<VV> Laura Bush on Corvairs

Mark Corbin airvair at earthlink.net
Wed Apr 28 15:39:37 EDT 2010

How very true. Which is why the side impact standard is written so that as long as it prevents penetration up to the point the tires break free, it's ok. The incidents of the car side hitting an immovable object (or similar situation), where the force exceeds the design standard is small, and thus not considered. BUT they DO happen (as witnessed right in front of my neighbor's house).

As far as accidents go, you have to consider that you're dealing with statistical odds, not a given situation. It's why there will always be the "exception to the rule" incidents that some people cite in defense of such things as not wearing the seat belt, not wearing a motorcycle helmet, etc.  They DO happen, but the odds are a long shot. Me, I'll put my life on the side of the greatest chances and wear my seat belt, etc.


----- Original Message ----- 
Subject: Re: Laura Bush on Corvairs

However, Mark, one doesn't get to choose their accidents, hence the name! So, you design for the most likely type of accident based on fatalities and injuries. Side impacts are nowhere near the most common cause of injury and death. Frontal impacts with stationary objects are. 

John Roberts

-----Original Message-----
Subject: Re: <VV> Laura Bush on Corvairs

Any time a car it T-boned by anything it's a dangerous situation.
Compounding that was that the Corvair was outweighed by the Impala.
Further, they were pre '64 cars, none of which had any anti-penetration
protection in the sides. Cars didn't get that kind of reinforcement until
the late '60's or early '70's. Even now, however, side protection is
limited, as it has been figured that cars only need to resist penetration
up to the point that the tires break loose of the pavement. It doesn't
allow for mitigating circumstances.

Just last week in front of my next door neighbor's house, a car hit a
telephone pole sideways, caving in the right rear door about a foot. The
car was a full-size Mercury about 15 years old. Not a pretty picture.

Point is, NO car is all that "safe" when hit from the side, be it a moving
or stationary object.


> [Original Message]
> From: <jvhroberts at aol.com>
> Subject: Re: <VV> Laura Bush on Corvairs
>  Which makes the big car the murderer here. The REAL problem is the
enormous spread in the sizes of cars. Throughout 70s and 80s, car sizes
were a lot closer together. And if you took a modern small car vs a big 60s
car, the survivability would be surprising, I am sure. 
> At any rate, most fatal accidents are single vehicle accidents anyway.
So, that's what the crash design survivability should be designed for. 
> John Roberts
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mike Jacobi <mvjacobi at comcast.net>
> Subject: Re: <VV> Laura Bush on Corvairs
> I think the point to be drawn from the article is evident and is proven
> every day,  Big cars typically provide more survivability than little ones
> do.   I remember back in the early sixties when one of the big three which
> was kind of under siege by small foreign cars, took a volks bug and ran a
> full size four door Detroit car into it broadside,,,then published the
> results as showing why small cars are a dangerous drive.  As I recall, VW
> then took a four door full size Detroit car and hit it broadside with a
> truck, showing that size in an accident, does matter.  Inertia and kinetic
> energy rule, at least they did back in the day.
> Mike in Michigan
> 63 Monza Vert
> 58 Volks Vert
> 69 Buick Vert
> On 4/28/10 8:44 AM, "Steven J. Serenska" <corvair at serenska.com> wrote:
> > VVers:
> > 
> > There is an article in today's New York Times concerning Laura Bush's
> > forthcoming book.  I'm sure that everyone on this list knows she was
> > involved in a fatal car accident in which the other driver was at the
> > wheel of a Corvair.
> > 
> > While it's clear from her words that the cause of the accident was her
> > blabbing with her friend, being distracted, and running a stop sign,
> > Laura Bush seems to make an attempt to lay off some of the blame on the
> > Corvair:
> > 
> > http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/28/books/28laura.html?no_interstitial
> > 
> > All politics aside, casting aspersions like this is both annoying and
> > unfortunate.  I wish she had just said "the accident was my fault and I
> > am devastated by it."
> > 
> > Grrrr.
> > 
> > Steven J. Serenska
> > 
> > '65 Monza Convertible, 110/4
> > '66 Corsa Coupe, 140/4
> > 

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