<VV> seats and car safety

Thu, 26 Aug 2004 19:39:23 EDT

   Mr. Keplar makes some very good points about the newer cars. My son and 
daughter-in-law were saved by the crumple zones in the Suzuki Samurai (yes, an 
SUV) they were in when a drunk driver hit them head-on on one of our local 
intestates. The zones slowed the impact very well. They both had on seat belts, by 
habit. Disk brakes are more efficient than shoe brakes, till they heat up. 
However, it has been documented that ABS brakes increase stopping distance.
   Now, in defense of the Corvair, I have never had an incident involving 
brakes in a Corvair, with the exception of towing a camping trailer down out of 
the Shenandoahs. Even in that case, I was able to keep everything under control 
by the use of the hand brake. Notice, I didn't panic, I simply used the 
"emergency" brake instead. All I had to do to get off the mountain was keep my 
finger on the release button, and apply the required pressure to keep from rear 
ending the Corvairs in front of me. Loss of brakes would not have been avoided 
by a dual master cylinder, the fluid had boiled away from the wheel cylinders. 
So much for brakes.
   In my opinion, the early windshield borrowed something that was considered 
to very safe in the Volkswagen. The safety glass is held in by a rubber 
gasket only. In an accident, it can pop out. No screwed in trim in the way. I 
cannot testify as to how well it works, as I have had enough sense to avoid an 
accident that would cause this to happen.
   As for Nader, have you read the book? The car portion was only covered in 
one chapter. It was not about Corvairs, it was about the lack of innovative 
safety engineering in all cars. It actually discussed three new concept cars, 
the Corvair, the Valiant, and the Falcon. As a matter of fact he actually had 
some praise for the Corvair, he liked the position of the gas tank. Were you at 
the DC convention? Mr. Nader addressed this very issue.
   I have heard from some EMTs that they have seen a lot of injuries from 
three point belts, that wouldn't have happened with a seat belt only. I have 
heard as many say that they have seen worse injuries from lap belts. I have even 
been told that in some very rare cases, the people would have been better off 
with no belt.
   Most accident are the results of somebody doing something stupid. The 
safest way to operate a vehicle is to realize that I am the only sane person on 
the road, and try to maintain a safe distance from all the idiots out there. 
After all the unsafe items you list, I wonder why you have a Corvair at all, or 
do you just tow it around instead of having the joy of driving it.
   As for being a libertarian, my understanding is that libertarians want 
less government. I will leave out my party affiliation, and simply state that I 
don't need government to tell me I have to wear a belt in the car, nor do I 
need the government to tell me to wear a helmet when I am cruising on my Harley. 
I further believe that anyone who doesn't use safety devices is a simple 
adjustment to the gene pool. Darn! I hate it when someone pushes that button.
Openhabit (Gary Bull)

and since this seems to impress some of you, here's the list:
1964 sedan
1964 convertible (two each)
1969 Mustang
1972 Super Beetle
1981 Chevy 4X4
1994 Jeep Cherokee
1982 Harley FLH