December 19, 2006

AND HERE WE THOUGHT THE EXPLORER WAS A MINI:

Big risks seen in small cars: Twice as many fatal crashes found (Royal Ford, December 19, 2006, Boston Globe)

Americans who buy the smallest cars on the market are twice as likely to have fatal accidents as drivers of midsize and larger vehicles, according to a report being released today by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The data and increased sales of the fuel-efficient "minicars" prompted the institute to test, for the first time, eight models to determine which are safest. Minicars typically weigh about 2,500 pounds or less, half the weight of large pickup trucks or SUVs such as the 4,500-pound Ford Explorer.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 19, 2006 8:07 AM
Comments

They are mini's. The typical 3/4 ton diesel-equipped pickup truck is closer to 8000 lbs. I had a "fender-bender" last year with my pickup. I ended up with a small dent in my driver's door from his passenger-side mirror. The dually tire on the driver side of my truck, in the mean time, tore all of the sheetmetal off of the passenger side of his Honda Accord. I made no claim on my insurance. They wrote his car off as a complete loss.

Posted by: Pte at December 19, 2006 8:47 AM

They are mini's. The typical 3/4 ton diesel-equipped pickup truck is closer to 8000 lbs. I had a "fender-bender" last year with my pickup. I ended up with a small dent in my driver's door from his passenger-side mirror. The dually tire on the driver side of my truck, in the mean time, tore all of the sheetmetal off of the passenger side of his Honda Accord. I made no claim on my insurance. They wrote his car off as a complete loss.

Posted by: Pte at December 19, 2006 8:53 AM

They are mini's. The typical 3/4 ton diesel-equipped pickup truck is closer to 8000 lbs. I had a "fender-bender" last year with my pickup. I ended up with a small dent in my driver's door from his passenger-side mirror. The dually tire on the driver side of my truck, in the mean time, tore all of the sheetmetal off of the passenger side of his Honda Accord. I made no claim on my insurance. They wrote his car off as a complete loss.

Posted by: Pte at December 19, 2006 8:53 AM

Does anyone remember the tests done by the CT State Police in the late '50's early '60's showing what happened to a VW when it would meet a Roadmaster at 30 MPH?

Posted by: Jim Burke at December 19, 2006 8:55 AM

This is amazing. Big heavy vehicles are safer than little itsy bitsy ones. Who'da thunk it?
Hummer city here I come. Sigh. If only.

Posted by: erp at December 19, 2006 9:11 AM

Dare I say Darwinian(?)

Posted by: curt at December 19, 2006 12:39 PM

"Americans who buy the smallest cars on the market are twice as likely to have fatal accidents as drivers of midsize and larger vehicles, according to a report being released today by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety."

Sigh. What total bull$#!+. (The crash test data, however, *is* meaningful.)

Looks like I'm going to have to go all statistician on you. CORRELATION DOES NOT PROVE CAUSATION!

In previous years drivers of the Ford Taurus SHO
had more fatalities than drivers of the base Taurus. The differences between the cars were that the SHO had a slightly more powerful engine, a stiffer suspension less likely to lose control in turns, better brakes, better tires, and some fancy looking aerodynamic dodads. The important difference was not in the cars, but in the *drivers*, who in the case of the SHO tended to be young, male and jerks.

My family lives in Nashua NH and owns a Dodge Caravan. My friend's family lives in Somerville MA and owns a Scion, because a Caravan will barely fit down their street.

If they're more likely to die in a crash, is it because of what they drive, or because of where they live?

The raw by-vehicle-type death rates, with no attempt to control for confounding variables like who the drivers are, where they live, and how they use their vehicle, are completely meaninless.

I expect meaningless blather from the Globe, but not from the Brothers Judd.

Posted by: Ralph Phelan at December 19, 2006 1:13 PM

"Americans who buy the smallest cars on the market are twice as likely to have fatal accidents as drivers of midsize and larger vehicles, according to a report being released today by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety."

Sigh. What total bull$#!+. (The crash test data, however, *is* meaningful.)

Looks like I'm going to have to go all statistician on you. CORRELATION DOES NOT PROVE CAUSATION!

In previous years drivers of the Ford Taurus SHO
had more fatalities than drivers of the base Taurus. The differences between the cars were that the SHO had a slightly more powerful engine, a stiffer suspension less likely to lose control in turns, better brakes, better tires, and some fancy looking aerodynamic dodads. The important difference was not in the cars, but in the *drivers*, who in the case of the SHO tended to be young, male and jerks.

My family lives in Nashua NH and owns a Dodge Caravan. My friend's family lives in Somerville MA and owns a Scion, because a Caravan will barely fit down their street.

If they're more likely to die in a crash, is it because of what they drive, or because of where they live?

The raw by-vehicle-type death rates, with no attempt to control for confounding variables like who the drivers are, where they live, and how they use their vehicle, are completely meaninless.

I expect meaningless blather from the Globe, but not from the Brothers Judd.

Posted by: Ralph Phelan at December 19, 2006 1:15 PM

How much do tanks cost?

Posted by: Joseph Hertzlinger at December 19, 2006 2:16 PM

How much do tanks cost?

Posted by: Joseph Hertzlinger at December 19, 2006 2:18 PM

The fun part of going all statistician is if you say something twice, you double your chance of being right, or is that halve your chance of being wrong. Well anyway it's something like that.

In any case, you'll be safest driving in a tank no matter who's driving.

Posted by: erp at December 19, 2006 3:04 PM

erp,

If attempts to post can be reasonably modeled as independent binomial trials, then you're wrong.

Posted by: James Haney at December 19, 2006 4:26 PM

Wow! James, you know the last time I was wrong, I was mistaken. How'd you know that?

Posted by: erp at December 19, 2006 5:07 PM

Drove my 1997 GEO Metro about a hundred miles today. 153K and so far no accidents. I drive defensively when I'm in the car. Yesterday, I drove the farm truck. Get out of my way.

Posted by: AllenS at December 19, 2006 5:32 PM
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