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Thread: Steel body cars vs newer cars

  1. #1

    Question Steel body cars vs newer cars

    I was having an argument earlier today with family members who insist the older steel body cars are safer then the newer cars. I believe the newer cars design is better though you will not be able to drive your newer car after an accident the damage you receive to yourself would be less unlike a steel body car where you might be able to drive it away but you risk more damage to yourself. They also said to find the death ratio for each type of vehicle ( I could not find) and compare that. Anyways what does adisc think? Video of an older vehicle crash on a newer vehicle. Do you know of any studies that prove either side is wrong? Do you believe these studies and why?

  2. #2

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    I thought older cars would have made it through, but after seeing that video you posted. I have to say it's more about the energy of the two cars when they hit, not it's metal.

  3. #3

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    Steel body cars have a lot more mass and injuries can be worse, but it depends on the accident. Just a fender bender may be OK where a newer car might suffer a lot more damage. But the newer cars have more saftey features toio, even though there is a major recall on the airbags now. The impact is the deciding factor in most cases.

  4. #4

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    Newer cars do a better job of prevening and/or minimizing injury in a major accident. On the other hand, they become unrepairable garbage after anything more than minor bumper damage. I guess I'm OK with that.

    I learned to drive in the days before seatbelts or even dashboard padding. If you hit anything, it was going to get really ugly inside the cabin because you were going to hit either steel or glass when the vehicle came to a sudden stop.

    Airbags are a good example of legislative engineering. They add expense and complexity without appreciably improving results over a properly worn seatbelt. On the downside, there are examples where airbags have actually caused harm. Seatbelts, or better still a racing harness is a better choice. Problem is they can be difficult to adjust properly to the globular shape of the average American. I use my seatbelts 100%. I consider airbags an annoyance when I'm working on anything around the steering column.

    The best safety feature is to not hit anything. The vast majority of collisions are caused by surprise: Someone is not paying attention, or someone does something unexpected, often both. The things that have kept me alive on a bicycle all these years apply to motorvehicles as well.

    1. Be aware. Keep your head on a swivel. Turn off the cell phone before you turn the key. Whatever it is, it can wait. If it can't wait, maybe you should park the car and deal with the situation on the phone. Never ever drive impaired via alcohol, drugs or fatigue. Hands free is just as bad as handheld from an attention standpoint.

    2. Be visible. An important factor is vehicle color. Primary colors are best. Stand on a corner sometime and watch traffic coming way down the highway. Your eye picks up reds, whites, yellows, even blues much sooner than background colored cars. How many times have you started through an intersection only to realize you didn't notice a pavement colored vehicle coming the other way?

    3. Be predictable. Do what others are expecting, be where they are expecting to see something. No one WANTS to hit you, but if you do something unexpected or unusual, they may not be able to react in time. Traffic laws weren't written to inconvenience you, they exist to give the other guy a reasonable expectation of what you are going to do. A stop sign means stop, at the white line, before the crosswalk, even if you think there's nobody around. Every time. If you get in the habit of rolling through, there's going to be a time where you don't notice a pedestrian or a cyclist, or a pavement colored car coming across your bow. Right on red means FULL STOP, at the white line, before the crosswalk, then proceed if and only if there is nobody else in the way. If you can't see around the vehicles in the through lanes, too bad. Wait for the green. Is a few seconds of your time worth the life of that pedestrion? Or is your few seconds more important that his when you've hung him out to dry in traffic because he can't get through you? (right of way considerations aside...)

    Even if you've been lucky, even if you think you're all that, and notice everything every time, the odds catch up eventually. If you're always consistent about your driving habits, at least the other guy has a chance to save you when you eff up.

    3a. Turn signals. Every time. Well before starting to turn the steering wheel. Even turning into your driveway, even if you don't think anyone is around. It needs to be a habit so that one time you don't see a pedestrian, or cyclist, or pavement colored vehicle, they at least have a warning of your intentions.

    Turn signals are also required before changing lanes and before pulling out of a parallel parking space. The reasons should be obvious, but how many actually do it?

    4. Speed limits may be annoying sometimes, but they have nothing to do with your driving ability or handling of your vehicle. They exist to give you a reasonable chance to stop in case of someone crossing at an intersection, and they give the other guy a reasonable chance to judge how quickly you're approaching. 80mph around that sweeping curve might be well within your abilities and those of your vehicle....except for the pedestrian crossing the road, or the disabled vehicle, or group of cyclists just out of sight around the bend.

    Good driving habits need to be just that. Things you do predictably every time all the time, so on that rare occasion your attention wanders, the other guy has a chance to avoid you.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Quote Originally Posted by rustypins View Post
    Steel body cars have a lot more mass
    I'm not so sure about that. Weight of structural parts has been reduced over the years by improved materials and cost accountants shaving micronickels, but much of that weight reduction as been added back in the form of extraneous crap like backup cameras, airbags, motors and linkage for automatic sliding doors, folding seats, etc. We've ended up with vehicles just as heavy, but less structurally robust.

    Where an old vehicle could tolerate a fair amount of corrosion before becoming unsafe, even a little rust on newer cars can make suspension and frame parts a rickety hazard. Look at the MiniCooper as an example. Curb weight is around 2600 pounds. There's no reason in the world a car that size should be over 2000lbs.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxx View Post
    Newer cars do a better job of prevening and/or minimizing injury in a major accident. On the other hand, they become unrepairable garbage after anything more than minor bumper damage. I guess I'm OK with that.

    I learned to drive in the days before seatbelts or even dashboard padding. If you hit anything, it was going to get really ugly inside the cabin because you were going to hit either steel or glass when the vehicle came to a sudden stop.

    Airbags are a good example of legislative engineering. They add expense and complexity without appreciably improving results over a properly worn seatbelt. On the downside, there are examples where airbags have actually caused harm. Seatbelts, or better still a racing harness is a better choice. Problem is they can be difficult to adjust properly to the globular shape of the average American. I use my seatbelts 100%. I consider airbags an annoyance when I'm working on anything around the steering column.

    The best safety feature is to not hit anything. The vast majority of collisions are caused by surprise: Someone is not paying attention, or someone does something unexpected, often both. The things that have kept me alive on a bicycle all these years apply to motorvehicles as well.

    1. Be aware. Keep your head on a swivel. Turn off the cell phone before you turn the key. Whatever it is, it can wait. If it can't wait, maybe you should park the car and deal with the situation on the phone. Never ever drive impaired via alcohol, drugs or fatigue. Hands free is just as bad as handheld from an attention standpoint.

    2. Be visible. An important factor is vehicle color. Primary colors are best. Stand on a corner sometime and watch traffic coming way down the highway. Your eye picks up reds, whites, yellows, even blues much sooner than background colored cars. How many times have you started through an intersection only to realize you didn't notice a pavement colored vehicle coming the other way?

    3. Be predictable. Do what others are expecting, be where they are expecting to see something. No one WANTS to hit you, but if you do something unexpected or unusual, they may not be able to react in time. Traffic laws weren't written to inconvenience you, they exist to give the other guy a reasonable expectation of what you are going to do. A stop sign means stop, at the white line, before the crosswalk, even if you think there's nobody around. Every time. If you get in the habit of rolling through, there's going to be a time where you don't notice a pedestrian or a cyclist, or a pavement colored car coming across your bow. Right on red means FULL STOP, at the white line, before the crosswalk, then proceed if and only if there is nobody else in the way. If you can't see around the vehicles in the through lanes, too bad. Wait for the green. Is a few seconds of your time worth the life of that pedestrion? Or is your few seconds more important that his when you've hung him out to dry in traffic because he can't get through you? (right of way considerations aside...)

    Even if you've been lucky, even if you think you're all that, and notice everything every time, the odds catch up eventually. If you're always consistent about your driving habits, at least the other guy has a chance to save you when you eff up.

    3a. Turn signals. Every time. Well before starting to turn the steering wheel. Even turning into your driveway, even if you don't think anyone is around. It needs to be a habit so that one time you don't see a pedestrian, or cyclist, or pavement colored vehicle, they at least have a warning of your intentions.

    Turn signals are also required before changing lanes and before pulling out of a parallel parking space. The reasons should be obvious, but how many actually do it?

    4. Speed limits may be annoying sometimes, but they have nothing to do with your driving ability or handling of your vehicle. They exist to give you a reasonable chance to stop in case of someone crossing at an intersection, and they give the other guy a reasonable chance to judge how quickly you're approaching. 80mph around that sweeping curve might be well within your abilities and those of your vehicle....except for the pedestrian crossing the road, or the disabled vehicle, or group of cyclists just out of sight around the bend.

    Good driving habits need to be just that. Things you do predictably every time all the time, so on that rare occasion your attention wanders, the other guy has a chance to avoid you.

    - - - Updated - - -



    I'm not so sure about that. Weight of structural parts has been reduced over the years by improved materials and cost accountants shaving micronickels, but much of that weight reduction as been added back in the form of extraneous crap like backup cameras, airbags, motors and linkage for automatic sliding doors, folding seats, etc. We've ended up with vehicles just as heavy, but less structurally robust.

    Where an old vehicle could tolerate a fair amount of corrosion before becoming unsafe, even a little rust on newer cars can make suspension and frame parts a rickety hazard. Look at the MiniCooper as an example. Curb weight is around 2600 pounds. There's no reason in the world a car that size should be over 2000lbs.
    You're incorrect on a couple of things here.

    Airbags were actually championed by the auto industry, with GM leading the way in the 1971 Oldsmobile Toronado. People hated wearing seat belts in that era, and seat belt usage rates were abysmal. The auto companies started working on airbags originally as a replacement for seat belts. Research and testing eventually showed that airbags were actually incredibly dangerous without seat belts to keep the car's occupants in position. Real-world data, research, and testing data in the mid-1990s did show that vulnerable occupants (children, seniors) could sustain greater injury from airbags than without them, which is why the industry developed multi-stage bags, various weight sensing technologies to stop them from going off if a child or similar weight is in the front chair, and why every safety organization that concerns itself with such things cautions that children only ride in the back. (On a tangent, I hypothesize that it is because of that recommendation that we've seen such proliferation of TV screens and entertainment systems as OEM offerings in cars. I hypothesize that kids, unable to interact with their parents in the front, get bored and cranky.)

    Also, racing harnesses are not a good choice in any conventional passenger car. In the event of any rollover accident, the weight of the car will be such that the roof will be at least partially crushed. A racing harness holds the occupant fixed in place, and in the absence of roof and structure to hold the weight of the car, the occupants' heads, necks, and spines become the only things holding up a few thousand pounds of automobile. Needless to say, you're dead meat in such a situation. Poke around amongst auto sport enthusiast circles and you'll see countless recommendations against putting in any sort of harness without first adding a proper roll cage.

    Also, an old vehicle could not really tolerate much corrosion at all, and they corroded much more rapidly than do modern cars. The only place an old car could tolerate corrosion was in the frame, since the only materials engineering they understood back then was more thicker steel. In old cars, the value of your life was directly proportional to how big of a car you could afford, and the only safety feature available was more steel between you and the next guy. As an experiment, find me a clean free-range, non-collected example of any small car from the 1970s. I don't care who made it. Find me a clean, daily-driver type Gremlin or Pinto or Vega. Hell, find me such a car from the 1980s. In 10 years, a 1970s car in the North was a rusted hulk with holes in the body. In 10 years, a 1980s car in the North had terminal cancer that could (and did to me with a 1989 Bonneville) result in things like the subframe breaking out of the car. In 10 years, a 1990s car still looked pretty good. The current crop of 10-year old cars, the 2005s, still look like they're new as long as the owner bothered to wash it once a year.

    Thanks to modern materials engineering, cars are stronger and more rigid than they have ever been. Don't believe me? Ride in a 1978 Lincoln Continental that is not compromised by rust or a 1977 Thunderbird that looks like it's come out of the showroom, then ride in any modern car. You can feel the body and structure flex in the old cars. You can see how much flex there is in the structure of the older cars just by jacking up one side of them. (I used the two old cars that I did because Mr. Aurkarm and I have examples of each).



    As to the question at hand, there is absolutely no question that modern automobiles are exponentially safer than the old "lead sleds." I used to have the keys to the vault that held almost 50 years of high-speed crash test footage for an automobile manufacturer, and in that role I had the opportunity to see a fair number of those films. I've seen how cars from the 1960s fared in tests, and I've seen how modern cars fare in tests. I've seen how the dummies fared in old and new cars. I don't mean to suggest I'm an expert in crash testing, but even when the old cars were new, they were, as Ralph Nader so eloquently put it, unsafe at any speed. The fact that humanity survived the first few decades of motoring as intact as it did is only by way of the fact that it took that long before cars had achieved that great of market penetration. Even putting technology and decades of highway safety improvements to the side; the braking, steering, suspension, tire, and structural improvements alone have made modern cars exponentially safer than they were even 25 years ago. If I had to choose one of my cars in which to have a crash, it would be the 2014 Fiesta ST that's 159 inches long and weighs just over 2,700 pounds, not the 1978 Lincoln that's 233 inches long and weighs about 4,700 pounds. I'd walk away from the crash in the Fiesta, but I'm not at all convinced the same would be true of crashing the Continental.

  6. #6

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    [QUOTE=GoldDragonAurkarm;1239075]

    Airbags were actually championed by the auto industry, with GM leading the way in the 1971 Oldsmobile Toronado. People hated wearing seat belts in that era, and seat belt usage rates were abysmal. The auto companies started working on airbags originally as a replacement for seat belts. Research and testing eventually showed that airbags were actually incredibly dangerous without seat belts to keep the car's occupants in position. Real-world data, research, and testing data in the mid-1990s did show that vulnerable occupants (children, seniors) could sustain greater injury from airbags than without them, which is why the industry developed multi-stage bags, various weight sensing technologies to stop them from going off if a child or similar weight is in the front chair, and why every safety organization that concerns itself with such things cautions that children only ride in the back. (On a tangent, I hypothesize that it is because of that recommendation that we've seen such proliferation of TV screens and entertainment systems as OEM offerings in cars. I hypothesize that kids, unable to interact with their parents in the front, get bored and cranky.)
    There was a legislative threat behind airbag development....just as there was with emissions. The results in both cases were far from what you would call shining examples of technical elegance.




    Also, racing harnesses are not a good choice in any conventional passenger car. In the event of any rollover accident, the weight of the car will be such that the roof will be at least partially crushed. A racing harness holds the occupant fixed in place, and in the absence of roof and structure to hold the weight of the car, the occupants' heads, necks, and spines become the only things holding up a few thousand pounds of automobile. Needless to say, you're dead meat in such a situation. Poke around amongst auto sport enthusiast circles and you'll see countless recommendations against putting in any sort of harness without first adding a proper roll cage.
    I'll give you that. I'd ditch airbags and electronic doodads and trade the weight for additional roll protection. Of course rollover isn't such an issue if you stay away from the ill-handling topheavy monstrosities that have necessitated things like stability control.



    Also, an old vehicle could not really tolerate much corrosion at all, and they corroded much more rapidly than do modern cars.
    You've missed the news about a-frame corrosion on a lot of newer vehicles. I ought to take a couple pictures of my wife's Focus. I jacked it up to do a timing belt and the decision is now whether to scrap it or try to replace most of the suspension including the a-frame. To be fair, I saw this coming when it was new, the first time I took a wheel off and saw the fragile, spindly, conglomoration of pressed steel parts and skinny rods they call suspension.



    As to the question at hand, there is absolutely no question that modern automobiles are exponentially safer than the old "lead sleds."
    Don't misunderstand. I'm not saying old cars were safer. I'm saying that we've largely squandered the benefits of materials technology by adding back weight in the form of legislated and marketing driven crap. Then there's the whole SUV thing... There's more useable cargo space in my wife's Focus wagon than there is in a lot of SUV's, yet its got decent center of mass and handling.

    Legislated crap? The only thing passive anti-theft systems have done is drive me to drink when they went haywire. If only someone would steal that pig.

    Marketing? The current fad with electronic do-dads. People think they want them, its something to brag about when you show people your new car, but truth is, most drivers can't seem to find the turn signal stalk. Then there's the distraction factor of touch screens. You can find a knob or a switch without taking your eyes off the road. Increased failure mode... the more components and more complex a system, the more failures you have. When that's integral to the basic function of the vehicle, as with passive anti-theft, its at best annoying, at worst, dangerous.

    I've been a competive cyclist for a lot of years. I understand things like aerodynamics, materials, and power-to-weight better than most.



    I used to have the keys to the vault that held almost 50 years of high-speed crash test footage for an automobile manufacturer, and in that role I had the opportunity to see a fair number of those films. I've seen how cars from the 1960s fared in tests, and I've seen how modern cars fare in tests. I've seen how the dummies fared in old and new cars. I don't mean to suggest I'm an expert in crash testing, but even when the old cars were new, they were, as Ralph Nader so eloquently put it, unsafe at any speed. The fact that humanity survived the first few decades of motoring as intact as it did is only by way of the fact that it took that long before cars had achieved that great of market penetration. Even putting technology and decades of highway safety improvements to the side; the braking, steering, suspension, tire, and structural improvements alone have made modern cars exponentially safer than they were even 25 years ago. If I had to choose one of my cars in which to have a crash, it would be the 2014 Fiesta ST that's 159 inches long and weighs just over 2,700 pounds, not the 1978 Lincoln that's 233 inches long and weighs about 4,700 pounds. I'd walk away from the crash in the Fiesta, but I'm not at all convinced the same would be true of crashing the Continental.
    Nader killed one of the better cars to come out of Detroit in the 60's - the Corvair.

    As for your safest car... I'd agree it's probably your Fiesta, but not because of crash survivability. Lighter weight and decent suspension mean its more likely to go where and when you want it in an emergency, avoiding the issue alltogether. I prefer my ancient Neon to any other car in my family's fleet for the same reason. It's a puzzle, though, that the smaller Fiesta is 400 pounds heavier than the Neon... possibly to my point about doodads and extraneous crap.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxx View Post
    There was a legislative threat behind airbag development....just as there was with emissions. The results in both cases were far from what you would call shining examples of technical elegance.


    I'll give you that. I'd ditch airbags and electronic doodads and trade the weight for additional roll protection. Of course rollover isn't such an issue if you stay away from the ill-handling topheavy monstrosities that have necessitated things like stability control.



    You've missed the news about a-frame corrosion on a lot of newer vehicles. I ought to take a couple pictures of my wife's Focus. I jacked it up to do a timing belt and the decision is now whether to scrap it or try to replace most of the suspension including the a-frame. To be fair, I saw this coming when it was new, the first time I took a wheel off and saw the fragile, spindly, conglomoration of pressed steel parts and skinny rods they call suspension.

    Don't misunderstand. I'm not saying old cars were safer. I'm saying that we've largely squandered the benefits of materials technology by adding back weight in the form of legislated and marketing driven crap. Then there's the whole SUV thing... There's more useable cargo space in my wife's Focus wagon than there is in a lot of SUV's, yet its got decent center of mass and handling.

    Legislated crap? The only thing passive anti-theft systems have done is drive me to drink when they went haywire. If only someone would steal that pig.

    Marketing? The current fad with electronic do-dads. People think they want them, its something to brag about when you show people your new car, but truth is, most drivers can't seem to find the turn signal stalk. Then there's the distraction factor of touch screens. You can find a knob or a switch without taking your eyes off the road. Increased failure mode... the more components and more complex a system, the more failures you have. When that's integral to the basic function of the vehicle, as with passive anti-theft, its at best annoying, at worst, dangerous.

    I've been a competive cyclist for a lot of years. I understand things like aerodynamics, materials, and power-to-weight better than most.



    Nader killed one of the better cars to come out of Detroit in the 60's - the Corvair.

    As for your safest car... I'd agree it's probably your Fiesta, but not because of crash survivability. Lighter weight and decent suspension mean its more likely to go where and when you want it in an emergency, avoiding the issue alltogether. I prefer my ancient Neon to any other car in my family's fleet for the same reason. It's a puzzle, though, that the smaller Fiesta is 400 pounds heavier than the Neon... possibly to my point about doodads and extraneous crap.
    You're dead on about all the extra stuff that modern cars have. The early 1990s were sort of sweet spot between lighter materials and lack of content. We have definitely traded that away for marketing-based reasons (the "need" for AWD being a great example!). My point about the Fiesta or the Continental, though, was absolutely about crash survivability. I'd rather take my chances actually being smashed in the Fiesta than in the Continental. A few years ago, I saw an early Escape (so 3,500ish pounds) smash into the back of a Smart Car at 45 miles per hour (driver was texting and missed the red light). The Smart Car simply bounced. Aside from a few ripples in the back lid, the car was unscathed. The Smart Car driver got out and was fine. I am convinced that modern structure will hold up better than the old thick steel in the land yachts Mr. Aurkarm and I have and that the modern crumple zones will mean we can still walk at the end of it.

    Airbags came about along with interest in auto safety. The feds were the first buyers of airbag-equipped cars (which actually were Fords in '71 and GMs in '73, so sayeth the Wiki), but they were not mandating airbags. The car companies were trying to keep ahead of government safety regulation, which ultimately led to the national seat belt law in 1987. The auto industry was instrumental in getting that law passed, as they were able to convince the government that airbags and other solutions were impractical and unfeasible because of cost. It wasn't until 1989 that the feds decided airbags should be mandatory for drivers, and it took until the late '90s for airbags to become required in light trucks and passenger airbags to be mandated at all. (As an aside, the Ford Aerostar, amongst others, was discontinued because of the airbag mandate. Ford decided it was not worth investing in upgrades to Aerostar in the early 1990s after they knew of the 1997/8 mandate, as it would have added considerable cost to meet the new airbag regs. The last year of Aerostar was 1997.)

    There are all sorts of areas where government regs altered the course of the auto industry. The origins of airbags in cars, though, was not government mandate. Speaking of SUVs and heavier autos generally, funny that we can actually trace that back to both UAW and government involvement. Fearing that the OEMs of the era would simply import all of their small cars from overseas to comply with the upcoming fuel economy regulations, the UAW lobbied hard to create the split system that eventually became part of CAFE for at least 40 years. That split mandated that domestically-produced autos and imported autos be tallied separately for purposes of CAFE compliance. This effectively stopped Ford and GM from importing significant amounts of European and other non-US market products, as those would not help offset the larger US market LTDs and Caprices and Eldorados and Continentals. Toyota and others, on the other hand, had no domestic production or large offerings, so importing all of their cars did not hurt them at all.

    That had a few effects. One-that split was a contributing factor to the decline of the US auto industry. Instead of just importing well-sorted and designed cars they'd already paid to design, they had to design new cars and produce them domestically. Because small cars were money losers until after the 2007 renegotiated UAW contracts, the Big 3 cut costs as much as they could. Because there was very little integration of disparate business units, they didn't even use their overseas expertise while designing American cars. Those shit small cars led to the Big 3 gaining poor reputations for quality. Let's be clear-GM and Ford knew how to produce high-quality (for the era) cars that could satisfy its customers. Those cars were legislated out of existence. GM was afraid of being broken apart (as AT&T eventually was) through the 1970s, so they cut design time and made a lot of compromises to meet government regs. The sources I've read and spoken with indicate the fear inside GM at the time was that they were going to alienate their market by downsizing as much as they did. Ford, short on cash going into the late 1970s, held out as long as they could on downsizing the Lincolns, and they continued to sell very very well in '78 and '79 even while down on power (because of CAFE) and facing downsized GM competition.

    Another effect was the rise of the minivan and SUV. Americans still wanted the big cars the car companies could no longer afford to produce. But, there was a loophole-light trucks. Light trucks had a much less stringent target to hit. Chrysler designed the minivan (an idea Iacocca floated and had shot down at Ford) explicitly as a light truck to avoid the higher passenger car CAFE standards. By the late '80s, gas was cheap again. Ford was redesigning a Ranger-based SUV, a role previously filled by the Bronco II, and they made it very much with passenger comfort in mind. Americans still wanted big cars, but the only way they could get big cars with big power was by buying an SUV that didn't have to meet the CAFE standards passenger cars did.

    The do-gooders lament the SUV and lambaste Ford and GM for making them, when in reality their own fuel economy regulations are what helped spawn them in the first place. These were likely the same do-gooders that had the means to move out to the suburbs or exurbs and live privileged lives in large homes that are only accessible by auto in the first place. Where was the outrage over the terrible land use planning and zoning that happened in that era? The SUV was a market manifestation of a latent desire thwarted by government regulation. The large suburban lot with large setbacks? Also government meddling (although by locals, not the feds), generally by newer wealthier municipalities that wanted to effectively zone out minorities and lower classes by way of economic segregation (the most insidious form of legal and accepted and encouraged discrimination we've ever seen).

    Anyways, that got a bit tangential. Hopefully most of it is at least of interest.

  8. #8

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    Today materials aren't the same materials like 50 years ago (harder steel) and second is "active stuff" like ABS, Airbags... I know abut this when I was working as a train pilot: Old trash machines from (aprox.) 1950 - 1970 are "piece of paper" if frontal chock with something of 2nd generation designed from 1970... Note: that both are 4-axle engines and have +/- same weight: 85 - 90 tn.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by cavemans View Post
    I was having an argument earlier today with family members who insist the older steel body cars are safer then the newer cars. ]
    I don't exactly see what point you are trying to make.

    New cars are still made out of steel, just like the older ones. With the exception modern steel is of better(and more consistent) quality than older steel, and the rust treating methods have significantly improved. The body is therefor thinner, because the steel is stronger and needs less overprovisioning for rust.

    Bumpers are made out of Plastics for some time, and some manufacturers like Renault use synthetic material fenders in the front. But those don't have any structural importance, that's for the tubular beams in the front, besides the fact synthetic material can be stronger than steel.

    I don;t think you can say older cars are safer, just as you can't say the other way around. It all depends on the type of accident, the type of car, and some other factors. Older cars are most likely heavier, causing more energy to be rammed in any other participant in an accident, they might be "stronger" in regards to the amount of bending during an accident, but that usually makes them less safe. If you would ask is an older station wagon safer than a newer station wagon of about the same size in a frontal colision? The newer would be (a lot) safer, on several fronts.

    Modern cars are pretty safe, in any normal traffic accident, the driver normally doesn't hit anything sharp or very hard(unless in extreme cases). So the biggest life threat is usually the G-forces, besides extreme cases where the cage is dangerously compressed by a truck or something. Hitting a tree, or ongoing traffic, the likely thing that kills you is the sudden stop while your body still wants to move forward. Hitting a tree at about 30km/h without any denting of the car (thus not absorbing energy and not limiting forces on your body)(purely hypothetical speaking) is enough to tear your organs apart by G-forces alone, and can kill you.

    I have heared people survive hitting a tree at up to 100km/h, although he hit the tree on purpose to end his life, which didn;t work. That means the car pretty much did what it was supposed to do, absorb most of the energy.
    Last edited by Wellust; 30-Oct-2014 at 18:40.

  10. #10

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    Steel cars are just held together with bots no frame or reinforcement of any kind. Take apart the front end of a 2015 impala there is major reinforcement and a cage around the engine. Do the same to a 1958 impala the fenders are the engine e cradle there is literally nothing holding them there but 4 bolts on each panel

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ADISC.org - the Adult Baby / Diaper Lover / Incontinence Support Community.
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