Hamstermobiles and Organ Donor Season

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    Feb 23, 2015 5:31 AM GMT
    I was a little depressed all day, since I looked at the news this morning and saw that our early spring weather has also brought the early onset of Organ Donor Season. Half a dozen healthy teens snuffed out in various traffic accidents this weekend. Sports Page feature on Saturday, Obituary Page feature on Sunday. The weird thing is that alcohol and drugs were not involved in any of the accidents, and none of them involved motorcycles. Just inexperienced driver mistakes.

    One that haunted me all day happened just a few miles away. Three car loads of kids out doing day-hikes. The lead driver realizes he missed the turn and slams on the brakes. All the cars accordion together. There wasn't even that much sheet metal damage. But the kids sitting in the back seat are dead. They even had their freaking seat belts on.

    Basically, those little cubical cars have no crumple zone. The first thing that impacts from the rear are the bodies of the back-seat passengers. They might as well be motorcycles for all the impact protection they have. When I was shopping for one for myself, I thought I'd just throw away the back seat and make a decent cargo rack in there. But as it happens, I got a coupe, not a hatch-back.

    Dunno... my niece is going to be getting a car this year. I'm voting for getting her a tank, even if it gets 8 mpg.
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    Feb 23, 2015 4:36 PM GMT
    -an auto accident is a real random thing, on the positive side the niece by never wreck the car. Will you give her a stipend for the additional gas money
    -if she is a driver from hell best she alone meets her fate alone and not take out 5 cars instead of only 3.

    may be beyond your skill set but try to convince the niece to drive with in her skill set, slower. At some point in her life she will have to do this anyways.
  • Marylandbob

    Posts: 13

    Feb 23, 2015 6:00 PM GMT
    If money to purchase the car is not an issue, get a TESLA, a VERY safe car! The ONLY death or serious injury in a TESLA model "S" occurred after the car was driven over a CLIFF! They have been driven through stone dividers, into trees, collided with other vehicles, crashed into debris on the road, and set on fire, all without significant injury to the driver or passengers! This AMERICAN, California, USA made, all-electric performance type 4 door, 5 passenger sedan, has GREAT performance, luggage room, and VERY LOW operating and repair costs! Biggest DISADVANTAGE is initial purchase price! (Go take a TEST drive, you may be pleasantly surprised!)- NO, I do NOT sell them or own stock, nor profit in any way, but I sure wish I had one!
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    Feb 24, 2015 6:27 AM GMT
    Duh.. money is certainly an issue around here. There are a couple of vehicles she could have for free... but being old, I have no idea if it would be a mortal insult to offer. (WTF, I didn't have a vehicle of my own until I was Junior in college. And I had to build it from scrap.)

    More details (and some conflicting stories) are coming out about the weekends tragedies. There were more like a dozen deaths in the area. Two of them did in fact involve motorcycles. And the rear vehicle in the incident that I mentioned above may have had a "stinger" type bumper. More like a battering ram than a "bumper." icon_eek.gif It was not visible in the photos because it was entirely embedded inside the other vehicle. WTF are these people thinking?
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    Lets get some sleazy lawyers on this. I don't care if they steal all the money, just get these things off the road.

    "Organ Donor Season" is very real. I've had friends on the transplant waiting list, and every time there is a nice day in the spring, there is big movement in the list.
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    Feb 24, 2015 4:16 PM GMT
    mindgarden said... weekends tragedies. There were more like a dozen deaths in the area. Two of them did in fact involve motorcycles...
    rode a sport bike my whole live till recent. Really defined me. Lots of canyon roads here so not like i was super cautious. Never had a street accident. Can be done.
  • Svnw688

    Posts: 3350

    Feb 24, 2015 5:23 PM GMT
    There is STRONG science on this. Some threshold matters and ground rules. (1) WEIGHT is almost all that matters in 2+ vehicle accidents, and a significant factor in even single vehicle accidents. The bigger, the better. (2) Crash compatibility is a mess because some chassis are low (smaller cars, midsize cars, some large cars) and other vehicle chassis ride higher (most trucks, most SUVs). The higher, the better. (3) Individual car crash ratings are almost worthless--provided that you're not getting a vehicle that failed or got 'marginal' results. Not all "5 star" vehicles are the same in the real world. Bigger and taller is better when it comes to SAFETY. Say it over and over again.

    Here is the actual science and data. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/driver-death-rates You can sort by two radio buttons. The take away is that there is a HUGE range in mortality rates between makes and models. With outliers everywhere, you literally have to get the stats on the specific model you want. Surprisingly, and contrary to then-conventional wisdom, SUVs are now--as a model--safer than smaller cars. Their earlier higher roll-over rates cancelled out any added benefits their height/weight afforded them, but with more advanced engineering and Electronic Stability Control (which actively prevents rollovers) the roll-over death rates are very small in most models. You can thank trial lawyers and the doctrine of products liability for that revolutionary advancement in the matter of 1.5 decades.

    Since money is always a factor, buying a used vehicle is probably what will work best. With that, the larger the market of used cards, the better deal you're likely to get. So current and formerly popular models will do well--provided their mortality rate is low. Here are a few I'd seriously consider, along with their death rate. The LOWER the number, the BETTER. 0 is phenomenal. I think 28 or so was average. 150 or so is the worst. Yes, all numbers have been controlled for miles driven (i.e., you're looking at the death RATE, not raw numbers, which is the smart way and what you want to be doing).

    Ford Taurus -------------20
    Ford Crown Victoria------ 4
    Subaru Legacy 4WD-------- 0
    Honda Accord ------------19
    Toyota Prius Hybrid------16
    ANY "LARGE" or "MIDSIZE" SUV
    Small SUVs vary a lot, check the model/mortality carefully

    Good luck. Don't listen to vested interests and the hype. Trust the mortality numbers--they are the numbers of life.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 24, 2015 5:52 PM GMT
    It definitely was a bad week on the roads around here. I also hate HS graduation season. A car load of kids out raising hell die every year.

    I live on SR 14 on the north side of the Columbia and man do the cars, bikes (w/a sheriff deputy right behind them) and heavy trucks go way fast by here.

    I have had some close calls headed west to work in my little gas sipper and those non-local heavy trucks going too fast and swinging wide on curves scare the crap outa me. Might meet my maker one of these days headed into work.

    My 1st car was a '64 Chrysler New Yorker. Loved that car. Gift from elderly neighbors when I was a senior in HS. Lost my virginity (to a boy lol) in that car.

    Look up a Crown Vic for your niece.
  • Svnw688

    Posts: 3350

    Feb 24, 2015 9:43 PM GMT
    Crown Victoria got a "4" on the 0 to 150 scale. That's REALLY good/safe. Now, I wouldn't take the numbers TOO literally (e.g., is a "4" really better than a "12"?), but clearly the mortality numbers have some real world application (e.g., a "4" is clearly safer than a "50" or "100").

    A young girl might not prefer a Crown Vic, but she'd have the best odds of surviving any--God forbid--accident.

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    Feb 25, 2015 1:21 AM GMT
    mindgarden said
    Dunno... my niece is going to be getting a car this year. I'm voting for getting her a tank, even if it gets 8 mpg.



    Get her an old S-class Mercedes if you want to get her a "tank".