. Ford's S.U.V. designers took their cues from seeing "fashionably dressed women wearing hiking boots or even work boots while walking through expensive malls. " Toyota's top marketing executive in the United States, Bradsher writes, loves to tell the story of how at a focus group in Los Angeles "an elegant woman in the group said that she needed her full-sized Lexus LX 470 to drive up over the curb and onto lawns to park at large parties in Beverly Hills. " One of Ford's senior marketing executives was even blunter: "The only time those S.U.V.s are going to be off-road is when they miss the driveway at 3 a. m. "
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 56,191
    That's hilarious, thanks for sharing it.

    My old joke was always to the effect of "that thing will only go off road when it is in a shopping mall parking lot"...pretty much sums it up.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    This is for all you (ahem) "fanboys" of old cars and how you think because they were heavy and steel and strong that they were safer than today's modern cars.

    Um, you were wrong then and still wrong.

    Crash Test Wars: 1959 Chevy Bel Air VS 2009 Chevy Malibu
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    I discovered the same thing at a demolition derby a few years ago. One guy had a really old car and I thought it would do well due to weight and maybe having a frame. Instead it was easily demolished by the newer cars, it collapsed and fell apart just like the Bel Air in that video.
This discussion has been closed.