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View Full Version : IIHS Car vs SUV Side Impact Crash Test - 12 of 15 Cars Fail


Sun Baked
Apr 19, 2004, 06:00 PM
12 of 15 midsize cars fail new side-impact test (http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2004-04-18-side-impact-crash-test_x.htm)
By David Kiley, USA TODAY

Most midsize family sedans failed a new test by the insurance industry designed to see how well the cars would stand up to a side-impact crash with a pickup or SUV.

Twelve of fifteen sedans failed the new test, which involves a barrier shaped like the front end of an SUV "T-boning" the side of the vehicle at a 90-degree angle going 31 miles per hour.

The test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety comes at a time when federal regulators are developing a side-impact test similar to IIHS', and the auto industry, under pressure, has agreed to design changes for pickups and SUVs that should make them less lethal in crashes with cars by 2008.

The Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, equipped with optional head- and torso-protecting air bags, were the only vehicles to earn "good" ratings, which means occupants would likely not suffer serious injuries. The Chevy Malibu, tested with optional head protection air bags, scored "acceptable," because its air bag system would likely result in torso injury, though not serious head injury.

[deleted to end]Actual IIHS test results...

IIHS SIDE IMPACT CRASH TEST RESULTS (http://www.highwaysafety.org/news_releases/2004/pr041804.htm)

wdlove
Apr 19, 2004, 06:23 PM
The Volvo line of cars come with side and torso air bags standard. The also use a strong reinforced steel in the frame to protect in accidents of side, rear, or rear impacts or rollovers. My wife feels very safe in her S60 AWD.

Sparky's
Apr 19, 2004, 08:49 PM
So you think NASCAR should take over Detroit, and build chassis that will take on anything? Leave it to the insurance companies, they see an angle to stir something up and, there you go, another test to say vehicles aren't safe. Now the Auto guys will build more crash resistant sides to cars and then the insurance guys will test the ability of the roof to sustain a crash from a Piper Cub airplane, and fail every sedan (and SUV and Truck for that matter). :rolleyes: I guess the progress of safety has to continue....

bousozoku
Apr 19, 2004, 09:23 PM
So you think NASCAR should take over Detroit, and build chassis that will take on anything? Leave it to the insurance companies, they see an angle to stir something up and, there you go, another test to say vehicles aren't safe. Now the Auto guys will build more crash resistant sides to cars and then the insurance guys will test the ability of the roof to sustain a crash from a Piper Cub airplane, and fail every sedan (and SUV and Truck for that matter). :rolleyes: I guess the progress of safety has to continue....

Considering how many people run red lights and how many people drive SUVs, it seems necessary for them to do something more about side impacts. Of course, not doing so would leave more room on the road.

What's right?

jasylonian
Apr 19, 2004, 10:17 PM
My '84 Volvo Station wagon saved my life. I survived being t-boned by the back tire of an 18-wheeler on I-5, so side impact that. I've since upgraded to a '97 sedan and I feel like I'm behind the wheel of a tank. Strangely enough, I don't feel that Volvo drivers are susceptible to moral hazard.

yamabushi
Apr 20, 2004, 12:14 AM
While Volvo cars are in general very good for safety they may not be the best overall despite their reputation. Just browse the IIHS site and you will find that for recent models other manufacturers do equally well or better.

Apple of my eye
Apr 21, 2004, 09:00 PM
A paramedic by trade I see side impact accidents all the time. They tend to yeild significantly more severe injuries ( If striking a side where a seat is occupied ) Next time you drive or ride in a car look and see what is protecting you from being injured if struck with a lateral impact. Scarry! Especially if you are hit by an SUV. I can recommend Mercedes, BMW, and Volvo if you have the cash or the Camry, New Accord ( 03 or newer ) and Subaru ( which was not tested this round due to a 2005 redesign ) if you accrue a middle class income like myself.

Counterfit
Apr 21, 2004, 11:44 PM
Of course, the best way to fix this problem would be to stop build SUV's like trucks. There's no reason for it. They would handle better and have more interior room if they all had independent rear suspension, and would be lighter and stronger with a unibody as opposed to body/frame, and heck, how many of them really need that ground clearance? 4? 5? While I'm ranting, it's about time they got with it and put disc brakes in the back too.

Sun Baked
Apr 21, 2004, 11:51 PM
But no SUVs would mean buying a Station Wagon or a Hatchback. :eek:

Just as practical as an SUV, and the ones with traction control may even handle in bad weather a bit better (easier to stop/turn less mass), and they don't tip over as easy, plus they are unibody vehicles.

But they aren't as sexy a status symbol as the SUV. :rolleyes: Though the new Dodge Wagon may change that. ;)

Dros
Apr 22, 2004, 12:24 AM
Although the article says the mid-size cars fail, to me what has failed is the interaction between the cars and the SUVs. It boggles my mind that safety boards can specify that seat belts must be provided, but can't do anything about mismatched bumper heights, for example. If every vehicle had an "impact zone" and bumpers had to be in that vertical range, then they wouldn't need special tests of cars vs SUVs. And then designers could focus on how to protect impacts in that area.

Apple of my eye
Apr 22, 2004, 12:33 AM
It is a vast generalization I know, but often people who drive SUV's are only concerned with their own well being and don't have a problem polluting, waisting fuel and other resources, and taking up 2 compact parking spaces. I am so proud of being American but we could all learn something from the Europeans when it comes to living in community. If I see another SUV driving down the road with only one person in it I am going to barf.

iGav
Apr 22, 2004, 04:30 AM
While Volvo cars are in general very good for safety they may not be the best overall despite their reputation.

This is true, a similar phenomena occurs with the VW brand, where people instantly believe them to be the most reliable cars on the planet because of their 'reputation' even though recall numbers (and failure to recall some issues) as well as customer satisfaction surveys show the exact opposite and that VW are infact no where near the most reliable of cars.

Although it's not quite as serious for Volvo's, they're undeniably a VERY safe car, and were certainly pushing crash safety before there were even accepted testing protocols, (airbags, ABS etc etc) but many other car manufacturers have caught up with them and in Europe, the safest manufacturer is Renault whose modern cars consistently score 5 stars in the EuroNcap crash tests. I understand that the safest car on sale in Europe to have a crash in is the '03-04 Renault Espace.

Danrose1977
Apr 22, 2004, 05:48 AM
But they aren't as sexy a status symbol as the SUV. :rolleyes: Though the new Dodge Wagon may change that. ;)

In the UK most people associate what you guys call SUV's with mothers taking their kids to school.... it kind of makes them less "sexy" (Unless you like the older ladies!).

"Hot Hatches" (Golf GTI, Mini Cooper S and Honda Civic Type R), Rally spec (Subaru Impreza and Mitsubishi Lancer) and "real" sport cars (Honda NSX, Aston DB9, Porsche and Lamborghini) are all considered "sexy". It is beyond me as to how a vehicle so big could be seen as sexy... it looks more suited to pulling caravans than birds!

iGav
Apr 22, 2004, 06:38 AM
Of course, the best way to fix this problem would be to stop build SUV's like trucks. There's no reason for it. They would handle better and have more interior room if they all had independent rear suspension, and would be lighter and stronger with a unibody as opposed to body/frame, and heck, how many of them really need that ground clearance? 4? 5? While I'm ranting, it's about time they got with it and put disc brakes in the back too.

This is exactly what I think, I love the 'look' of the Hummer, but they're just totally over engineered for road use.

They could quite easily be constructed with a passenger safey cell/monocoque, with tubular frame sections for supporting the engine etc to help reduce the frankly ridculous kerb weight. As well as incorporating low weight plastic/composite panels.

And like you said, independent suspension and discs all round. As for the ride height they could always be spec'd with air-suspension like the Range Rover or Audi Allroad that automatically heightens and lowers the car depending on road speed to increase handling levels and all round stability.

So yeah, lower weight, better handling and stick a TDI under the bonnet to improve overall MPG whilst keeping a dandy degree of torque under your right foot... that would be a starting point! ;) :)

Chip NoVaMac
Apr 22, 2004, 06:43 AM
Considering how many people run red lights and how many people drive SUVs, it seems necessary for them to do something more about side impacts. Of course, not doing so would leave more room on the road.

What's right?

Here, here! I think that this test shows that cars don't need better safety design, but SUV's need to be made more safe for others on the road. For many of these cars did well in side impact tests when hit by 'cars" in previous tests.

Blackstealth
Apr 22, 2004, 01:42 PM
I'm all for the proposed UK initiative of hiking up the tax for SUV drivers, with any luck that might reduce the number of the on the road. I'd like it even better if you needed an LGV (light goods vehicle) license to be able to drive one - that'd certainly reduce the number on UK roads.

I don't really understand the attraction in SUVs (or the small Mitsubishi and Nissan trucks that are taking off over here) tho; the closest most of them get to off road is putting two wheels on the pavement when they're parking outside schools, and as for safety, well, I see more rolled Discovery's (also known as Roller Discos') and the like than 'regular' accidents these days.

If people want space and AWD then an Audi Allroad, Volvo XC70 or a Subaru Forester is a far more sensible buy, like iGav suggested they've all got a bit of grunt and they handle like cars - and they're safer all round. If you're buying an SUV on the reasoning that "well, if I hit someone else at speed they'll die - but I'll be alright" then you really need removing from the gene pool pretty damn fast.

I'll stick to my Saab, and if I do get into a walk-away accident with an SUV driver you can be sure I'll beat the living daylights out of him before the Police arrive... :p

Chip NoVaMac
Apr 22, 2004, 02:35 PM
I'm all for the proposed UK initiative of hiking up the tax for SUV drivers, with any luck that might reduce the number of the on the road. I'd like it even better if you needed an LGV (light goods vehicle) license to be able to drive one - that'd certainly reduce the number on UK roads.

I don't really understand the attraction in SUVs (or the small Mitsubishi and Nissan trucks that are taking off over here) tho; the closest most of them get to off road is putting two wheels on the pavement when they're parking outside schools, and as for safety, well, I see more rolled Discovery's (also known as Roller Discos') and the like than 'regular' accidents these days.

If people want space and AWD then an Audi Allroad, Volvo XC70 or a Subaru Forester is a far more sensible buy, like iGav suggested they've all got a bit of grunt and they handle like cars - and they're safer all round. If you're buying an SUV on the reasoning that "well, if I hit someone else at speed they'll die - but I'll be alright" then you really need removing from the gene pool pretty damn fast.

I'll stick to my Saab, and if I do get into a walk-away accident with an SUV driver you can be sure I'll beat the living daylights out of him before the Police arrive... :p

I have a Subaru baja, and it performs in always better than my Ford Ranger pick-up. I just don';t need a body part extension to make me feel better...

jywv8
Apr 22, 2004, 06:15 PM
It is a vast generalization I know, but often people who drive SUV's are only concerned with their own well being and don't have a problem polluting, waisting fuel and other resources, and taking up 2 compact parking spaces. I am so proud of being American but we could all learn something from the Europeans when it comes to living in community. If I see another SUV driving down the road with only one person in it, I am going to barf.

Absolutely.

I don't know how many times I've driven into a parking garage only to see all the "Small Car Only" spaces filled up with SUVs. And then there's the jerk-off across the street with the Grand Cherokee who consistently parks about 5 feet behind the car in front of him, thereby using up what could be 3 normal sized parking spaces, just so no one will ding his ugly ride.

I mean, I live in Chicago. The streets are always plowed. There are no mountains to scale. No rivers to ford. Gas is particularily pricey. Street parking is precious. Air quality is lacking. Unless you are a professional contractor hauling around large equipment, there is absolutely no valid reason to be driving around this city in an SUV. These people are idiots.

Counterfit
Apr 22, 2004, 06:56 PM
This is exactly what I think, I love the 'look' of the Hummer, but they're just totally over engineered for road use. I think the Hummer is an example of a well engineered off-road utility vehicle. Not great for hauling people (4 max, unless you stuff people in the back or manage to get the troop carrier version from the military ;)), and definitely not light on the fuel usage, or on-road handling, or road noise, or... you get the point.

ddtlm
Apr 23, 2004, 01:44 AM
Sun Baked:

But they aren't as sexy a status symbol as the SUV. Though the new Dodge Wagon may change that.
Yeah dunno about that one... style is a bit agressive... besides an AWD hemi wagon isn't gona save Mother Earth, or anything. Bumper is lower at least.

iGAV:

And like you said, independent suspension and discs all round.
Hmmm. I'm pretty sure independent suspention and the structure that goes with it actually weighs more than a solid axle and structure of similar strength, though the unsprung weight is lower for independent, and handling is better. You may have noticed that a few (most?) minivans and even some fairly recent Nissan Sentras have solid rear "beams"... not axles cause they were front drive. I'm a big fan of straight axles for anything that carries much weight. The tires remain straight on the pavement. Good for the tires, your bearings, your fuel economy.

Blackstealth:

I'd like it even better if you needed an LGV (light goods vehicle) license to be able to drive one - that'd certainly reduce the number on UK roads.
Yeah, holding people with large vehicles to higher standards and charging extra fees is an excellent idea. A lot more sensible than screaming to have those vehicles banned or changed in ways that would reduce their utility.

Chip NoVaMac:

I have a Subaru baja, and it performs in always better than my Ford Ranger pick-up. I just don';t need a body part extension to make me feel better...
Good to hear that you don't need an "extention" to feel better, but you are "putting down" drivers of traditional trucks, clearly your doing that to make yourself feel better. I guess if its not one thing, its another. Everyone on this forum ranting against all-image SUV drivers probably takes heart in their own non-SUV image. I think its better to avoid the politics and group-ism, just stick to the facts.

jywv8:

Unless you are a professional contractor hauling around large equipment, there is absolutely no valid reason to be driving around this city in an SUV.
I'm left wondering why a contractor would haul stuff around in an SUV.

zamyatin
Apr 27, 2004, 03:14 AM
I don't know how many times I've driven into a parking garage only to see all the "Small Car Only" spaces filled up with SUVs. And then there's the jerk-off across the street with the Grand Cherokee who consistently parks about 5 feet behind the car in front of him, thereby using up what could be 3 normal sized parking spaces, just so no one will ding his ugly ride.


I recommend you toss a few slices of American cheese on the windshield and hood on a hot summer day...

Counterfit
Apr 28, 2004, 07:04 PM
I recommend you toss a few slices of American cheese on the windshield and hood on a hot summer day... I don't think that would do much in a parking garage...