[ExI] fuel economy vs danger

spike spike66 at att.net
Tue Apr 6 19:34:03 UTC 2010

> ...On Behalf Of Rafal Smigrodzki
> Subject: Re: [ExI] fuel economy vs danger
> On Tue, Apr 6, 2010 at 7:26 AM, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:
> > There are just too many variables in real world cases to make a 
> > general statement that big cars stop quicker.
> ### Ceteribus paribus, heavier cars stop later which is a 
> feature, not a bug...
> Since head-on collisions are uncommon, the actuarial 
> incentive to spend on a Bradley would not be that large... Rafal

Ja, what I actually had in mind is being struck from the rear while turning
left by some silly prole yakking on her damn cell phone instead of paying
attention.  While head on collisions have become less common, the hit from
behind I think is becoming more common.  Two accidents: my step father and a
good friend were both hit in just that way under those circumstances.  

Simple reasoning: if that happens, one is better off in a big sturdy car,
with the silly phone-yakking prole in something that gets remarkably good
fuel economy.  I have a big sturdy car, which is unlikely to wear out in the
next couple or three decades.  New fuel economy standards will result in
very light cars, and newer lighter cars are more likely to be purchased and
operated by that class of prole who I fear the most: young women.

I myself was a passenger in a car that was struck from behind.  I was in his
'66 Lincoln, the car that struck us was a corvette.  The vette went neatly
under us.  No injury to us, not even any serious damage to Mister Lincoln.
The corvette wasn't so lucky, and its operator, altho uninjured, was found
to be drunk and surely faced severe legal repercussions.  This was 30 over
thirty years ago.

Again, the point is that the way the arguments against small cars take into
account the increased risk of the mini-car driving prole perishing when she
hits me, but as far as I can tell it doesn't take into account the lowered
chances of my demise or injury in that accident.  Introducing fleets of tiny
cars might actually be overall a health and safety benefit.

To take Jeff's point a little ways, it would be easy to go part way with his
idea of an robo-chauffer: install autobraking to greatly reduce the
incidence and severity of rear end collisions.  We already have
brake-by-wire and throttle-by wire, and we already have distance and speed
detectors (there are two in the back bumper of Mister Lincoln to tell me if
I am backing toward some solid object).  It would be fairly simple to rig up
an autobrake, in fact it has already been done, and it works.  Problem: if
people start to rely on autobrake as I currently rely on aft warning (by
backing up without even looking in my mirrors) then someone hits ice and
slays someone, who is responsible?  The manufacturer?  The prole who insists
this system always worked before?


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