Last post on Apr 18, 2011 at 10:24 AM
You are in the Smart Car
What is this discussion about?
smart formore, smart fortwo, Hatchback
#565 of 594 Re: The 5 Most Dangerous Cars for Teens [gregg_vw]
May 23, 2010 (5:31 am)
wouldn't be the greatest thing to be in if one collides head on with something at 60 mph, so please don't start.
Not many things out there that would be great to be in with a head on collision at 60 MPH.
#566 of 594 Re: The 5 Most Dangerous Cars for Teens [gregg_vw]
May 23, 2010 (9:41 am)
What it boils down to is that deaths aside, because it takes a lot more force to die in a crash than get injured and some people manage to survive silly things thanks to modern technology, injuries will be greater, guaranteed, in a vehicle that light.
Looking at a Smart versus a typical car, I see three areas where it can be reinforced and create a similar vehicle.
1: Width. The car is without a doubt the thinnest thing on the road. They need to redesign it to be about a foot wider. This will add mass and safety as well as stability. It will also offer much better storage and comfort. The entire reason it was that thin was to park sideways legally in Europe, but the new one isn't legal for that and so it needs to be redesigned for standard parking dimmensions.
2: The rear needs to be expanded to a proper trunk or hatchback area. It needs to be able to fit a 36*36 inch box in the rear with the seats forward as much as reasonably possible and the back closed. Maybe 10-12 inches longer. That would be easy to hide.
3: Height can also be addressed(IMO, it need to be 2-3 inches higher seating position and door line to better protect versus side impacts) if the width and length are stretched a tiny bit. We're talking about a few hundred pounds from all three but almost twice the strength over the current design if it's all put into safety.
Both #2 and #3 can be done without anyone noticing if the ratios are kept exactly the same when they make it wider. Basically it would be similar in size to the IQ or the Fiat 500.
note - the Fiat 500 is the Smart's real problem. It's all around a better choice in this segment. When it comes out this fall, it's going to be the next big hit. Mercedes needs to get busy with a redesign asap.
#567 of 594 Re: The 5 Most Dangerous Cars for Teens [plekto]
May 23, 2010 (10:43 am)
But wouldn't making it longer and wider defeat the advantages that the Smart has?
Also I wouldn't worry to much about the Fiat, I know no one who had a fiat in the past that would drive one again. Well maybe they would if it came with spare parts and a mechanic.
#568 of 594 Re: The 5 Most Dangerous Cars for Teens [pf_flyer]
May 23, 2010 (11:08 am)
Quote: Not trying to "prove" anything one way or the other here, but 30,000 smarts compared to 250 million plus vehicles seems too small a sample to say anything with certainty. The rate for the smart seems to be on the order of the overall rate, but I'd wager if we were talking about 10 times as many smarts on US roads, we'd be looking at significantly more than 30 fatalities because, like it or not, safety IS related to size. unquote
You had me nodding my head, saying "that's reasonable" through most of your post - until you came to the very end, where you slip in the zinger. This is a despicable tactic pointed out by the ANCIENT GREEKS in their philosophy classes, where someone would try to claim that "C" was true just because "A" and "B" were true.
If safety IS related to size, please explain why so many people die when a huge 747 airliner hits the ground? In fact, isn't it true more often than not, that most of the passengers in an airliner crash die? Not that I'm trying to prove anything here, but shouldn't airline fatalities be judged by the number of fatal "landings" than by passenger miles flown?
#569 of 594 Re: The 5 Most Dangerous Cars for Teens [snakeweasel]
May 23, 2010 (11:21 am)
But wouldn't making it longer and wider defeat the advantages that the Smart has?
Since the car was designed around sideways parking but it's no longer legal to do so in the U.S. with ANY Smart, then it has no advantages to defeat any more. Only things that hinder it at this point.
10-12 inches - pull out a tape measure. That's not a lot longer or wider. 1-2 inches taller won't be a factor, either, though it all will enable the windshield to be less steeply angled. This can mean another 2-4 inches of crumple space in the front with a careful redesign and still look like just a minor face-lift/refresh from the side. Unless you put both side-by-side, it would look nearly identical(the 1st vs 2nd gen New Mini is a perfect example - you don't notice the few inches at all unless they are literally next to each other)
So basically 4 inches in the front, 8 in the back(basically stretch the rear to equal the back of the rear wheel well arches - nothing major), 10-12 inches wider, same profile, and 1 inch larger tires to compensate for the visual effect. With a better engine/transmission combo, it could still get 45MPG and have better handling and interior.
#570 of 594 Re: The 5 Most Dangerous Cars for Teens [plekto]
May 23, 2010 (11:29 am)
Pletko, please. You are trying to design a subcompact and there are already zillions of them out there. No shortage at all. Given the changes you suggest, you would end up with something that is not a smart. Like the FourFour was (besides being a miserably failure).
Let those overly concerned about getting mangled in a crash buy something other than a smart. But let there be a choice. There is nothing else like the smart available here, and you want to take away the choice because it is not as safe as a larger car would be.
The smart is a niche vehicle. If you take away its essence, it really has no reason to be. The Fiat 500, the Audi A1, the little Mercedes that is coming are all welcome choices that I will be glad to see us finally have here. I'd also like to see the the Tata Nano offered here, and yes, I'd like to see the smart continue. If you make the car small enough, it can be an alternative for those of us who feel a bit too vulnerable on a scooter or small cycle. Like a scooter, a tiny and narrow car can be parked more places. There will never be a big market for it, but let it be a choice please.
#571 of 594 Re: The 5 Most Dangerous Cars for Teens [priggly]
May 23, 2010 (11:37 am)
Priggly, do you own/drive a Smart car? If not, please stop looking out for those of us who do. While it gives me the warm fuzzies to realize that "someone out there" cares enough to save me from myself, I'm not sure if your approach of mixing a few "statistics" with personal opinion, which you invariably deliver at the end of each new message, is the best way to convince people that you're right.
I would think that the failure of Prohibition to save people from the far worse problems of alcoholism would at least serve as a warning to people with your prediliction for pontificating on the safety of cars they don't happen to like.
#572 of 594 Re: The 5 Most Dangerous Cars for Teens [plekto]
May 23, 2010 (11:46 am)
You just don't get it. Adding length and width renders the car something else. It has already been lengthened more than half a foot in the redesign for the US.
Not being able to park bumper to curb in some places (not ALL places as you contend) does not negate the advantage of diminutive size. It has an advantage in urban driveways and parking areas that must be used where on street parking is not allowed. Many residential streets have parking that is restricted by time periods or permit requirements, not how much space you do or don't take up (no painted spaces). I can park with just a few inches on either end, without scraping either the front or back car, but that space can be too small for a car larger than the smart. There are houses in the university area where I stay in the city which have alleys that are too narrow for most cars to negotiate without scraping. And a smart will fit in a utility shed that no other car would.
I had considered buying an urban house that had no front yard other than a thin flower bed between it and the sidewalk of the cul de sac it was on. The "driveway" was only about 12 feet long, and though there was space for a utility shed, the lot would not have held a normal size single car garage. Having a smart plus public transport would have worked fine. Size does matter.
#573 of 594 Squished Smart? NOT!
May 23, 2010 (11:50 am)
On a separate note, a picture has been circulating on the internet that purports to show a Smart car squished down to virtually nothing between two 18-wheelers. The only part of the car that is clearly identifiable is one of the wheels.
Fortunately, the moron posting that picture failed to realize that Smart cars don't have FIVE lug-nuts on their wheels. This points out the truly vicious nature of some Smart-bashers.
Back in the '30's, the FBI decided that the best way to catch mobsters was to "follow the money" and put the perps in jail for tax evasion.Using that concept, let's try to find out who would benefit the most by bashing Smart cars and then put them out of business by boycotting them.
#574 of 594 Re: The 5 Most Dangerous Cars for Teens [gregg_vw]
May 23, 2010 (12:05 pm)
Thanks, Gregg-VW. You made a lot of good points, and I'd like to add a few as well.
For example, some parking spaces are made too narrow for "normal-width" cars to park and get the doors open enough to exit or enter their cars. Inconsiderate drivers can also park off-center in a slot, making it impossible to park anything bigger than the Smart in the only parking slot left open.
Finally, I bought a Smart so I could park two motorcycles in the same garage slot with my car. There's almost enough room to park a small third bike in there too, and my bikes are both 500+ pound 1200cc machines. The Smart also makes a perfect TOAD (towed vehicle) for small RV's, like the van-based class "B"'s.