whubbell at umich.edu
Wed Aug 12 15:36:07 EDT 2020
To be fair, while the improvements in overall auto safety may not have reduced the number of accidents (maybe have even increased them, due to driver over-reliance on them), they definitely have reduced the numbers of fatalities and serious injuries.
Back when I was learning to drive, we were taught that 40 mph was “killing speed” - meaning, if you had an accident at that speed you weren’t likely to survive it. Nowadays, people routinely walk away from 40mph and even higher accidents with nary a scratch.
But I still maintain that you cannot just steal bits and pieces of future technology and graft them onto older cars, and expect them to perform the same as on cars engineered (and tested) to utilize these pieces along with other parts as a comprehensive unit.
For instance, crumple zones on modern cars are specifically designed to absorb and direct energy in such a way as to allow the shoulder harnesses, seat belts, and air bags to do their job without causing excessive injury to the passenger. If all you do is add a shoulder harness to an older car, the additional energy transmitted through it to the passenger (due to the lack of an effective crumple zone) may very well result in more severe injury to the passenger. Of course, without the shoulder harness the passenger will impact the steering wheel or dash, so you think you are better off with the harness.
In fact you might be actually be better off to recognize that you may not be able to safely replicate the proper action of the harness without other major modifications to the car, and instead just learn to drive your older car safely and not put yourself in situations where you need advanced crash protection.
On Aug 12, 2020, at 3:11 PM, Hugo Miller via VirtualVairs <virtualvairs at corvair.org> wrote:
Last I heard, mechanical failures accounted for 2% of accidents, so you're not far off.
> On 2020-08-12 18:34, Joel McGregor via VirtualVairs wrote:
> " But by far the biggest safety device is located between the ears of
> the driver."
> So true.
> It would be interesting to see how many crashes were driver error vs
> mechanical failure or something else like a sinkhole or bridge
> collapse. I'll bet driver error is at least 99.9%.
> I knew a girl that managed to roll several vehicles in under a year.
> All on flat ground. I never did figure out how she managed that.
> My plan and advise that I give anyone that will listen is "don't run
> into things and if you do don't hit them head on"
> Joel McGregor
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