Author Topic: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features  (Read 36975 times)

Stachetastic

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Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« on: March 08, 2016, 12:03:51 PM »
Ok, so I've already read the MMM article about safety being an expensive illusion. I get it. My world would be much safer if I stayed out of my car completely. But (my) life doesn't work like that. While I have a <2mile commute, I drive my car hundreds of miles per week for my job. So biking is out of the questions for me. Also, I must take my son to child care daily, which is on a 55mph county road with a very narrow berm. In the dark several months of the year. 

Now that we've established that, here is my current fleet of commuters:
2004 Corolla with 240k miles
2005 Matrix with 165k miles

These cars are both in excellent running order. The Corolla needs a new cat converter, but I'm ignoring it since we live in a state with no emissions testing. I'm the original owner of the Corolla and is has been a pleasure to drive, every single mile. I have a sentimental attachment to this car. I do home visits for my job, so it's very nice to have a car I don't mind taking down back alleys, traversing huge pot holes, narrow streets, making u turns, etc. Just this week, it got caked in mud from driving back country roads that were not paved. But now I've got kiddos and safety is on my mind. I'd really like to have something with side air bags, and a back up camera would be a dream. (I realize these can be added after market). My husband recently accepted a job very close to home, so he can be biking very soon, once he is done with training. What say you, MMM? Should we ditch one of the cars and get something with some safety features? Should we ditch them both in favor of one super-safe-mobile? Am I being paranoid?

ooeei

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2016, 12:11:46 PM »
I may be wrong here, but I thought airbags were designed for adults.  That's why kids aren't supposed to ride in the front seat.  I don't foresee side air bags helping out your kids too much in a crash. 

With regard to the catalytic converter, I vote get it fixed even though it's not legally required.  There are plenty of things states don't check for that are bad for the environment, that doesn't mean you should do them.

Stachetastic

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2016, 12:20:36 PM »
I may be wrong here, but I thought airbags were designed for adults.  That's why kids aren't supposed to ride in the front seat.  I don't foresee side air bags helping out your kids too much in a crash. 

With regard to the catalytic converter, I vote get it fixed even though it's not legally required.  There are plenty of things states don't check for that are bad for the environment, that doesn't mean you should do them.

Both excellent points. While airbags may not protect my kids, they would help ensure my kids still have parents around should we be in an accident. :)

Also, my concern about fixing the cat is in regards to the value of the car (i.e. very little) and also the environmental impact on manufacturing a new cat and the disposal of the old. I read recently that the environmental impact would likely be a wash.

ooeei

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2016, 12:45:15 PM »
Both excellent points. While airbags may not protect my kids, they would help ensure my kids still have parents around should we be in an accident. :)

True, I'm just not very familiar with how the statistics work out here.  If a brand new car improves your safety by 2%, it's probably not justified. If it's 50% improved, it may be, although really the risk is so low to begin with it probably still doesn't matter.  According to http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/general-statistics/fatalityfacts/state-by-state-overview the death rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled is ~1 depending on your state.  The per person rate hovers between about 8-20/100,000, so 0.008%-0.020%.  Even if your safety features cut your risk in half (which I doubt they do), it's still really low.  In the page I linked it shows that around half of the people who die in wrecks are not wearing a seat belt.  A quick search shows seat belt use rates ranging from 70-95% in most states, so just wearing your seatbelt makes your statistics even more favorable than I quoted.  Maybe try to look up old vs new cars and see how they stack up?

That being said, there is still always a chance.  If you'll sleep better at night with a safer car, go for it, but make sure you know what you're giving up for it.  I'm guessing walking a mile more than you do now every day will have a statistically larger benefit to your health.  More bonding time with the kiddos too!

Quote
Also, my concern about fixing the cat is in regards to the value of the car (i.e. very little) and also the environmental impact on manufacturing a new cat and the disposal of the old. I read recently that the environmental impact would likely be a wash.

A good point I hadn't thought of!

lthenderson

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2016, 01:03:35 PM »
I seen this asked lots of times and it always elicits passionate responses from both sides of the crowd. Me personally, I think there are better ways to increase your odds of a long life other than spending money to have the latest "necessary" safety feature. My daily driver is a 1998 Honda.

Stachetastic

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2016, 01:03:43 PM »
Both excellent points. While airbags may not protect my kids, they would help ensure my kids still have parents around should we be in an accident. :)

True, I'm just not very familiar with how the statistics work out here.  If a brand new car improves your safety by 2%, it's probably not justified. If it's 50% improved, it may be, although really the risk is so low to begin with it probably still doesn't matter.  According to http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/general-statistics/fatalityfacts/state-by-state-overview the death rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled is ~1 depending on your state.  The per person rate hovers between about 8-20/100,000, so 0.008%-0.020%.  Even if your safety features cut your risk in half (which I doubt they do), it's still really low.  In the page I linked it shows that around half of the people who die in wrecks are not wearing a seat belt.  A quick search shows seat belt use rates ranging from 70-95% in most states, so just wearing your seatbelt makes your statistics even more favorable than I quoted.  Maybe try to look up old vs new cars and see how they stack up?

Thank you! This is exactly the kind of info I was looking for. I'll take a closer look as soon as I get a chance.

otter

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2016, 01:08:11 PM »
If you drove, say, a 1967 something then you'd have an excellent case for getting a new car on a safety basis. But the safety improvements of a new car over your ~10-year-old cars are going to be pretty marginal. I wouldn't.


ketchup

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2016, 02:02:42 PM »
Our two cars are a 1992 and a 1999.  The 1992 has airbags.  The 1999 had airbags from the factory, but the airbag light has been on since I bought it.  We hit a deer at 60mph in the 1992 last May in the middle of the night and the car was "fine" (needed a new driver-side window glass and a headlight), the airbag did not need to deploy, and we were fine (but shaken up because holy crap a deer).

Neither car has a backup camera of course, but they both have far better visibility than newer cars that tend to have backup cameras.  My mom drives a 2015 Prius that would be nearly unusable without a backup camera.  A newer car with a backup camera and crappier visibility would be a wash at best.

Our next vehicles will likely be newer, and therefore will have more safety features, just like they will have everything-else features.  But those won't be why we "upgrade" when we do.

As others have stated, larger variables into the safety equation are wearing seatbelts, driving fewer miles, not driving like an idiot, and being careful.  At least three of those are 100% in your control.

RWD

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2016, 02:14:24 PM »
With regard to the catalytic converter, I vote get it fixed even though it's not legally required.  There are plenty of things states don't check for that are bad for the environment, that doesn't mean you should do them.

Also, my concern about fixing the cat is in regards to the value of the car (i.e. very little) and also the environmental impact on manufacturing a new cat and the disposal of the old. I read recently that the environmental impact would likely be a wash.

You can get a universal catalytic converter for less than $100. Example:
http://www.summitracing.com/search/part-type/catalytic-converters

dycker1978

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2016, 02:38:04 PM »
I may be wrong here, but I thought airbags were designed for adults.  That's why kids aren't supposed to ride in the front seat.  I don't foresee side air bags helping out your kids too much in a crash. 

With regard to the catalytic converter, I vote get it fixed even though it's not legally required.  There are plenty of things states don't check for that are bad for the environment, that doesn't mean you should do them.

Both excellent points. While airbags may not protect my kids, they would help ensure my kids still have parents around should we be in an accident. :)

Also, my concern about fixing the cat is in regards to the value of the car (i.e. very little) and also the environmental impact on manufacturing a new cat and the disposal of the old. I read recently that the environmental impact would likely be a wash.

So you don't want to get your cat convertor fixed because the environmental concern of the disposal of the old one, but it does not concern you that you want to dispose the whole car?

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2016, 04:09:06 PM »
I think you have to draw a line when it comes to frugality and safety.

I drive a 2004 Nissan Sentra (base model). It does not have ABS, traction control, or any side/curtain airbags.

While it has served it's purpose I do often think about the potential safety shortcomings of my vehicle.

lbmustache

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2016, 04:22:14 PM »
I think the biggest safety benefits you will see are with ABS and traction control. For those reasons, I vote getting into a newer car.

Safety is an illusion and it's all really down to chance, but I'd rather be in a newer/safer car than an older one. There's probably zero difference (safety-wise) between a 2012 and 2015 Corolla but there absolutely is between a 1995 Corolla, 2005 Corolla, and 2015 Corolla.

If you have no debt emergencies and are financially OK, it can't hurt to get something used but newer. There are plenty of newer cars in the $10-$12k range. If your husband doesn't need a car, I'd ditch both of them. Maybe you can sell one and keep the other one (but not use it) to see if the one-car life is for you?

Uturn

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2016, 05:50:11 PM »
If you drove, say, a 1967 something then you'd have an excellent case for getting a new car on a safety basis. But the safety improvements of a new car over your ~10-year-old cars are going to be pretty marginal. I wouldn't.

I'll give you my 2014 Altima right now for this. To hell with shoulder straps and crumple zones.

chesebert

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2016, 07:34:18 PM »
Learn how to drive, drive less and drive safely. Problems solved and no need for a new car.

ABS = pumping breaks
Traction Control = slow down when it's pouring or snowing and learn how to counteract your car's motion

If you don't know how to do the above, I suggest you go take a driving class. A skilled driver who drives defensively beats any safety technology you can cram into a car.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 07:39:23 PM by chesebert »

tobitonic

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2016, 08:41:00 PM »
Ok, so I've already read the MMM article about safety being an expensive illusion. I get it. My world would be much safer if I stayed out of my car completely. But (my) life doesn't work like that. While I have a <2mile commute, I drive my car hundreds of miles per week for my job. So biking is out of the questions for me. Also, I must take my son to child care daily, which is on a 55mph county road with a very narrow berm. In the dark several months of the year. 

Now that we've established that, here is my current fleet of commuters:
2004 Corolla with 240k miles
2005 Matrix with 165k miles

These cars are both in excellent running order. The Corolla needs a new cat converter, but I'm ignoring it since we live in a state with no emissions testing. I'm the original owner of the Corolla and is has been a pleasure to drive, every single mile. I have a sentimental attachment to this car. I do home visits for my job, so it's very nice to have a car I don't mind taking down back alleys, traversing huge pot holes, narrow streets, making u turns, etc. Just this week, it got caked in mud from driving back country roads that were not paved. But now I've got kiddos and safety is on my mind. I'd really like to have something with side air bags, and a back up camera would be a dream. (I realize these can be added after market). My husband recently accepted a job very close to home, so he can be biking very soon, once he is done with training. What say you, MMM? Should we ditch one of the cars and get something with some safety features? Should we ditch them both in favor of one super-safe-mobile? Am I being paranoid?

The vast majority of folks here are going to tell you not to worry about it. I'm going to offer a different perspective.

Besides driving sober, buckling up, not using your phone, following the speed limit, using winter tires in the winter, and of course, driving as little as possible, the best thing you can do for your son is to keep him rear-facing as long as possible (ideally until at least 4). This will make more of a difference than the kind of vehicle by far. If your child is already forward-facing but is under 4, keep in mind that you can turn him back to rear-face again. And once you decide to forward-face permanently, he should remain harnessed (until ideally 8) and then in a booster (until probably 10 to 12).

Beyond the car seat issue, which I don't think anyone addressed (this is what I mean about offering a different perspective), my personal threshold for vehicles these days are a.) ESC and b.) side airbags. ESC is considered about as revolutionary as the seat belt in preventing deaths, and side airbags are basically the only thing between you and certain death in a 30 mph t-bone. Things like ABS and traction control offer virtually no safety advantages in comparison to the things I just mentioned, but pretty much every safety organization is clear on the benefits of side airbags and ESC. Neither of your vehicles have either of these features. For me, that would be worth the upgrade.

It doesn't have to cost that much either. An '05 Honda Odyssey will give you both features and can be had used for around 7k, for example.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 08:46:21 PM by tobitonic »

TheLazyMan

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2016, 11:38:58 PM »
You can investigate crash death rates for vehicles you're considering.
http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/driver-death-rates

The fatality rate in new vehicles fell by 1/3 from 2008-2011.
"The chances of dying in a crash in a late-model vehicle have fallen by more than a third in three years, the latest IIHS calculations of driver death rates show."
http://www.iihs.org/iihs/sr/statusreport/article/50/1/1

Stachetastic

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2016, 05:54:06 AM »
I may be wrong here, but I thought airbags were designed for adults.  That's why kids aren't supposed to ride in the front seat.  I don't foresee side air bags helping out your kids too much in a crash. 

With regard to the catalytic converter, I vote get it fixed even though it's not legally required.  There are plenty of things states don't check for that are bad for the environment, that doesn't mean you should do them.

Both excellent points. While airbags may not protect my kids, they would help ensure my kids still have parents around should we be in an accident. :)

Also, my concern about fixing the cat is in regards to the value of the car (i.e. very little) and also the environmental impact on manufacturing a new cat and the disposal of the old. I read recently that the environmental impact would likely be a wash.

So you don't want to get your cat convertor fixed because the environmental concern of the disposal of the old one, but it does not concern you that you want to dispose the whole car?

Well, my intention would be to sell the entire (running) car to someone less concerned about safety issues. It has a lot of life left. I don't think there's much of a market for faltering catalytic converters, so it would need to be disposed of.

« Last Edit: March 09, 2016, 05:55:59 AM by Stachetastic »

Stachetastic

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2016, 06:03:40 AM »
Wow, lots of helpful insight! It's a bit heartening to see this isn't such a black and white issue. A few more points:

~My son will be four next week, so he is forward facing. He will remain in a 5 pt harness as long as I can possibly squeeze him in. Maybe when he gets his driver's license, I'll let him make an educated decision on this.

~ By "upgrade," I would be shooting for something in the 7k range. Cash, of course.

~ Paying off the last bit of student loans, which we have the cash to do at this time. No additional debt aside from mortgage on our home and on the rentals.

~ As previously mentioned, I drive hundreds of miles per week for my job. That I'm paid to do. Driving less is not an option for me, aside from small trips to the playground, etc. My neighborhood is surrounded by 50mph county roads with little to no berm, but I am in the process of lobbying my township to consider sidewalks/bike paths down the road to the local Y, grocery, etc. That would be a game changer for errands.


Daleth

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2016, 08:53:30 AM »
Now that we've established that, here is my current fleet of commuters:
2004 Corolla with 240k miles
2005 Matrix with 165k miles

As a fellow parent who's also very interested in safety (we've never bought a car without me first looking intensively at the safety data of the ones we were considering, and we've always chosen the one with the best safety data), here's my advice. Two things:

(1) Get a car that has dynamic stability control, a.k.a. electronic stability control. In other words, if your cars don't have it, trade them in for one that does (or if you really need two cars, two that do). DSC/ESC became mandatory on all cars sold in the US as of 2012, but it was available on Subaru Outbacks and possibly other Subarus at least as early as 2007, at least one Toyota SUV around 2005, and years before that (late 1990s) on, I believe, some Mercedes and BMW models. In other words you can find affordable used cars with this feature. Here's why you want electronic stability control:

"The IIHS study concluded that ESC reduces the likelihood of all fatal crashes by 43%, fatal single-vehicle crashes by 56%, and fatal single-vehicle rollovers by 77–80%."
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_stability_control (look at the "Effectiveness" section).

Not to mince words, but HOLY SHIT, that is a HUGE HUGE safety increase. The reason it became mandatory in 2012 was because that level of safety increase was expected to decrease car-crash deaths by THOUSANDS of people per year. And in the US about 30,000 people a year die in car crashes, so we're talking a very significant decrease. One estimate I saw was that once ESC reaches a certain level of market penetration--i.e., it's not on all cars that are on the roads, but it is on a majority of them--we would be seeing about 10,000 fewer deaths a year!

And that's just the deaths--a lot MORE people are severely injured, sometimes permanently disabled, by car accidents. And a safety increase that reduces the death risk by reducing the number of accidents that happen in the first place is also going to significantly reduce such injuries.

And (2), get the best car seat you can: best safety and best fit for your kid. It can be hard to find data distinguishing one car seat from another, and all new car seats sold in the US meet the minimum standards. I spent many many hours researching and the ones that had the best stats were the Diono Radian and Clek Fllo (also Clek Foonf but that seat is huge, too big for our car). There was also an amazing Britax, I think--the Advocate, maybe it was called?--but right when we were buying them, they had a recall and weren't available anymore.

Our kids are on the tall and skinny side; different seats with similar safety stats may work better for you if your kid is built differently--our options were narrowed by my desire to keep them rear-facing as long as humanly possible (I had to look at CDC stats on percentiles of height/weight to guesstimate how big they would be at X age--my kids will probably reach the height limit for many seats long before they reach the weight limit--and then look at seats that were on the taller side to ensure that my kids would probably still fit in them rear-facing at, say, age 4). We also wanted to leave open the possibility of having a third child without needing a new car, so there were some wider seats I didn't look at because they wouldn't fit three across. I mention all this just to clarify that the universe of car seats I was comparing for their relative safety wasn't the entire universe of all car seats, but just the ones that seemed best for tall kids and possibly fitting three across our back seat.

Of those two suggestions, #1 is by far the most important because something that reduces your risk of even having an accident in the first place by such a significant margin is going to do a lot more for your entire family's safety than something that protects your child in a crash.

« Last Edit: March 09, 2016, 09:00:54 AM by Daleth »

MrsDinero

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2016, 09:01:02 AM »
Learn how to drive, drive less and drive safely. Problems solved and no need for a new car.

+1

-Reduce your speed
-Keep a safe distance from the car in front of you
-Don't drive distracted (checking your phone, email, texting, etc).  I would even go so far as to include talking on the phone using a hands free device
-Don't road rage

A car with extra safety features is always nice, but they won't protect you or your family if you drive like an idiot.

Jack

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2016, 09:18:00 AM »
You can investigate crash death rates for vehicles you're considering.
http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/driver-death-rates

The fatality rate in new vehicles fell by 1/3 from 2008-2011.
"The chances of dying in a crash in a late-model vehicle have fallen by more than a third in three years, the latest IIHS calculations of driver death rates show."
http://www.iihs.org/iihs/sr/statusreport/article/50/1/1

Yes, down from 0.0048% to 0.0028%. Does it still sound like a lot?

"The IIHS study concluded that ESC reduces the likelihood of all fatal crashes by 43%, fatal single-vehicle crashes by 56%, and fatal single-vehicle rollovers by 77–80%."
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_stability_control (look at the "Effectiveness" section).

Not to mince words, but HOLY SHIT, that is a HUGE HUGE safety increase. The reason it became mandatory in 2012 was because that level of safety increase was expected to decrease car-crash deaths by THOUSANDS of people per year. And in the US about 30,000 people a year die in car crashes, so we're talking a very significant decrease. One estimate I saw was that once ESC reaches a certain level of market penetration--i.e., it's not on all cars that are on the roads, but it is on a majority of them--we would be seeing about 10,000 fewer deaths a year!

On the contrary, "thousands" of deaths per year, in a country of hundreds of millions of people, is tiny.

Learn how to drive, drive less and drive safely. Problems solved and no need for a new car.

ABS = pumping breaks
Traction Electronic Stability Control = slow down when it's pouring or snowing and learn how to counteract your car's motion

If you don't know how to do the above, I suggest you go take a driving class. A skilled driver who drives defensively beats any safety technology you can cram into a car.

As someone who (legally and safely) races his non-ABS-equipped car on a fairly regular basis, I'm well aware that I'm not as good as a computer would be at keeping those brakes on the threshold of locking up. I would expect the average driver to be worse at it than I am. Between that and the fact that panic stops can be caused by circumstances beyond the driver's control, I think ABS is generally worthwhile (even though I prefer not to have it myself).

Electronic stability control I'm far less certain about: in almost any situation where it would kick in, a driver who is paying attention should have already realized they're driving too fast for conditions.

MudDuck

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2016, 09:18:42 AM »
I just want to add a little point to consider when reading statistics about safety & crashes: death is not the only possible negative outcome.

Fatality rates are definitely worth considering, but it's not at all unusual to suffer serious injuries from a car accident in which no one dies. Traumatic brain injury, many different kinds of spinal cord injury, internal injuries (liver lacerations, perforated anythings, collapsed lungs) and broken bones are all extremely common side effects. Some are no big deal and the person gets a little splint and some stitches. Some are serious, but the person ultimately recovers. Some are life altering, and not in a good way. Some, especially TBI, is considered by many folks to be *worse* than death.

That said, I strongly agree with the general ideas here: drive less, drive carefully, keep everyone properly restrained (+1 million on the extended rear-facing, 5-point harnesses, etc.), and try to keep in perspective just how incredibly safe we all are each day as relatively wealthy people in 2016.

Jeremy E.

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2016, 09:23:45 AM »
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2015/12/08/lessons-learned-from-having-my-bike-stolen/

This article is more about security but I like to think about it in terms of safety too. You can buy tons of safety equipment, but you're really just wasting your time and money for something with a small risk.

dess1313

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2016, 09:54:20 AM »
have you checked out the crash ratings at the IIHS for your current vehicle? 

each year and each model and each make has a drastic difference in what happens during a head on, overlap and side impact scenario.  i would look that your car has a half decent rating, or any future car have decent ratings. 

but the comments about winter tires are spot on.  i have them and they've saved my ass a few times from different accidents.  the stopping power and control is tremendously better than just all seasons.  its also saved me from having accidents on my driving record which has saved me $ in insurance premiums as well as kept my car from being written off.


Lulee

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2016, 10:07:13 AM »
Based on the fact that you do home visits as your job, having a backup camera, even as an after-market add-on, protecting you and kids and pets wherever you are, would be prudent.  Especially in a newer car because the morons who design them have been making them harder and harder to see out of for years.

Given everything you have told us, I’d agree you’d be happier to upgrade your car to newer used car with the features like ABS brakes and add the backup camera.

Lulee

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #25 on: March 09, 2016, 10:21:02 AM »
In the world, sometimes freaky coincidences happen.  As I posted my response, there was a bang outside.  Not completely sure at this point, but it appears that a motorcycle and pickup had a near miss, causing the biker to crash onto or dump his ride onto the curbed sidewalk.  He’s not moving but help is here.  Just a not at all subtle reminder from the Universe about our fragility.  Be safe everyone!

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #26 on: March 09, 2016, 10:36:20 AM »
Like others have said, this would be a different proposition if your fleet was was from the 80s with no head rests.

Making a case for replacing two mid-2000s japanese cars is a different story.

The cars were safe enough for people to buy them and drive their kids around ten years ago. What's changed?

Kroaler

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #27 on: March 09, 2016, 11:04:02 AM »
I'll chime in.   Do you regularly commute at or above 70mph?

If yes then  *I*  could see splurging into new advances in safety technology.    Abs and stability control are amazing.

BDWW

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #28 on: March 09, 2016, 11:17:48 AM »
I wouldn't worry about the safety features, but I might about the cat.

A bad catalytic converter will restrict exhaust flow and reduce performance and fuel-mileage. Do you track your mileage?
There's likely where the computer will report a problem, but your mileage won't suffer. However, it will almost certainly get worse over time and affect it.

Stachetastic

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #29 on: March 09, 2016, 11:28:32 AM »
I'll chime in.   Do you regularly commute at or above 70mph?

If yes then  *I*  could see splurging into new advances in safety technology.    Abs and stability control are amazing.

Good question. I do drive right around 70mph for several hours at a time approximately one or two days per week. The rest of my driving is a mix of back roads and larger cities, so I see it all. My region is the entire north west quadrant of my state. With the highways, obviously I worry about semis and large freight. With the back roads, I worry about being T boned by someone running a stop sign. I am as vigilant as possible--extended stops to double check intersections, maintaining extra distance on the highways, not using electronic devices, etc. I consider myself a safe driver--no accidents since I was 16 years old.


In the world, sometimes freaky coincidences happen.  As I posted my response, there was a bang outside.  Not completely sure at this point, but it appears that a motorcycle and pickup had a near miss, causing the biker to crash onto or dump his ride onto the curbed sidewalk.  He’s not moving but help is here.  Just a not at all subtle reminder from the Universe about our fragility.  Be safe everyone!

Oh my! I hope he's ok. Scary stuff.

I just want to add a little point to consider when reading statistics about safety & crashes: death is not the only possible negative outcome.

Agreed. I have a friend whose daughter was in a terrible car accident years ago. She is still alive, but has been in a vegetative state for a decade. My friend has said many times that there are fates worse than death.

Stachetastic

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #30 on: March 09, 2016, 11:34:36 AM »
have you checked out the crash ratings at the IIHS for your current vehicle? 

each year and each model and each make has a drastic difference in what happens during a head on, overlap and side impact scenario.  i would look that your car has a half decent rating, or any future car have decent ratings. 

but the comments about winter tires are spot on.  i have them and they've saved my ass a few times from different accidents.  the stopping power and control is tremendously better than just all seasons.  its also saved me from having accidents on my driving record which has saved me $ in insurance premiums as well as kept my car from being written off.

My corolla got a "Good" rating for Moderate Overlap Front, a "Poor" rating for side impact, and "Acceptable" for Head Restraints and Seats. Obviously the Poor rating concerns me.

Re: snow tires--I see them mentioned here all the time, but as a lifelong Ohioan, I've never known anyone with them. They just don't seem to be a "thing" around my neck of the woods. I'm fortunate that if the weather is too bad, I am able to stay in my office or use vacation time and stay home.

dogboyslim

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #31 on: March 09, 2016, 11:48:47 AM »
I work with actuaries.  The advice goes like this:

1. Wear your seatbelt
2. Go slow enough that you have a margin of error so you can react to changes (may be above or below the speed limit depending on conditions)
3. If something looks fishy, slow down first.  If its fine, you can speed back up.
4. Drive during daylight hours and not in bad weather
.
.
.
756. Buy a car with crash avoidance technology.

Marvel2017

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #32 on: March 09, 2016, 12:26:01 PM »
I daily drive a 1970 chevy pickup. Lap belts, no air bags. I drive defensively as hell. I hope all the idiots on their cell phone don't kill me though.

Jack

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #33 on: March 09, 2016, 12:37:46 PM »
In the world, sometimes freaky coincidences happen.  As I posted my response, there was a bang outside.  Not completely sure at this point, but it appears that a motorcycle and pickup had a near miss, causing the biker to crash onto or dump his ride onto the curbed sidewalk.  He’s not moving but help is here.  Just a not at all subtle reminder from the Universe about our fragility.  Be safe everyone!

Well, if the vehicle you're upgrading from is a donorcycle, then that's certainly a situation where more safety is worth it!

Going from a relatively-modern car to a very-modern one, on the other hand, is what's beyond the point of diminishing returns.

Stachetastic

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #34 on: March 09, 2016, 12:44:15 PM »
The cars were safe enough for people to buy them and drive their kids around ten years ago. What's changed?

When I was a child, cars were "safe enough" for people to buy them and drive their kids around without air bags, shoulder belts, or car seats that actually attached to anything. Booster seats were few and far between. My mom mastered the "soccer mom arm" reflex, as we sat in the front seat as soon as we were old enough to walk. Does that mean I should choose to shuttle my children around in the same manner?

Obviously car safety from the early 80's and 2004 are not the same. But my point remains: we have the technology to keep ourselves and our children safer in the event of an accident. When is spending a few thousand $$ worth it, and when is it not? I'm glad to see this much discussion in this thread, as it's obviously not so black and white.

Daleth

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #35 on: March 09, 2016, 01:18:50 PM »
The cars were safe enough for people to buy them and drive their kids around ten years ago. What's changed?

When I was a child, cars were "safe enough" for people to buy them and drive their kids around without air bags, shoulder belts, or car seats that actually attached to anything. Booster seats were few and far between. My mom mastered the "soccer mom arm" reflex, as we sat in the front seat as soon as we were old enough to walk. Does that mean I should choose to shuttle my children around in the same manner?

Obviously car safety from the early 80's and 2004 are not the same. But my point remains: we have the technology to keep ourselves and our children safer in the event of an accident. When is spending a few thousand $$ worth it, and when is it not? I'm glad to see this much discussion in this thread, as it's obviously not so black and white.

I'm glad too. And knowing that you're in Ohio makes stability control seem even more important to me, since you're in a part of the country that regularly experiences exactly the kind of weather that stability control was designed to deal with: freezing rain, snow, black ice, heavy rain, etc. I mean, if you were in Texas it wouldn't seem so important. Although even there, like you I would worry about the "poor" rating on side impact, because weather has nothing to do with whether some jackass is going to run a light and t-bone you.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that car crashes are the single most common way for perfectly healthy Americans to get killed, severely injured, or permanently disabled. And the more you drive, the higher your risk, obviously.

If you want a car that's similar to your Corolla but has "good" ratings (no average, no poor) on ALL types of crash tests (see link below), and has stability control, you could get a 2008 or 2009 Subaru Impreza sedan. The 2008's had stability control as an option; it became standard as of 2009. The Kelley Blue Book price for an 2008 Impreza with stability control, at a dealer (which obviously is higher than what you'd pay to a private individual), is right around $8000--and that's without counting the trade-in value of your Corolla; factor in that trade-in and you're probably looking at around half that cost, for a car you can drive for the next decade.

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/subaru/impreza-4-door-sedan/2008
« Last Edit: March 09, 2016, 01:23:57 PM by Daleth »

mm1970

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #36 on: March 09, 2016, 01:20:45 PM »
Ok, so I've already read the MMM article about safety being an expensive illusion. I get it. My world would be much safer if I stayed out of my car completely. But (my) life doesn't work like that. While I have a <2mile commute, I drive my car hundreds of miles per week for my job. So biking is out of the questions for me. Also, I must take my son to child care daily, which is on a 55mph county road with a very narrow berm. In the dark several months of the year. 

Now that we've established that, here is my current fleet of commuters:
2004 Corolla with 240k miles
2005 Matrix with 165k miles

These cars are both in excellent running order. The Corolla needs a new cat converter, but I'm ignoring it since we live in a state with no emissions testing. I'm the original owner of the Corolla and is has been a pleasure to drive, every single mile. I have a sentimental attachment to this car. I do home visits for my job, so it's very nice to have a car I don't mind taking down back alleys, traversing huge pot holes, narrow streets, making u turns, etc. Just this week, it got caked in mud from driving back country roads that were not paved. But now I've got kiddos and safety is on my mind. I'd really like to have something with side air bags, and a back up camera would be a dream. (I realize these can be added after market). My husband recently accepted a job very close to home, so he can be biking very soon, once he is done with training. What say you, MMM? Should we ditch one of the cars and get something with some safety features? Should we ditch them both in favor of one super-safe-mobile? Am I being paranoid?
Yes you are being paranoid.

(my kids are almost-10 and 3.5, and my car is an '06 Matrix.  I used to drive an 01 Prizm/ Corolla, and still would be if it hadn't been totaled.  Our other car is an 09 Civic.  The Matrix is the main car.)

Paul der Krake

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #37 on: March 09, 2016, 02:16:57 PM »
The cars were safe enough for people to buy them and drive their kids around ten years ago. What's changed?

When I was a child, cars were "safe enough" for people to buy them and drive their kids around without air bags, shoulder belts, or car seats that actually attached to anything. Booster seats were few and far between. My mom mastered the "soccer mom arm" reflex, as we sat in the front seat as soon as we were old enough to walk. Does that mean I should choose to shuttle my children around in the same manner?

Obviously car safety from the early 80's and 2004 are not the same. But my point remains: we have the technology to keep ourselves and our children safer in the event of an accident. When is spending a few thousand $$ worth it, and when is it not? I'm glad to see this much discussion in this thread, as it's obviously not so black and white.
Yes, there's clearly a tradeoff. IMHO, car safety from 2004 is good enough. That doesn't mean I think we should discontinue safety research.

Improvements aren't linear in the sense that you always get x% safer with each passing year. Instead, we got huge boosts of safety at every major improvement. The best times to make the jump in the last 100 years were probably right after the arrival of the seatbelt, then the airbag, etc.

Personally, I will pick the thousands of dollars over a marginal safety improvement any day of the week, while striving to be the best driver I can be.

Jeremy E.

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #38 on: March 09, 2016, 02:32:53 PM »
I think if you save a few thousand dollars from driving older cars, you will save enough money to be able to drive less, either by quitting your job, using FU money to say I'm going to work from home or not work here, or any other number of possibilities.


The cars were safe enough for people to buy them and drive their kids around ten years ago. What's changed?

When I was a child, cars were "safe enough" for people to buy them and drive their kids around without air bags, shoulder belts, or car seats that actually attached to anything. Booster seats were few and far between. My mom mastered the "soccer mom arm" reflex, as we sat in the front seat as soon as we were old enough to walk. Does that mean I should choose to shuttle my children around in the same manner?

Obviously car safety from the early 80's and 2004 are not the same. But my point remains: we have the technology to keep ourselves and our children safer in the event of an accident. When is spending a few thousand $$ worth it, and when is it not? I'm glad to see this much discussion in this thread, as it's obviously not so black and white.

I'm glad too. And knowing that you're in Ohio makes stability control seem even more important to me, since you're in a part of the country that regularly experiences exactly the kind of weather that stability control was designed to deal with: freezing rain, snow, black ice, heavy rain, etc. I mean, if you were in Texas it wouldn't seem so important. Although even there, like you I would worry about the "poor" rating on side impact, because weather has nothing to do with whether some jackass is going to run a light and t-bone you.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that car crashes are the single most common way for perfectly healthy Americans to get killed, severely injured, or permanently disabled. And the more you drive, the higher your risk, obviously.

If you want a car that's similar to your Corolla but has "good" ratings (no average, no poor) on ALL types of crash tests (see link below), and has stability control, you could get a 2008 or 2009 Subaru Impreza sedan. The 2008's had stability control as an option; it became standard as of 2009. The Kelley Blue Book price for an 2008 Impreza with stability control, at a dealer (which obviously is higher than what you'd pay to a private individual), is right around $8000--and that's without counting the trade-in value of your Corolla; factor in that trade-in and you're probably looking at around half that cost, for a car you can drive for the next decade.

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/subaru/impreza-4-door-sedan/2008
His Corolla gets about 10mpg better than an 08 or 09 Impreza.


dess1313

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #39 on: March 10, 2016, 09:32:28 PM »
have you checked out the crash ratings at the IIHS for your current vehicle? 

each year and each model and each make has a drastic difference in what happens during a head on, overlap and side impact scenario.  i would look that your car has a half decent rating, or any future car have decent ratings. 

but the comments about winter tires are spot on.  i have them and they've saved my ass a few times from different accidents.  the stopping power and control is tremendously better than just all seasons.  its also saved me from having accidents on my driving record which has saved me $ in insurance premiums as well as kept my car from being written off.

My corolla got a "Good" rating for Moderate Overlap Front, a "Poor" rating for side impact, and "Acceptable" for Head Restraints and Seats. Obviously the Poor rating concerns me.

Re: snow tires--I see them mentioned here all the time, but as a lifelong Ohioan, I've never known anyone with them. They just don't seem to be a "thing" around my neck of the woods. I'm fortunate that if the weather is too bad, I am able to stay in my office or use vacation time and stay home.


here we have nasty winters 6+ months a year.  winter tires are essential in my mind now that i have them, i won't go without.  sounds like your place is much more mild.  some provinces mandate winter tires otherwise your insurance is void

most accidents i see are head on, or side/Tboned.  you would be surprised on how poor some other cars show despite the big names.  its good that your car doesn't have poor ratings all around but the side rating is a bit concerning.  if you only have one kid place em in the middle of the back seat if possible. 

toyotas are pretty decent vehicles but technology in the last 5-10 years has really jumped. i just recently sold my 98 corolla myself and they generally are a pretty solid car.  it treated me well, but i jumped to a subaru outback for my next vehicle.  subaru really got my attention when i was looking around for what to drive next.  the some of the best safety ratings when i was comparing models.  look up their eyesight system.

like most mention, safe driving, proper car kid seats, don't use your cellphone, be careful entering intersections after red lights, don't drive drunk and you'll avoid most of the mishaps i see enter my emerg room.  there is no way to 100% prevent accidents (unless you never leave your house ever again) but being careful helps.  not all accidents are driver at fault, but a lot i see in trauma are.

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/u-s-dot-and-iihs-announce-historic-commitment-from-10-automakers-to-include-automatic-emergency-braking-on-all-new-vehicles

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/crashes-avoided-front-crash-prevention-slashes-police-reported-rear-end-crashes


Stachetastic

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #40 on: March 11, 2016, 05:52:11 AM »

Improvements aren't linear in the sense that you always get x% safer with each passing year. Instead, we got huge boosts of safety at every major improvement. The best times to make the jump in the last 100 years were probably right after the arrival of the seatbelt, then the airbag, etc.

Personally, I will pick the thousands of dollars over a marginal safety improvement any day of the week, while striving to be the best driver I can be.

What about the arrival of side airbags? That is what my cars are lacking that mostly concerns me. Where does one draw the line between "front air bags are a MUST HAVE, but side air bags? meh."
« Last Edit: March 11, 2016, 01:11:46 PM by Stachetastic »

soupcxan

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #41 on: March 11, 2016, 10:11:45 AM »
~35,000 people die every year in the US in auto accidents and double that are seriously injured. Having known people who were irreparably injured in auto accidents (not even their fault) while driving older cars, is it worth a couple thousand bucks to get more safety features? For my family, hell yes.

Daleth

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #42 on: March 11, 2016, 01:51:14 PM »
~35,000 people die every year in the US in auto accidents and double that are seriously injured. Having known people who were irreparably injured in auto accidents (not even their fault) while driving older cars, is it worth a couple thousand bucks to get more safety features? For my family, hell yes.

I'm with you on that.

ooeei

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #43 on: March 11, 2016, 02:17:53 PM »
~35,000 people die every year in the US in auto accidents and double that are seriously injured. Having known people who were irreparably injured in auto accidents (not even their fault) while driving older cars, is it worth a couple thousand bucks to get more safety features? For my family, hell yes.

35,000 sure does sound like a lot!  Fortunately, there are 319,000,000 people in the US, so that 35,000 is actually around 1/10,000, or .010% of people.  Sounds a lot less scary when you put it like that! 

Note all of the equally scary much scarier things below.  Is there any way you could better deploy your resources than buying a new car to cut that .010% chance to .008%?  I suspect there is!  Heck, a preventable cause of heart disease (roughly 20x more likely to kill you than a car crash) is stress, the leading cause of which is MONEY.

Causes of death in the US:
•Heart disease: 611,105
•Cancer: 584,881
•Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 149,205
•Accidents (unintentional injuries): 130,557
•Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 128,978
•Alzheimer's disease: 84,767
•Diabetes: 75,578
•Influenza and Pneumonia: 56,979
•Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 47,112
•Intentional self-harm (suicide): 41,149



What about the arrival of side airbags? That is what my cars are lacking that mostly concerns me. Where does one draw the line between "front air bags are a MUST HAVE, but side air bags? meh."

A quick search shows ~37% fatality decrease in a driver's side impact scenario with the full setup of side airbags.  I searched "side airbag effectiveness" in google.  While this sounds huge, http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/general-statistics/fatalityfacts/passenger-vehicles shows ~30% of driving fatalities happen in side crashes.  So that .010% fatality rate earlier will be reduced by 37% in the 30% of those that are side crashes (let's round up to 35%, assuming some people were saved by side airbags in that data).  That means by getting side airbags your risk falls from .010% to .0087%, or a 12% reduction in your already extremely small chance of dying in a car crash.  Even if you consider injuries, this doesn't seem worth it to me.  Use the money you'd spend on side airbag upgrades to change your work environment sooner so you aren't driving and sitting so much, and can exercise more. 
« Last Edit: March 11, 2016, 02:30:44 PM by ooeei »

tobitonic

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #44 on: March 11, 2016, 03:04:56 PM »

Improvements aren't linear in the sense that you always get x% safer with each passing year. Instead, we got huge boosts of safety at every major improvement. The best times to make the jump in the last 100 years were probably right after the arrival of the seatbelt, then the airbag, etc.

Personally, I will pick the thousands of dollars over a marginal safety improvement any day of the week, while striving to be the best driver I can be.

What about the arrival of side airbags? That is what my cars are lacking that mostly concerns me. Where does one draw the line between "front air bags are a MUST HAVE, but side air bags? meh."

I mean this in the kindest way possible, but...you've already received a lot of great advice about the value of safety features like side airbags from many folks; it sounds like you realize that these features are valuable, but you don't seem to want to spend money on them. But you keep arguing with people who say they aren't worth it, while refusing to take the advice of folks who say they are. I don't think you're going to get any new information from this thread, even if goes for another 100 posts.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #45 on: March 11, 2016, 03:29:29 PM »
To add to ooeei's math, it seems like that side air bags are touted a lot for their effectiveness in rollover situations, mostly for SUVs.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I get the appeal of improved safety, I really do. I want all these improvements to trickle down to me eventually, just like every $50 cell phone now comes with a wifi chip and a GPS. It's awesome that the government now mandates them, because it's basically no cost to the car manufacturers, it probably costs less than $30 to equip a vehicle with airbags all over when done on the assembly line. $30 for a 12% increased chance of not dying. Hell yeah government, go for it! But using that as an excuse to replace perfectly reasonable vehicles with plenty of life left in them, no.

Heck, the overall odds of dying in a car are so low that they could double or triple overnight, I would still drive.

lbmustache

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #46 on: March 11, 2016, 07:55:57 PM »
To add to ooeei's math, it seems like that side air bags are touted a lot for their effectiveness in rollover situations, mostly for SUVs.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I get the appeal of improved safety, I really do. I want all these improvements to trickle down to me eventually, just like every $50 cell phone now comes with a wifi chip and a GPS. It's awesome that the government now mandates them, because it's basically no cost to the car manufacturers, it probably costs less than $30 to equip a vehicle with airbags all over when done on the assembly line. $30 for a 12% increased chance of not dying. Hell yeah government, go for it! But using that as an excuse to replace perfectly reasonable vehicles with plenty of life left in them, no.

Heck, the overall odds of dying in a car are so low that they could double or triple overnight, I would still drive.

Airbags are expensive and deployment is enough to total a car... the average airbag itself is around $400-$1000 and the installation cost with all of the sensors etc + labor is like 3x the cost. $30 is probably what an original (OEM) sun visor costs.

Jack

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #47 on: March 11, 2016, 08:16:21 PM »
To add to ooeei's math, it seems like that side air bags are touted a lot for their effectiveness in rollover situations, mostly for SUVs.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I get the appeal of improved safety, I really do. I want all these improvements to trickle down to me eventually, just like every $50 cell phone now comes with a wifi chip and a GPS. It's awesome that the government now mandates them, because it's basically no cost to the car manufacturers, it probably costs less than $30 to equip a vehicle with airbags all over when done on the assembly line. $30 for a 12% increased chance of not dying. Hell yeah government, go for it! But using that as an excuse to replace perfectly reasonable vehicles with plenty of life left in them, no.

Heck, the overall odds of dying in a car are so low that they could double or triple overnight, I would still drive.

Airbags are expensive and deployment is enough to total a car... the average airbag itself is around $400-$1000 and the installation cost with all of the sensors etc + labor is like 3x the cost. $30 is probably what an original (OEM) sun visor costs.

... and they don't give you a "12% increased chance of not dying," either. To claim so takes a statement of conditional probability and then eliminates the condition, which is mathematically incorrect. It's more like they make the outcome of a wreck 12% better given that said wreck has already occurred, but the wreck itself is an unlikely event.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #48 on: March 12, 2016, 04:32:57 AM »
To add to ooeei's math, it seems like that side air bags are touted a lot for their effectiveness in rollover situations, mostly for SUVs.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I get the appeal of improved safety, I really do. I want all these improvements to trickle down to me eventually, just like every $50 cell phone now comes with a wifi chip and a GPS. It's awesome that the government now mandates them, because it's basically no cost to the car manufacturers, it probably costs less than $30 to equip a vehicle with airbags all over when done on the assembly line. $30 for a 12% increased chance of not dying. Hell yeah government, go for it! But using that as an excuse to replace perfectly reasonable vehicles with plenty of life left in them, no.

Heck, the overall odds of dying in a car are so low that they could double or triple overnight, I would still drive.

Airbags are expensive and deployment is enough to total a car... the average airbag itself is around $400-$1000 and the installation cost with all of the sensors etc + labor is like 3x the cost. $30 is probably what an original (OEM) sun visor costs.
Hm, no. If you buy an airbag and have it installed now, it is expensive. Toyota does not pay $400 per airbag to install them in a $18,000 corolla at the time of manufacturing. They don't pay $30 for a sun visor either.

MickeyMoustache

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Re: Is it worth upgrading car for more safety features
« Reply #49 on: March 12, 2016, 06:31:30 AM »
Learn how to drive, drive less and drive safely. Problems solved and no need for a new car.

ABS = pumping breaks
Traction Control = slow down when it's pouring or snowing and learn how to counteract your car's motion

If you don't know how to do the above, I suggest you go take a driving class. A skilled driver who drives defensively beats any safety technology you can cram into a car.

Wow, this is terrible advice.  Seriously, you could get someone killed with this advice.  Not all drivers are created equal and everyone has a different skill cap.  That said, your points are just wrong anyway and are ignorant of the technology you're criticizing.

ABS =/= pumping brakes by a long shot.  ABS works by repeatedly switching from static to kinetic friction at a speed that is IMPOSSIBLE for a human to replicate.  If you've ever used ABS, you'll feel the vibratory nature of the process.  Each vibration is essentially the car tire going from static friction (i.e. car tire is in contact with the pavement, no slippage, and requires MORE energy to overcome) to kinetic friction (i.e. car tire is now sliding across the driving surface, which requires significantly LESS energy to maintain this).  ABS switches back to static friction AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE to maximize your stopping power.  A HUMAN CANNOT REPLICATE THIS unless you've got a fucking jack hammer strapped to your foot against the brake pedal.

Traction control works in a similar way to ABS and will apply to specific wheels to maximize traction across all wheels under the current road conditions.  Again, this is not something that can be replicated by a human, we do not have control of individual wheels when driving.

Check this out for more information: http://brainonboard.ca/safety_features/active_safety_features_traction_control.php

And holy fuck that last statement is dangerous misinformation.