It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

American road and car safety.

page: 1
6
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Jan, 30 2012 @ 06:24 AM
link   
(if this is not the proper forum, mods feel free to place it in the correct forum section)

So today when I was reading my morning dose of news, when I came across this sad event:



Basically a crash in Florida, due to bad weather (visibility) and smoke from one of the trucks. 6 trucks and 5 cars involved, and the aftermath comes down to 18 people in hospital, 10 dead.

But before going into any description or discussion, I would like you to consider the next video:



The video above relates to a crash that happened in Germany, in the notorious Autobahn. A staggering 259 cars were involved.

But the most shocking part is not related to the amount of cars involved, but at least to me, what strikes as shocking is the fact that there were no casualties. Seriously, although it's a scene to watch in awe, everyone walked away from it, and you can clearly see cars torn apart and others even turned over.


So this thread goes down to this serious question:

Why are american cars so unreliable and unsafe, especially when compared to european cars?

There are several excuses that could come up, but for the sake of a nice argument without peripheral arguments that don't really matter, I would like to take one "out" what, in my opinion, isn't relevant.

Speed

Speed isn't the cause for death. Unsafe cars, unsafe roads and poor emergency assistance cause deaths. You can't possibly argue that speed is the problem if you consider both examples given.

I'm aware that the average speed limit in the US is around 65 miles per hour, although it changes according to state. If you also consider that the US highway patrol enforces a nearly no-tolerance rule against disrespecting the speed limit, you could argue that most americans do travel around the speed limit, which isn't very high nor dangerous. And in the cases where people travel fast, it's usually in vast areas like desert roads.

But, even if people would go past that speed, does that mean they are reckless or in any higher chance dangerous situations?

If you consider what goes on in Germany, NO.

In the Autobahn (the german motorway system) nearly 2/3 of it's length doesn't even have a speed limit. Which means you can actually go as fast as you like.

They do advise you to travel around 130Km's/h (around 80mph), but you are free to drive as fast as you like. This is happens so often that driving schools, when giving classes to drivers so they can earn their license, actually take you on several trips to the Autobahn, teaching you what to expect when driving around 200Km's/h (120mph).

For instance, there is the factor of how you perceive speed. If you travel around 200Km/h(120mph) for one hour, when you slow down, you think you are going to slow, when you can actually still be traveling around 120Km/h(60mph), which can be dangerous if you consider that you eventually have to leave the Autobahn.

And just FYI, the Autobahn is so "speed limit free" that even car manufacturer's use it as a "test-track", so they can understand how the car will behave in "civilian" roads at very high speeds. And by high I mean around 220mph.

So, in a nutshell, if the roads are nearly on the same quality standards (but with difference rules), and if there is no question about the emergency response units quality... Why are americans dying more in crashes that should have no fatalities?

I was shocked to see 6 trucks and 5 cars burning to piles of ash in Florida, and not seeing one single fire in the 259 car crash. That sends a clear message about american car safety and it's standards.

What do you guys think?
edit on 30/1/12 by Tifozi because: (no reason given)

edit on 30/1/12 by Tifozi because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 30 2012 @ 06:30 AM
link   
Most accidents could be avoided if people just used a safe following distance.

Too much to ask for I guess.


 
Posted Via ATS Mobile: m.abovetopsecret.com
 



posted on Jan, 30 2012 @ 06:33 AM
link   
reply to post by thisguyrighthere
 


That, and if they decided to not text whilst driving.



posted on Jan, 30 2012 @ 06:36 AM
link   

Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
Most accidents could be avoided if people just used a safe following distance.

Too much to ask for I guess.


 
Posted Via ATS Mobile: m.abovetopsecret.com
 



Sadly, that is very true.

Most crashes are not even related to how safe cars or roads are. It's down to how people behave. In the ultimate stand, drivers are the ones responsible for what the car does, and how it behaves.

But I was trying to address what happens when your personal responsibility and that of the other people around you doesn't matter.

All things put aside, without considering responsibility for how the crash happened, isn't it reasonable to assume that your car can survive a crash without killing those inside? Especially considering what happens in other countries when people crash into each-other?

I think there is a very dangerous warning sign in all this as to how safe american cars are being built, and to which standards.



posted on Jan, 30 2012 @ 06:39 AM
link   
Hmm, I would guess that it depends on the number and speed of trucks involved.

Are you sure that the roads quality is comparable? As far as I saw US roads, they are in a pretty bad shape, whereas German roads are maintained on a regular basis - a bit too regular for me, as there are many road works underway anytime. In a massive freeway pileup the quality of the roads surface might give you the advantage of even only a few centimeters, meaning you could loose your legs or not.



posted on Jan, 30 2012 @ 06:40 AM
link   
Reply to post by Mapkar
 


Car accidents have happened long before the invention of cell phones.

Cell phones are just he new scaldegoat. It can't be because people are inherently reckless, stupid or inconsiderate. It's the cell phones!

Consider even when texting, eating, applying makeup, reading or doing whatever it is people do when they should be driving, a proper following distance can make up for that lack o attention.

Millions of people pilot missiles all over the country and they pay it no more mind than dropping a deuce or channel surfing.

Vehicle safety regulations getting tougher year over year is a sad attempt to make up for ignored road rules which themselves are a sad attempt to compensate for mans inability to behave safely and competently.



 
Posted Via ATS Mobile: m.abovetopsecret.com
 



posted on Jan, 30 2012 @ 06:42 AM
link   

Originally posted by ManFromEurope
Hmm, I would guess that it depends on the number and speed of trucks involved.

Are you sure that the roads quality is comparable? As far as I saw US roads, they are in a pretty bad shape, whereas German roads are maintained on a regular basis - a bit too regular for me, as there are many road works underway anytime. In a massive freeway pileup the quality of the roads surface might give you the advantage of even only a few centimeters, meaning you could loose your legs or not.


Well, that is true. Most highways in the US are built using concrete, while most(if not all) in Europe are built using concrete as a basis and on top of that they put a layer designed for better grip.

But then again, even if cars crash, they should be safety capsules that protect who's inside. From what I've seen in most US crashes, especially with SUV's, they are becoming death-traps.



posted on Jan, 30 2012 @ 06:45 AM
link   
Reply to post by Tifozi
 


Nationally traffic fatalities are down 2011 over 2010. They've been falling for a few years now.


 
Posted Via ATS Mobile: m.abovetopsecret.com
 



posted on Jan, 30 2012 @ 06:46 AM
link   
I don't think it matters what you're driving, if you are hit by an articulated lorry (especially the huge American ones) doing much more than 45mph, you pretty much guaranteed a grisly end. The difference with the accident in Germany is that the vehicles involved were mainly smaller cars and vans.



posted on Jan, 30 2012 @ 06:49 AM
link   
reply to post by thisguyrighthere
 


I agree. And it's not even a matter of opinion, it's just a fact. Cars have turning signals because people were crashing into each-other every-time anyone would change direction. Same with red-lights on crossings. It's meant to put order since people can't behave under a "moral" order and respect other people also driving.



Vehicle safety regulations getting tougher year over year is a sad attempt to make up for ignored road rules which themselves are a sad attempt to compensate for mans inability to behave safely and competently.


I agree that driving laws are getting stricter (and more pathetic) for those reasons you explain. It's also a fact.

But I think cars develop their safety in order to appeal to the costumer. You don't see that in the US, for some odd reason I'm unaware. But you do see it clearly in Europe.

For instance, Volvo (the car manufacturer that actually invented the 3 point seat-belt) praises it's safety the most, being for decades the leading manufacturer in terms of safety. They even re-invented their SUV's so they wouldn't crush other smaller cars in case they crashed into eachother (since SUV's are higher, they tend to climb on top of smaller cars and kill anyone inside the smaller car. Someone you can actually see in the Florida video).

Other brands improved their safety, not because they have to, but because costumers in Europe demand it.

That's why I started this discussion. Why are american cars so....unsafe to who's inside?



posted on Jan, 30 2012 @ 06:54 AM
link   

Originally posted by fiftyfifty
I don't think it matters what you're driving, if you are hit by an articulated lorry (especially the huge American ones) doing much more than 45mph, you pretty much guaranteed a grisly end. The difference with the accident in Germany is that the vehicles involved were mainly smaller cars and vans.


If that was the case, then americans would die less, not more.

American cars are way bigger, to the extent that in the US there are versions of European cars that aren't even sold in Europe because they are considered either too big or too inefficient.

And like I said, the crash in Germany had cars going almost double the speed of the crash in the US. Which actually makes it pointless of how big your car is. It just relates to how much of a hit a car can endure.

The factor that is still most surprising to me, is how easy it is for an american-made car to burst into flames.



posted on Jan, 30 2012 @ 06:56 AM
link   

Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
Reply to post by Tifozi
 


Nationally traffic fatalities are down 2011 over 2010. They've been falling for a few years now.


 
Posted Via ATS Mobile: m.abovetopsecret.com
 



I think it's worldwide.

Cars are generally getting safer. Now airbags are mostly standard (as far I'm aware), and other preventive technologies like ABS and Traction Control are fairly common, if not mandatory.

But still, comparing the two markets (US and Europe, or even Asia), the US cars are very unsafe.

I was just trying to lead the discussing as to why there is such a disregard by the US car industry on driver safety, especially when compared to other countries car industry.



posted on Jan, 30 2012 @ 07:16 AM
link   
American cars are not less safe than European cars.

Europoeans are just tougher. J/K



posted on Jan, 30 2012 @ 07:21 AM
link   
Reply to post by Tifozi
 


Chicken or the egg. Also a bit of free-market libertarianism.

I can't do proper research on this mobile device but if I think back over the decades I recall plenty of marketing by car companies pushing their "safety" and various gadgets without government mandate.

To what percentage were US, European or Japanese manufacture I wouldn't know without looking it up but there definitely is a market for a "safer" car in the US.

I can say that for many a Volvo or a Subaru is cost prohibitive to own.

To what extent does cost affect the consumers decision? Are the "safer" cars significantly more expensive?

When I get to a proper computer I suppose crash ratings and vehicle sales would be the first places Id look.


 
Posted Via ATS Mobile: m.abovetopsecret.com
 



posted on Jan, 30 2012 @ 07:29 AM
link   
reply to post by Tifozi
 


What I meant by 'smaller cars and vans' was compared to the lorries involved in Florida, not the actual size of them. From the videos, it looks as though the trucks caused the majority of the damage. The fact that it was mainly cars in Germany meant that there was nothing big enough to completely obliterate another vehicle. The fact that American cars are bigger and heavier would make a difference but I think it is more due to lack of HGV's that nobody was killed in Germany.

(hope that makes sense, serious lack of sleep last night!)



posted on Jan, 30 2012 @ 07:30 AM
link   
No surprise here.
We invented the car, and the profit maximization system that goes with it.

American cars are crap. They go and stop poorly, and handle like crap (ok besides a few caddies, F-40, Viper and Corvettes).
Drive a Subaru if you want to feel what it's like to drive a car that handles better than a boat.

My car handles so good, I could avoid an accident that an American car would be involved in.
300 HP stock from a 2.5 liter 4 banger? Not from USA. Brembo brakes? I got-em. AWD? Top safety pick? Fully independent suspension? yea the vette has it too (with leaf springs!!!ROFLMAO) The USA auto manufacturers just spit out consumer crap.

Dodge GM and Ford will never see one dime of my money, just for all the years of crap cars they spit out.
I refuse to support any company be it foreign or domestic that sells crap in lo of quality.
Total junk mobiles, with the new Volt leading the way to the salvage yard.

If any one of you want to challenge this "American cars are crap opinion of mine, I look forward to the exposure.

edit on 30-1-2012 by assspeaker because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 30 2012 @ 07:30 AM
link   
things like road surface could be good for a mythbusters episode to test different materials and then theres perhaps the weight difference between the average american car and an european model meaning that you can perhaps stop a few feet earlier and only dent the bonnet rather than crushing the poor person infront of you.

also vehicle maintenance could be a factor as here in the UK every year the car has to have a full inspection (MOT)

and lastly i'd include with things like Americans like big cars which give off more of a sense of security since you probably have 30% more steel around you than we do so they think perhaps the car can take the damage



posted on Jan, 30 2012 @ 07:33 AM
link   
reply to post by thisguyrighthere
 



I can't do proper research on this mobile device but if I think back over the decades I recall plenty of marketing by car companies pushing their "safety" and various gadgets without government mandate.


Yes, that was what I said. There are car manufacturers that take pride (or even a selling strategy) based upon safety, the case of Volvo being the most clear.


I can say that for many a Volvo or a Subaru is cost prohibitive to own.


For an american? Yes. Why? Because both are imports. One comes from Europe and the other from Asia. That's why the costs are higher. And that is changing, as soon as those brands decide to improve their shipping and maintenance contracts abroad.


To what extent does cost affect the consumers decision? Are the "safer" cars significantly more expensive?


No. You have plenty of cars that have 5 stars in rating in Euroncap (the entity responsible for rating cars in Europe, gives a score of 0 to 5 stars).

For instance, you have Renault. A Renault is a very accessible car, going around 13,000€ a normal car, and from that to lower in case of simpler models and cheaper versions.

Those aren't sold in the US? That's not an excuse nor justification. American car manufacturers could do the same Renault did. Improve safety and keep the cost low, attract costumers.

Renault (notorious for being cheap and accessible) has been leading in safety for some years now, having consecutive 5 star ratings on the safety tests done to their cars (extensive tests, they do crash them often just to see how they handle).

And in most cases, it's simple technology. We are talking about airbags, structural stregth and whatnot. You don't need 5 tones of steel to make a car safe. You just need a correct amount, built in a specific way for it to take a severe hit.

Now most cars use the "shock-absorber" mentality.

They use cheap plastic covers around the car, making it cheaper and more accessible, cost-effective. And actually, improving designs and making cars more pretty since plastic is easy to shape.

Then, inside all that, there is the chassis, design to take a tremendous hit and hold, and even when it doesn't hold, the cockpit where the people are, is still intact. It needs to be a major crash (really...serious crash) and have a serious amount of bad luck to be killed.

But the beauty part of it, is that the cheap plastic covers work as a sponge. Since they break and bend, they actually absorve the impact. Add to that a strong chassis, and add airbags and safety mechanisms inside the car, and people have a much higher chance of walking away.

That's what you see in Europe. You don't see people dying from hiting their steering wheel with their heads. EVEN the ones that do, the steering wheel is design to break under stress.

These things aren't expensive, they are just thought out.

So, is it the responsibility of the american costumer that they don't demand more safety in their cars?



posted on Jan, 30 2012 @ 07:38 AM
link   
Reply to post by Tifozi
 


Airbags have been mandatory since 1998.

I'll look into other safety features now.


 
Posted Via ATS Mobile: m.abovetopsecret.com
 



posted on Jan, 30 2012 @ 07:41 AM
link   

Originally posted by fiftyfifty
reply to post by Tifozi
 


What I meant by 'smaller cars and vans' was compared to the lorries involved in Florida, not the actual size of them. From the videos, it looks as though the trucks caused the majority of the damage. The fact that it was mainly cars in Germany meant that there was nothing big enough to completely obliterate another vehicle. The fact that American cars are bigger and heavier would make a difference but I think it is more due to lack of HGV's that nobody was killed in Germany.

(hope that makes sense, serious lack of sleep last night!)



Yes, I got what you meant. I just don't think it's about that.

I think that what caused the deaths in that case was the fire that consumed everything. Like I said earlier, for me, as an european, it's shocking to see a car burst into flammes like that. I thought it was nearly impossible to happen now-a-days (since I do drive a lot, and have seen (and helped) my share of crashes)).

I was just saying that, under the same circumstances, american cars have design flaws that kill people, while europeans do not.

Well, I hope the reason for the lack of sleep was worth it.



new topics

top topics



 
6
<<   2 >>

log in

join