13th Jun 2010, 08:38

"Parents tend to be more concerned about safety than fuel economy or handling"

I'm a parent, and when my son was born, I bought a Honda Civic. I drove safely and always paid attention to the actions of other drivers. I avoided many accidents, including an SUV that had flipped across a highway exit and landed right in front of me. And I got 40 MPG while doing all of this.

Now, my son is getting his license, and instead of getting him an SUV or truck to protect him, I've bought him a Toyota Corolla, in which he will learn how to DRIVE SAFELY in order to avoid an accident.

13th Jun 2010, 11:24

Maybe you have been fortunate avoiding an accident in a little vehicle. One accident with my neighbor's Mini Cooper and they may be gone. Not enough savings for a teeny car to save a few bucks.

13th Jun 2010, 16:21

Glad to see someone else with common sense!

14th Jun 2010, 16:36

My sentiments exactly. No matter how many driving courses you've had, a Chevy Suburban will STILL crush your Honda Civic into pulp (along with the occupants). The laws of physics aren't impressed with certificates from driving schools. We've lost too many friends who were killed in small cars. I'd never send my son or daughter out in a 2000 pound, easily crumpled toy, no matter how many defensive driving courses they've had. It's the OTHER drivers I worry about.

28th Jun 2010, 11:55

If everyone were using a small vehicle, I would stay with my Volvo, but if people continue buying SUV then I will always stay in my Hummer. I do drive safely, but it's not my driving I'm worried about, it's the people who drive like there is no tomorrow.

28th Jun 2010, 15:42

And when you flip over trying to avoid those people who drive like there is no tomorrow, then what are you going to do?

I haven't been in an accident in over 11 years. I've been in only 2 in my lifetime. The first one was my fault, I was a new driver. It was winter and I took a turn to fast and hit another car at about 25 MPH. That being said, the '76 Civic I was driving at the time survived the accident just fine, and I continued driving it for another 5 years after that.

The last accident I was in (which was caused by somebody blowing through a stop sign and plowing into me) I was driving a '96 Accord. The large Buick Roadmaster that hit me was towed away because it could no longer be driven (it wouldn't even START). My Accord not only drove away from the accident, but it continued driving for another 5 years as well.

A good friend of mine was in a MAJOR accident (she was also driving an Accord). This accident totaled both her car AND the pick-up truck that hit her. She walked away from the accident bruised, but not seriously injured. The pick-up truck driver survived, but sustained a broken arm and leg. Both drivers were wearing their seat belts. Based on that, I don't see how an SUV can be all that much safer.

28th Jun 2010, 21:55

I have avoided countless accidents with slower, poor handling SUV's, because I can react faster and get out of the way in smaller better performing cars. I watch 360 degrees around me at all times, and know what everyone is doing. I see that idiot coming up at 90 in the right lane about a mile back, or the other one turning left in front of me way in advance. I also always know what is going on in my blind spots. Good driving is a skill that needs to be learned. Handing a kid an SUV is not the answer. People do get killed in them too when they roll over and crush the occupants. I see many more accidents with SUV's involved than any other type of car.

29th Jun 2010, 17:58

"I watch 360 degrees around me at all times, and know what everyone is doing"

So do I. That didn't keep a kid in a Toyota from pulling out in front of me when I was 30 feet away going 40mph. My truck made mince meat out of his Toyota, but I didn't get a scratch. Big is safer... ALWAYS.

30th Jun 2010, 08:27

"It's the OTHER drivers I worry about."

My feelings exactly. That's why I bought my son a smaller, better handling car and put him through a defensive driving course.

30th Jun 2010, 11:04

I'm always trying my best to drive safely, if I'm driving in my lane with my Hummer and you will collide with me, I would not even try to avoid you because I will lose my control. Hit me with your Civic and if I got a broken bones and you got nothing, I will start using a bicycle, and I would not study physics anymore.

30th Jun 2010, 13:15

I would have seen him coming and stopped faster and more efficiently, or I would have swerved around him, therefore avoiding the accident all together. Smaller, better handling cars are safer, always.

Besides who is big safe for? What about the kid in the "mince-meat" Toyota? Guess if you can live with crushing someone as long as you are safe then good for you. I'd rather be safe for all.

30th Jun 2010, 13:19

I gave my teen daughter my 06 Trailblazer, and she loves it. Teens love small SUVs. This is better to me than them having the Fast and Furious movies race mode in the VTEC Civics. She's up higher, has more mass from protection air bags, and drives slow because this model has poor fuel economy.

30th Jun 2010, 13:42

A Trailblazer at over 4000 pounds with a full frame is hardly a "small SUV". An Equinox, a RAV 4 or CR-V would be considered a small SUV and much safer for a teen to cruise around in... for everyone else that is. Since the accident ratio is 50% in the first year for teens, big heavy SUV's driven by them means a lot of danger to everyone else on the road. But of course in safety you meant hers not anyone else's. Glad to hear she drives slow. Too bad it is only because it would waste more gas and not purely because she wants to be safer! A good driving school would definitely help out any teen these days. My kids will all be trained thoroughly before going out on the road with a 4000 pound potentially deadly weapon.

As far as poor fuel economy, the Trailblazer gets about 24mpg on the highway, which is pretty good for a full frame SUV.

30th Jun 2010, 16:28

Avoiding a car that pulls out 30 FEET from another car going 40mph is impossible even for a Ferrari. Reaction time takes longer than 30 feet, even if brakes COULD slow a car in that distance (which they CAN'T).

30th Jun 2010, 22:25

Funny the Trailblazer gets 16 MPG as I bought it new. Its black and sharp. It is smaller than a Tahoe. Why are people on a Trailblazer review selling Civics and Accords? The biggest safety feature my daughter likes is the all wheel drive and 4 wheel drive. This past winter was horrendous in the northeast. The low Civics were buried.

1st Jul 2010, 05:50

I used to think having a motorcycle and having far more power to weight and great braking would be far superior to cars on the road. You can certainly maneuver quicker, but it's dangerous.

Unfortunately there is no escaping the vulnerability of small size and exposure to larger vehicles. The same applies to driving a Mini Cooper or the like, exposed daily to buses and larger vehicles going through multiple intersections in cities. Surrounded by tractor trailers and large vehicles on interstates, I now want more protection so as to not be squashed.

The fuel savings alone to me are not as valuable as my life. If I am all about being green, I can easily take a bus which is exempt from pollution restrictions due to weight, but it's safe as well.