Last post on Apr 18, 2011 at 11:24 AM
You are in the Smart Car
What is this discussion about?
smart formore, smart fortwo, Hatchback
#555 of 594 Re: The 5 Most Dangerous Cars for Teens [pf_flyer]
May 20, 2010 (8:52 pm)
Oh, good gravy, who here is saying that driving a smart puts you on a level playing field? Do we not know this is a small car? Is that what we are not seeing here?
Anyway, go ahead, assert what you want. You are after all the host. But do you really know anything about data? When people are polled (with a small margin of error), do you really think those pollsters talk to (or need to talk to) more than 30,000 people just to get a representative sample of Americans?? Regardless of what you think, they don't. Do a little research on how research is done and then tell me 30,000 is a VERY small sample.
And yes, one more fatality would change the outcome, JUST LIKE ONE LESS WOULD. Unless you can point out how you are a better and more knowledgeable statistician than most (can you?), I don't see how you can say smart-driven miles have no statistical significance. You have thrown the smart stats sample into a much larger population, and then declared the smart sample too small based on being swamped by that vehicle universe. So I guess we are to assume that the average outcome for smart drivers is but a fluke. Or luck whatever that is. A run of heads when a tail was expected.
And now for an anecdote which doesn't prove anything (but since others here also seem comfortable speculating all sorts of things based on a few variables...): In 1977, I was rear ended by a full size Mercedes while driving my 1976 VW Rabbit. I was pushed halfway through the intersection, but in the end, there were a couple of paint scratches on the Rabbit rear bumper (the car sort of skipped forward), but the Mercedes required a tow truck. What does it prove? Not much, other than outcomes can sometimes be different than one imagines.
I think it is sad that this thread always degenerates into "we have to warn these poor SOBS who don't seem to realize they will be driving a really small car amongst many larger vehicles." Sort of reminds me of the intense battles to keep people from legally buying unpasteurized milk. We let people smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol and cover our bases by putting on warning labels about potential health consequences. Would you all go away if smart would agree to put a warning label on their cars stating that, since the car is small, passengers may be at greater risk of injury if an accident occurs?
#556 of 594 Re: The 5 Most Dangerous Cars for Teens [plekto]
May 20, 2010 (9:05 pm)
I read your post. Your graciousness is noted. What I was really pointing out is what you are fleshing out a bit more now: most accidents don't amount to a hill of beans, That was not the implication of your argument. Yes, there will be that rare circumstance where you can be killed by a freak happening, and yes, that event could be included in a whole slew of events that might be construed as an accident---but that freak accident really has little in common with what usually occurs every 5-7 years, such as someone keying your car, or you backing into something (or the ditch).
#557 of 594 Re: The 5 Most Dangerous Cars for Teens [gregg_vw]
May 21, 2010 (1:14 am)
But the problem with tests is that crashing a car into itself is unreasonable when there are so few cars in the same weight class as the Smart. The Mercedes vs Smart crash is more common, and it only gets worse from there as mass increases.
Why I linked to the IIHS site for insurance claims is that deaths isn't the only factor. Being really messed up and injured badly is important as well. But we won't see the data until this fall, unfortunately. I'ts not going to look pretty because no matter how you engineer a vehicle, 1600lbs of anything isn't going to withstand a 5-6000lb solid framed vehicle hitting it.
Yesterday I took my son to the doctor and counted vehicles. The row I was in looked like this:
SUV, large car., car, minivan, SUV, minivan, SUV SUV SUV, minivan, SUV, large car, car, station wagon, SUV SUV SUV.
Seriously. Finding anything under 3000 lbs - I don't think there was one vehicle in the entire parking lot - over 100 cars - that weighed less than that. And that's unfortunately the norm lately. Big, heavy, and acres of steel for crumple cones.
I really do wish that the Smart was a bit bigger and better. 1ft longer, a few inches wider, and reinforced more heavily wouldn't destroy it's fun or image. And neither would things like a real manual transmission or a TDI engine. They didn't destroy the Mini with the re-do - but it's a lot safer and more practical than the original.
Maybe come in at 2000lbs and get 50-60mpg highway. That would be more reasonable, IMO. With a manual transmission, I might even buy one myself.
#558 of 594 Re: The 5 Most Dangerous Cars for Teens [gregg_vw]
May 21, 2010 (5:15 am)
When people are polled (with a small margin of error), do you really think those pollsters talk to (or need to talk to) more than 30,000 people just to get a representative sample of Americans?
The problem with the statistics is not the 30K Smart cars but the low number of deaths (3 in this case). With that a swing of just 1 changes the figures greatly. Most statisticians acknowledge that.
In 1977, I was rear ended by a full size Mercedes while driving my 1976 VW Rabbit......
Many people don't realize that mass isn't the only equation to what happens in an accident. Two winters ago there was an issue with an Accord hitting a rather large state owned snowplow on the tollway. The Accord actually knocked the snowplow into the ditch and the only one that went to the hospital was the snowplow driver.
While not the norm but it does show that larger is not always safer.
#559 of 594 Re: The 5 Most Dangerous Cars for Teens [plekto]
May 21, 2010 (12:13 pm)
Pletko, what you are apparently asking for is the Scion iQ (approx 1 foot longer than the smart and wider as well) which should be on sale here next year.
I wish they hadn't lengthened the smart in the 2008 redesign. As it is now, it is a couple inches too long to park perpendicular to the curb.
#560 of 594 Re: The 5 Most Dangerous Cars for Teens [gregg_vw]
May 22, 2010 (12:12 am)
gregg vw, what you are essentially saying is that the smart is just too small.
A bit longer and a bit wider, it just might meet basic safety requirements. As it stands now, it is doubtful whether it would allow its occupants to survive even a minimal crash.
#561 of 594 Re: The 5 Most Dangerous Cars for Teens [priggly]
May 22, 2010 (6:42 am)
gregg vw, what you are essentially saying is that the smart is just too small.
No, I am not saying that. You are saying that. I said I wished it was still the size of the original design. But that isn't going to happen, so don't get scared. Meanwhile, I still think that I'd rather run around in a smart than on any of the mopeds I see everywhere in the city where I work.
#562 of 594 Re: The 5 Most Dangerous Cars for Teens [priggly]
May 22, 2010 (12:02 pm)
Actually, it does meet minimal safety requirements. But the tests done in Europe while designing it never factored in an extra thousand pounds for the U.S. average vehicle weight over the European average. A redesign of the bumpers won't fix it.
#563 of 594 Re: The 5 Most Dangerous Cars for Teens [plekto]
May 22, 2010 (12:11 pm)
Well I guess that is the element of a crime to charge any driver of an average weight American car with Aggravated Assault for crashing into a Smart...
#564 of 594 Re: The 5 Most Dangerous Cars for Teens [plekto]
May 22, 2010 (7:05 pm)
Actually, it does meet minimal safety requirements. But the tests done in Europe while designing it never factored in an extra thousand pounds for the U.S. average vehicle weight over the European average. A redesign of the bumpers won't fix it. And if they did add weight to compensate for fat American vehicles, who would buy it?? A car approx. 100 inches long that weighs 1,000 lbs more than the smart does? Silly. Buy a larger car.
The smart is about as safe as can be given how tiny it is, and it is safer than one would assume, given its diminutive size. Why make it bigger or heavier? There are TONS of choices out there to fill that bill already. But if you want a city car that is as small as possible, then a Versa or Fiesta is not a real substitute. Why is that so hard to fathom? And, YES, I know it is small and light and wouldn't be the greatest thing to be in if one collides head on with something at 60 mph, so please don't start.