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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have safety concerns regarding the Elise?

This car is probably one of the smallest cars on US roads. With much larger American made vehicles such as trucks I am a little worried that the big trucks won't see our little Elise.

I mean if a truck can't see a bright red Dodge Viper ( which is lager than the Elise and sit's up higher) than how can the trucker see a little Elise? :eek: :eek: :eek:

Mitch
 

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YOu have to pretty much use the same mindset as riding a motorcycle. Try to look two or three cars ahead (as much as you can in a low car) always be aware of escape routes, assume no one sees you. Most definately get used to using all three mirrors.

But still a degree of risk involved, I just take the same philosophy when riding and assume a big SUV will cause such a catastrophic accident, I'm dead meat anyway.
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Chris,

I agree, those that ride bikes know to look in every direction before making a move, but I still think one sites up higher up on an average bike than in an Elise, giving the bike a better advantage. In the Elise your practically sitting on the ground. Not 100% sure on this, but it would make for an interesting comparison.

Mitch
 

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Day-time running lights....and the brighter the better. Need every edge possible when driving El'slinky. P. S..- Avoid passing on the right when impatience rears its ugly head. Otherwise you may lose yours.
 

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I get really annoyed by the little versus big argument when it comes to safety. IMHO, the elise is a safer car than a big SUV because it handles better. Simple as that. The SUV is more likely to get in an accident and the elise is more likely to evade accidents.

Pictures such as shown above tell you nothing of the incident. Perhaps it was just luck. Perhaps it was bad judgement on the part of one of the two drivers. However, do you really think a bigger car would fair well against a semi either? I remind you of the post Derek made many months ago about the illusion of safety. Refers to this article:

http://www.bridger.us/2002/12/16/CrashTestingMINICooperVsFordF150

Bigger isnt always better!

original post:http://www.elisetalk.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2711&highlight=crash+test


[/rant]
 

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However, it is true that the size of the elise makes it difficult for people to see you! So with that in mind, assume NOBODY sees you! Then if someone does cut you off, atleast you know you can quickly get out of the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Modern Wedgie said:
I get really annoyed by the little versus big argument when it comes to safety. IMHO, the elise is a safer car than a big SUV because it handles better. Simple as that. The SUV is more likely to get in an accident and the elise is more likely to evade accidents.

Pictures such as shown above tell you nothing of the incident. Perhaps it was just luck. Perhaps it was bad judgement on the part of one of the two drivers. However, do you really think a bigger car would fair well against a semi either? I remind you of the post Derek made many months ago about the illusion of safety. Refers to this article:

http://www.bridger.us/2002/12/16/CrashTestingMINICooperVsFordF150

Bigger isnt always better!

[/rant]
Sorry Modern, my point was getting run over by a much larger and taller truck that may not see the little Elise. No vehicle is safe and yes some are safer than others. In the end it all boils down to one behind the wheel. A good example of this is this pic. How can one miss a large parked airplane?????
Mitch
 

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Modern Wedgie said:
I get really annoyed by the little versus big argument when it comes to safety. IMHO, the elise is a safer car than a big SUV because it handles better. Simple as that. The SUV is more likely to get in an accident and the elise is more likely to evade accidents.
I'll bet that real world statistics will not prove this theory true. I have a strong feeling that the mid-engined, RWD lightweight sports car will have higher accident rates than, say, a Chevy Blazer.
Once in an accident, I bet that crash statistics show that people in the SUVs have fewer/less serious injuries.
I don't attribute the increase in accidents to the car being smaller, however. I attribute it to a lot of inexperienced drivers trying to show off their incredible handling mid-engined car. I can see snap oversteer buying a lot of Elisi.
I'd like to be proven wrong, but making the 'it handles so it is safer' arguement to justify your purchase is probably not valid.
 

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The only safety concern I have with the Elise is its low nose creating a ramp for an oncoming vehicle. Fortunately, that scenario is also the easiest to avoid - and, it should be noted, is common to *any* exotic sports car, especially mid engined ones.

The Elise has a lot of crush space around the passenger cabin, and the integral roll hoop will help protect. Its low mass means not as much energy to disspiate in an accident, so while your deceleration may be higher than occupants of an SUV that hit you, it doesn't mean you'll be crushed.
 

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Wonder if the government will do the 40 MPH crash test on the Elise. Heck it doesn't even have 5 MPH bumpers so I don't think it would do very well. Not sure if it has crumple zones though which would help.

Extreme defensive driving is really the only way to drive the Elise if you plan on using it as a daily driver IMHO. With it's keen reflexes and a keen driver, most accidents would hopefully be avoided.

However, it is the unforseen one's that scare me. I saw an accident the other day when the car in front of me left the intersection just as the light turned green. At that same moment a car decided to speed up to beat the light that just turned red and broad sided the car in front of me. Lot's of broken glass and screaming but no major injuries fortunately. Still put a scare in me. I usually check to see if intersections are clear before proceeding just out of habit. This is the kind of defensive driving that is required IMO. Accident avoidance in the Elise is only way. Getting hit by anything would not be pleasant.
 

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One more thing - it seems sometimes that people view car accidents as a sort of inevitability, a question of 'when' not 'if'. I believe this attitude is totally unfounded...good driving skills can help a person die of old age without ever having been in an accident. Yes, there are some accidents that no driver can avoid, but I still believe good driving skills are vastly more important than what you're driving.
 

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youd be surprised at how well the Elise handles accidents - I have a friend whos walked away from 2 complete write offs in Elises...and another friend who had an articulated lorry run into the back of his S2 at 40mph when he was stationary - he was fine...car was written off........ When it first came out it was the first car ever to be able to be driven away from the frontal 30mph impact test (30mph into a brick wall)

Just do as above - drive it like you ride a bike (you should be doing that anyway IMO) - stay aware of your surroundings and always be on the lookout for other peoples mistakes....if you drive a lot of miles you soon get used to having a mental process/rules for your own driving...if you didnt soner or later the law of averages would catch up with you and youd have a prang

A recent TV program over here in the Uk lined up a number of SUV's against some popular sports cars (MX5 was one - cant remember the rest) for accident testing. The best one was the braking and accident avoidence - the ease with that the SUV would roll whilst swerving around an obstacle was pretty scary in comparison to the little Mazda which just went straight around....some very popular UK SUVs were shown to be very unsafe.

I guess if you are worried about safety then dont buy a Lotus - get a Volvo XC90...hey..you guys even have airbags in your cars !
 

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NMR,
It was NHTSA or somebody recently who said these large SUVs do not necessarily come out better in an accident, and people using the reasoning bigger is better are operating under a false sense of security.

Chris
 

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I was rear ended in my first Europa. Driver's side rear corner while in the left turn lane. BOOM. Got out of the 'Ropa and saw the dented Ford Escort front bumper and an apologetic looking teenager. With dread I walked to the back of the Lotus. And nothing was wrong back there other than a buff-it-out spot. I was pretty surprised.

But MANY times someone tried to change into the lane I was in. Scares ya the first few times. Then you learn to recognize situations with that sort of potential. I also installed a big honking air horn from "Fiam".

Stan
 

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thats the conclusion theyve come to over here Chris....youre more likely to end up upside down in an SUV, just by turning the wheel to avoid a stationery object in front.
 

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Here's some info about SUV safety from an australian website;


>>>>>>>>>>>>

Crashworthiness
Risk of fatality is related to change in velocity ("delta V"). For a two vehicle collision the delta-V is proportional to mass. Therefore, IN THEORY, a vehicle that has twice the mass of the other vehicle should experience half the delta-V. However, IN PRACTICE many other factors come into play. Crash tests and studies of real world crashes suggest that, on average, four-wheel-drives are not as safe as large passenger cars even though they are typically much heavier than cars. Some possible reasons:


They tend to be much stiffer than a car and this can cause higher crash forces on the occupants - even though the delta-V of the vehicle is probably lower the delta-V experienced by the 4WD occupant is higher (the ultimate example of this effect is the army tank - it is said that a head-on collision between two tanks at 20km/h is likely to be fatal for the occupants).

Many crashes involve collisions with roadside objects or vehicles or similar or heavier mass so the mass-ratio advantages do not apply.
4WDs tend to roll more easily than cars and a rollover crash is more likely to be life-threatening
Design of life-saving occupant restraint systems is typically less advanced with 4WDs
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Chris
 

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Tires for SUVs are deliberately designed with low levels of grip. This is part of why most of them can't generate big cornering numbers.

But this also affects braking. So in some cases a sports cars would have been able to avoid an accident that an SUV crashed into at 20-30 MPH unable to slow down.

Not to mention the maneuverability to avoid the accident.

With about 60,000 (or more odo broke) miles of Europa driving, most of the issue is with others not seeing you. Just pay more attention to potential trouble scenarios and pick a bright color.

Stan
 

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MattG said:
One more thing - it seems sometimes that people view car accidents as a sort of inevitability, a question of 'when' not 'if'. I believe this attitude is totally unfounded...good driving skills can help a person die of old age without ever having been in an accident. Yes, there are some accidents that no driver can avoid, but I still believe good driving skills are vastly more important than what you're driving.
Hmm. This got me thinking... How much saftey is too much? The safer the car is toted as being, factored with the times a person has performed action "A"* without repercussion has got to lead to an increasing sense of invulnerability. If you hit someone? Oh well, that's what insurance is for. If there's a concrete realization that even clipping another car could put you in hospital for a week, you're going to be a whole lot more careful.

I say "open wheel cars for everyone"!
;) ;) ;)


*Where action "A" could be anything from making a yielding left turn to, say, cutting from the entrance ramp, immediately across 3 lanes of light to moderate traffic on a sizable curve at dusk without even so much as an indicator (as witnessed Friday evening).
 

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Z0650TH said:
Wonder if the government will do the 40 MPH crash test on the Elise. Heck it doesn't even have 5 MPH bumpers so I don't think it would do very well. Not sure if it has crumple zones though which would help.
The front crash structure is pretty good on the elise.

The horizontal rad doubles up as a crumplezone.

Craigy
 
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