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Discussion Starter #1
Most people assume that if they drive a large vehicle they are automatically better off in a crash than if they were in a small vehicle. I found an interesting site, which compares the Mini Cooper to the Ford F150. The following picture show how both vehicles perform when hitting a solid target a 40 MPH. Which would you rather be in?





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It will be interesting to see how the Liz will perform in this test.
 

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wow - hard to believe..
looks like Ford engineered a crumple zone into the passenger compartment:eek:
 

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Everyone interested in this topic should immediately read this New Yorker article endorsing the safety of sports cars, and exposing the danger of SUVs:

Big & Bad: How the SUV Ran Over Automobile Safety

I've sung the praises of this article before, but now it seems the entire reprint is online.

Like any piece of journalism, it has a biased point to make. Nonetheless, his reporting and conclusions are VERY persuasive (I think even SUV owners would agree).
 

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I posted something about this a while back. SUV's fall into a different category than cars and as such are not required to meet the same safety standards.

If you add in the fact that SUV's are inherently more unstable due to the high center of gravity well...
:eek:
 

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good! I'm happy about the mini. This will shut my friends and family up about it not being safe.
 

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It's incredible. Not only are the large trucks unsafe, they are gas hogs to boot.

That's one of the great side benefits of the Elise. She's safe and gets ~35mpg.
 

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In europe we have a similar test. The Elise is one of very few cars that could be driven away from the test. The car is VERY strong.

One of the other cars that could also be driven after the crash was the McLaren F1.
 

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Relative to the Mini vs F150, you see two things going on:
1) The Mini has much less energy to dissipate because of its low mass
2) The F150 has a stiff frame. The Mini is a unibody. With a stiff frame, the energy is not dissipated. The Mini does exactly what it was designed to do, crumple in a controlled manner.

Ever notice how an F1 car can go straight into a barrier at 170 mph and the driver walk away (think Burti at Spa). Low mass is one reason.
 

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Very valid point - trucks and SUVs don't conform to automotive safety (or fuel mileage, or emissions, or tax) standards. Ridiculous loopholes that are left over from when trucks were primarily used as work vehichles.

One thing to notice is that the test above showed an impact with a stationary object. I was curious, so I did some quick Internet research and found out that Kinetic Energy = 1/2 * Mass * Velocity Squared

So the Mini had to absorb less than half the energy that the F150 had to absorb (2.1 vs 4.3 million Joules). Said another way, the Mini would have to be going 57 mph to have the same kinetic energy as the F150.

Why does that matter? Because in a collision between the Mini and the F150, the Mini gets to pay for the truck's mass. Say they are both going 40mph and hit directly head on. Their combined energy at impact is 6.5 million Joules. To the truck that is like hitting a solid barrier at 49mph, but to the Mini it is like hitting a solid barrier at 70mph. Squish.

So it is better to hit the Armco with small cars, and better to hit small cars with big trucks. :) But yeah, I still agree with the point that SUVs and trucks provide a false sense of security.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
JeffersonRaley said:
Very valid point - trucks and SUVs don't conform to automotive safety (or fuel mileage, or emissions, or tax) standards. Ridiculous loopholes that are left over from when trucks were primarily used as work vehichles.

One thing to notice is that the test above showed an impact with a stationary object. I was curious, so I did some quick Internet research and found out that Kinetic Energy = 1/2 * Mass * Velocity Squared

So the Mini had to absorb less than half the energy that the F150 had to absorb (2.1 vs 4.3 million Joules). Said another way, the Mini would have to be going 57 mph to have the same kinetic energy as the F150.

Why does that matter? Because in a collision between the Mini and the F150, the Mini gets to pay for the truck's mass. Say they are both going 40mph and hit directly head on. Their combined energy at impact is 6.5 million Joules. To the truck that is like hitting a solid barrier at 49mph, but to the Mini it is like hitting a solid barrier at 70mph. Squish.

So it is better to hit the Armco with small cars, and better to hit small cars with big trucks. :) But yeah, I still agree with the point that SUVs and trucks provide a false sense of security.
Further inspection of the story reveals one very important fact. Most accident involve only one vehicle.
 
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