Comments about ‘Letters: Car weight, size and how it affects the safety of the vehicle’

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Published: Sunday, Feb. 10 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

The letter writer [a lobbyist from the Aluminum indestry] is only 1/2 right.

Although weight is a factor as to who "wins" in the collision,
A major factor in survivability is the size of the crump-zone.
[Where nad how material is placed in the design of the car,
safriced to absorb kenetic energy in the event of collision.]

Design engineering is a contant matter of compromise - never all or nothing, either or.
It's called compromise.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Manners affect safety. watch out for the other guy. Keep your car in tune. Stay in harmony with every thing and we can make beautiful music together. We can have tears of joy to see each other and not tears of sadness never to see each other again.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

When you're driving, the only car you're in control of is your own. Increasing efficiency is a good thing. And if you still think bigger is better, I've got a 77 Lincoln for sale. Beautiful car.

Impartial7
DRAPER, UT

Yeah. The Audi A-8 is a $85,000 vehicle. It takes special tools & skills to do any collision repair. When everyone else is driving a $40,000, 6,000 lb. 4wd BattleTruck, I'm putting my kids in one too.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

Impartial7 - I get what your are saying, but also remember that most of the leading edge safety and technology starts in high end vehicles, then trickles its way down to the average joe\jane car over time. Think of air bags, rear view cameras, distance detection sensors... etc. All showed up in premium cars, and are now standard features in many of the "standard" cars.

Now we have detection for things like lane wander, cars that break automatically to avoid collisions, and soon cars that share telemetry so that they can avoid each other. We are just starting to pull back the covers of what technology can do. Carbon fiber used to be for exotics only. Now the car I drive has carbon fiber breaks. Now not an exotic car, but I will admit it isn't a standard car either. But the technology is trickling down.

Emajor
Ogden, UT

"First, when it comes to crash safety, it's the vehicle's size — not weight — that matters."

No, it's both. All other things being equal, the heavier vehicle will inflict greater accelerative forces on the lighter vehicle, in turn putting greater accelerative forces on the occupants. This will happen even if the safety cage isn't compromised; a human body coming from 45 mph to a stop in only a few feet is bad on the internal organs. Severed aortas, ruptured livers, etc.

Flashback
Kearns, UT

I'll pit my very large, very heavy Dodge Ram pickup against anything on the road except a Semi, and my guess is that I'll come out ahead. Weight and size ratio vs less weight. I win.

crmeatball
South Jordan, UT

One item not even addressed here is the fact that the production of aluminum is very energy intensive. So we are sacrificing weight by using aluminum in order to obtain greater energy efficiency. But is that savings offset by the increased energy requirements in its production? I am all for increased efficiency, but only if it is actually more efficient. I don't know the exact numbers, but with the environmental lobby's penchant for "feel good" efficiency and not real efficiency, this makes me question whether this improvement is actually a gain. Take the production of ethanol for fuel use. It may reduce my car's emissions of CO2, but its production is simply shifted from consumption to manufacturing. Same is true for electric cars. They are not emissions free, they simply exhaust their emissions at the power plant. I would much rather focus our efforts in improve our energy efficiency in real ways and not simply in ways designed to make people "feel better" about how they are expending energy.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

Flashback - the numbers from IIHS would not agree with you. Per the stats, large luxury vehicles have the lowest death rates. Large SUVs and trucks have 3 times the death rate - with most of these coming from single vehicle accidents. In fact, in the SUV category, From the report...

"“Pound for pound across the vehicle types, cars almost always have lower death rates than either pickups or SUVs. This generally is because the SUVs and pickups have much higher rates of death in single-vehicle rollover crashes,” Lund explains. In some weight groups, the death rates in cars were dramatically lower. For example, the rate in cars weighing 3,501 to 4,000 pounds was about half of the rates in pickups or SUVs of similar weight."

"A more extreme example involves midsize four- wheel-drive SUVs. The Toyota 4Runner had only 12 driver deaths per million registered. This compares with 134 deaths per million for the two door Ford Explorer and 119 per million for the Land Rover Discovery."

The IIHS is the insurance industries testing group. Weight is a big factor - but hardly the deciding factor.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

Fast and nimble handling is always better. Racing a pickup or SUV is what is dangerous.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Flashback, my lincoln sedan is a match for your fargo pickup in weight, it can pull a trailer just as big with the sweet airbags I installed and the economical 460 tuned up just so, and it makes a rumble and has a presence on the road most other vehicles can't match. Plus, you can own it in one payment. It's a way sweeter ride, and it plays 8 tracks. Try that in your rig. Especially the payment part.

Flashback
Kearns, UT

Hutterite, My truck was paid for in one payment also. I too have sweet airbags that are standard equipment. I even wear my seatbelt all the time so Utahbluedevil's concerns about my untimely demise due to vehicle rollover would be unwarranted.

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