Author Topic: Are 2019 Car Safety Features Important For a Known Bad Driver?  (Read 969 times)

pk_aeryn

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Are 2019 Car Safety Features Important For a Known Bad Driver?
« on: December 01, 2019, 03:48:16 PM »
Iím pulling up a hotly debated topic because Iíd like some specific advice on my situation.

If readers recall or look up my post history, I drive a 2005 Corolla in Los Angeles.  Last year I avoided replacing the transmission and have been driving it without issue - except that in the last 1.5 years I have been in 3 accidents.  I donít hold collision coverage.

The first accident was a rear end, not my fault, barely any damage. I didnít even seek to recoup from the other partyís insurance because I was too busy. I could still but I still donít really want to bother, especially given my new circumstances.

Second accident was my fault. I wasnít looking at my phone, but I got distracted for an instant and it was my fault. My car insurance is doubling because of this accident, from ~ 100 to ~ 200-250/per mo th.  Dent in rear bumper, didnít care too much. Not fixing it.

Third accident: liability unknown, insurance companies are dragging their feet on resolving this. I donít believe Iím at fault, but Iím not confident Iím going to be found 0% liable. Car is driveable, but severely dented.  Not fixing it, but now my car looks like a real hot mess on all sides.

So, I live in a highly accident prone area, about 2.5 hours per day in the car. This isnt Mustachian, and Iím actively seeking to find a new job/work closer to where I live, but Iím in a niche highly specialized position and this may take some time.

Iím not confident in myself as a driver.  I try to be safe, but I feel like the odds are against me. I try to drive safely , I donít look at my phone, I maintan safe distances, I donít speed, but Iíve had a really bad 2 years and itís shaken my confidence.

Given my situation and apparent lack of skills or luck in driving, would you say I should look into a new car with automatic braking, whatever else might really help actively prevent me from being in another accident?  Iím worried that I wonít be able to ďaffordĒ the insurance on a new car with (possibly two) at fault accidents on my record.  No idea what my premium would be if Iím found liable in any way for the second accident.

Right now Iím saving 40% of my income, so I could afford the insurance premiums, I would just HATE it from a frugal standpoint. But if these new features might help me avoid another accident, would that actually be worth it?  Iím really talking from a financial perspective, but bodily safety and saving on medical bills might be a consideration also.

Please feel free to face punch me for wondering about a new car or let me know if this actually might be smart given my circumstances.  I feel really awful about these accidents and Iím actively trying to find a way to commute less, but if I canít - what should I do?
« Last Edit: December 01, 2019, 03:50:04 PM by pk_aeryn »

pk_aeryn

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Re: Are 2019 Car Safety Features Important For a Known Bad Driver?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2019, 03:52:57 PM »
Double post

Paul der Krake

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Re: Are 2019 Car Safety Features Important For a Known Bad Driver?
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2019, 04:14:17 PM »
Please feel free to face punch me for wondering about a new car or let me know if this actually might be smart given my circumstances.  I feel really awful about these accidents and Iím actively trying to find a way to commute less, but if I canít - what should I do?
Forget about getting another car, you should be spending your spare time, energy, and money getting out of this awful commute. $200/month for liability coverage is already crazy. If you get a newer car you will probably want collision, then you'll be paying what, $300+?


pk_aeryn

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Re: Are 2019 Car Safety Features Important For a Known Bad Driver?
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2019, 08:34:23 PM »
Yes, Iím actively applying for other work, but as mentioned, Iíd like advice for what I should do until I can find another job. Thereís very few people who do my particular job niche in the city so it might take me some time to be able to switch to another company - positions at my career level donít open up that frequently.

frugaldrummer

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Re: Are 2019 Car Safety Features Important For a Known Bad Driver?
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2019, 09:21:21 PM »
There are advantages to these new car features, yes. My car doesnít have automatic braking but it does beep at me if Iím in danger of hitting someone in front of me (is if they decelerate suddenly and I havent slowed down yet) which is a very useful feature.

The better airbags are also good. My son was rear-ended on the freeway in an old car without airbags, he had a bad concussion but luckily not too much other damage. Now he has a car with airbags and all the current safety stuff, I feel better.

Laura33

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Re: Are 2019 Car Safety Features Important For a Known Bad Driver?
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2019, 10:38:16 AM »
What is your financial picture otherwise?

I have to say, I broke my "every kid should be stuck with a cheap beater" rule and got my kid a slightly-used newer car, precisely because of the active crash avoidance features.  She has ADHD, so I figured there was a high likelihood she'd be distracted and cause an accident, so if a better car that we could easily afford would protect her from hurting herself or someone else, it was well worth it.  (Or, looking at it from the other perspective:  if I stuck with the original plan, and she hurt/killed someone in an accident that could have been avoided for a less-than-$10K difference, I'd never have forgiven myself)

Also, you don't need a 2019 model.  Some (affordable) models had active crash avoidance features as easly as 2015; by 2017, there were tons out there.  So if you are interested, you should definitely shop around the used market and see what's there. 

But none of this is relevant if you can't afford it. 

TrMama

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Re: Are 2019 Car Safety Features Important For a Known Bad Driver?
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2019, 11:42:06 AM »
Have you considered taking driving lessons to help you solidify your defensive driving techniques and boost your confidence? This is the cheaper option and may be a better use of cash. I'd also make sure your tires are in good shape since that's the part of the car that can either help you stop in a hurry or let you slide into something solid.

I have one of those cars with crash avoidance features. I think they're especially useful for preventing low speed crashes. If you're going too fast all the tech in the world won't overcome the laws of physics to stop you in time. They also do nothing to stop other people from crashing into you. My fancy pants car can be rear ended, side swiped, or t-boned just as easily as a $500 beater with bald tires.

The other thing to keep in mind with crash avoidance systems is that they place expensive sensors in all the areas of that car that are most likely to be hit. If I'm rear ended and want my rear-crash avoidance system to function afterwards I need to replace my rear bumper and the 4 sonar sensors embedded in it. If someone takes off my side mirrors, I need to replace them if I want the side crash avoidance system to work. Ditto with the cameras built into the front windshield. So all these items are now much more expensive than the non-high tech versions.

Get some insurance quotes on the car you're considering before you make any changes. If you can't afford it, then that's the end of the discussion.

Sibley

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Re: Are 2019 Car Safety Features Important For a Known Bad Driver?
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2019, 12:18:15 PM »
In your situation, I'd focus on reducing the amount of driving you need to do (public transit, shorter commute, shifting work hours to off peak commute times, working remotely a few days a week, etc) and shoring up your driving skills. Take defensive driving classes. Since you're feeling so un-confident, working on that will likely help. Second guessing while you're driving isn't a good plan. A new fancy car isn't going to fix the underlying problems.

pk_aeryn

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Re: Are 2019 Car Safety Features Important For a Known Bad Driver?
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2019, 03:40:45 PM »
What is your financial picture otherwise?

I have to say, I broke my "every kid should be stuck with a cheap beater" rule and got my kid a slightly-used newer car, precisely because of the active crash avoidance features.  She has ADHD, so I figured there was a high likelihood she'd be distracted and cause an accident, so if a better car that we could easily afford would protect her from hurting herself or someone else, it was well worth it.  (Or, looking at it from the other perspective:  if I stuck with the original plan, and she hurt/killed someone in an accident that could have been avoided for a less-than-$10K difference, I'd never have forgiven myself)

Also, you don't need a 2019 model.  Some (affordable) models had active crash avoidance features as easly as 2015; by 2017, there were tons out there.  So if you are interested, you should definitely shop around the used market and see what's there. 

But none of this is relevant if you can't afford it.

I can afford it.  Iíll have to reduce my savings rate, but I should still be able to max out my 401k, and if the new features are truly WORTH IT then I can work a couple years longer than originally planned.  I didnít want to be stupidly frugal if a new car really would help my driving and safety.  But I didnít want to spend the money in safety features if they donít actually help that much.

Trimama, tdriving lessons are a good idea, I am definitely going to look into that.  All of my crashes have been low speed crashes, which is probably why my car still drives after 3 collisions in 2 years without any repairs.