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Thread: Bigger = safer?

  1. #1
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus UlrikeDG's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Bigger = safer?

    On my way home from the post office today, I saw the aftermath of a collision involving a 15 passenger Ford van and a Suburban. This was not a high speed crash, yet at least one person left the scene in an ambulance.

    Size isn't the most important factor in safety! Proper restraint use and other safety features in the vehicle are just as important, if not more so.
    Ulrike, mom to:
    Roman (3/98), Evalina (3/00), Nadia (3/03), and Kira (11/07)


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  3. #2
    CPST Instructor
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    I couldn't agree more. No matter the size, crash forces are still in play. Numerous time I have handled serious crashes where when you arrive on the scene you expect the worse due to the amount of damage only to find out the occupants are nearby on the phone to their family and are perfectly fine. Why? they were wearing occupant restraints.

  4. #3
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    force=MASS x acceleration

  5. #4
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    True, but-

    IIHS statistics show that the advantages of mass level off around 4000 pounds as far as fatalities go.

    Another factor is the stiffness of the frame. The crushing frame of a vehicle is the single best chance occupants have to increase the time for them to decelerate, thus decreasing the force on them in a severe crash. Rigid truck frames do not usually crush as well as unibody car platforms, and that is one reason why large trucks often do poorly in single vehicle crashes.

  6. #5
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    what's best when 3 kids need to be in car seats?

    Next March I will need a vehicle to transport 5 people (+STUFF). Kid's ages will be 0, 3, and 5. Kid 1 and 2 are both very tall. Currently we drive either a company car Trailblazer or our own Denali. The Denali also pulls a boat and goes hunting. But with kid 3 coming, the Trailblazer can perform those duties usually.

    Contrary to reports on handling, etc., I would put the Denali up against most other larger SUVs and vans. It has the tightest turning radius I have ever seen on a vehicle its size.

    My question is, besides gas mileage and ancellary crap like that, what will be the safest vehicle to move about 3 kids who must all be in baby carrier and booster seats and a spouse?

    It sure appears a 3 seat vehicle will be needed, and it seems I might want a larger vehicle (3 seat Suburban/Denali XL/Navigator, etc.) if at least 1 kid must be in very rear of vehicle...we also live in WI where snow is usually a factor...

    What would you do? WWJD?

  7. #6
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    Tough choices-

    If heavy duty towing is needed, then a large truck-based SUV is the only option.

    While the turning radius may be OK for parking, it's unlikely that many large SUVs handle nearly as well as most car based minivans with lower centers of gravity and independent suspensions. At least the Suburbans and older Expeditions I've driven are not in the same league- they are very optimized for smooth ride at the expense of tight handling. The higher rollover risk is also a concern, as these are the cause of a high percentage of fatalities in large SUVs.

    If it has to be a large SUV, I'd consider an Expedition. The new models have wider tracks, a new independent rear suspension, lap and shoulder belts in every seating position and optional stability control and side impact protection system.

    I'd still rather be in something like the 2004 Sienna with AWD if poor weather traction is a concern, but it may not be up to the towing task...

    Also:

    http://www.car-safety.org/family.html

  8. #7
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    thank you

    Thank you Darren - my wife also mentioned the latest Expedition with the new lower SOG. Will look at Sienna and other website.

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