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  1. #1
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    How “Safety” Requirements Make Your Car Less Actually Safe

    Although about cars, the article is mostly about how higher impact safety standards cause smaller and more poorly placed windows reducing visibility. The dangers to bicyclists posed by "back-up" cameras is also mentioned.

    How “Safety” Requirements Make Your Car Less Actually Safe
    http://ericpetersautos.com/2012/10/2...actually-safe/
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  2. #2
    Señior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Interesting article, probably true, though I have been in very few cars made in the last 10 years or so.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

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    I've definitely noticed the smaller side windows. They want that side steel beam to be at or above shoulder height to help out in side-impact collisions.

  4. #4
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    Yup. I researched this after wondering "Why are the front roof pillars so darn wide?!" on a rental 2012 Chevy Impala (Hard to tell from the exterior, but definitely noticeable inside). Stronger roof requirement means bigger roof pillars, and a side effect is "tunnel vision" with a huge blind spot on each side. My friend had a Mazda SUV, and if anything the front view through the windshield was even worse. The smart thing to do is to use stronger materials for the A-pillars at least (as Subaru does), but Detroit, nah they just make them bigger...
    Last edited by Recumbomatic; 10-25-12 at 11:19 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Flying Merkel's Avatar
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    Explains a lot. I sat in a new Camaro and almost had an attack of claustrophobia. It's a stupid looking car to boot. My 2000 Camry has a lot better visibility than my buddy's 2010.
    Pronounced "Murkle"

  6. #6
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    I noticed my blind spots got a lot smaller when I adjusted my side mirrors out more. I now have almost no blind spot. Cars move from the rear-view into my side-view and then into my peripheral vision.

    The process I use is this:
    1. Lean my head against the driver window and adjust the mirror until I can just see the rear end of the car.
    2. Lead my head to the center of the car and adjust the passenger-side mirror the same way.

    It takes a little getting used to if you previously had them so you could see the rear of the car while driving, but the increased visibility is amazing.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by geo8rge View Post
    How “Safety” Requirements Make Your Car Less Actually Safe
    http://ericpetersautos.com/2012/10/2...actually-safe/
    While I tend to agree that lots of modern cars (mostly from Deeetroit) have horrible visibility, the blogger quoted is a walking embodiment of Godwin's Law.

    And don't even start about this post on road sharing with bicycles. The dude seems to have a real fetish for lurid photos.

    Fail.
    My speculation was that it applies to some degree in cycling, and I used the previous proof as my reasoning, but I can't prove how exactly it applies to it and to what degree. That, I have admitted, is speculation based on reasoning, but not at this point provable.

  8. #8
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    I remember that when seat belts were first becoming mandatory there was a lot of talk about getting trapped in burning cars. These changes are driven largely by pressure from insurance companies. The numbers don't lie. The benefits outweigh the downsides, at least as far as insurance companies bottom lines are concerned.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Notso_fastLane's Avatar
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    Statistics are one thing, but remember that most of those statistics don't take into account bicycles and motorcycles, because we're such a small percentage of the operational vehicles.

    I was hit on my motorcycle by a guy taking a left way too fast, and cutting the corner. I honked (and that motorcycle had a loud horn) and he said he heard me, but didn't see me. As I was picking myself up off the ground and checking to see if I had any significant injuries, he walked up to me and said he didn't see me. Mind you, his driver's side mirror hit me in the head, so I was almost right in front of him.....

  10. #10
    Senior Member Kactus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
    Statistics are one thing, but remember that most of those statistics don't take into account bicycles and motorcycles, because we're such a small percentage of the operational vehicles.

    I was hit on my motorcycle by a guy taking a left way too fast, and cutting the corner. I honked (and that motorcycle had a loud horn) and he said he heard me, but didn't see me. As I was picking myself up off the ground and checking to see if I had any significant injuries, he walked up to me and said he didn't see me. Mind you, his driver's side mirror hit me in the head, so I was almost right in front of him.....
    That had absolutely nothing to do with the design of the car but the drivers reckless driving!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Recumbomatic View Post
    The smart thing to do is to use stronger materials for the A-pillars at least (as Subaru does), but Detroit, nah they just make them bigger...
    FYI, "Detroit" does use high-strength steel and tailored blanks for the A-Pillars, just like the rest of the auto industry. Ask me how I know? I work for Ford in Product Development. Another reason why the A-Pillars are so wide on some vehicles is because there is a side curtain airbag stuffed in there. There are so many rules and regulations now that I'm surprised all cars don't end up look like those ugly Nissan Cubes!
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kactus View Post
    That had absolutely nothing to do with the design of the car but the drivers reckless driving!
    Most likely. Hard to design out the worst flaw in the automobile... the operator. Google is working on it however.

  13. #13
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Back in real life there is exactly no reasonable disagreement that auto safety features have reduced deaths.
    George
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  14. #14
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
    Back in real life there is exactly no reasonable disagreement that auto safety features have reduced deaths.
    Yes, this is true. Another disturbing trend I see is the assumption by many in these forums that it is the motorist that is always at fault. I am a vehicular cyclist, and ride very defensively. One statistic, with a caveat, is that over 60% of "reportable" bike/car accidents are blamed on the cyclist by the reporting agency, almost always law enforcement. I do not believe that this is entirely because "cops hate bikes". Most do not. I have seen a lot of cyclist do crazy dangerous stuff. I have also seen a lot of side walk riding at full speed across driveways, opposing street traffic. This is usually done by people who honestly believe they are safer on the sidewalk than on the street. I have even witnessed and accident involving this scenario. Fortunately that cyclist was not seriously injured.
    Last edited by CommuteCommando; 10-28-12 at 03:09 PM.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

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