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      01-31-2014, 10:42 PM   #1
IzzyGray
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Safety in expensive cars

Question: do you believe that expensive vehicles are inherently safer than lower end brands? I've seen crashes in Mclarens, BMWs, Ferraris where the leftover debris made surviving look unlikely(canyon side crash, Mr. Bean's crash). Sure there's some crashes where nothing could save you but it just seems expensive car crash debris seem more "spectacular" AND yet saving the occupants.
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      01-31-2014, 10:47 PM   #2
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lightweight, structural integrity designed to separate parts of the car to save impact on the driver.

there was a video where an aventador barely gets clipped, yet it separated in two.

here it is actually




mighty scary to have that happen, but if it saves me from harm.. why not
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      01-31-2014, 11:09 PM   #3
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"performance" cars seem to have inherently safe structures... my previous car was a S2000 and there were tons of s2ki.com posts of people rolling their cars off cliffs and etc. where the passenger compartment looks almost perfectly intact (though this car had a roll bar)

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      02-01-2014, 12:26 AM   #4
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Don't expensive non exotics have more safety features in place? Because of the added price? Look at merc and that detection thing that brakes the car when a kid jumps out on front. Wait I think Mazda has it too. Nvm
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      02-01-2014, 09:19 AM   #5
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They try to make them safe, but they also try and make them light. There were 2 accidents involving famous people in Porsche's, Ryan Dunn from Jackass and Paul Walker. Ryan Dunn ran into a guard rail at 130 mph while drunk at 3 am. The car disintegrated. I don't know much about the Paul Walker crash, but I heard he was trapped in the car and caught on fire.

I would like to think my M3 is safe enough. It weighs a lot and seems sturdy.

Last edited by AshyLarryMP; 02-01-2014 at 10:07 AM.
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      02-01-2014, 09:35 AM   #6
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Don't think you can generalize this way. When my daughter turned 17 it was time for her own car. I did a ton of research and boiled it down to the Volvo 40 series and Ford Focus. I felt the safety features were equal so gave her the choice. She liked the Focus so we got her a 2 yr old 2003 Focus wagon and that car ended up saving her life in a nearly head-on 45 mph crash that destroyed both the Ford and the Buick Regal that smashed into her. She ended up with only a bum knee and burns from the airbag sandpaper effect. I don't know that she would have been any "luckier" in an M3 or a Ferrari.
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      02-01-2014, 09:54 AM   #7
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They are well engineered for safety.. That's why people call it super / hyper car.
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      02-01-2014, 10:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krockit1 View Post
Don't think you can generalize this way. When my daughter turned 17 it was time for her own car. I did a ton of research and boiled it down to the Volvo 40 series and Ford Focus. I felt the safety features were equal so gave her the choice. She liked the Focus so we got her a 2 yr old 2003 Focus wagon and that car ended up saving her life in a nearly head-on 45 mph crash that destroyed both the Ford and the Buick Regal that smashed into her. She ended up with only a bum knee and burns from the airbag sandpaper effect. I don't know that she would have been any "luckier" in an M3 or a Ferrari.
I'm not saying the less expensive vehicles are not safe, not at all. I've pulled my fair share of victims out of car crashes that are not "exotic". However, ceteris paribus, would a super/hyper car fare better in a really devastating accident? I guess it's hard to pin point where "devastating" accident is defined as, and as important, at which price/performance point a vehicle is considered non-lower end make/model.

Let's look at a couple of examples

M3 canyon crash
1. Many have mentioned that it seems the air bags deployed prior to the actual roll. Would a Ford Fiesta(generic lower model that I can think of) reacted the same way? Are there specific better designs in the M3 that saved the owner over the Ford Fiesta? Would any of this change the outcome?

Rowan Atkinson crash
1. Mr Bean walked away with a broken shoulder. The car's engine actually flew 20 yards away from the crash site. Not too many other details that I can find. Would a Ford Fiesta(once again nothing against the Fiesta, just a model I can think of right now), fared as well?

Or are both of these(and other hyper/super car) accidents look worse than they actually are due to their inherent design(fall apart to save the occupants)?
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      02-01-2014, 11:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quiksi View Post
"performance" cars seem to have inherently safe structures... my previous car was a S2000 and there were tons of s2ki.com posts of people rolling their cars off cliffs and etc. where the passenger compartment looks almost perfectly intact (though this car had a roll bar)

Looks like someone got a bit carried away during an S2000 enthusiast drive. As far as personal safety goes, in the end, there is no replacement for displacement.
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      02-02-2014, 04:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krockit1 View Post
Don't think you can generalize this way. When my daughter turned 17 it was time for her own car. I did a ton of research and boiled it down to the Volvo 40 series and Ford Focus. I felt the safety features were equal so gave her the choice. She liked the Focus so we got her a 2 yr old 2003 Focus wagon and that car ended up saving her life in a nearly head-on 45 mph crash that destroyed both the Ford and the Buick Regal that smashed into her. She ended up with only a bum knee and burns from the airbag sandpaper effect. I don't know that she would have been any "luckier" in an M3 or a Ferrari.
I disagree, I think for the most part you can generalize this. Would she have walked away with the same minor injuries if the accident took place while she was doing 110 mph?

A track bred car is going to have design implementations down to the frame that are built for driver safety just like a street car will. However, the track car is going to typically have a more rigid frame that will stay intact while the remainder of the car falls apart at higher impact speeds. I'd take an M3 over a Volvo any day if I had to drive it over a cliff into a wall.
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      02-02-2014, 05:35 PM   #11
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Read the original question, guys- nothing about high speed wrecks. Throw speed into the supposition, and then do it in a canyon for example, and yes you can support an argument for supercar safety. A Taurus or a Camry does not have a driver pod, nor a gas tank that self seals and separates from the wreck, nor a purpose built roll bar, although the frames on many sedans do serve in this way. I would not take a volvo or a focus up to 150 mph either. They are not designed for it. But I do it in my M3 without concern. And as far Volvo safety is concerned, you might want to research the safety features volvo designed and BMW among others copied Not that I ever owned one. Just giving props where they are due.
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      02-02-2014, 07:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krockit1 View Post
Read the original question, guys- nothing about high speed wrecks. Throw speed into the supposition, and then do it in a canyon for example, and yes you can support an argument for supercar safety. A Taurus or a Camry does not have a driver pod, nor a gas tank that self seals and separates from the wreck, nor a purpose built roll bar, although the frames on many sedans do serve in this way. I would not take a volvo or a focus up to 150 mph either. They are not designed for it. But I do it in my M3 without concern. And as far Volvo safety is concerned, you might want to research the safety features volvo designed and BMW among others copied Not that I ever owned one. Just giving props where they are due.
Thanks for pointing out details I didn't spell out. That's the thing about accidents too, rarely does it follow the controlled testing protocols of the IIHS (but that's the only way they can keep other factors out). I think we can all agree that for a "straightforward" accident at typical speeds, almost every modern car would fare similarly. It's the "not usual" scenarios that I'm after(of course the permutations are endless)
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      02-02-2014, 09:37 PM   #13
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Performance cars just have higher limits so when something does happen, you're probably going a lot faster.

Generally, performance cars are safer if you ask me because of the performance. The brakes, tires, and suspension are just better. The safest car is the one that doesn't get into an accident.
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      02-03-2014, 11:04 AM   #14
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Yes. Although I'm sure you could find outliers that contradict.

Higher price = engineers have a higher budget. Most of the luxury brands make safety one of their highest selling points. Also the additional weight of most luxury vehicles gives them an inherent safety advantage over smaller, lighter vehicles.

Cheap brands have to cut corners on their safety design. Even companies like Volkswagen and Nissan do this out of budgetary confines on their cheaper cars. It cost a lot more money to make a car safer than the next.

Now as far as supercars go, no, they are not in any way more safe. You can make the argument that they would avoid a crash better, but they are less safe when impacted than a reasonable nonsupercar. They might be well designed these days compared to yesteryear, but the low driving position, lightweight design, potential for fire, etc. puts the driver at more risk. Still, I'd rather be in a heavy murcielago crashing into a smart car or honda civic.

I plan on putting my children in heavier, taller vehicles when they start to drive. I think my daily driver M3 will be traded in for a Ford Raptor or Lexus Land Cruiser when I have to add car seats.
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      02-03-2014, 01:08 PM   #15
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What is an Aventador doing in this neighborhood anyway? This is why you never want to get lost.
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      02-04-2014, 08:41 PM   #16
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generally speaking, the more expensive the safer. (i.e., Hyundai < Infiniti < BMW)
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