22nd Oct 2011, 06:04

Wrong. Clever design can never fully make up for lighter weight. Mass is the number one key to safety.

22nd Oct 2011, 10:15

Ever hear of the law of inertia?? This is a very simple theory which I learned in junior high school. The most basic safety feature of a car is its bulk, and most important, its weight. When a 3,000 lb Toyota Camry collides with a 6,000 lb Cadillac Escalade, who do you think is going to fare better?? I don't care how many air bags, crumple zones, etc. that your new Toyota has, if you collide with a full-size automobile, especially an SUV or truck, your chance of serious injury are going to be high. It is a fact that back in the late 70's, after Detroit started down-sizing its cars, fatal automobile crashes went up.

23rd Oct 2011, 12:30

Size and weight are certainly not the only features dictating how safe a car is. You will most likely be dead if you hit a Toyota Camry in your '79 Ford LTD and don't have your seat belt on. You will be catapulted through the windshield, most likely snapping your neck on the way through it. The driver of the Camry with air bags and seat belts will almost certainly walk away in moderate collisions. I was driving my wife to work at a local hospital one evening, and we passed a crash involving a 1969 Ford Mustang. The car was barely damaged and definitely still drivable. However there was a round hole in the windshield right over the steering wheel. When we got to the hospital, my wife discovered that the Mustang's driver had been taken there. He was DOA with a broken neck and most of his face missing.

On the other hand, in severe crashes smaller cars can never, ever protect occupants as well as larger, heavier cars IF the larger cars occupants are properly belted in. A dear friend of ours driving a small Japanese car rear-ended a full-sized domestic vehicle that had stopped on the freeway in a blinding rainstorm. In spite of seat belts, air bags and much-touted "crumple zones", our friend died of massive head injuries because the entire unibody crumpled all the way into the passenger compartment. The larger domestic vehicle was barely damaged and was driven away from the accident. The laws of physics can't be offset with safety gimmicks. Bigger ALWAYS beats smaller.

24th Oct 2011, 09:12

And YOU are wrong: only RELATIVE mass can be the number one key to RELATIVE safety.

Crash two fully loaded semis at speed head on, and according to you, both drivers should survive because -according to you- they both are in the safest vehicles available. I suspect the outcome will be different: 2 bodies will be extricated with heavy duty equipment.

If you only care about your own safety, go ahead and get a tank. Anyone concerned about traffic safety cannot just look at the safety of ONE driver. They want to reduce fatalities and injuries for a MAJORITY of drivers and their passengers.

25th Oct 2011, 05:02

Well, obviously, if you "don't have your seat belt on" you'll be dead in just about anything short of a Semi.

If you wear your seat-belt, you'll be much safer in the big, heavy, older cars than in the smaller cars of today. Of course I never move any car without putting on the seat-belt.

25th Oct 2011, 11:25

This is a non-argument. Anyone that knows even a little about engineering would clearly and easily see that most any modern car or truck is going to be safer than any older vehicle, simply because the safety engineering in the older one is not up to the task of protecting the occupants in the same manner as the newer one. Sure - it's easy to make an assumption that something that's bigger must 'surely' be safer, but that sort of logic is flawed and wrong.

26th Oct 2011, 14:14

No, you're overrating 'engineering' and believing a lot of marketing. In this modern world you'd be a lot safer to be a bit more of a skeptic.

26th Oct 2011, 19:34

Recent safety testing confirmed what we already should have known. Larger body-on-frame trucks and SUV's are the safest vehicles made... PERIOD. End of argument. The tests clearly showed that you are three times more likely to be killed in a small unibody car than in a body-on-frame SUV such as the Ford Expedition or Chevy Suburban. We've seen the silly argument that an egg (if built by Honda or Toyota) could smash a bowling ball. Until the laws of physics are repealed, it ain't gonna happen. Bigger wins.

27th Oct 2011, 17:52

Large SUVs and trucks are proven to more easily roll over in accidents. Either way, I have yet to read any data that suggests that body on frame vehicles are any safer than unibody cars. Why? Because it's not true. Besides - body on frame cars are basically a thing of the past, with the last few being manufactured last month. That basically leaves trucks, which again are more prone to rolling over.

So... nope, once again this is a non argument.

28th Oct 2011, 14:52

If you were to get hit by a body on frame vehicle, in whatever unibody crap you are driving, it would put your argument to a blunt stop. So once again, welcome to the real world. Say there are two cars, one is a Chevrolet Caprice, and the other is say, any generic unibody car such as a Camry. Okay, both cars occupants are wearing seat belts and they collide. Do you honestly think the Camry will come out on top? Dream on! I've seen many an instance of these types of collisions, and the person in the Caprice will usually drive away with maybe some bruises, while the Camry is on a flatbed and it's occupants are on their way to the hospital. See, in the real world this kind of thing happens.

29th Oct 2011, 06:09

It's true they stopped making them, but for smart people the safer option - a good second-hand Lincoln Town Car or Mercury Grand Marquis, should be available for a few more years.

29th Oct 2011, 19:05

More than likely the Camry would absolutely be just fine, because it utilizes a modern safety cage for the occupants. The Camry has an excellent safety rating. Either way, this is a non-argument. This conversation is ridiculous.

29th Oct 2011, 21:57

I agree, older cars, especially Ford LTDs, Lincoln Continentals and Mercury Marquis's from the 70s are super reliable. I saw the light after the computer on one of my 90s cars went bad, and I couldn't be happier. I'm driving a 77 Ford LTD bench seat, with roll up windows, and wouldn't trade it for a brand new Honda Accord or Toyota Corolla. More complex technology equals more problems.

30th Oct 2011, 21:02

"More complex technology equals more problems."

^This! Keep It Simple Stupid...

31st Oct 2011, 16:51

Sorry, but if anyone knows anything about working on cars, they would know that newer cars are in fact a whole heck of a lot easier to work on than older ones. It's easy. I have a little handheld scanner. There is a small plug for me to plug it in. It tells me a few codes. Depending on what generation it is, I will right away know the source of the trouble, and voila - problem fixed. If someone isn't mechanically competent, and doesn't know how to fix something because they lack knowledge, then it isn't because whatever they're working on is more complicated per se, but because they simply don't know, or don't want to know how to fix it. Simple as that. Somehow I have never had a single issue working on any car - both old or new.