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The Obama administration's new fuel economy standards will push fuel efficient vehciles, like the 2011 Chevy Volt pictured here, by mandating cars average 38 mpg, and for light trucks to average 28.3 mpg by the 2016 model year.  (Source: Car Corner)

The new standards will shift the industry towards lighter vehicles. The EPA and NHTSA estimate that this will cause 1,100 additional "weight related" vehicle deaths between 2012 and 2016, with 493 additional deaths in 2016 alone. They state that they hope this will drop to 250/year by 2020.  (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Under the new emissions standards, ethanol-capable FlexFuel vehicles like the 2009 Chevy Malibu E85 FlexFuel edition (GM), will earn automakers credits towards fulfilling stricter fuel economy and emissions standards.  (Source: The Torque Report)
There are major positives and negatives about the proposed emissions cuts

The national government's boldest attempt to regulate car fuel economy is not without controversy.  The Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are expected to finalize emissions standards plans by March 2010, but the new changes, set to take effect in 2012, are already mostly planned.  Though milder than the changes originally proposed in 2007 by the outgoing Bush administration, the plan's critics take issue at its costs, nonetheless.

The new standards will call for 34.1 miles per gallon by 2016.  It also will put in place the nation's first tailpipe regulations for carbon emissions.  The EPA lauds the plan, with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson saying that the plan will create the equivalent of taking 42 million cars off the road -- without removing many vehicles.

The EPA estimates that between 2012 and 2016 950 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced, the average vehicle owner will save $3,000, and oil consumption will be cut by 1.8 billion barrels. 

The government agencies admit that there will be costs.  They estimate that the legislation will raise car sticker prices $1,000 (still less than the fuel economy savings), will cost the auto industry $60B USD over five years ($12B USD/year), will cost 5,000 jobs in 2012 alone, and will depress industry sales by approximately 58,000 vehicles.

The new rules will force cars to average 38 mpg by 2016 and light trucks to average 28.3 mpg.  GM and Ford will have to average 37.3 mpg for their cars.  They will also have to average 26.6 mpg (GM) and 27.3 mpg (Ford) for their light trucks.  Chrysler gets the strictest light truck regulations at 28.5 mpg, but laxer car standards at 36.8 mpg.

The NHTSA and the EPA are confident in their bold experiment in market regulation, though.  They say that by 2016, the losses will be reversed and approximately 65,480 vehicles more vehicles will have been sold and 5,795 auto jobs will be created.  Basically, they believe the net effect will be slightly beneficial economically, while being respectively more beneficial, in turn, for consumers and the environment.  They acknowledge, though, that "the possibility exists that there may be permanent sales losses."

The administration also acknowledges that there will likely be a cost in human life.  Small cars generally don't fare as well in crashes, and the agency estimates 493 additional "weight-related" auto deaths in 2016 from the shift to lighter vehicles.  They estimate 1,100 extra fatalities from 2012 to 2016, but they expect the number to drop to 250 extra a year by 2020.  The net financial impact from 2012 to 2016 of these deaths is estimated to be approximately $15B USD in losses.

Automakers do have a number of ways to escape the restrictions, somewhat.  Building more efficient air conditioners (which decreases carbon emissions) will earn credits, as will the sale of E85 ethanol vehicles.  Advanced technology vehicles, flex fuel vehicles and other measures will also earn credits.  Further, small automakers, selling less than 400,000 vehicles a year will only have to meet a more relaxed standard.

The automakers will likely take issue with these exceptions, though, and have plenty to say in the upcoming 60 day review period for the plan. 

Dave McCurdy, CEO of the Alliance for Automobile Manufacturers, a coalition of Detroit's three automakers and eight others stopped short of criticizing the measure for the time being, stating, "[The current plan] provides manufacturers with a road map for meeting significant increases for model years 2012-2016. Final rules are essential to providing manufacturers with the certainty and lead time necessary to plan for the future and cost effectively add new technology."



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Completely useless article
By teriba on 9/16/2009 12:47:45 PM , Rating: 3
1. Light cars aren't less safe, big and light cars are less safe. If people simply switched to smaller cars they would be more safe and improve their fuel economy.

2. There are plenty of other ways to get fuel economy up. Simply by switching to diesel would allow us to hit this target without changing sizes/weights/safety/whatever at all.

3. Lighter does not always mean less safe. Only when the design is bad. Consider that there are less deaths in F1 than Nascar even though the cars weigh FAR less in F1.




RE: Completely useless article
By TomZ on 9/16/09, Rating: 0
RE: Completely useless article
By lelias2k on 9/16/09, Rating: -1
RE: Completely useless article
By sebmel on 9/16/2009 5:24:09 PM , Rating: 2
Minimum F1 car weight including driver: 605kg

Average small car weight 1300kg


RE: Completely useless article
By Spivonious on 9/16/2009 1:07:18 PM , Rating: 5
It couldn't possibly be because F1 drivers are more skilled...


RE: Completely useless article
By lelias2k on 9/16/09, Rating: 0
RE: Completely useless article
By sebmel on 9/16/2009 5:21:14 PM , Rating: 4
Montoya didn't do much in F1 either.

Nigel Mansel won F1... went to Nascar and won that too.


RE: Completely useless article
By ZachDontScare on 9/16/2009 5:31:18 PM , Rating: 2
no, Mansel never won in NASCAR. I think you're thinking of IndyCar perhaps.


RE: Completely useless article
By sebmel on 9/16/2009 5:56:48 PM , Rating: 5
Apologies... you're right there... looks like the only F1 drivers that have ever entered Nascar are Montoya and Mario Andretti.

Looks like very few drivers from outside the US ever enter. I guess it requires very specialised skills with the banking and only ever turning in one direction.

My view of the best test of a driver is rallying... 80mph on uneven gravel tracks a couple of metres from trees listening to instructions on what's ahead... those guys need incredible car control, agility and courage.


RE: Completely useless article
By afkrotch on 9/17/2009 6:00:27 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
My view of the best test of a driver is rallying... 80mph on uneven gravel tracks a couple of metres from trees listening to instructions on what's ahead... those guys need incredible car control, agility and courage.


Let's not forget the tarmac rallies on wet or dry, snow rallies on ice and snow, in hot tempatures, and cold tempatures. It sucks that they kind of got rid of night rallies.

Not only must they race, but they have to deal with normal everyday traffic on road stages that they traverse to get to their next special stage.

Then they must also be able to partially maintanence the car, if a problem should arise during a special stage or road stage.


By ZachDontScare on 9/16/2009 5:25:33 PM , Rating: 2
For what its worth, Montoya's doing very well this year. When drivers make the switch from the open wheel world it takes a couple of years for them to get adjusted to a very different type of racing.


RE: Completely useless article
By sebmel on 9/16/2009 5:39:33 PM , Rating: 3
As for "depends on who you know"... no that doesn't happen much.

It mainly depends on your winning in the junior leagues... as Senna, Barichello, Schumacher, Button and Hamilton did.

There are a few sons of drivers who get in... Gilles and Jaques Villneuves... they were both good. Neslon and Neslon Piquet Jnr... Jnr was lousy... but they're out in a season or too if they're lousy.

Very occasionally a millionaire father has bought a useless son a place as a second string driver to a team struggling for money (Pedro Diniz's father is one of the richest people in Brazil... supermarket chain)... they only time that has affected a result is when they've got in the way. Diniz never finished higher than 5th.

To say that politics get in the way of results is simply not true. It isn't politics that made Fangio, Chapman, Schumacher, Senna, Alonso, Hakkinen, Raikkonen or Hamilton win races... they're incredible drivers.

Simple proof is to look at the most successful driver nation in F1... Finland! Yet the industry is in Surrey, UK... why that nation with a small population then? Because Finns have an excellent rally driving tradition and start early... that makes them per capita the world's most successful racing nation... not connections.


RE: Completely useless article
By mindless1 on 9/16/2009 3:37:32 PM , Rating: 2
... or that the F1 design lacks what is essential to our transportation needs, the ability to carry cargo and/or multiple people by virtue of a design needing a higher center of gravity.


RE: Completely useless article
By Ranari on 9/16/2009 4:49:17 PM , Rating: 2
I agree totally.

And to add to what you're saying, F1 cars are also driven by highly skilled drivers (as mentioned above). Not to mention, the drivers are also wearing highly protective gear and helmets, and there are also paramedics and fire trucks waiting within seconds to respond to a crash.

For the real road, people don't wear helmets. They don't wear fire retardant gear. They aren't strapped into their seat with a 6-point harness. And there isn't a paramedic/firetruck waiting every half mile in case we crash.

Oh, and F1 doesn't have to deal with tens of thousands of other drivers on the road either. =)


RE: Completely useless article
By mindless1 on 9/17/2009 1:05:17 AM , Rating: 2
Even with carnival bumper cars, if you keep a low center of gravity, even inexperienced children will be reasonably safe. Not 100% safe, but what ever really is?


RE: Completely useless article
By shockf1 on 9/17/2009 7:56:45 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
For the real road, people don't wear helmets. They don't wear fire retardant gear. They aren't strapped into their seat with a 6-point harness. And there isn't a paramedic/firetruck waiting every half mile in case we crash.


what a stupid statement... the "real road" people dont travel at 340km/h either so you dont need all the extra things that your talking about. You see F1 drivers walk away from hitting walls at over 200 km/h all the time. try doing that in ANY road car, id bet you would only get one chance at trying it.


RE: Completely useless article
By rcc on 9/17/2009 2:14:37 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, and a jet engine won't operate as high as a rocket. They are designed differently for different applications.

An F1 car is designed to go very fast, and also to protect the driver. That's pretty much it. A production car has many other design goals, and generally can't afford the same exotic materials.


RE: Completely useless article
By paperfist on 9/17/09, Rating: 0
RE: Completely useless article
By Alexstarfire on 9/17/2009 2:33:22 AM , Rating: 2
Weight isn't the only thing though.


RE: Completely useless article
By MrPoletski on 9/17/2009 9:16:55 AM , Rating: 2
Get a bigger spolier for your focus, the downforce will help with that hydroplaning. Better tyres will too.


RE: Completely useless article
By callmeroy on 9/17/2009 9:27:03 AM , Rating: 2
I read (either Motor Trend or Road & Track) that spoilers mean nothing if they aren't the right size and you aren't going at least a minimum speed (which in most cases you'd have to break the speed limit to attain)....

Tonight if I remember I'll find the issue and post back...

I do know the article largely made fun of the spoilers on most cars as being non-functional and gaudy.


RE: Completely useless article
By afkrotch on 9/18/2009 12:35:23 AM , Rating: 2
YOu can receive downforce from a spoiler/wing at speeds below 80 mph. It's all dependent on design. Look at a rally car's wing. It's built to provide downforce, while sliding sideways at under 40 mph.


RE: Completely useless article
By MrPoletski on 9/18/2009 5:37:41 AM , Rating: 3
you'll receive downforce at any speed, the question is whether it is negligable or not.


RE: Completely useless article
By FITCamaro on 9/17/2009 9:38:42 AM , Rating: 2
Weight has nothing to do with hydroplaning. The Cobalt I had was the same weight as your Focus and I never hydroplaned. You have crappy tires. Get a good tire and you'll be fine.


By Hoser McMoose on 9/20/2009 8:49:57 PM , Rating: 2
Couldn't agree more. In a standard, road-going production vehicle, REGARDLESS of size, your tyres are providing virtually all your grip (or lack there of). Sure you can toss wins and aerodynamic devices on them but without good tyres you're DONE.

For safety I'd take a subcompact with GOOD tyres over any other vehicle of any size with crappy tyres every time. This is ESPECIALLY true in the winter with snow and ice, nothing beats a good winter tyre for driving safety in these conditions.


RE: Completely useless article
By tjr508 on 9/21/2009 10:54:18 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Weight has nothing to do with hydroplaning.


What?

Weight makes a huge difference. Why do you think 18-wheeler truckers keep the hammer down in the rain?

I would also like to add that tires that maximize water repelling tend to be less desirable in other conditions (cornering, braking snow, off-road etc). Each of these are maximized with different depths/softness/tread angles.


RE: Completely useless article
By FITCamaro on 9/16/2009 1:09:38 PM , Rating: 2
An F1 car's body and chassis is made entirely or nearly entirely of carbon fiber and titanium. The driver has a 5 point racing harness keeping them in the seat. The driver wears a helmet that is attached to a cord at the back of the seat which prevents the drivers head from moving more than a few inches forward in the event of a crash. They were a protective, fire proof suit.

Now assuming you can afford the few hundred thousand dollars for a passenger car made to the same standards, are you going to have a five point harness, wear a helmet, and wear an extremely hot suit when driving said car around?

Deaths in NASCAR, while EXTREMELY few, are due to the higher safety standards because of the higher speeds. F1 cars also have a tight, isolated, and protected driver cabin like drag cars whereas NASCAR cars do not. I do not believe the head restraint system used in F1 is mandatory in NASCAR even today.


RE: Completely useless article
By UNHchabo on 9/16/2009 4:16:55 PM , Rating: 2
After the death of Dale Earnhardt Sr., I thought I heard something about Nascar making that restraint system mandatory, and some drivers had already been using it voluntarily.

I don't watch Nascar, but I heard about it on the radio.


By ZachDontScare on 9/16/2009 4:22:50 PM , Rating: 3
They are called HANS (Head and Neck) devices, and they are in fact required at least at the upper levels. They've also implemented a new type of wall around tracks that greatly reduces impacts, and a new, safer (and heavier) vehicle template.


RE: Completely useless article
By JasonMick (blog) on 9/16/09, Rating: 0
RE: Completely useless article
By teriba on 9/16/2009 2:52:14 PM , Rating: 3
Becuase it's completely useless propaganda. Driving SUVs that are growing every year while still retaining a drivetrain and body construction from the 1960s is the problem. Smaller cars are safer and they will easily meet the gas mileage requirements. The only time you have issues is manufacturers that will continue to try to make SUVs more fuel efficient by making them lighter, rather than using a more modern engine, more modern materials, etc.


RE: Completely useless article
By lco45 on 9/16/2009 7:48:29 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed.

I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee and my wife just got a little Renault Clio.

We've hardly driven the jeep at all since we got the Clio. It's so nimble and easy to drive, and fuel is practically free compared to the jeep.

Once you're seated in a car you don't really need that massive bulbous steel frame extending 3 metres behind you ;-)

Luke


RE: Completely useless article
By teldar on 9/17/2009 8:50:48 AM , Rating: 2
I would guess you don't have kids. No Dog. Don't take long trips to see the family. Wait.
You have a Renault.
You live in Europe.
Your population density is 3x what it is here.
That probably means you have easily accessible and reliable mass transit.
That may mean you don't have to drive or fly everywhere...

Obviously these things don't make ANY difference.

My god people. I'm earth friendly and would like to see something left for my descendants, but I'm not going to shut off my brain in order to make comparisons and arguments. That includes calling people with alternating points of view idiots, unless they're fanatical and give no argument, other than arguing.


RE: Completely useless article
By afkrotch on 9/18/2009 12:41:33 AM , Rating: 2
Never heard of a van? There is zero trucks/SUVs (minus a stretch limo) in existance that can match the seating capacity of a large van.

There are 18 seat vans out there, any non-limo truck/suv with that kind of seating capacity?


RE: Completely useless article
By teldar on 9/17/2009 8:50:49 AM , Rating: 1
I would guess you don't have kids. No Dog. Don't take long trips to see the family. Wait.
You have a Renault.
You live in Europe.
Your population density is 3x what it is here.
That probably means you have easily accessible and reliable mass transit.
That may mean you don't have to drive or fly everywhere...

Obviously these things don't make ANY difference.

My god people. I'm earth friendly and would like to see something left for my descendants, but I'm not going to shut off my brain in order to make comparisons and arguments. That includes calling people with alternating points of view idiots, unless they're fanatical and give no argument, other than arguing.


RE: Completely useless article
By teldar on 9/17/2009 8:45:50 AM , Rating: 2
I'm still not seeing where lighter=safer.

Lighter = death if the smaller/lighter is involved in an accident with something heavy or unmovable.
Say you run into a dump truck. Or a semi. You're a pancake.
If you run into another ultralight, you're fine.
A tree? if the car is so small there is no space for decent crumple zones, toast.

I mean, look at the testing they do on these things, 5 and 25 MPH? That's real world if I ever saw it. Nobody EVER goes more than 25 MPH when they hit something.

And you keep harping on 'suv' and 'drivetrain and body construction from the 1960's'. I say you're an idiot. The only frame on body car on the road these days is the crown vic. And ford would like to stop making it, but POLICE DEPARTMENTS don't want them to. Why? BECAUSE THEY ARE SAFER. And bigger. And there's all kinds of stuff made for them in the last 40 years.
If you really think that drivetrains are similar to what they were 40-50 years ago, you're an idiot or living in a cave. Since you have the intrawebs, I assume you're not living in a cave.

And it's NOT USELESS PROPAGANDA. IT"S STUDY INFO PUBLISHED BY THE ORGANIZATIONS WHO CONTROL SAFETY AND MILEAGE for vehicles in this country.

Just say that you're a tree hugger and liberal communist and want the government to control what you drive and get over it. But to slander the article because you don't like what it says, when the epa and safety admin put it out? That's just hypocricy.


RE: Completely useless article
By MrPoletski on 9/17/2009 9:28:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm still not seeing where lighter=safer.


m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-M-M MOMENTUM KILL....Killl....killll....

You seem to be forgetting something in this post... why do you think a cricket ball hurts more than a tennis ball? Why does a leather football (soccer ball for you yanks) hurts more when you head it than a cheap plastic one?

Perhaps you should google for the crash test videos of the smart car (tiny, light vehicle).


RE: Completely useless article
By rcc on 9/17/2009 2:20:41 PM , Rating: 2
You mean the one where it bounces off the Mercedes and tumbles about 25 yards?


RE: Completely useless article
By rcc on 9/17/2009 2:28:49 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, ok, so it wasn't 25 yards. Still wan't pretty


RE: Completely useless article
By afkrotch on 9/18/2009 1:05:16 AM , Rating: 2
Displacement of energy through the movement of the vehicle, instead of the displacement of energy through the crumpling of the car. There's more than just one way to make a car safer.


RE: Completely useless article
By hathost on 9/21/2009 4:49:09 AM , Rating: 2
When the car rebounds off another object there are much high G forces transfered to the occupants than in a larger car with larger crumple zones. In the exact same type of crash scenario where a 3000lbs car with a crumple zone system versus a smart car that weighs 1600lbs collide with an immovable object at just 25mph the occupants in the smart car will suffer more serious injury than the larger car. As the speeds increase and you take into account differing vehicle sizes the larger car will on average fair much better against a smaller car.

So for a real world example(this is a true story): You are driving a midsize 4 door sedan behind a semi at safe distance and come to a stop light. Another semi fails to stop and plows into your car crushing it between the 2 large trucks and kills you and your 3 occupants. If you had the chance at that instance to choose a different vehicle to be in would you choose a:

1. Smart Car
2. Mid-Sized SUV
3. Full-Sized SUV
4. Full-Sized Car

Which do you HONESTLY think would improve your chances of surviving?


RE: Completely useless article
By MrPoletski on 9/18/2009 5:38:38 AM , Rating: 2
Is the driver compartment crushed or not?


RE: Completely useless article
By hathost on 9/21/2009 4:57:58 AM , Rating: 2
The accelerative G forces on the occupants will be greater due to the rebound of the car lacking crumple zones. That Is why we don't drive cars like the ones built like tanks from the 50's anymore. Car from 1950 hits a tree the car can be driven home, though it probably would have been done by the widow since the force of the impact killed the driver. Same reason that racing organizations eventually realized that have destructible parts are their cars to lessen the impact forces would save more lives than a indestructible car.

Doesn't matter whether the compartment was crushed or not you would still be dead.

For example: You are watching a person in an indestructible sphere and are hurtling to the ground at a slowish 30mph at the same time a person is also falling at the same speed and is not in a bubble. When you see them hit the ground and go to see what's happened which do you think is more likely to be hurt?


RE: Completely useless article
By SSDMaster on 9/17/09, Rating: -1
RE: Completely useless article
By ChristopherO on 9/16/2009 3:08:44 PM , Rating: 3
Smaller cars aren't at all safer... Cars are typically crash-tested against immovable objects, and/or objects of fixed size careening into them. The total energy in Joules released in the accident is quite small. Thus, a something like a Smart car running into a wall (or tree) releases only as many Joules of energy in the collision as the car created *by itself*.

If a small car runs into an SUV (in motion) the total Joules released is fantastically more. We're talking potentially like 4-8x more energy.

And given the laws of physics, the square of the difference in energy is transferred to the lesser object. Basically meaning, SUV vs small, the small will always absorb vastly more energy than the SUV, even though the SUV brought most of the energy to the collision. That's why small cars always seem "ok" in crash tests, because those tests don't involve colliding them with a bunch of other, much heavier vehicles already in motion. It leads to a very deceptive perception that small is safe, when it's not. Granted SUVs have a roll-over potential due to center of gravity, but that can be mitigated by a good driver. The laws of physics are, however, constant.

Those idiots mandating super fuel efficiency seem to be forgetting that there are going to be plenty of 2012 heavy-as-heck family trucksters on the road running into those shiny new, small fuel efficient cars. And I'll be driving one of those larger ones since I *value* my life.


RE: Completely useless article
By MadMan007 on 9/16/2009 4:39:07 PM , Rating: 4
Sounds like the solution is to outlaw SUVs :D


RE: Completely useless article
By ChristopherO on 9/16/2009 5:55:52 PM , Rating: 5
Well, you're never going to get rid of SUVs, or tractor-trailers for that matter, delivery vehicles, minivans, etc. There will always be high-mass vehicles since a lot of people legitimately need them (and most people would rather drive their boat-hauling truck to work, than also buy a commuter car). As long as *any* of them are on the road, a potential collision with one is catastrophic unless one is adequately protected.

Suburban vs. semi releases a lot more kinetic energy than semi vs. Mini Cooper, but because the ratios of the mass is closer with the Suburban, more of the kinetic energy will be absorbed by the semi. So all in all, it's a more catastrophic collision, but the occupants of the Suburban would be subject to less Joules of force than a guy in a Mini Cooper, who would take darn near all the energy.

I don't understand why I was down rated. I point out a simple fact about the laws of physics don't favor small vehicles when any large ones exist, that must irk environmentalists. Maybe it was my quip about wanting to be safe. I'm a cancer survivor -- I'm not interested in dying in a car wreck because I was in something economical when a soccer mom plowed into me.


RE: Completely useless article
By Alexstarfire on 9/17/2009 2:49:02 AM , Rating: 4
Not that your logic is flawed or anything, but you're only looking at one piece of the puzzle. First off I just want to say.... good driver? In the US? You must be kidding me. It's honestly a wonder half the US population doesn't die each year with the way I see people drive.

You are right that a bigger object means a bigger force, but think about this. Which is safer? The 4,000+ lbs Cadillac from the 60s or pretty much any sedan in the past decade? I'll take my modern car thank you very much. It's not just about the amount of force, but where the force travels and how it gets dissipated.

Not that what you said was wrong, it's just not the whole picture.


RE: Completely useless article
By daInvincibleGama on 9/17/2009 8:55:01 AM , Rating: 2
There has never been much convincing evidence that energy release actually does most of the damage in accidents. It seems much more plausible that sudden, high acceleration causes the damage. Think punching a brick wall vs punching a foam mat, the brick wall does more damage because it stops your hand that much quicker. That's also why cars these days have crumple zones that even out the acceleration caused by a crash.

Smaller cars do accelerate more in a collision, but not by that much. If we take a Honda Civic(~2600 lbs.) and a Chevy Suburban(~5300 lbs.), which are pretty much opposite ends of the spectrum, the civic would accelerate twice as fast, meaning twice as much damage, assuming the cars have no safety systems(which would reduce the ratio). And of course, most cars on the road are smaller than a suburban and bigger than a civic, so the damage ratio is even more reduced.

Add the risk of rollovers in SUVs(which have a high fatality rate) and SUV's are not worth it in terms of safety.


RE: Completely useless article
By afkrotch on 9/18/2009 1:41:53 AM , Rating: 2
Correction for you...

deceleration not accelerate.

I also don't understand the 2nd paragraph.


RE: Completely useless article
By 7Enigma on 9/18/2009 10:33:11 AM , Rating: 2
Correction for you:

Accelerate is correct.


RE: Completely useless article
By afkrotch on 9/18/2009 1:15:56 AM , Rating: 2
No one needs an SUV, they just want them. A van can replace an SUV. A truck with a camper shell can replace an SUV. A car can replace an SUV. A sport wagon can replace an SUV.


By Hoser McMoose on 9/20/2009 8:57:02 PM , Rating: 2
To be totally fair, nobody NEEDS a car, the Amish near me seem to survive just fine with horse and buggies.

... obviously most of us (myself included) have NO interest at all in going that route! Vehicles of all types are purchased with a variety of needs in mind. It's really not worthwhile for any of us to pass judgment on anyone else's vehicle choice, they had their own reasons for selecting an SUV just like I had my reasons for selecting a small 'sport compact' type vehicle and you had your reasons for selecting something else. We ALL could have bought small/cheaper/less powerful/less fancy/whatever vehicles.


RE: Completely useless article
By hathost on 9/21/2009 4:05:52 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Completely useless article
By daInvincibleGama on 9/17/2009 8:42:34 AM , Rating: 3
Why not? SUV's should be taxed if their use imposes a cost (such as the risk of death) on other drivers on the road. The number of people that would drive SUVs after that would be closer to the number that actually need them. Its called a piqouvian tax and economists generally agree that they are good for society.


RE: Completely useless article
By Sulphademus on 9/17/2009 11:33:47 AM , Rating: 2
I think SUV's and such cars should be taxed but not based on fuel economy or however they test safety.

Why not tax on mpg? You buy a car that gets 20mpg vs one that gets 40 and drive the same in either scenario, you're paying double at the pump. (At least) Half of cost of gasoline is taxes so you're already paying more taxes for a less efficient vehicle.

What they should throw extra taxes on is GVWR. Motorcycles pay $0, Civic's pay $10, H2's pay >$9000. Then take that money and fix the $%^&ing roads! since its the weight of the vehicles which causes road wear. [well, that and ice expanding]


RE: Completely useless article
By Spuke on 9/17/2009 5:25:47 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Why not tax on mpg?
We're already taxed on mpg. You use more gas, you pay more taxes on it. My car has a 13 gallon gas tank and I get 28 mpg. My wife has a 30 gallon gas tank and gets 16 mpg. Guess who pays more.

quote:
What they should throw extra taxes on is GVWR.
Registration, taxes and etc are greater on vehicles with over 10k lb GVWR's. There are different weight classes above that amount with increasing costs.


By Hoser McMoose on 9/20/2009 9:03:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Registration, taxes and etc are greater on vehicles with over 10k lb GVWR's.

This only touches a pretty small portion of even VERY large vehicles. For those that are wondering, something like a Ford F-150, a Hummer H2 or a Toyota Tundra would come in well under this mark. I don't think know of a single SUV out there with a GVWR higher than 10K lbs.

Some models of Ford F-250 and F-350 trucks will be above there, but at that stage you're pretty much limited to commercial vehicles. Unless you own your own construction firm chances are pretty slim that you have a truck that big.


RE: Completely useless article
By Screwballl on 9/17/2009 10:41:45 AM , Rating: 1
They need to build vehicles that fit the location and the buyer. In the case of Europe, it is those tiny Eurotrash cars to get around those tiny streets. In the wide open expansive roads of the US, you have larger vehicles that can be driven for several days in comfort and can actually fit a family of 4 plus all their gear.

Try doing that in a little Renault Clio with a family of 4 (with the parents being close to 6 ft each, or in my case 6'5"), a weeks worth of gear and clothes, baby stroller, playpen (or portable crib), and drive from Paris to Moscow in comfort.

This type of legislation is going in the right direction but only if they mandated that cars would also have to be a minimum size to be driven on the roads on the US, around the size of the Prius should be a MINIMUM. Not for any reason other than safety. We have the technology to make engines that can power a semi truck that gets 200MPG, just the oil cartels and everyone involved with it have stepped in and prevented it.

The Magnet motors need no oil, little grease for fittings and use zero fuel and zero emissions. Tiny Nuclear power plants in the engine compartment can power electric motors in the car and never need fuel for 50+ years, even in the case of an accident there would be enough extras around the power source to prevent radioactive materials from getting loose.

FACTS: SMALL VEHICLES MIXED WITH LARGE VEHICLES IS A DANGER TO THE DRIVERS OF THE SMALL VEHICLE OCCUPANTS.


RE: Completely useless article
By afkrotch on 9/18/2009 2:01:08 AM , Rating: 3
Obviously you've never lived in Europe. Tons of ppl buy large vehicles. Those wanting to save on cost and fuel buy smaller. Those wanting to have an easier car to drive in traffic and easier to part will buy smaller.

Lived in England for 3 years and Germany for 2 years. Majority of vehicles in Germany were not small cars. They were medium to large family sedans. SUVs were somewhat rare.

Those with smaller cars did use trailers for hauling more items than what could fit within their vehicle. Cause your little scenario doesn't happen often. Even those with large family sedans did that, so they wouldn't have to jam so much into the trunk of their car.


RE: Completely useless article
By lco45 on 9/16/2009 7:54:36 PM , Rating: 2
In a collision it's obvious that the lighter vehicle will experience greater acceleration, and the passengers will receive greater damage, simply because F = MA.

However lighter cars are probably more likely to avoid the collision in the first place. Smaller cars are more maneuverable, which is why you so rarely see SUVs on a racetrack...

Besides, driving in general is pretty damn safe. I myself have never been killed on the road, and I've been driving for years...

Luke


RE: Completely useless article
By ChristopherO on 9/16/2009 9:43:14 PM , Rating: 3
Lighter cars are more maneuverable, but they don't occupy a single point in space. They're still big targets. Case in point, the number of multi-vehicle accidents you see on the road occur with a proportionally-accurate distribution of the overall vehicle types in service. Isolated things like roll-overs are almost exclusively the realm of SUVs, but conversely you see guys in small-cars causing multi-car wrecks because they over-estimate performance and over-estimate a gap.

In theory a highly skilled driver would have better odds at avoidance, but very few people fall into that group. Basically it's like saying a skilled driver probably won't roll an SUV, but it happens all the time because almost no one knows what they're doing behind the wheel -- when it comes to really catastrophic situations.

Also, most accidents occur in a location where avoidance isn't possible -- which means the world's most skilled driver probably couldn't avoid anything anyway. If you're in a light car and get rear-ended by an SUV, not good, but if you're in an SUV and the opposite is true, bad things happen to the other car. Case in point, I was rear-ended at 50mph on a freeway. Guy merged into my lane, and didn't realize we were basically parked due to some random California backup. He was in a Camero, I wasn't. Camero parts littered the road, his engine was pushed almost completely under the vehicle (the crumple zone vanished). My Volvo had a whopping $2600 worth of damage to replace the impact absorbers and bumper assembly (and the requisite bodywork). If it hadn't been for his airbag, someone would have been shoveling his brains back into his skull.

The guy was clearly at fault, but 99% of most people don't know how to drive and maneuverability isn't going to matter a hill of beans. What happened to me? I had, I kid you not, a stress fracture in my pinky when my hand smacked my dash.


RE: Completely useless article
By lco45 on 9/16/2009 9:52:42 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that it is all very variable, but I guess the point I'm making is that for the same skill level the more maneuverable vehicle will have a better chance of avoiding an accident, and that this should factor into safety considerations.

Statistics that count collisions and survivability of various vehicle types don't count the near misses.

Luke


RE: Completely useless article
By Screwballl on 9/17/2009 4:37:40 PM , Rating: 2
Lets use some of the same point of views...

the family and I were in a major accident back in 2004 where a 17 year old kid in a Ford Ranger small pickup pulled out in front of us (in a 2001 Ford Exploder) while we were doing the speed limit, 60 mph. There was zero chance for reaction time except for the 1/2 second braking which slowed us down to maybe 59mph at the point of impact. Direct T-bone impact on his passenger side..
Our Explorer was about 3 feet shorter (the crumple zones did their job) and his truck was smashed in about 3 feet (where the passenger door was pushed into the center rearview mirror).
Everyone lived but that shows exactly the problem, in the US where SUVs and larger vehicles are common, imagine if that had been a small Prius or Smart car simply because people wanted to save money on gas? They would be road soup from the same impact.

This is why we need better legislation that increases mileage without sacrificing size or safety of a vehicle. It is all fun and games for the government to force mandated mileage rules but when most companies equate "better mileage" with "smaller vehicle", this means the new vehicles will get smaller while the existing ones on the road become more dangerous when there is an impact with one of the enviro-nut gas sippers.

I don't remember exact numbers but something like 80% of all vehicles on the road are more than 5 years old, and 75% are 10 years or older.

This is nothing more than government mandating an unofficial death penalty for the eco nuts that have to drive a gas sipping car.... and looking at voting records, thus killing off their voters.


RE: Completely useless article
By BishopRook on 9/17/2009 1:13:35 AM , Rating: 5
I had to create an account specifically to reply to this.

You're describing an elastic collision, where kinetic energy is conserved. Collisions between cars are almost perfectly inelastic. The excess kinetic energy is spent creating heat and noise and deforming the body of both vehicles. So what we should be concerned with is not kinetic energy but momentum, which is conserved in both elastic and inelastic collisions.

If two equal-mass cars hit each other head on, they will both come to a standstill and it will be effectively the same as if they'd both hit a brick wall... If a 2-ton car hits a 4-ton SUV head on, both traveling at 60mph, then after the collision the SUV will be traveling at 20mph and the small car will be traveling backwards at 20mph, and it will be as if the SUV hit a wall going 40mph, and the small car hit a wall going 80mph. Not good, but certainly better than if it were an elastic collision... in which case the SUV would end up going 30mph backward, for a total delta-V on the passengers of 90mph; the small car would go 120mph backward, for a total delta-V of 180mph and let's just say "severe damage" to passengers' bodies.

When calculating damage to the passengers, you do need to take kinetic energy into account. But only their own body's--the entire car's kinetic energy is not magically transferred into them. Still, that's why a collision (to dead stop) at 60mph is 4 times as damaging to passengers as a collision at 30mph, kinetic energy is .5mv^2.

Long story short: yes, a smaller car fares worse in a collision with a larger car, but the difference is only major in head-on collisions and not to the degree you're suggesting. The solution is still to get smaller cars on the road, not to just build them bigger and heavier.

And steel structural cages plus standard side airbags like in the SMART Car aren't a bad idea either.


RE: Completely useless article
By HotFoot on 9/17/2009 3:37:43 AM , Rating: 2
Excellent reply.

When I look at the safety of a vehicle for head-on collisions / single vehicle driving into something, I care less about the weight of the vehicle than the length of the nose extending in front of the passenger compartment. This is what bothers me so much about smart cars and the like - there's practically no length of material to crumple and absorb the energy from the collision.

This is also why very old vehicles with rigid bodies are so much less safe than newer ones with crumple zones.


RE: Completely useless article
By ChristopherO on 9/17/2009 1:16:07 PM , Rating: 4
But the truth is in between, biased towards either elasticity or inelastically depending on the angle of the collision, and the vehicles involved.

The reality is that engineering can help mitigate accidents, but the collisions themselves are neither perfectly elastic, nor inelastic. In SUV vs small car, the small car usually does ricochet off the larger one, not in a perfectly elastic manner, but it does receive the majority of the impact force and momentum. It also matters angles, etc, since every vector on the cars aren't engineered identically.

For example, lets not even talk about side impact. Suburban hood vs small car door... Do you *really* want to be in the small car? No, because we all know, you're gonna die if the large vehicle is exceeding 30mph. A significant percentage of the accidents in the US are T-bones that occur when someone runs an intersection. Strangely most crash-testing isn't mandated around this (some is, but not in the same percentage that it's likely to occur).

This isn't a lecture about physics. Rather that a small car is *always* less safe than a bigger one, provided you don't do something to roll your car. But even that isn't as bad if you're wearing your seat-belts, etc. The number of people who still drive belt-less in this country is staggering. Do people think they're "sticking it to the man" by breaking the seatbelt law?

The roll over issue, while real, has also been exaggerated by environmental groups in an effort to get people to buy small cars. Don't believe me? The number of press releases by those groups are huge speaking about this very issue -- a simple bing/google reveals the source for a lot of these reports when traced back. They're largely trying to use scare tactics to do whatever they can to get everyone into small vehicles. Mind you I'm not saying an SUV roll-over isn't a bad thing, but the severity and number of these events is not as critical as the "buzz" would have you believe (it's like N1H1, hours of press coverage, and it's not half as dangerous as the common flu for most people). Roll-overs are usually just on the side, or a once-over, and not something crazy like Casino Royale where the stunt team rolled an Aston Martin DBS 8 times (for the world record).


RE: Completely useless article
By MrPoletski on 9/18/2009 7:28:57 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If a small car runs into an SUV (in motion) the total Joules released is fantastically more. We're talking potentially like 4-8x more energy.


ok, what you meant to say that is in a head on collision the energy is much higher.

So lets say, the smart car (730KG) and an SUV (say 1460KG) collide head on at 30 M/s (nearly 70mph).

Energy in the smart car: 1/2*730*30*30 = 328,500 Joules
Energy in the SUV: 1/2*1460*30*30 = 657,000 Joules

Twice that of the smart car, just like the momentum will also me 2x that of the smart car.

So that's 3x the energy of a flat wall collision. Not 4 to 8x the amount. Now if you doubled the speed to 60m/s (~140mph) that flat wall collision has 4x the energy it previously had... go figure.

quote:
And given the laws of physics, the square of the difference in energy is transferred to the lesser object.


Which laws of physics? so the difference in energy between the two vehicles is 328,500. Are you suggesting that 328,500^2 energy is transferred into the smart car? I thought not, please exaplain what you meant.

quote:
Basically meaning, SUV vs small, the small will always absorb vastly more energy than the SUV, even though the SUV brought most of the energy to the collision.


If that were true, then gently rolling a cannon ball into a stationary billiard ball would jet the billard ball off at stupid speeds. So you obviously didn't mean that either.

quote:
That's why small cars always seem "ok" in crash tests, because those tests don't involve colliding them with a bunch of other, much heavier vehicles already in motion.


What is the difference between a car hitting another stationary car at 100mph, or the same two cars hitting each other when moving at 50mph towards each other (i.e. 100mph relative to each other)?

Absolutely nothing.

quote:
It leads to a very deceptive perception that small is safe, when it's not. Granted SUVs have a roll-over potential due to center of gravity, but that can be mitigated by a good driver. The laws of physics are, however, constant.


And somewhat different from what you appear to think they are.

quote:
Those idiots mandating super fuel efficiency seem to be forgetting that there are going to be plenty of 2012 heavy-as-heck family trucksters on the road running into those shiny new, small fuel efficient cars. And I'll be driving one of those larger ones since I *value* my life.


With our two cars, the worst case scenario is this. The cars collide and gel into one blob of wreckage moving at the same speed. To make maths simple SUV has a momentum of 2 and smart of 1 (for v=1 and masses of 1 and 2 respectively). The net momentum after is going to be 1 in the SUV's favour. The momentum of this wreckage is going to be its mass x its velocity. It's mass is now 3 so 3*V = 2-1 = 1. so the net velocity of the wreckages is going to be 1/3. What this means is the KE of the SUV has changed from 1 to 1/9 (0.11111) and the smart cars from 0.5 (1/2*1*1*1) to -0.06 (1/2*1*1/3*1.3) (minus sign indicates direction change)

So the SUV's energy has changed by 0.89 and the smart cars by 0.56. That 'lost' energy will be taken out on the car bodywork.

The velocity of the driver has gone from 1 to 1/3 in the SUV and from 1 to -1/3 in the smart car. So the driver will sustain twice the Gforce in the smart car. Good job he's wearing a seat belt.


RE: Completely useless article
By Hoser McMoose on 9/20/2009 8:46:22 PM , Rating: 2
Here are some REAL numbers if anyone is interested. Larger cars (particularly minivans and large, imported luxury sedans) do best, but it's FAR from universal.

http://www.iihs.org/sr/pdfs/sr4204.pdf

The numbers are a few years out of date but the concepts remain.

Ohh, and a few more bits of physics for you: Large vehicle also means more inertia which means they are harder to stop. High centre of gravity (SUV) means that the vehicle won't handle nearly as well under emergency avoidance situations, potentially leading to very dangerous roll-overs or, at best, spinning out. Large vehicles have more mass which means more force in a turn but their contact area with the road (tyres) is roughly the same as in a small vehicle so they often will have less traction.

Remember, by the time you're IN a collision you've already ruined ALL your best chances of avoiding injury. Regardless of the vehicle you're WAY better off avoiding the collision in the first place.


RE: Completely useless article
By hathost on 9/21/2009 5:08:01 AM , Rating: 2
You can avoide all you want but when that avoidance fails and it will happen the choice is then between which vehicle has the better passive safety.

Imagine if the military went with the idea of passive safety in their tanks? It's better to avoid a hit sure but is there anyone to be 100% unhitable? If that was the case then soldiers wouldn't need any body armor we wouldn't have up armored humvees or tanks we wouldn't need seatbelts or airbags nor would we need crumple zones or high strenght alloy steel body pasanger frames in our cars.

I used to drive a small car, Miata in fact, a small compact sports car with great avoidance but I didn't delude myself into thinking that this would make me safe if that one time I came around a blind corner and there was some drunk on te other side and I had no time to USE any of the avoidance of my car that I was just as safe as if I were in a big full sized car or SUV.


By Hoser McMoose on 9/22/2009 3:45:27 AM , Rating: 2
You're missing the point here. Yes at some point in time avoidance fails, but it does not fail equally for all vehicles. If you're in a car that is twice as 'safe' when you're in a collision vs another car, but 3 times more likely to get into that collision in the first place then you are LESS safe!

It's a very common fallacy among drivers that we have an equal chance of being in a collision in all vehicles, mainly because we mostly work under the mistaken belief that collisions are caused by something outside of our control (you illustrated this myth nicely in your post). Both of these points are absolutely false.

For your military example, look at airplanes. The military doesn't build many planes with the intention of them being able to survive being hit by a missile, it builds planes that will avoid being hit in the first place.

Safety in vehicles involves a combination of many things, but your best bet for safety is ALWAYS to avoid being in a collision. Yes, sometimes that will fail, typically due to stupidity on the part of a driver, so we DO need other 'passive' safety systems. Even here though, while larger might be, on average, better, it's certainly not universally true.

If it were simply a case of 'bigger is better' than all 3,500lb cars would always perform identically. Obviously this isn't true in the real world. Real safety is about smart design and engineering, not simply having thousands of tons of steel around you.


RE: Completely useless article
By mindless1 on 9/16/2009 3:34:14 PM , Rating: 2
1. Smaller cars having less mass, smaller crumple zones, and often poorer visibility for both the driver and for other vehicles, are certainly factors decreasing their safety.

Which "big and light" car are you referring to as evidence that occupants have a lower survival rate due to weight per volume contrasted with small denser cars?

Using same modern construction tech, we will have big and light cars, and small and lighter cars. Not small and heavy ones, and wearing the engine in your abdomen wouldn't exactly be a benefit of weight in a small vehicle, nor crashing your head against the closer windshield.

2. Getting fuel economy up, if there were no detractions in doing so, would be fine. The current infrastructure doesn't support everyone switching to diesel yet even though we are closer to that possibility than many alternatives.

Either way, the government's intention on specific numbers is an arbitrary one that is not goal based but rather what they believe present tech allows for.

If we were already using diesel cars with higher efficiency than the existing gasoline vehicles, the government would simply demand even MORE fuel economy because their goal is a generic "improvement" not really hitting some magical number but what they feel is possible in that time frame.


RE: Completely useless article
By ArcliteHawaii on 9/16/09, Rating: 0
RE: Completely useless article
By mindless1 on 9/17/2009 12:56:40 AM , Rating: 2
Raise the price of gas why exactly? To play punisher instead of letting supply and demand set market prices?

Sorry, but that argument makes no sense at all. Let the gas market behave as all others do, not artificially altered by people who pretend to know what is best for citizens that can make their own choices.


RE: Completely useless article
By BishopRook on 9/17/09, Rating: 0
RE: Completely useless article
By ArcliteHawaii on 9/17/2009 5:48:32 AM , Rating: 1
Exactly, and nor does the price of gasoline reflect the cost of using the military to keep the supply lines open to the middle east, hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid to keep arab nations "friendly" to the US, subsidies to the oil companies themselves, and the cost of wars in oil rich nations to keep the oil flowing (Certainly no one thinks the Iraq war was about either Al Queda or WMDs at this point).

Also, whereas the price of oil can double literally overnight, the cost and time of transistioning off of oil is substantial: hundreds of billions of dollars in new infrastructure and 15 or 20 years of time. It makes sense to keep the price high to encourage development of alternative technologies and promote conservation. And it gives leeway to reduce the tax and keep prices stable in case of an oil shock. Europe and Japan didn't feel nearly the effect of $140 BBL oil in 2008 due to this very mechanism.


RE: Completely useless article
By Spuke on 9/17/2009 5:46:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Europe and Japan didn't feel nearly the effect of $140 BBL oil in 2008 due to this very mechanism.
Is that so?

Gas
http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/international/prices.h...

Diesel
http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/international/prices.h...

I don't know about you but a $4 a gallon increase is pretty damn significant.


RE: Completely useless article
By afkrotch on 9/18/2009 5:22:08 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Europe and Japan didn't feel nearly the effect of $140 BBL oil in 2008 due to this very mechanism.


Ya, hence why 400,000 Japanese sailors decided to go on strike, since they didn't make any money when they went out to catch squid and fish.

That's why Japanese truckers had nationwide protests over rising fuel costs.

That's why JAL cut back flights and routes.

If all you're looking at is consumer drivers. Sure, they aren't going to be hit all that hard. They barely drive to begin with. I bought a 14 year old car in Japan that only had around 30,000 km on the dial. That averages out to 110 miles driven each month. Americans can easily do that in a single day.


RE: Completely useless article
By ArcliteHawaii on 9/18/2009 6:09:33 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't say there was no effect. I said it was relatively less. For example, high gas prices in the US were a major factor in causing the collapse of the housing market, which in turn was the major factor causing the current recession:

http://movingforwardtogether.net/2008/04/28/housin...

http://www.oregonlive.com/business/oregonian/index...


RE: Completely useless article
By Spuke on 9/21/2009 5:12:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I didn't say there was no effect. I said it was relatively less.
Way to conveniently skip over my proof that you were incorrect. LOL! So a $4 gallon increase isn't that big of a deal to you?

quote:
For example, high gas prices in the US were a major factor in causing the collapse of the housing market, which in turn was the major factor causing the current recession
Huh? Gas prices caused the collapse of the housing market? LOL! Dude, the housing market was already collapsed by that time. Most markets were well into the porcelain by early 2006.

http://www.forestweb.com/Corporate/view/news_more....
http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/ind...
http://www.costar.com/News/Article.aspx?id=D6DF853...


RE: Completely useless article
By hathost on 9/21/2009 5:15:23 AM , Rating: 2
Where is this Iraqi oil exactly? Wow i had no idea that all that Iraqi oil coming onto the market was the reason for $4 a gallon gas this last year. /faceplam where have I been?


RE: Completely useless article
By ArcliteHawaii on 9/21/2009 6:01:34 AM , Rating: 2
Don't be a bonehead. Iraq's proven oil reserves are second only to Saudi Arabia. Obviously the oil wasn't in the market last year. The infrastructure was destroyed during the war, and rebuilding it has been hampered by the resistance. The vast majority of the contracts to rebuild have gone to American oil companies, which will be by and large shipping the oil to the US, once it comes online. Afghanistan was about Al Qaeda. Iraq was about oil. It's pretty obvious since every other reason for the war has turned out to be false. And hey, why not? I'd rather Iraq's oil come to the US than go to China.


RE: Completely useless article
By hathost on 9/21/2009 8:10:50 AM , Rating: 2
And yet if we wanted oil from Iraq it probably woulda be a lot cheaper to gosomething like this:

"Hey Sadam you know man I think we should have better relations mind selling us some oil if we lift the trade embargos?"

But hey I'm sure that wouldn't have been cheaper than going to war at all.


By ArcliteHawaii on 9/21/2009 1:36:02 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, I'm not disagreeing. The war was a huge mistake and a huge waste of resources. And the reasoning at the time didn't make sense to me. The Al Qaeda link didn't ring true: Saddam was all about being big fish in his little pond and had no interest in larger ideological struggles. And even though he'd poke and prod the lion (the US) he'd never be so stupid as to smash it over the head with a rock. The WMD link didn't ring true either given how long weapons inspectors had been poking around.

All that being said, I'd prefer that oil to come to the US than China. We'll see if the US didn't create too much ill will through torture and civilian deaths.


RE: Completely useless article
By afkrotch on 9/18/2009 5:07:39 AM , Rating: 3
Their taxes on gas isn't there to help create more efficient cars. Their goal is to gather more money to place into government budgets. That's the whole point of taxes.

Also, go to Japan (fyi, is not a western country), Britain, Germany, etc. Most of them don't drive everywhere. Their countries are small and it's not as difficult or costly to create a public transit system for the masses.

What's with the 40+ mph figure too? Britain does miles, while the rest do kilometers. UK uses the imperial gallons, which is more gas than the US gallon. 0.76 liters more, actually. Course, hit the pump for petrol and it's in liters. The other countries use liters, not gallons.

Now in some countries, like Japan. I can see an average of 45-60 mpg in a car. The reason being, due to kei cars. They sport 660cc engines or lower and can't even go over 110 kph. They have great gas mileage, get tax breaks, and don't require proof of parking location for the car. Also, because of their size, they are very easy to drive in traffic and parts are ridiculously cheap. Not that it matters much, since the Japanese hardly drive anyways.


RE: Completely useless article
By ArcliteHawaii on 9/21/2009 5:50:11 AM , Rating: 2
The point isn't just to suck cash from people pockets. Look, Japan, Germany, England, none of them have domestic supplies of oil like the US (Well, England does NOW since discovering North Sea oil, but didn't for decades). So laws were passed to encourage conservation of oil. Take Japan:

1. Gasoline is always $3-4 per gallon more than the US.
2. Biannual shaken car inspection is $1,500.
3. Kei cars get breaks.
4. Tolls are outrageous. It's less to take the bullet train from Fukuoka to Tokyo than it is to drive and pay tolls.
5. Public transport is both reliable and cheap.
6. Great support for bicycling.

With gasoline, tolls, and shaken being so expensive one way to reduce operating costs is to go with a lighter, more efficient vehicle with better MPG.

As far as Japanese not driving, they don't drive as much as Americans, but they still drive plenty. IF you live in Tokyo or another large city it's no problem getting around (just like NYC), but millions of Japanese live in the countryside. The sparse population density can't justify the cost of trains. Everyone drives out here. There are 57 million cars in Japan, and they don't just sit around gather dust. They get used.


RE: Completely useless article
By hathost on 9/21/2009 8:13:43 AM , Rating: 2
Do you own a globe?

Hmm guess not otherwise you'd know that GB is about the size of a county in California or that California is larger than the whole of Japan. Or that the Poplation density of the US is much lower than in either country.

Google earth anyone?


By ArcliteHawaii on 9/21/2009 8:56:09 PM , Rating: 2
Country size and population density don't correlate to miles driven. In population dense New England, drivers drive more on average than in the much more sparsely populated, spread out western states.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/rtecs/chapter3.htg/img...


RE: Completely useless article
By ZachDontScare on 9/16/2009 4:19:24 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Consider that there are less deaths in F1 than Nascar even though the cars weigh FAR less in F1.

While I'm no F1 expert, I do know that NASCAR has hundreds of races each year across all its national and local series, each with more competitors. While F1 has far fewer races with fewer competitors. So I'd like to see a source for such a claim - and it should show that its the cars, not the type of racing (car to car contact is perfectly legal in NASCAR) - that leads to fatalities.


RE: Completely useless article
By Scrogneugneu on 9/16/2009 6:58:02 PM , Rating: 2
Don't waste your time, you can't compare these two.

NASCAR drive at high speed constantly, but only turn on one side, and every section of the exterior wall is protected. It is possible to get a very hard crash, but to do so you need to lose control and most probably make contact with at least another car.

F1, on the other hand, sees pilots going from high speeds to low speeds, turning left and right. Not all sections where you might have a crash are correctly protected, and with the way these cars are built, it's easier to go flying away and hit something pretty hard.

Check out videos on NASCAR crashes and F1 crashes. The typical NASCAR crash will have the pilot bumping the wall then scraping along until it stops. A typical F1 crash, however, will involve far more movement (I recommend you go and look the Robert Kubica crash at Montreal for an example).

The two are built for a different purpose and are prepared to protect for very different crash scenarios. This is comparing apples to oranges.


RE: Completely useless article
By Regs on 9/16/2009 11:07:16 PM , Rating: 3
How about being more competitive? Honda was coming out with 240+ hp V6 engines at 24-28mpg while Chevy/Ford was still making 190-200HP V6 engines at 18-19mpg. American cars have improved a lot all ready, and they did not need government to step in!


RE: Completely useless article
By afkrotch on 9/17/2009 5:26:36 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
3. Lighter does not always mean less safe. Only when the design is bad. Consider that there are less deaths in F1 than Nascar even though the cars weigh FAR less in F1.


What kind of comment is this? When the car can grip the road like a lion to a baby gazelle, it's no wonder there are less fatalities. Bet you there's less collisions in general too. The car is also more balanced, as it's making more than just a left turn.

That would make weight a moot point in the arguement. Might as well say that a space shuttle with it's more weight, is safer than a Formula 1 car, cause it's caused less fatalities. In that instance, the weight doesn't matter. There's been less space shuttles launched than Formula 1 cars driven.


RE: Completely useless article
By callmeroy on 9/17/2009 9:24:24 AM , Rating: 2
I am bored to tears with motorsports (though I would prefer watching them over golf or tennis)....

Anyway, that's not to say I've never read articles about either and being that I have family who enjoy NASCAR and F1 (but to a lesser degree) I've learned a little about them.

It seems to me that F1 cars are definitely more well built than NASCARs, and IMO I think they are more "precision" racing cars than NASCAR are too. Finally, I don't think its a stretch to state F1 drivers must exhibit more over all skill behind the wheel given they drive in courses that are more varied than a mere oval track.

Put it all together the issue that there are less deaths in F1 than NASCAR is not surprising to me in the least.

One thing I am curious of however, are there more cars in NASCAR than F1 -- and which sport has more races per season?

I wonder if it could be a law of averages kind of thing as well...if NASCAR has more cars per race and they race more often, that just means they have more "chances" for accidents...


RE: Completely useless article
By p05esto on 9/17/2009 9:53:30 AM , Rating: 2
What? Are you serious? Large vehicles like trucks and SUVs are FAR safer than smaller cars. What a bone head, everyone knows this.

A bolling ball rolling towards a grape, who's going to win in this exagerated example? Same goes with a SUV built on a truck frame heading towards a prius built of tinfoil....Good luck hippie, I'll drive a safe vehicle and pay a little extra. The comfort, versitility and safety is WORTH it.


RE: Completely useless article
By Lerianis on 9/18/2009 2:18:12 AM , Rating: 3
Little problem.... a lot of families have more than 4 people, which is the most you can fit in a 'small car' comfortably.

Until they make bigger cars with extra length for a third seat, we aren't going to see people switching from big SUV's to small cars.


RE: Completely useless article
By tapa on 9/18/2009 9:58:16 AM , Rating: 2
And where are you going to get all that diesel fuel, genius? It's already in short supply since only a fraction of refinery output is diesel. It's same as autogas. You just can't make as much of it as you please. We aught to minimize diesel usage in cars so that it gets cheaper for lorries. That's of huge economic importance.

And, no, you can't just make a refinery turn out more diesel.


RE: Completely useless article
By arachnid on 9/20/2009 2:10:41 AM , Rating: 2
A good friend of mine is a mechanical engineer and works for a forensic engineering firm. He tells me weight wins in car crashes, all 5 of the engineers in his office drive SUVs or fullsize trucks.


RE: Completely useless article
By hathost on 9/21/2009 4:28:28 AM , Rating: 2
How many miles are F1 drivers driving vs NASCAR drivers? How many drivers are there in each sport? How many cars per the area of the track are there in each for each race? These are two different sports and cars meant for different types of racing with different car design choices made to reflect that.

This is the same as the story we typically hear about people are killed more often in warm water than in cold water. It is simply a statistic until you learn the facts behind it they are meaningless. Such as when the study was done there was an enormous difference in the amount of people in warm water and cold water. So if someone came up to you and said for example 2000 people die every year in water that is 70 degrees and higher and that 5 people die in water that is 50 degrees or colder but didn't tell you that 10 people were swimming in the 50 degree water for example and that 1,000,000 were swimming in the 70 degree water that would significantly change the way you view the data.

In any event this whole environmental global warming thing is still debatable since there's info for both sides and a lot of shifty data and a lot of money to be made in government grants if you support global warming. In any event it definately pays to not dump toxic waste into the rivers or sewage into the ocean and we should conserve fish harvests and forests but they should be a manageable and useful resource not some sacred evironmentalist wacko alter that we have to bow to. Which is about what global warming is right now. You can declare a consensus all you want but if thats all it takes to be right then there aren't cells, bacteria, the universe revolves around the earth, the earth is flat, etc.


Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By SiliconJon on 9/16/09, Rating: 0
RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By TomZ on 9/16/2009 12:45:10 PM , Rating: 5
It's not a question of ingenuity, it's a question of cost. Stronger, lighter materials are readily available; they just cost a lot more. If you have to add $10K to the cost of the car for this reason, you've just priced yourself out of the market.

I think a lot of people outside of the industry think the engineers working at automotive OEMs are stupid, or that their employers are greedy. It's time to move past that type of naive thinking.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By SiliconJon on 9/16/2009 12:45:13 PM , Rating: 1
"If there are too many people too short sighted to push the market towards better environmental safety..."


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By FITCamaro on 9/16/2009 12:49:16 PM , Rating: 4
Or we could push fuels with no impact on the environment like algae based biofuels so that it doesn't matter what your MPG is.

But hey don't let common sense get in the way of ideology.

Does it make sense to want less pollution? Yes. Does it make sense to fix a problem that doesn't exist? No.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By twhittet on 9/16/2009 1:22:14 PM , Rating: 3
But hey don't let common sense get in the way of ideology

Making vehicles that get better MPG and are more efficient IS common sense.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By Lord 666 on 9/16/2009 1:48:35 PM , Rating: 2
While you are correct, what FIT really saying is that instead of giving credits for E85 cars, the government should be giving credits for clean diesels that can use algae based biodiesel.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By mindless1 on 9/16/2009 3:10:39 PM , Rating: 3
Gov should just butt out. Supply and demand, let the buyers buy what they will.

Let the will of the people decide what direction the auto industry goes and isn't that what the government pretends it represents? If so then it needs not act at all.

What we have instead is a minority being vocal about what they want (greater efficiency despite the detractions to achieve it), and the majority who are content not saying anything because they are content so long as gas prices remain stable and low.

Granted gas can't always stay low, but once again we face a situation where if it stays high enough, long enough, the people not the government can decide as individuals if and when to buy that more fuel economical vehicle.

What I suspect will happen is ever more *cars* being designed to barely pass as trucks so they have relaxed fuel economy requirements.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By Spuke on 9/16/2009 2:02:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Making vehicles that get better MPG and are more efficient IS common sense.
And automakers have been doing that because it DOES make sense and, more importantly, it makes them more money (more efficient car equals more expensive car). BUT you don't want people looking at the sticker and refusing to buy the car. Then again, some of you would be perfectly fine with that.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By mindless1 on 9/16/2009 3:03:25 PM , Rating: 2
Nope, common sense is looking at both the pros AND the cons, realizing everything is a trade-off.

Assuming that the positive aspects someone pimps will ultimately be of greater benefit than detractions is fine if you have a crystal ball, aren't in an auto accident, can afford to pay for this tech.

It's fine, but except in retrospect (having accumulated data of the result), it's not common sense. It's a naive folly to think there aren't good reasons the automobiles we drive today evolved to what they are after 100 years (!!) of development.

That doesn't mean there aren't possibly even better reasons to improve fuel efficiency, but the way we're going about it is all wrong. Big Brother should not be making our decisions for us! Let the automobile manufacturers make what the public demands without governmental intervention.

It's at the heart of what America is supposed to be. Choice. Free Market.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By FITCamaro on 9/16/2009 4:43:20 PM , Rating: 2
You are correct.

But the government's own regulations get in the way of other regulations.

Safety standards reduce mpg due to added weight. Emissions standards have reduced mpg. Ethanol mandates have reduced mpg.

And as another said, yes, the government needs to get out of the way. The market will dictate which cars are built. Auto manufacturers didn't start building more small cars after gas prices skyrocketed because of government mandate. They did it because that's what people wanted. However nor should the government artificially inflate the cost of gas to push more fuel efficient cars. A government which artificially inflates prices to push an agenda is a corrupt government which is not looking out for the interests of the people.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By adiposity on 9/16/2009 5:02:16 PM , Rating: 2
Ethanol mandates are the most disgusting thing. They help nothing and mess with the food industry. They also kill gas prices in California (where I live).

Free the market and algae will win.

-Dan


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By mindless1 on 9/16/2009 2:56:45 PM , Rating: 2
Do you have any evidence that we could produce ENOUGH algae based biofuel without it being an impact on the environment?

Taken in small scale, drilling for existing oil doesn't have much of an impact on the environment either. Oops, then we spill some but is spilling biofuel ok?

It's time to go nuclear. Build as many as the public can tolerate promising them cheaper energy, make THAT what we spend these billions of tax dollars on, till we have enough surplus energy to sell it, split water, and all kinds of incentives to slowly change over to more electrically powered equipments and vehicles.

Battery tech is of course one major limitation, but put enough of a demand on it and you get more investment into research, the inevitable gains come sooner.

Then we start discussing the environmental impact of batteries once again, but who really believes we humans can have modern, let alone further comforts without an environmental impact? ALL of mankinds' development impacts that environment around us, is why we survive and flourish.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By FITCamaro on 9/16/2009 4:55:38 PM , Rating: 2
I think it's worth looking into. And so far I haven't seen any major push to even investigate it by the government. I think one advantage of it though is that it doesn't need any particular environment to grow. Just warm and sunny. Unlike other biofuels, it doesn't rely on some outside medium to make the fuel. The algae just grows in water and produces the fuel. We'd definitely need some desalinization plants to help with the water requirements.

And it'll sure as hell cost a lot less than switching to batteries which requires massive overhauls in our infrastructure.

I'm all for nuclear. You should know that. But for my house. Not my car.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By KillaKilla on 9/16/2009 12:49:31 PM , Rating: 2
Do remember that as fuel efficiency mandates roll by, and the average weight vehicles on the roads drops, the safety of all vehicles increases. This is because the average weight of the vehicle that hits you decreases, lowering the stresses on the car being hit. There is a delay, of course, as older vehicles slowly die out, but it does eventually happen.

Also, maybe ths will bring diesel options here, and maybe just maybe GM or Ford will pick up the Cummins contract after Dodge stop making a real truck. Oh baby, an F250 with that 6.7 would be sweet!


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By TomZ on 9/16/2009 12:53:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This is because the average weight of the vehicle that hits you decreases, lowering the stresses on the car being hit.
That's only part of the overall safety picture. You also need to consider other types of accidents, such as rollovers, crashes into stationary objects (e.g., wall or bridge), crashes into large trucks, etc.

In all these cases, larger cars with more material, stronger material, and larger crumple zones will protect lives better than small cars. You can't ignore simple physics...


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By FITCamaro on 9/16/2009 12:57:38 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
You can't ignore simple physics...


YES WE CAN!


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By twhittet on 9/16/2009 1:31:02 PM , Rating: 5
Yes, you can't ignore simple physics. F=ma. Make the cars have less mass, and there will be less force in rollovers, stationary object collision, even head on collisions if both cars are lighter in weight.

Older vehicles would be a problem that would slowly fade. As for larger vehicles (semis,etc.) - I don't think a 1980's buick would be any safer than a prius during a head-on collision with a loaded semi.

I agree that stronger materials and better crumple zones will help, but more material is backwards thinking.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By quiksilvr on 9/16/2009 1:46:22 PM , Rating: 2
Its funny how each region of the world has a different way to making more fuel efficient vehicles. Japan is utilizing hybrid technology. Germany is turning to diesel and now with the new very clean diesel fuel and engines, they are hitting some INSANELY high mpg ratings.

The US, however, is kind of all over the place. We have some companies that are using hybrid technology but not nearly to the extent of the Japanese. Some use diesel but only on the bigger vehicles and not the smaller ones. Some use ethanol but slowly but surely we are steering away from that failure. And some are just blatantly copying the vehicles.

IMO, the best solution at this time is to use diesel technology and slowly transition to EVs. Diesel is cheaper, the engines are better and more fuel efficient, and its the easiest transition we can do in the current state of things. If this isn't done soon, VW, BMW and the Merc will bring their insanely fuel efficient diesel cars to the states and the American car companies will have no choice but to do the same but will be late to the game.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By Spuke on 9/16/2009 2:13:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If this isn't done soon, VW, BMW and the Merc will bring their insanely fuel efficient diesel cars to the states and the American car companies will have no choice but to do the same but will be late to the game.
Two of those are luxury manufacturers and VW is damn near a niche automaker in the US. Not to mention, VW is at the bottom of the quality ratings here in the US.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By TomZ on 9/16/2009 2:19:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I agree that stronger materials and better crumple zones will help, but more material is backwards thinking.
No, your belief that less material can be safer is backwards thinking, clearly.

Remember, today's vehicles are highly cost- and safety-optimized already. Your implication that they are dumb or have overlooked something is naive.

And less weight/energy in a collision is only relevant if you care about the object being struck. In the cases where I stated, I assume the value of human life far exceeds the value of the wall or the truck being struck.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By mindless1 on 9/16/2009 3:22:08 PM , Rating: 2
Highly irrelevant, most collisions aren't head-on with a semi.

While you can't ignore physics, you can choose not to overly fixate on only one aspect of simple physics. While there is less mass, the mass itself serves as a protective cage which will, all else being equal, protect the occupants less with any given level of technology and cost at which it is constructed.

Older vehicles don't slowly fade away to an extent that validates your argument, they actually last longer now than they used to and you write about a 1980 buick as a possibility when it is a 30 year old car. We should have 30 years of risk on the roads driving lower mass cars?

What about the trucks both commercial and private, SUVs, etc? They're not going anywhere and ride up and over a small light vehicle because regardless of bumper height a low mass crumple zone crumples away from the mass hitting it, ie - downward creating a crude ramp.

Recognize the differences between current levels of material versus less, not being the same as arguing for ever more material. What if we instead argued for the same amount of material with more strength, instead of less material with the same strength?

THAT would make us safer, NOT keeping the same crash test requirements while raising fuel economy mandates. This is really, really obvious when you stop to think about it.

Without question lighter mass cars will risk more lives. The experts who study these things have already projected it so it is a bit strange you second-guess them without any clear reason, without presenting any details they wouldn't have considered.

How about we get back to the reality of comparing a head on collision between a brand new full sized Buick and a brand new Prius? Oops, I attempted to make a reasonable comparison...


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By sebmel on 9/16/2009 6:16:57 PM , Rating: 2
"What about the trucks both commercial and private, SUVs, etc? They're not going anywhere and ride up and over a small light vehicle because regardless of bumper height a low mass crumple zone crumples away from the mass hitting it, ie - downward creating a crude ramp."

Mindless1 has a point: the big issue with SUVs is that they miss the crumple zone of ANY car and ride over it.

Forget buying a Merc S-class and thinking your safe. At 40mph a 3 ton SUV is going to drive over the bonnet/hood. In a side on collision it's going to miss the door reinforcing. There are two reasons for this:

a) there is no opposing car's crumple zone to slow them down
b) they aren't fast at coming to a stop, because they have the same rubber on the road as a car but two to three times the weight to counter, and as soon as they hit they are off the ground at the front

Small cars are getting firmer and that's causing more whiplash injury... they bounce like a billiard ball.

If this legislation gets some people out of SUVs it will reduce the fatalities that SUV drivers cause.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By Spuke on 9/17/2009 6:08:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If this legislation gets some people out of SUVs it will reduce the fatalities that SUV drivers cause.
How many fatalities are caused by SUV's compared to other cars?


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By mindless1 on 9/16/2009 3:49:21 PM , Rating: 2
Untrue, engineering better crumple zones and cages, better suspensions, steering, etc, increases safety.

Vehicle weight reductions happened simultaneously but countered the safety improvements rather than increasing them.

It's clear fact that it more easily survives, if you disbelieve then perform a simple experiment. Make two equal sized 8" box frames. Make one out of popsicle stick gauged wood and the other with reinforcements that increase it's weight, because that's what the increased weight does, reinforce a vehicle's frame, skin, bumper, seat, etc., etc.

Now throw both the regular and reinforced, heavier popscicle stick boxes at a brick wall at equal, ever increasing velocities. I think you can guess which one will be destroyed first.

Now repeat the experiment crashing equal boxes into each other a la automobiles. Same thing, the less reinforced boxes crumple and break first because any design has inherent weaknesses.

Automakers aren't making heavy cars for "fun", the last time they could significantly decrease passenger automobile weight without major detractions (besides towing capability) was when they shifted from using full frames to unibody construction and FWD.

Granted, cost is one of those detractions. If a car were made with space shuttle tech it could be lighter and safe but already we balk at much smaller cost increases for battery powered vehicles.

People do not want to pay more for a smaller car, nor for a lighter one unless it lasts as long and the gas mileage improves enough they can recover that within a time period that interest on the addt'l money spent doesn't wipe away the long term hypothetical fuel savings.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By sebmel on 9/16/2009 6:26:32 PM , Rating: 2
You are wrong here... weigh reduction doesn't necessarily mean reduced reinforcing. Renault has done great work in building crumple zones and frames to take the impact in ways that haven't increased weight substantially.

For example, in the past resistant bars were built into doors but unconnected to other parts of the frame because the door has to open. A classic cause of injury is the driver compartment collapsing at the A pillar (windshield).

Another cause of injury is the front of the car staving in and the engine entering the driver's compartment, crushing legs and pushing the steering wheel into the chest.

Renault has built a frame that doesn't collapse at the front... protecting the engine and transferring energy down the sides of the car... thus not deforming the driver's compartment.

So safety doesn't necessarily compromise weight... it's down to good design.

Unfortunately, nothing solves the problem of the three ton SUV unable to stop itself and riding over you. Those things are just plain dangerous.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By mindless1 on 9/17/2009 1:01:16 AM , Rating: 1
yes it does necessarily mean reduced reinforcement.

You keep missing the bigger picture. Take any vehicle, your absolute favorite highest performing in crumple zone tests, and if only they aren't trying to keep weight down on that specific vehicle, they could reinforce it to make it MORE SAFE.

You are not applying engineering logic to the problem. It is indisputable fact, common sense even to mechanical engineers, that the only reason to make structural integrity concessions is lower weight, size or cost.

The size difference isn't much at all, the cost depends on changing materials or crash safety requirements, but weight a la fuel economy is what we are focusing on in this topic.

Again, take any vehicle you feel does well, and with a few more pounds it does even better.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By sebmel on 9/17/2009 1:55:11 PM , Rating: 2
In as simple terms as I can express it:

Remove steel engine - add aluminium engine - redesign chassis for transmission of weight around driver without adding mass - change steel body panels for plastic - replace steel wheels with alloys - replace steel steering wheel with magnesium

Just a few examples.
Clear enough, I hope.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By Spuke on 9/17/2009 6:11:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
change steel body panels for plastic
Plastic? You're kidding right? I hope you know that most cars have all aluminum engines, right? And usually the high trim level cars have aluminum wheels too. Steel steering wheels replaced with magnesium? You should stick to weight savings that will actually make a difference. Like aluminum transmission cases.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By FITCamaro on 9/16/2009 12:53:24 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
and there has always been people willing to steal for their own gain.


Yes. They're called politicians. And those who advocate for social programs that redistribute wealth like Welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. because they will be using them. Social Security isn't supposed to count because you're supposed to put in what you're going to take out but that's not what happens. And young people like myself will never see the money we put into it again.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By SSDMaster on 9/16/2009 1:09:53 PM , Rating: 2
Making them lighter doesn't make them less safe? You've obviously never taken a physics class. Its not just about strength of materials.

Let's say a tractor trailer hits a car in a head on collision. Both vehicles were going 60 MPH. The car will be pushed backwards going 30MPH. That means that the Tractor trailer driver experienced a 30MPH hit, and the Car driver experienced a 90MPH hit.

Obviously the maths not perfect, but you get the point.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By SiliconJon on 9/16/2009 1:22:03 PM , Rating: 2
LOL, sure man - let's ignore the vast arrays of variables, proclaim youself an expert, and denounce me as idiot.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By mindless1 on 9/16/2009 3:24:11 PM , Rating: 2
Lots of people who aren't idiots don't know physics... though if you start to talk about a subject not knowing so much what the relevant details are it can tend to make people jump to conclusions...


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By PrinceGaz on 9/16/2009 1:55:01 PM , Rating: 2
In crash tests I've seen (on the likes of Fifth Gear), the weights of cars involved in a crash is almost irrelevant because both cars end up stationery near the point of impact. The heavier vehicle does not end up pushing the lighter one backwards to any significant extent, therefore both vehicles have to cope with a similar amount of deceleration. The only factors which determine survival are structural strength of the cabin, a crumple-zone capable of absorbing the energy of the impact, plus normal passenger safety devices like airbags and seatbelts.

The sort of vehicles tested were things like an old heavy Volvo hitting a small hatchback head-on or near head-on of less than half the weight, both vehicles travelling at the same speed (typically 30-40mph). The more modern light hatchback faired much better due to having a crumple-zone and strong passenger compartment, whereas the driver of the Volvo would have had a steering column in his chest.

The thing is that despite the difference in weight and both cars going the same speed, the heavier car did not cause the lighter one to be pushed back to any significant extent. Rather the heavier car ploughed its engine-compartment into the lighter car's crumple zone absorbing much of the energy, and both were left stationery pretty near the impact.

Now if you are talking about a car being hit by a 40-ton lorry, then it doesn't really matter whether the car weighs half a ton, or three and a half tons because the end result will be the same. Same with concrete posts, trees etc. The only thing which matters is not the weight, but the combination of a well designed crumple-zone and strong passenger cabin.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By sebmel on 9/16/2009 6:41:04 PM , Rating: 2
You are wrong and the poster above is partially correct... weight does affect safety but, no it isn't clear cut.

There is NOTHING you can do about a weight disparity... a 3 ton car travelling at 30mpg is packing far more force than a 1 ton car... just think of a big fist... it isn't just down to speed... that explains boxing's divisions.

At the point of impact a small car has to counter the momentum of the big car... it can't crumple much, because it has little length, so it has to bounce... perhaps into another car.

As for safety vs weight... that isn't clear cut because, clearly, a well designed small car can potentially be safer than a badly designed heavy car... within the limits of what is physically possible. It's just that the small car really has it's work cut out.

All this, as I said before, becomes irrelevant in the case of SUVs... all the design work and NCAP crash testing goes to pot because enormous American SUVs just ride OVER all your carefully designed bumpers, frame and crumple zones.

SUVs kill their occupants when they try to swerve at greater than 40mph. They kill oncoming traffic when in accidents. They are unstable and unsafe. They should be licensed in the hands of those that need them and trained how to drive them... like a HGV license... so that doesn't include women on the school run going through Chelsea.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By Reclaimer77 on 9/16/2009 6:46:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
SUVs kill their occupants when they try to swerve at greater than 40mph. They kill oncoming traffic when in accidents. They are unstable and unsafe. They should be licensed in the hands of those that need them and trained how to drive them... like a HGV license... so that doesn't include women on the school run going through Chelsea.


/rolls eyes.

Watch out Swine Flu. The SUV's are coming to take your place as the most deadly things on the planet...


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By Ristogod on 9/16/2009 1:59:25 PM , Rating: 2
There isn't a lot of credible evidence that supports the need for improved emissions. Humans creating green house gases aren't the cause of global warming.

I'm all for using less fuel to improve efficiency however, but only if it makes sense economically. And sadly, because this is a political driven agenda, it makes little sense to force these ridiculous policies on the automotive industry.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By lelias2k on 9/16/2009 2:51:29 PM , Rating: 2
Regardless of whether or not there is evidence, the fact is that those gases are not good for us - just ask the people who committed suicide with them...

Do you really want to wait until there's nothing else that can be done?

Everyone wants it to make sense economically, but reality is that anything new costs money.

The problem is that most things move into the mainstream due to popular demand. Since this probably won't happen here, the government has to interfere.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By hathost on 9/21/2009 5:33:36 AM , Rating: 2
If we take all the CO2 out of the air we won't be able to eat because all the plants on the planet will sufficate and die. Is that what you want? Global genocide of all life on the planet hmm hmm hmm????

Increased CO2 is good for plants.
We eat plants and feed it to our animals to produce food.
Plants don't typically survive well in the winter.
For some odd reason the do very well in the spring and summer.
Global warming = good.
Global cooling = ice age = many dead people = bad.

At least I would hope you don't want the human race on the brink of extinction.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By walk2k on 9/16/09, Rating: -1
RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By Spuke on 9/16/2009 2:24:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Besides the majority of vehicle weight is in the engine
No it isn't. Even a 1960's era big block V8 weighs under 700 lbs.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By walk2k on 9/16/2009 3:26:33 PM , Rating: 2
exactly! what other single part weighs as much


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By FITCamaro on 9/16/2009 4:32:05 PM , Rating: 2
You said the majority of a cars weight is in the engine. That's not the same as saying its the heaviest component.

And the car's chassis weighs more most likely for most cars. Especially back then.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By FITCamaro on 9/16/2009 3:00:50 PM , Rating: 2
Take the engine out of a car and see if you can then lift the car. Take out the entire drivetrain for that matter (engine, transmission, and driveshaft.).

Probably unlike you, I actually have pulled an engine out of a car. A V8 no less. The whole motor weighed around 500 pounds. The car was an 85 Camaro which weighed 3300 pounds. Today's engines are even lighter due to most of them being all aluminum.

You are a dumb@ss.

And are you seriously trying to justify people dying to fix a problem that doesn't exist? And there have been an average of 532 people killed in Iraq a year (4262 total). You merely bringing it up as if to somehow compare the two is offensive.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By walk2k on 9/16/2009 3:18:41 PM , Rating: 2
"dying to fix a problem that doesn't exist"

can't figure out what you're talking about here.

WMDs in Iraq?

what problems don't exist in your head? pollution, global warming, reliance on foreign oil, etc etc etc??

pull your head out for once.

crying it will cost more to make cars doesn't wash with me. GM/etc should have been planning for that 20-30 years ago, it's their own damn fault they are so far behind now.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By TomZ on 9/16/2009 4:31:13 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think that those problems are (a) attributable or unique to larger cars, and/or (b) serious enough to warrant in effect legislating that we all drive smaller cars.

And somehow suggesting that GM is responsible for all this is laughable at best...but really idiodic actually. GM, like other automakers, builds cars based on consumer preferences. That's their job, their good at it, and it was why they are/were #1 in the world for decades.

Yes, maybe automakers are out of touch with libtards like you and the current administration, but I consider that a good thing. Probably consumer sentiment is slowly changing, but to suggest what these companies have been doing all these years is wrong is pretty ignorant.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By walk2k on 9/16/2009 8:28:16 PM , Rating: 2
oh yeah US autos are awesome, that's why half the top 10 selling cars in the US are Japanese. that's why they took bailouts/went bankrupt. pull your head out.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By TomZ on 9/16/2009 9:10:25 PM , Rating: 2
Did I say the Japanese are not good at supplying what Americans want, or did I even draw a comparison between the two? No.

My same argument applies to Toyota. They are good at finding out and supplying what customers want. And when you go to their showroom, do you see all econoboxes? Nope.

You need to pull your head out.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By Spuke on 9/17/2009 1:20:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
oh yeah US autos are awesome, that's why half the top 10 selling cars in the US are Japanese.
Actually, out of the top 20 best selling cars in the US, 9 of them are American cars, three of them are American trucks, and NONE of them are large SUV's. How about backing up your statements with actual facts next time?


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By FITCamaro on 9/16/2009 4:36:02 PM , Rating: 2
Could you possibly make a clear, concise point of what you're trying to say?


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By Souka on 9/16/2009 2:59:09 PM , Rating: 1
"Making them lighter doesn't make them less safe "

But being in a vehicle of greater mass, compared to being in a car of less mass, results in less of a delta in velocity during a crash with another vehicle...period.

So reducing the weight WILL result in an increase of vehicle injuries and deaths.

Of course being in a "safer" car to begin with is very important... eg: a 1966 VW bug compared to 2010 Cooper Mini. You're safer in a Cooper mini. But being in a 1980 Chevy Blazer is safer than being in a 2010 Cooper Mini in most vehicle-vehicle crashes...

regardless.... I'm all for the smallest, overall less pollution (noticed i didn't say highest MPG) cars/trucks.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By walk2k on 9/16/2009 3:23:20 PM , Rating: 2
common myth/old wives tale.

you're assuming every collision is a 3000lb vehicle colliding with a 5000lb vehicle.

in collisions with a stationary object (building, wall, overpass, etc) it makes no difference.

in collision with a fully loaded semi truck (20-30k lbs) there's very little difference.

weight tells very little of the story. take a 1950s Buick or so and compare to a current Civic or Mini... MUCH safer.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By joex444 on 9/16/2009 4:32:31 PM , Rating: 2
Your limited knowledge of physics is failing you.

True, in an isolated system consisting of two objects which collide (and do not simply break apart into multiple tiny parts), the object with higher mass undergoes a small change in velocity.

Unfortunately, when you stop on the highway you go from 75mph to 0mph. When you stop in the city, you go from 30 to 0mph. Clearly, the highway is dangerous if the change in velocity is all that protects you from near certain death.

Alas there is more. The delta V is very meaningless. What destroys human lives (ie, ripping the aorta from the heart or forcing the brain into volumes it was never meant to squeeze into) is the IMPULSE! This quantity is delta V / delta t -- the time it takes you to stop.

Then clearly, going from 90mph to 30mph in 10 seconds is the same as going from 30mph to a dead stop in 5 seconds.

The design of cars is that when "zones" "crumple" they take LONGER to slow down, thus DECREASING the impulse. This is why an old steel car without airbags will perform terribly compared to a vehicle half its weight (technically, mass, but we'll assume both vehicles collide in the same gravitation potential such that the ratios of weight to mass for each vehicle is equal), such as a Civic. Further, airbags lessen the impulse the person feels when they collide with the dashboard, an event nearly guaranteed to occur in life-threatening crashes.

The really hard part about the smaller cars will be having the large SUV and truck drivers hop into the small car. No longer will they be able to push around other cars on the road and have their way. They will actually need to think about whether or not it is appropriate and safe to make a left turn in this scenario or if they can change lanes given the clearance and apparent relative velocity of other vehicles. Further, they will not be able to peer out over all of traffic. For those already in small cars, nothing will change. Those used to driving this way have survived this long, I doubt the increase in deaths will be from these drivers. Instead it will be from the least confident drivers who rely on the size of an SUV simply to scare other drivers away. (For those unaware, GM published an industry report a couple years ago that found their SUV buyer base was largely composed of the least confident drivers. More confident drivers were not as attracted to the sheer size of such behemoths.) In essence, I predict that the potential for an increase in crashes will be from largely ignorant drivers used to making bone-headed decisions and relying on the size of their vehicle to let other drivers know you will lose in a collision with this, so let me have my way (after all, they probably have children, the smallest possible kind of human so they clearly need such massive vehicles).


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By andrinoaa on 9/16/2009 6:03:25 PM , Rating: 2
I can't beleive all the tripe written about physics and this and that. The basic premis of the article needs to standup to scrutiny BEFORE we worry about physics. Where did they get those figures from? What assumtions were made? What are the fatal accident statistics of small cars, large cars, small to large car impacts, SUV to Kenworth impacts, modern small car vrs old small car, new small car vrs new big car etc etc etc etc. HOW CAN YOU RAMBLE ON without knowing any of these? STOP TALKING BS


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By SiliconJon on 9/18/2009 10:05:10 AM , Rating: 2
I don't get it. OK, I see through critical self-analysis that maybe there isn't a need for this type of regulation, but I don't see any reason to post or debate further on it here. I really don't get what's going on this comments section here at DT - why posts of such similar content are rated so differently. But meh - whatever, spit on me all you like it's only digital. It's not like anything productive will come of these moronic monkey comment collections anyway.


RE: Safety : Cost : Efficiency
By hathost on 9/21/2009 5:21:51 AM , Rating: 2
There is always for some reason an assumption that global warming is bad yet when we go into ice ages that seems to be when we suffer the most. I say bring global warming on and increase CO2 production it's good for the planets and its better for us.


Milder?
By randomname on 9/16/2009 4:00:37 PM , Rating: 1
How can you call 34.1 MPG by 2016 milder than 35 by 2020?

And yeah, bigger cars are safer for those who drive them. But smaller cars have got a lot safer over the years. And there are a lot of ways to make the highways safer, and they don't involve bigger cars. The US does pretty badly in highway safety, despite having some of the biggest cars. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Highway_Traf...

1979 Fatalities 2002 Fatalities Percent Change
United States 51,093 42,815 -16.2%
Great Britain 6,352 3,431 -46.0%

As GB has about one fifth of the US population, but only 8 per cent of the fatalities, that should say something. One solution would be to encourage less driving, for example by zoning and by emphasis on public transport. (Because the number of deaths per distance driven isn't that bad, cf.:)

http://www.driveandstayalive.com/info%20section/st...




RE: Milder?
By Nfarce on 9/16/2009 4:47:18 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
As GB has about one fifth of the US population, but only 8 per cent of the fatalities, that should say something.


Actually I don't think that says a flipping thing unless you include average miles driven per car owner in a year with the US vs. Great Britain. The US is more than 10x the size of GB, and has 5,700,000 miles of roads compared to GB's 260,000 miles.

Since the 1950s Americans have moved away from large city populaces and branched into more rural areas creating smaller communities, downs, and cities all in between. Americans have increased their average annual miles driven just about every year, let alone the number of cars owned per household, another metric apparently not used.

quote:
As GB has about one fifth of the US population, but only 8 per cent of the fatalities


And GB has a whopping 4.5% of the paved roads (interstates to local streets and everything in between) that the US has. I think some data is missing here for a true comparison.


RE: Milder?
By sebmel on 9/16/2009 6:06:16 PM , Rating: 2
Simple... just quote US average mileage... in the UK it's considered to be 10 to 12 thousand miles per year.

The UK is much smaller than 10 times:

UK 94,526 sq. mi.
US 3,794,066 sq.mi.

That's 40 times smaller... still it just comes down to average mileage since you can always fly to cover distance.


RE: Milder?
By Nfarce on 9/16/2009 7:15:21 PM , Rating: 2
Okay now we're talking. The US driver averages 12-15,000 miles a year. In fact a car here that has 45,000 miles and is three years old is considered "on par" with mileage use. So, the next question is, what percentage of paved roads in the US have higher speeds than in the UK and what is the average speed of a US driver vs. a British driver over the course of a year? See what I mean? There are many variables involved that can be calculated that aren't. If I had time, I'd really like to research this.


RE: Milder?
By Aloonatic on 9/17/2009 4:18:34 AM , Rating: 2
The questions that you ask would matter little to the statistics that he mentioned though. He was comparing the UK to the USA with regards to how the number of road deaths has decreased over time within each country.

Also, just for all those people who love a stereotype (we all do of course, in Europe we all love to think that you all drive SUVs & pick-ups in the States because they are needed to carry your bloated fast food filled XXXXXL fat bodies around and to hold your weekly food shopping which would be enough to feed a third world country) but in Europe (the UK at least) not everyone drives a compact car. Most people drive mid sized cars (most common = Ford focus - Mondeo) and a lot of people drive SUVs (most common = Land/Range Rover - BMW X5) too. To follow the logic of many of the posts in this article the UK's highways should be littered with SMART cars and FIAT 500s that have been squashed by SUVs and the like, with the families of the occupants trying to pick up the almost non existent remains of their loved ones in a small carrier bag, but it's just not true.

If you are really scared of being in smaller cars because you don't trust the guy next to you on the road then perhaps you should start looking at increasing the difficulty of driving tests and avoid accidents in the first place?

*warning, uncomfortable truth*

Why are you so against smaller cars? It's very simple psychology I'm afraid. You still see the size of your car as a measure of your personal wealth, your personal status and the status of your country in a global context. So being asked/made to drive smaller cars is just another very visible sign of the decline of the USA as a financial power, which (understandably) earks you all somewhat.


RE: Milder?
By Nfarce on 9/17/2009 7:59:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you are really scared of being in smaller cars because you don't trust the guy next to you on the road then perhaps you should start looking at increasing the difficulty of driving tests and avoid accidents in the first place? *warning, uncomfortable truth* Why are you so against smaller cars? It's very simple psychology I'm afraid. You still see the size of your car as a measure of your personal wealth, your personal status and the status of your country in a global context. So being asked/made to drive smaller cars is just another very visible sign of the decline of the USA as a financial power, which (understandably) earks you all somewhat.


1) Most of us aren't "scared" to drive smaller cars. We have families, dogs, and like to take vacations. We like to go on recreational trips towing boats.

2) Now it is true that some "soccer moms" to us or "football moms" to your land - women who just take their kids around and then go to tennis lessons or retail shopping - drive big SUVs mostly empty. But they are the exception, not the rule. Just look at any parking lot at Disney World in Florida.

3) It is also true that some people see cars here as a sign of wealth. Cars built in the very lands you mentioned in your screed (UK - Jaguar, Europe - BMW, Mercedes, & Audi). Are you telling me (us) that we should stop buying luxury cars from over there (even though some are made here in the States)?

4) I sense a smugness about your post that you are happy the American - and global - economy has declined and people are being forced to rethink their spending. Well bud, I've got news for you straight from the horses mouth. We AREN'T going to be forced to drive smaller cars. We'll keep our current LARGE vehicles, including pickup trucks, until they completely conk out. Yeah, THOSE pickup trucks used by plumbers, farmers, landscapers, and other business owners who use them.

5) I also sense an inherent envy of wealth in your post and you are happy to see financial power being knocked down. Well again bud, I've got news for you straight from the horses mouth again: we are still wealthy compared to the rest of the globe and there are more millionaires today than there were 10 years ago. So, I'll ask you, why do you hate the freedom to earn money and buy what you want and what the MARKET will provide, not what some horseass GOVERNMENT will DEMAND companies make?


RE: Milder?
By Aloonatic on 9/17/2009 11:57:34 AM , Rating: 2
1) I was referring to the posts above, where there are quite a few who jump to the conclusion that small "tin box" or whatever cars are actually death traps. That is what I was referring to. What a lot of people do in the UK is have a small car and a big car, one for general driving and another for the trips that you mention. It may come as as surprise to you, but people in other countries have "families, dogs, and like to take vacations, like to go on recreational trips towing boats" etc.

2) Of course a car will be full when going to a tourist/leisure site. Not sure what that has to do with my post tho, or to do with average day to day use when mom does the shopping when kids are at school or whatever. I wish I had the studies at hand, but it is far more common for the average number of people in a car to be little over 1 than it is for the car to be full, over its life time. It's just the way it is. Families make up only one part of the driving demographic too. There are lots of single people, old couples, couples without families.

3) Not sure what you're rambling on about there. I'm not telling you that you should do anything. I was just trying to explain why people get so emotional (as you have done in your rant) and come out with crazy comments like those above (and every other article about small high mileage cars) about how small cars are death traps. And explain that in the UK we have a mix of big cars and small cars, yet the number of deaths on our roads are not through the roof. I didn't think I was being all that cryptic, but there you go, obviously I was.

4) No smugness, honest. It's just your ultra defensiveness that comes from said decline and the feelings of vulnerability that that has lead to you seeing that I guess. I am happy for you and that you will keep your car, pick-up, whatever. Out of interest. What do you think that "plumbers, farmers, landscapers, and other business owners" use over here? Perhaps you should take a minute to think about what you're writing?

5) The obvious "jealous? You're just jealous....." TBH, I really couldn't care less. I live in an ok country, most places that people who are reading this live in are ok, non are particularly great no matter what your politician tries to tell you however. That America is still a wealthy country is fine by me, why should I care? I never said that it wasn't either, by the way. If I was to point out to you that your tyre was deflating, would you think that I was doing so to gain pleasure? Or just because it was true? Also, please point out where I said anything about hating people's right to earn money and buy what they want in a free market? Seriously? You really have lost the plot. I think you could really do with a sit down in a dark quiet room. Also, That your country has a lot of millionaires means what to you? Does it (directly) make your life better? No. Does it make my life better or worse? No, not really. Does it mean that you are more likely to be a millionaire? Probably not. So what does it matter? Lots of countries have a lot more millionaires now too by the way, not just the USA. It's strange how people like to bask in the reflected glory of the achievements of people who just happen to have been born on the same piece of rock as them, or within the same line drawn on a map, but really, what does it matter? There are plenty of millionaires here too. The numbers in India and China are going up fast too, probably much faster than in the USA or UK too. I don't really see what your (again ultra defensive and prickly) comment has to do with anything however, other than proving my point about how defensive many Americans seem to be and how quick you are to over react to pretty much anything.

Finally, I am not and never will be your "bud" so please don't be rude, and stop referring to me as such. Thank you?! :)


RE: Milder?
By Nfarce on 9/17/2009 1:04:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
1) I was referring to the posts above, where there are quite a few who jump to the conclusion that small "tin box" or whatever cars are actually death traps.


Well you replied to my comment. What else was I supposed to think?

quote:
It may come as as surprise to you, but people in other countries have "families, dogs, and like to take vacations, like to go on recreational trips towing boats" etc.


Of course. But let's see you do that in an econobox.

quote:
2) Of course a car will be full when going to a tourist/leisure site. Not sure what that has to do with my post tho


Simple. You said why do we need big cars or why are we afraid of smaller cars. There's your answer. We're a big nation with big roads and have a lot of stuff.

quote:
3) Not sure what you're rambling on about there. I'm not telling you that you should do anything. I was just trying to explain why people get so emotional (as you have done in your rant) and come out with crazy comments like those above (and every other article about small high mileage cars) about how small cars are death traps.


Go back and re-read ANY of my posts here and show me where I even mention "death traps." Go ahead. Second, my "rant" was about your obvious infatuation with wealth, and the loss of it. Your words above, not mine.

quote:
What do you think that "plumbers, farmers, landscapers, and other business owners" use over here? Perhaps you should take a minute to think about what you're writing?


I'm sure the same thing. So why should I not include those folks in comments on a thread about "large unnecessary vehicles" which is obviously meant to be pickup trucks and SUVs. While you did not specifically state that, many others have on this topic. And continue to do.

quote:
5) The obvious "jealous? You're just jealous....." TBH, I really couldn't care less. I live in an ok country, most places that people who are reading this live in are ok, non are particularly great no matter what your politician tries to tell you however. That America is still a wealthy country is fine by me, why should I care?...I don't really see what your (again ultra defensive and prickly) comment has to do with anything however, other than proving my point about how defensive many Americans seem to be and how quick you are to over react to pretty much anything.


Gee, I can't imagine your comment "You still see the size of your car as a measure of your personal wealth" meaning anything else. Okay, maybe that was a stretch. But people like you acting like you KNOW us, when you don't other than what you read, and we know the media over there is not far from favorable to the US, is what irks people like me. Attempting to say we are "scared" of getting into smaller cars when it is more about WANT and NEED than FEAR, is also what irks us.

I also forgot to respond to your statement here:

quote:
So being asked/made to drive smaller cars is just another very visible sign of the decline of the USA as a financial power, which (understandably) earks you all somewhat.


WRONG. What irks us is the GOVERNMENT telling us what we should drive and FORCING companies to build smaller cars. That has about as much to do with financial power (your SECOND comment about money here) as a VW Beetle's technology does to an F1 racer.

quote:
Finally, I am not and never will be your "bud" so please don't be rude, and stop referring to me as such. Thank you?! :)


No worries there, fellow DT blogger. (That okay?)


RE: Milder?
By Aloonatic on 9/17/2009 3:52:14 PM , Rating: 2
Sure, I responded to your comment, but I thought I was pretty clear as to what I was referring too :) Also I thought I made it pretty clear that I ware referring to comments elsewhere. I'm sorry if I confused you.

As for rest... You seem to be in a paranoid world of your own where someone is making you drive an "econobox" or whatever?

I never said "why do you need big cars?" I said that perhaps you would not be so scared (again, people posting in here in general, not just you, it's not all about you, just as all government legislation is not passed specifically to affect you) as clearly many people here are, and the article clearly implies.

You are a big nation, sure, but when do you really travel that far? And when you do, does it really matter how big your car is in the vast majority of cases? And if you are travelling a long way, does that not mean that a better MPG would be a bonus? As for carrying a lot of stuff, sure, if you want to carry a lot of stuff then buy a big car, I have never said otherwise. If you want to buy 10 cars and hire people to drive around behind you, carrying all your stuff do that, I really don't care.

Your paranoid "the worlds out to get us, they all hates us, quick to the bunker, the commies are coming, it's just you and me now precious, they want to get us precious" attitude is sadly typical of too many of the Americans that I have met, and I have met quite a few as I have friends who live in the USA and work regularly with people in America too. We also get a lot of your news channels (though why fox news isn't in the entertainment section of the TV EPG is beyond me) over here and some of the stuff that comes out of the USA is just crazy. I'm sorry if that erks you, but maybe you should look closer to home for the problem there.

For the record (if you really care) I really like many Americans that I meet, and I love many American attitudes and approaches to problems and political mentality. The UK could do with being more like America in many ways, we've had a socialist government bumbling along messing everything up for too long over here.

Now, I rally can't be bothered with anything more. Your RUDE occasional SHOUTING, stating that something is WRONG is just childish and just makes you look silly.

Good day.


RE: Milder?
By Nfarce on 9/17/2009 8:35:42 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, so we're "paranoid" that the government is going to control free enterprise and freedom of choice of what to drive. Okay. And your cute little snide comment that "the commies are going to get us" and whatnot about this is to be expected, along with a snide little "Fox News is entertainment" jab.

And yes, we take 1,000 mile round trip vacations all over the place in this nation. Why are you even questioning what we Americans need, again? Most people who can afford to take road trips and vacations with a large family are more concerned about space and comfort than MPG, as alien as that may sound to you apparently.

Finally, you replied to me, and I replied to you. That's how this blog works. You have every right to make comments about fatassed Americans, greedy Americans, and other things like why we feel the need to drive big vehicles. Knock yourself out! But don't sit there in shock when someone like me fires back and defends our lifestyle, our decisions, and our freedoms to enjoy both.


RE: Milder?
By randomname on 9/17/2009 3:57:01 AM , Rating: 2
Part of my criticism here was the sensationalistic headline that better MPG (smaller cars) equals more deaths. You can improve MPG even without making the cars smaller. But a shift to smaller cars is inevitable, because it makes sense.

Following similar logic, one could accuse those who have made zoning decisions (helped urban sprawl) of killing Americans. Or maybe you'd have to estimate the number of people killed in the future in oil related wars (fought in regions that are important because they have oil, no matter what the actual reasons for the war are) in relating MPG to death rates. And include deaths from car pollution.


RE: Milder?
By Lerianis on 9/18/2009 2:22:20 AM , Rating: 2
No, it doesn't make sense, unless families get smaller as well and children stop inviting their friends to go places with them.

Big cars are ALWAYS going to be a necessity in the world, until we have VERY GOOD public transportation..... which is going to be NEVER because the United States has too many people spread over too large an area for public transportation to work.


RE: Milder?
By hathost on 9/21/2009 5:24:50 AM , Rating: 2
What's the miles driven per person? What are some other things that can accout for the difference? Slower speeds? Roundabouts? Few miles per person? That's simply a meaningless stat.


Hmmm
By boobot on 9/16/2009 12:47:08 PM , Rating: 5
This article has racial tendencies...




RE: Hmmm
By Breathless on 9/16/09, Rating: 0
RE: Hmmm
By FITCamaro on 9/16/2009 12:56:32 PM , Rating: 1
You Lie!

Crap I'm a racist. Of course I'm already one for not wanting national health care, not wanting cap & trade, wanting to own a gun, attending a town hall, attending the 9/12 March on DC, etc.

A sad day when disagreeing with someone implies to the media that you hate their skin color as long as its different than your own.


RE: Hmmm
By Breathless on 9/16/09, Rating: -1
RE: Hmmm
By MadMan007 on 9/16/2009 4:43:35 PM , Rating: 2
Hey FIT you might find it interesting to read about cap & trade wrt acid rain causing emissions, you should be able to find some info about the 1990 Clean Air Act pretty eaily. All the same arguments were stated then but it actually ended up working out fairly well. And there's less acid rain because of it.


RE: Hmmm
By FITCamaro on 9/16/2009 6:03:21 PM , Rating: 2
There is a big difference about wanting to put filters on smoke stacks to filter out particulate emissions and actually taxing CO2. I think the current regulations we have are more than adequate.


RE: Hmmm
By MadMan007 on 9/17/2009 1:05:19 PM , Rating: 2
*sigh* You didn't even bother to look it up did you. I guess ignorance is the easiest route. The 1990 Clean Air Act has a cap & trade provision for acid rain-causing emissions.


RE: Hmmm
By InfantryRocks on 9/16/2009 11:39:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
attending the 9/12 March on DC, etc.
You were there? How was it?


RE: Hmmm
By FITCamaro on 9/17/2009 9:20:51 AM , Rating: 2
It was awesome. There were a ton of people. I don't know how many but I think the 70,000 number being thrown around is far too low. There was easily over 100,000 people there.

And jee funny, all those people protesting in DC and not a single arrest.


RE: Hmmm
By boobot on 9/16/2009 12:58:12 PM , Rating: 2
Oops forgot the sig

--- Jimmy Carter


RE: Hmmm
By R3T4rd on 9/17/2009 5:15:14 AM , Rating: 2
Go figure. Shoo...Shooo...go away Carter!


RE: Hmmm
By R3T4rd on 9/17/2009 5:22:45 AM , Rating: 1
It has nothing to do with Racial Tendencies...but rather Obama's plan to de-populate the country by making people driver smaller cars and killing themselves (Kinda falls in line with his Health Care Plan that if you are over a certain elder...uncle sam would rather just let you die and save the 21yrs old). Ingenious plan if you ask me. Its the perfect crime and no one even suspects it -- cept me. You heard it hear first.


RE: Hmmm
By redbone75 on 9/17/2009 9:13:05 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Kinda falls in line with his Health Care Plan that if you are over a certain elder...uncle sam would rather just let you die and save the 21yrs old

Your stupidity makes my brain hurt. Like a certain Alaskan ex-governor, you spew the same misinformation about so-called Obama "death panels" that make make the future of the Republican party look bleak. End-of-life counseling was in a 2003 bill that Republicans overwhelmingly voted for: 204 GOP House members and 42 GOP Senators. The language of the bill?
quote:
The covered services are: evaluating the beneficiary's need for pain and symptom management, including the individual's need for hospice care; counseling the beneficiary with respect to end-of-life issues and care options, and advising the beneficiary regarding advanced care planning.

That language was revised to include funding for counseling BEFORE a person becomes terminally ill. Oh, the stupidity and the hypocrisy. Stupid because you let ignorance run rampant without knowledge. Hypocritical because, hey, do I have to continue spelling it out?


RE: Hmmm
By hathost on 9/21/2009 5:46:53 AM , Rating: 2
You don't have to have it in the bill because what happens and I will try to make this much simple to not hurt your brain.

Congrees makes a bill -> President signs bill -> Bureaucrats run the operation

Now even though there isn't some specific clause about a "death panel" in the bill that doesn't mean there won't be a panel made to "watch" costs and "decide" on what your "treatment" will be. If YOU do not pay for your healthcare and the GOVERNMENT does, is it you that has the final word on your treatment? Or is it the person or in this case some faceless bureaucrat watching the expenditures each year gets to decide whether to pay to that treatment?

Sorry that may have been to complicated towards the end there. I'm sure your brain cell is trying hard to understand though GL


Wow, this is horrible
By slash196 on 9/16/09, Rating: 0
RE: Wow, this is horrible
By Dorkyman on 9/16/2009 2:10:49 PM , Rating: 2
You see it as right-wing bias, I see it as a balanced discussion.

Please keep politics out if it.

ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL,


RE: Wow, this is horrible
By Dorkyman on 9/16/2009 2:18:03 PM , Rating: 2
Oops--sorry.


RE: Wow, this is horrible
By Dorkyman on 9/16/2009 2:14:31 PM , Rating: 2
You see it as right-wing bias, I see it as a balanced discussion.

Please keep politics out if it.

ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL, a higher fuel efficiency generally implies a lighter vehicle, which generally implies more severe g-forces for the occupants if involved in a collision with a heavier vehicle. Perhaps the increased severity can be designed out through clever engineering, but at least these basic statements are valid, I believe.


RE: Wow, this is horrible
By Reclaimer77 on 9/16/2009 2:18:43 PM , Rating: 5
Accusing Jason Mick of Right wing bias ??? You are new here aren't you?


Choices ... Choices
By Breathless on 9/16/2009 12:37:56 PM , Rating: 3
Save the environment by killing the people - or save the people by killing the environment.... Choices choices




RE: Choices ... Choices
By Omega215D on 9/16/2009 5:33:42 PM , Rating: 2
We can do both by launching all nuclear warheads available on ourselves.


RE: Choices ... Choices
By magneticfield on 9/17/2009 5:20:52 AM , Rating: 2
If you die, the Earth lives. If the Earth dies, you die.


RE: Choices ... Choices
By MrPoletski on 9/17/2009 9:37:23 AM , Rating: 2
well if I can't have the earth, NOBODY CAN.

/me runs to his secret bedroom closet compartment containing the nuclear codes.


Will this be the end of the modern muscle car?
By WheelsCSM on 9/16/2009 1:51:47 PM , Rating: 2
It will be interesting to see what impact these new regulations will have on performance. Look at the terrible performance of the cars built in the 80s as the auto manufacturers figured out how to deal with all the emissions & efficiency ratings that went into place then (think 80s Mustangs & Corvettes). It was not until sometime around 2000 that they really seemed to figure out how to get around all the regulations and make good power.

Lots of manufacturers offer some great performing cars now, and I predict people will snatch up 2010/2011 models like crazy so they can hold on to them as long as possible. I'm sure with time the manufacturers will figure it out again, but how long will it take?




RE: Will this be the end of the modern muscle car?
By Spuke on 9/16/2009 5:46:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It will be interesting to see what impact these new regulations will have on performance.
There will be little to no impact on performance especially since larger engines are being replaced with smaller, turbocharged one's. See the new Taurus with Ecoboost as an example. V6 fuel economy with V8 performance. And since it's turbocharged, that engine is just a ECU crack away from serious power. If anything, performance cars will even faster and more powerful than before.


By WheelsCSM on 9/17/2009 9:08:38 AM , Rating: 2
That's exactly what I'm talking about. The new Taurus SHO has a great engine. Unfortunately it's fuel economy is "only" rated at 17/25. Those are good numbers for an engine with that kind of performance, but it's nowhere near the upcoming mandates. An ECU crack will likely get it much more power, but you will never pick up more than 1-2 mpg.


By Spuke on 9/17/2009 2:08:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
hose are good numbers for an engine with that kind of performance, but it's nowhere near the upcoming mandates.
Every car is not required to be at 34.1 mpg. It's not even an average of the fleet. There's a formula used to calculate the fleets number final number and the final number, like the article stated, may not be exactly 34.1 mpg.

quote:
GM and Ford will have to average 37.3 mpg for their cars. They will also have to average 26.6 mpg (GM) and 27.3 mpg (Ford) for their light trucks. Chrysler gets the strictest light truck regulations at 28.5 mpg, but laxer car standards at 36.8 mpg.


So they just have to meet their required standard.


SUVs are the offenders...
By bernardl on 9/16/2009 5:27:49 PM , Rating: 2
Basic physics tells us that the heavier an object, the more potential energy is carries. This energy will have to be dissipated during an impact, but there is no simple correlation between the weight of a car and its ability to protect its innocupant. In other words, I dont believe that we have a simple curve giving us the optimal weight of a car in terms of absolute occupant safety.

What is pretty well correlated though is the risk for the innocupants of a given car depending on the weight of the impacting object... the other car. So a light car will be more damaged by a heavy incoming car rather than a light incoming object.

In other words, the drivers of heavy cars are putting at risk the life of lighter car owners...

Bedides, available evidence shows that the SUV drivers are putting at risk the life of other vehicle's occupants...

http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/808569.PDF

Cheers,
Bernard




RE: SUVs are the offenders...
By Spuke on 9/16/2009 6:21:09 PM , Rating: 2
That document is old. There weren't nearly as many SUV's on the roads back then. Also, why isn't anyone badmouthing trucks? There are FAR more pickup trucks on the roads than SUV's. Remember the Ford F series was number 1 for the past 30 years until recently and the Chevy/GMC and Dodge pickups have always been in the top 10. The Honda CR-V was the best selling SUV for a LONG time displacing the former Ford Explorer. And the CR-V came in 10th place. Now the Honda CR-V is higher on the list (#7) and has been joined by the Ford Escape (#11). Both of these are the ONLY SUV's on the Top 20 best sellers list. These are also car based SUV's meaning they're built on car platforms. The big truck based SUV's have never sold in any great numbers yet they get all the bad press.

CR-V
http://automobiles.honda.com/cr-v/

Escape
http://www.fordvehicles.com/suvs/escape/


RE: SUVs are the offenders...
By hathost on 9/21/2009 5:51:53 AM , Rating: 2
Populist rage


RE: SUVs are the offenders...
By mindless1 on 9/16/2009 8:39:23 PM , Rating: 1
You totally miss the point. Take any car and add weight through thicker metal, more reinforcements, and you increase it's ability to protect an occupant.

Same applies vice versa, take any car and cut the weight keeping same design otherwise and you reduce it's structural integrity. One might say they then use a new design but even then the new design with more material designed equally well is more durable.

So it is fair to say given the best design and/or the most cost effective, all the cars as individual specimens are less safe weighing less than they presently do unless the cost goes up for different materials but again, more of those different materials designed properly increase protection.

Endless circle, no way around it. The only reason cars don't still weigh even more is prior concerns about fuel economy and acceleration, and of course all else being equal more metal of the same type processed the same way costs more.


small cars <> unsafe cars
By morning on 9/16/2009 3:12:38 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
will cause 1,100 additional "weight related" vehicle deaths


it might be that there are differences in that case between usa and eu but to tell if a car is safe or not we (europs) just have to look at euro-ncap (tests are mandatory); asuming that small cars are less safe is just plain wrong, but it's true that older cars are less than new

this article might also be of interest for you:
http://www.euroncap.com/Content-Web-Article/b5fcea...




RE: small cars <> unsafe cars
By Spuke on 9/16/09, Rating: 0
RE: small cars <> unsafe cars
By Spuke on 9/17/2009 2:10:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Your roads are mostly filled with small cars. That's not the case in the US.
Did I lie in my post or something? What's up with the rate down? No problem, I'll just repost what I said.

quote:
Your roads are mostly filled with small cars. That's not the case in the US. Our "small" cars are still bigger than what you would refer to as a small car. Example: the US Honda Fit is actually larger than the EU Honda Fit (Jazz). Not to mention, we have larger sedans (biggest sellers), pickups and SUV's on our roads. See the following video for typical American cars. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yCwlmynQgA


By SilverMirage on 9/16/2009 3:27:11 PM , Rating: 2
Anyone else have an opinion about the article just from reading the title?

People die from pollution, people die from car crashes. Humanity as we know it dies with global warming, "Americans" will none the less survive to complain.

Drive slower, don't talk on your cell and drive, don't text and drive. Are those "Unamerican" suggestions? Don't drive drunk...15,000 people die a year from alcohol related accidents.




By magneticfield on 9/17/2009 5:31:32 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with you. I used to drive a very small car, 800ccm, three cylinders, basically a sheet of tin on four wheels.
If I'd had the smallest crash in that, I'd be instantly dead.

The cars cannot be built 100% safe, nothing can.
It's all about what's between the chair and the steering wheel.


Title
By ClownPuncher on 9/16/2009 12:32:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There's major positives and negatives about the proposed emissions cuts


Plural, are.




doubt it
By zephyrprime on 9/16/2009 3:20:25 PM , Rating: 2
I rather doubt that cars will be getting much lighter if at all due to the increases in fuel economy standards. I don't know if you've noticed this but cars have been getting much heavier in the last 2 decades. And cars have gotten much bigger also. I remember my dad got a Corolla loaner car when he had to take his car into to get serviced and I was amazed at how large the Corolla had gotten. My memories of the corolla are of eighties vintage vehicles in my high school's parking lot. I'd bet the Corolla of today is bigger than the Camry of the eighties. Cars may get a little bit lighter but not much. Not enough to be anywhere near as light and small as cars in the eighties were. And a lot of the weight savings will probably be due to higher usage of composites.




HMMM...
By Number47 on 9/16/2009 3:22:50 PM , Rating: 2
It is really interesting to see just how few of the comments in this thread has gotten a rating higher than 2! (My conclusion: all opinion, very few facts)




pedestrians not taken in account?
By Murloc on 9/16/2009 4:26:36 PM , Rating: 2
maybe at high speeds a big car would maybe be better, but at low speeds the SUVs kill you because they are harder, and if you run over a pedestrian with a SUV you will kill him because the front is vertical and hard, it's not designed to make ppl survive.

With small cars you will save pedestian's lifes maybe.

It's just a stupid statistic anyway.




The saftey paradox
By IcePickFreak on 9/16/2009 5:46:10 PM , Rating: 2
Odd how now the government is saying lighter cars are safer, after they've imposed so many safety standard on vehicles that the majority of them weigh 2tons. 20 air bags, crumple zones, etc all add weight to a vehicle, and I'm not talking a minor amount. Surely this news will piss off all the car safety lobbyists.

Coincidentally the safety standards in the US are a big reason why a lot of the vehicles from Europe and elsewhere don't make it to the states as they are deemed not safe enough by the US safety mafia. Why change the vehicle for one country when the existing design is good enough for everywhere else.




Doesn't really matter
By borowki2 on 9/16/2009 7:36:52 PM , Rating: 2
There's only a slight chance of getting killed in a lighter car. In any event, when you reach 65 you'll be euthanized under ObamaCare, so it's no great loss if you die sooner.




By nofumble62 on 9/16/2009 11:50:53 PM , Rating: 2
ask Buddha.




By BZDTemp on 9/17/2009 8:02:25 AM , Rating: 2
It may be that smaller, lighter cars are less safe in accidents where big cars are involved meaning loss of life in some situations. However there safety benefits as well.

1. Cars hitting people not in cars are less lethal when the car is small. Fx. a pedestrian thrown over a small car has more chance of making it than a pedestrian being run over by a big car. NCAP has data on this
2. Small car = agile meaning better active safety.
3. Small car = easier to handle when parking and/or reversing. So less risk of running over people and pets near the car.

Also THE BIG BONUS and this will likely save a lot of lives but not be visible in the car accident statistics. Less pollution mean less people dying from respiratory issues and a whole mass of health problems related to pollution being inflected on the human body.




Pro and con
By Wererat on 9/17/2009 12:54:26 PM , Rating: 2
People in a smaller or lighter car are more likely to be hurt if they hit a larger car or an obstacle. Smart engineering is good but can't overcome basic rules of mass and velocity.

On the other hand, most of the large vehicles are built with high centers of gravity, which combined with their weight makes them awkward.

Combine lumbering vehicles with drivers who are convinced that their purchase of an SUV has wrapped them in a safety bubble of invulnerabilium and therefore drive while phoning, texting, eating, or just being generally oblivious, and you have a higher likelihood of a collision.

Put it another way, if (not suggesting, just for comparison) everyone drove a motorcycle, how many people would be driving unsafely?

The only safe car is the one being driven safely.

I hate government mandates - most of the mpg problem in my opinion is all the extra weight cars carry because of all the other mandates - but my main beef with this one is all the exceptions. Last go-around the 'exception' was anything made with a truck-style body, which is how the car companies created the thing called 'SUV.'




Light weight kills
By tarpon on 9/19/2009 9:42:57 AM , Rating: 2
No way around it, just ask the nearest tree. Any engineer or physics major can set you straight. F=MA, remember that?

As to Formula cars, ever priced those carbon fiber bodies? Well over a million. It's an argument with a distinction, what cost.

I love the way liberals take death of others, meanwhile driving in their armored Suburbans.

Pond scum has more empathy than liberals.

Liberals government run healthcare -- Kill granny, save money.




SUV's only seem safer
By monkeyman1140 on 9/21/2009 4:37:27 PM , Rating: 2
Rollovers are some of the worst, most lethal type crashes, and if you want to get into one, just flick the steering wheel suddenly in an SUV and you get a rollover crash for free.

You simply can't do that in a standard sedan because of the lower centre of gravity.




Marketing spin at work
By carl0ski on 9/25/2009 10:39:38 PM , Rating: 2
As is if small cars on average are any less than large car.
There is a huge difference between Budget car and a small car.
Kia is a budget car
General 4WD and work vehicles as much larger and far less safe

Large sedans, pickups and utes often do not.
http://www.howsafeisyourcar.com.au/
http://www.howsafeisyourcar.com.au/_scripts/search...
http://www.howsafeisyourcar.com.au/_scripts/search...

You white trash and your softroaders and women on top 4WD metality make the roads unsafe




destructive policies
By autoboy on 9/16/09, Rating: 0
Oh ho ho my friend
By postalbob on 9/16/09, Rating: 0
RE: Oh ho ho my friend
By randomname on 9/16/09, Rating: -1