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Old 10-25-12, 08:37 AM   #1
geo8rge
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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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Old 10-25-12, 10:41 AM   #2
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Interesting article, probably true, though I have been in very few cars made in the last 10 years or so.
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Old 10-25-12, 11:00 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 10-25-12, 11:11 AM   #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...

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Old 10-25-12, 11:25 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 10-25-12, 11:26 AM   #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.
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Old 10-25-12, 11:54 AM   #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.
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Old 10-25-12, 01:16 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 10-25-12, 03:08 PM   #9
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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.....
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Old 10-25-12, 05:17 PM   #10
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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!
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Old 10-28-12, 08:26 AM   #11
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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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Old 10-28-12, 11:42 AM   #12
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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.
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Old 10-28-12, 02:35 PM   #13
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Back in real life there is exactly no reasonable disagreement that auto safety features have reduced deaths.
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Old 10-28-12, 03:05 PM   #14
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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.

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