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