By on May 30, 2012

 

Most dangerous: Dodge Ram 1500

By now, you probably have heard (enough) of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) top safety picks. The IIHS provides an Academy Award worthy number of different categories, which assure that anybody can be a winner. But what are America’s most unsafe cars? This remained a secret until 24/7 Wall Street started digging.

Second most dangerous: Chevrolet Colorado Crew Cab

They took the seven current-generation models that received a “marginal” or “poor” rating in two of the four categories. Then, 24/7 Wall St. combined the data  with records from Consumer Reports, NHTSA crash safety ratings, and JD Power’s  Initial Quality Study, to arrive on a list of “The Most Dangerous Cars in America.”

Third most dangerous: Mazda CX 7

In analyzing the data, it appears that the thumbs downs are pretty much consistent. Models that rated badly in the IIHS rankings usually received similarly poor reviews elsewhere.

Rank  Nameplate  Make  Bad ratings  2011 sales  Price  JDP IQS
1 Ram 1500  Dodge side-marginal; rollover-marginal 156,983 $22,120  2/5
2 Colorado Crew Cab Chevrolet side-poor; rollover-marginal; rear-marginal 31,026 $17,475  3/5
3 CX-7 Mazda rollover-marginal; rear-marginal 35,641 $22,190  4/5
4 CX-9 Mazda rollover-marginal; rear-marginal 34,421 $29,725  4/5
5 Pathfinder Nissan rollover-marginal; rear-marginal 25,935 $29,290  3/5
6 Wrangler Jeep side-marginal (2-door); side-poor (4-door); rear-marginal (both) 122,460 $22,970  3/5
7 SX4 Suzuki rollover-marginal; rear-marginal 12,520 $13,849  2/5

Customers appear blasé about the shoddy safety of these cars. Says 24/7 Wall Street:

“The poor ratings of these models do not appear to have affected their sales. In fact, sales of all models are up from last year. In all but one case, according to data provided by Edmunds.com, sales grew at least 19% last year. And while most of these models’ sales are still below 2007 levels, sales the Jeep Wrangler not only increased the most but also jumped 50% since then.”

Now wait: Aren’t these big trucks supposed to be the epitomes of safety, whereas compacts get “I won’t put my kids in those” comments?

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130 Comments on “This Is America’s Most Dangerous Car. Wait, There Are More...”


  • avatar
    Robstar

    My wife wanted a 7-passenger vehicle to take her visiting family around (3 of us, 3 of them) and we had to decide between the 2011 sorrento (newly redesigned) vs the cx-9. In the end, price won out as the Sorrento was much cheaper (and apparently much safer).

  • avatar
    gslippy

    It should be noted that these ratings bear no statistical relationship to actual passenger-mile injuries or deaths. SX4 drivers aren’t showing off their Boss 302 performance to their friends.

    • 0 avatar
      MarkP

      It would be interesting to see the statistics on passenger injury/death per mile, adjusted for age (since younger drivers tend to be overrepresented in injury/death, and may tend to drive certain types of vehicles). Are such statistics available?

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      gslippy, how do you know that these don’t bear a statistical relationship to actual results? I can’t find any NHTSA model-specific numbers published since GM started to stand for Government Motors. I guess having 4 of the 10 deadliest models in 2008 wasn’t a marketing feature. http://www.statisticbrain.com/driver-fatality-stats-by-auto-make/

      • 0 avatar
        gslippy

        Their statement says this:

        “To determine crashworthiness — how well a vehicle protects its occupants in a crash — the Institute rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests, a rollover test, plus evaluations of seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.”

        So these ratings are based solely on IIHS tests and ‘evaluations’, not police reports or even insurance claims, which is rather ironic since “Insurance” is their first name.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Yes. The list doesn’t show correlation, but that doesn’t mean that there is no correlation. The Colorado, for example, has been unchanged for years and was one of the vehicles that produced the most dead occupants last time NHTSA published the numbers.

      • 0 avatar
        ithiel

        I think the assumption from the report is that laboratory crash testing is related to real-world crash, morbidity, and mortality rates. This is what is referred to as “construct validity,” that crash testing is predictive of real-world results (the construct).

        While I would suspect that crash testing is statistically related to real-world resuts, there are many other variables at play, such as driver demographics, as gslippy mentioned. Is a Boss 302 or similar performance vehicle inherently “more safe” on the road simply because of better crash test data? It would be nice if whether a vehicle is “unsafe” were determined by some formula comprising crash test data; real-world crash, morbidity, and mortality rates; and perhaps driver demographics.

    • 0 avatar
      Darth Lefty

      Statistical rates should show up in insurance rates.

    • 0 avatar

      They are inexpensive and ubiquitous. The more of them on the road, the more likely they will be in accidents. It is the law of averages at work.

      I’m surprised the F-150 isn’t on here.

      • 0 avatar
        Hank

        If F-150s are running into Dodge Rams, it’s going to make them look better in the stats. ;-)

      • 0 avatar

        F-150 offers a strong cab structure, that’s why. It’s basically a passenger truck. Just look at its fuel mileage figures: it’s better than many family sedans. Ford figured it out long ago. That’s why F-150 has all those ridiculous light-allow components in its construction.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        That is why some hybrids show up in high frequency of involvement lists…they tend to be driven substantially more miles a year than average. And that exposure seems to be more than enough to offset any idea that hybrid drivers are all hyper milers…

  • avatar
    ajla

    I expected the extended Econoline to be on this list, but it looks like the IIHS doesn’t test the big Ford van.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    “ow wait: Aren’t these big trucks supposed to be the epitomes of safety, whereas compacts get “I won’t put my kids in those” comments?”

    The real advantage to some of these, as for example, the Ram, is to ensure you do more damage to the other vehicle, regardless of what happens to you. Eventually, they roll down to teen ownership and then the real fun begins.

    • 0 avatar
      Hank

      An all too common, too short-sighted, and I-don’t-give-a-darn-how-I-affect-the-lives-in-the-other-car approach, but it is out there, a lot. In which case, the problem isn’t really the truck as much as it is the driver. And you’re right, the problem is only magnified when a texting teen or a slap-hazardly maintaining 2nd/3rd owner comes along. I recall Ed Wallace expressing the same concerns on his show back in the big SUV boom of the early 00′s, talking about how scary it would be…about now…when 3rd owners started buying Suburbans and Escalades with 200,000 miles and bad shocks and fading brakes and mismatched tires, and… you get the picture. Living in DFW, he’s probably quite right to be concerned.

  • avatar
    raph

    How dangerous are these vehicles really? I think I’d rather be in anyone of them than say my old 91 LX 5.0 which probably handled side impacts worse than the current jeep.

    Time and technology march on and the bar gets reset often, I suppose in 20 years I’ll be saying the same thing about my 09 Mustang – ” Sonny, be careful, that S-197 was a deathtrap, I once new a guy that only got t-boned at the A-pillar by a car doing 55-60 MPH and didn’t hit the brakes. Had the driver been doing 75 he would have been dead”

    True story about the Mustang, except that guy was a member on my regular Mustang forum. The car was t-boned at the A pillar, it bent the dash and I think deployed the airbags but both walked away with no injuries or trauma.

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    I am starting to feel a strange compulsion to live dangerously.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    We need to get out of the mindset of having a “safe car” and becoming better, safer drivers as a whole. Accidents do happen and I’m not saying that we don’t need safety standards and vehicles to be judged by them.

    But, Defensive driving is a much better alternative to mega-reinforced, heavy cars. But most people here already know that…

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Except when your about to get rear ended in traffic and there is no place to go. For the most part better drivers are the key.

      Surprised the Highlander (or Pilot?) was not on there putting their passengers against the back door?

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        You’ve managed to come up with two vehicles that both made it onto the list of the vehicles with the least fatalities; the Highlander at #7 and the Pilot at #14. http://www.statisticbrain.com/driver-fatality-stats-by-auto-make/

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      “We need to get out of the mindset of having a “safe car” and becoming better, safer drivers as a whole.”

      Long story short, it can’t be done in any way that would be acceptable to voters.

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        Defensive driving isn’t necessarily taking courses. It’s about being in-tune (situational awareness) with your surroundings, anticipating what the other driver MAY do and being prepared for it. It’s about looking more than the car length in front of you. In general, just paying attention while behind the wheel.

        That’s what I meant by “most of us here already know that”. I’d like to think your average TTAC reader is a bit more in touch with what it takes to safely drive an automobile, unlike the vast majority of the driving public who view their cars as appliances and driving as a chore.

        Combining the modern safety of todays cars with a better informed driving public would help us reduce the amount of accidents even further. How to do it is another question.

      • 0 avatar
        azmtbkr81

        @gearhead77

        A mandatory year of hard labor for texting while driving might be a good start.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      “But, Defensive driving is a much better alternative to mega-reinforced, heavy cars. But most people here already know that…”

      Actually, it’s not. Defensive driving (in the sense of taking courses) doesn’t do much at all. Not taking stupid risks helps, but taking courses doesn’t mitigate risky behaviour.

      What seems to be helping, if we look at actual statistics, is improved active- and passive-safety technology.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “Defensive driving is a much better alternative to mega-reinforced, heavy cars.”

      That is one of those statements that sounds very appealing, but that means absolutely nothing.

      Passive safety, including better crash design, saves lives. Meanwhile, driver education doesn’t produce benefits, and I’m pretty sure that no one has invented a pill that will cause everyone to drive defensively.

      Claiming that passive safety isn’t important is akin to arguing that we should tackle the car theft problem by teaching people that it isn’t nice to steal cars. While it is true that there would be a lower crime rate if people didn’t steal, that doesn’t provide a rational argument for removing all of the locks.

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        I wasn’t saying passive safety (and active safety) isn’t necessary and that it hasn’t worked, because they have. My point is we put too much emphasis on safe cars and not being safer drivers.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “My point is we put too much emphasis on safe cars and not being safer drivers.”

        Again, this doesn’t mean anything. There is no magic class, pill, high priestess of driving or medical procedure that can cause people to drive defensively.

        There are two reasons why there is so much emphasis on passive safety: (1) it works and (2) it can succeed without any sort of unrealistic change in human behavior. It makes more sense to focus on programs that do work than on others that don’t.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        @pch101: “Passive safety, including better crash design, saves lives. Meanwhile, driver education doesn’t produce benefits”

        I agree that passive safety saves lives, but are you sure about driver education?

        Driver education for the public in the USA is a joke, so I buy that adding slightly to the joke of our driver’s education system wouldn’t do much. But does “driver education doesn’t produce benefits” still hold if you compare our driver’s education system to a more rigorous one like, say, the one in Germany?

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @PCH101

        Still hanging on to that flawed study? The study even admits it’s flawed. To recap, it compares driving records of young drivers that completed the classes to those that didn’t, however, it doesn’t take into account that while those drivers that skipped the classes were better drivers, they didn’t actually start driving until they were much older. Remember now?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “Still hanging on to that flawed study”

        You are in way over your head. Quit while you’re behind.

        (Hint: That you would believe that there is only one study on this subject illustrates how painfully ignorant you are of the topic. There is quite a bit of research on the subject that contradicts your beliefs, but it’s clear that you wouldn’t understand it if you did read it.)

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “I agree that passive safety saves lives, but are you sure about driver education?”

        I’ve posted several studies here that are representative of the research on this topic. They tend to debunk the value of driver education, which really ruffles the feathers of certain people who post here.

        If there is any hope for driver’s education, it may lie in awareness training courses that emphasize anticipation. On the other hand, skidpad and track training can backfire, and you won’t find much support for the position that stricter licensing doesn’t correlate with lower crash rates.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @PCH101
         
        “…you would believe that there is only one study on this subject…”

        You’re obviously backing away from your own link that you reluctantly provided. If there were really “…quite a bit of research that contradicts your beliefs…” why did you provide the ‘weakest link’?

        You’re obviously not reading or understanding your own links.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “You’ve obviously backing away from your own link…”

        Your lack of reading comprehension is astounding.

        You obviously have no clue what that particular study said. Given your utter failure, providing you with more stuff that you can’t read would be a waste of time.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @PCH101

        Again, more ‘hot air’ from you, but where are all these studies you speak of? If they existed, you would’ve already provided them.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Trying to discuss things with the poorly educated is difficult, to say the least.

        I’ve posted many studies on this subject. I posted at least one specifically for your benefit, but sadly, it was obvious from your responses that you were incapable of reading it.

        Your responses to that study made it clear that your reading skills are quite poor. Improving them is well beyond the scope of this forum. Your defensiveness only confirms it.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @PCH101

        You’ve provided exactly one link on the subject and it itself admitted that it was flawed. Had you read it all they way through, you would’ve caught that and just kept doing what you always do. Like you’re doing now.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        In the argument of education/training & safety effects, consider the case of motorcycles. Compare accident & death rates for those who’ve completed that training compared to those who have not.

        Also, compare young (inexperienced) drivers to those with more experience. Experience is a form of on-the-job training.

        Education/training is a form of administrative control, meaning its success depends on people ‘following the rules.’ When they do, the controls work. When they don’t, they don’t. Administrative controls are less effective than engineering controls (divided highways, automatic braking), but they are still necessary and beneficial. Also, administrative controls are preferred to PPE (e.g., air bags, seat belts, crumple zones) because PPE only is effective after an incident occurs.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “In the argument of education/training & safety effects, consider the case of motorcycles.”

        There is already an abundance of research on this topic vis-a-vis cars. There is no need to bring motorcycles, airplanes, skateboards, submarines or the Space Shuttle into it, when the research on cars already provides a wealth of data that details the failures of driver education.

        “Education/training is a form of administrative control, meaning its success depends on people ‘following the rules.”

        That would be nice except that it doesn’t achieve that. Drivers tend to do what they want to do, ignore those things that tell them to avoid doing what they want to do, and then blame everyone and everything else except for themselves when things go wrong.

        These sorts of threads illustrate the problem. I have posted many studies on the subject, in an effort to educate the reader. Most readers will react negatively to such information, including some with hostility.

        The data on this is abundant, but people don’t want to learn from it. They don’t like information that contradicts their gut feelings. They resist information that suggests that their intuition is wrong.

        That is the very same problem with which driver education has to grapple. People don’t want to change their behavior if it suits them, even if it would benefit them to do so. They can’t be taught, because they don’t want to be taught. And committing substantial resources to people who won’t change is a waste of time and money.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        Pch101, do you realize your posts seem to devolve into senseless & angry rants? You attack like there is a monster behind every lamppost.

        You said: “There is already an abundance of research on this topic vis-a-vis cars. There is no need to bring motorcycles, airplanes, skateboards, submarines or the Space Shuttle into it, when the research on cars already provides a wealth of data that details the failures of driver education.”
        - This is how that reads: “I’ve already got enough information and thus will reject any new information, especially anything that would disagree with my already-established world view. There is no need for critical review of my information, even if it might be flawed, because the science is now closed.”
        Do you see the irony of badmouthing others who don’t want to read and consider your data and possibly change their opinions while at the same not wanting to read and consider other people’s data and thus possibly change your opinion? It certainly becomes hard to take you seriously. Since you do not want to consider new data, I’ll just treat your views as being based on an incomplete sample. I will continue to let my opinions be formed by all the information I come across.

        You said: “That would be nice except that it doesn’t achieve that. Drivers tend to do what they want to do, ignore those things that tell them to avoid doing what they want to do, and then blame everyone and everything else except for themselves when things go wrong.”
        - ??? My statement contained two points: education/training are administrative controls and administrative controls are only effective if people follow them. Are you claiming that education/training isn’t an administrative control? Or are you claiming that administrative controls aren’t dependent on people following them? I didn’t claim any achievements, so when you say “achieve that,” you must be talking about something else.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “not wanting to read and consider other people’s data and thus possibly change your opinion?”

        You didn’t provide any data. Feel free to get some.

        “Are you claiming that education/training isn’t an administrative control? Or are you claiming that administrative controls aren’t dependent on people following them?”

        Neither. I think that my response made it abundantly clear that there is a third alternative: education isn’t an effective control mechanism.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Problem is, defensive driving helps me not hit you.

      It doesn’t keep you (the notional you, not literally you) from slamming into me at a stop or doing something outrageously stupid, like running that stop sign and T-boning me.

      Passive safety systems are what keep me from dying when you do that.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        While there are some cases where you’re correct, the instance you point to are cases where defensive driving helps quite a bit.

        You need to make an effort to see and predict what’s happening around you, including at the margins — and, if you can’t see enough to make sure you’re safe, then slow the f$*# down.

        The best defensive driving training I’ve ever seen was provided by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation when I was getting my motorcycle license.

    • 0 avatar
      KalapanaBlack

      I find it odd that, according to the link provided above, the single model with the lowest death rate is the Chevy Astro, which (if you’ve seen the infamoust IIHS crash test) is probably the least crash-worthy vehicle the be manufactured in the last 20 years.

      But how many Astro drivers are street racing?

      Safety seems to be, by the numbers, more about demographics and less about the vehicle itself.

    • 0 avatar
      JK43123

      Absolutely. Vchicle and highway safety are great, but I think it’s time to focus more on driver safety. Stricter penalties, tighter licensing, perhaps taking a test when you renew your license instead of just take a picture and pay 20 bucks.

      John

    • 0 avatar
      White Shadow

      I agree that defensive driving is the best “defense” when it comes to accidents. The idea is to avoid the accident in the first place. And to take it a step further than that, a car that has excellent handling & braking is a car that has the sharp reflexes required to give the driver his best chance of avoiding an accident. Think about that….we might be inherently safer behind the wheel of a full-size SUV if we’re in a collision, but I think we’d have a much greater chance of avoiding that collision if we were behind the wheel of a sporty car, simply because the sporty car is likely to have significantly shorter stopping distances and much greater handling potential. I’ve had some close calls in the past that probably would have ended up collisions if I had been driving my 4Runner instead of my M3.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    It is not the car, it is the drivers. Ram 1500s are driven by 20 something single males. If you look at the accident rates for trucks and compare them with those of vans built on the same chassis, you will find the pick-ups are in more accidents than the vans. Pickups are driven by young males, vans are the favorites of old cripples.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      I’d love to see ratings of cars based on the damage they do to other cars/property. A safe car for you but a death trap to another isn’t exactly ‘safe.’

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      The ratings in this story have nothing to do with the drivers and everything to do with the design of the vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      200k-min

      I believe the IIHS and Government crash ratings do not look at accident statistics at all. They just crash new cars into each other and fixed objects. Their ratings are 100% based on the safety of the vehicle, not the driver or statistics.

      Back in the 1990′s I recall hearing about how a lot of the popular SUV’s of the day were quite unsafe. I believe the Ford Windstar was a top safety pick at time, or at least Ford was selling based on it. Truth be told, mass does not always win, but technology will. Didn’t the IIHS smash a Malibu into a 50′s Bel Air and the Malibu was hands down safer? Big trucks/SUV’s are not safer, period, end of sentence. This is not elitism, “Euro trash opinion” or anything else, it’s fact.

      Now even if you are driving in a death trap like a 350Z or Corvette with high fatality rates you can still drive defensively and be just fine. People die in accidents because of aggressive driving and carelessness, inexperience, etc. I would pay attention to safety ratings, but it’s not the only thing that will affect my purchasing decisions.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        One of the reasons that technology wins is computational simulation and modeling. You can model thousands of crashes and with many more issues, before building the first expensive prototype chassis for the real crash tests.

        So, you can build a car that’s safer to crash that’s also lighter, and cheaper than anything you could build in the 1960s, just by being smarter.

        That’s not to say that the modern vehicle won’t be more easily totaled in a crash. But, as the moral dilemmas that come up in engineering go, this one is easy. Making a car disposable so that its occupants may live is a moral necessity, now that we have the tools to do so. They sure don’t build ‘em like they used to, and that’s a good thing!

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        Another difference to note is that tests only measure what they test. Again, back in the ’90s they weren’t giving rollover ratings because they didn’t consider that as a failure mode until there was a rash of those accidents.

        So, using only test results may have not found any problem with the Explorer, but real world data proved otherwise.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      That could be true. But that doesn’t explain the CX7 and CX9 on the same list.

  • avatar

    Cars have just gotten too “safe”. I put that in quotes because all the mass and vision blocking high beltline required for better 1 in a million crash protection reduce your ability to see an accident about to happen and avoid it. How “safe” will cars get by regulation? Wouldn’t the easier solution just be to legislate us onto the us or train? or legislate their maximum performance? or legislate them in autonomy via the Google system?

    You may think I sound like a tin foil hat/tea party/Ron Paul kind of guy, but you’d be wrong. I ride a motorcycle, and if you have been out there on a bike you begin to wonder just how much longer such an “unsafe” form of transportation can continue to exist.

    • 0 avatar
      Charliej

      Most car and truck drivers think that riding a bike is sure death. Look at most motorcyclists, they are quite grey. I rode for fifty two years and had no serious injuries. I don’t ride now, because I am getting over an illness that makes it inadvisable to ride, vertigo. If I regain my usual balance, I will be riding again.

      Here, in Mexico, motorcyclists are everywhere and every age. Most bikes are small, less than two hundred cc. I see young people, old people, Americanos and Mexicanos on bikes. I have seen no bike wrecks in the few months that I have been living here. Most often, I see gringos running into the back of stopped vehicles. Given the low speed of traffic here, injuries are rare. On the back streets of town, the speed limit is twenty kilometers. On the main road through town, the limit is forty kilometers, twenty four mph. Almost anything is safe at that speed. By the way, forty kilometers seems fast when you are on a narrow two lane road with cars and truck parked on both sides.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      There is no need to put it in quotes. Cars have gotten safer, AND there are fewer and fewer accidents per mile in a steady trend. Guess what- government regulations have done their job, and saved a lot of lives here.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        You are absolutely correct. Before the requirements, “Safety doesn’t sell” was the mantra. Now, with safe designs commonplace, buyers usually expect it. Kind of like those “A” ratings for eateries in NYC. Originally fought tooth and nail, the “A” from the health department is now expected, and a marketing tool. Safety is like that now. But one has to keep in mind that crash tests analyze design; real world crash data analyzes how that design interacts with driver behavior. And behavior can offset much of that designed-in safety. That’s why some vehicles that might test poorly will often look good with real world data…

  • avatar
    redav

    I’m not suprised by the Wrangler. But I am about the Ram. I guess I fell for the big, heavy truck stigma–which probably overrides the ratings in everyone else’s eyes as well.

    I guess it’s a good thing that the CX-7 is being discontinued, and the CX-9 is getting overhauled (my guess is it get the same treatment as the new CX-5).

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      I would still want to be in a full size pickup, doesn’t matter which one, if I was going to be in another huge wreck. Yeah, the Ram is “marginal” on rollover and supposedly on side impacts too, but if you are going to hit some pinhead who turns in front of you, like I did in 2003, a pickup is a “nice” vehicle to do it in. I hit and totaled two cars, a Camaro, the car that caused the wreck, and a Cavalier whose driver was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I took the whole front of the Camaro off, and then was deflected into the Cavalier, which was launched like a billiard ball hit by a cue ball (my truck). The “cue ball” stopped so fast after hitting the Cav that I had a huge seat belt bruise and later it was discovered I had cracked my sternum (It healed with a lump in it). I walked away from it, sore as hell the next morning, but I walked away. By pure chance, nobody in the cars was hurt, even though the driver of the Cav had to be cut out of her car.

      I have seen many wrecks involving pickup trucks, and in almost every single one of them, the pickups “won”. Rollovers are rare enough that I don’t even consider them a real factor in choosing a vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Had you been in a car, you likely would have escaped the cracked sternum and been a lot less sore the next morning. Better crumple zone design and lack of that nice rigid frame that causes that much more energy to be absorbed by YOU. As has previously been said, you want the car to give its life for yours.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    When trucks started to ratchet up in price in the late 1970′s, I believe it was simply due to their popularity. The OEMs could raise prices and make more profit per vehicle because the safety standards were lax compared to passenger cars. For example, my 1976 Chevy 3/4 ton pickup had no side impact bar in the door. It was hollow and flimsy as could be. That was an “AHA!” moment for me. I don’t recall if my 1980 Dodge Ram had impact bars in the door or not. Old-school bumpers, too.

    I still believe it to be true today that safety regs are different for trucks vs. cars.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    …Now wait: Aren’t these big trucks supposed to be the epitomes of safety, whereas compacts get “I won’t put my kids in those” comments…

    I would have expected more from TTAC (although if I try to read between the lines I think this was an attempt at satire – I hope it was!)

    As Scottie said over and over again, “you cannot change the law of physics.”

    Here is a top rated Toyota Camry versus a top rated Toyota Yaris. What a shock, mass wins (crash done by the IIHS).

    Here is the top rated Accord vs the top rated Fit:

    Finally, here is a top rated smartfortwo versus a Mercedes E300:

    Physics wins – almost every time. The scariest one is the Camry vs. Yaris – if you watch the video you can see as the Camry slices right through the Yaris, the dummy’s head is hit by the hood of the Camry.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      “As Scottie said over and over again, “you cannot change the law of physics.””

      True – but the two biggest killers IIRC are single vehicle rollovers and single vehicle impacts into fixed objects. In both cases trucks do less well than sedans.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I’m pretty sure that one of the largest causes of highway deaths is collisions between tractor-trailers and passenger vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        carlisimo

        Yeah, that’s still the case. Stability control will reduce rollovers, but not completely – ‘tripping’ rollovers will still happen, and pickups will never be able to handle as well as other vehicles.

        If you look at small car driver death stats, they all do poorly in multi-vehicle accidents, but some of them do so well in single vehicle accidents that their total death rates are lower than those of larger vehicles. Toyotas of all sizes seem to do really well in those surveys, and most of the premium brands too.

    • 0 avatar
      Botswana

      I think your links got nixed but I hear what your saying.

      There is something to be said for mass.

      Compact cars are MUCH safer then they used to be. But a Yaris vs. the “unsafe” Ram is going to lose in a contest between the two, and I still expect the Ram to survive crashes a Yaris would not. In fact, show most people the safety ratings and then ask them which vehicle they’d rather be in during a crash. I think most people will still pick the Ram even though the Yaris itself is not in the list in the original article.

      That said, I don’t obsess over safety ratings. Most cars come standard with safety equipment that simply didn’t exist or was barely thought of when I started driving. If safety is your top concern you probably aren’t in the market for a Ram. More then likely you’ll be looking at a full-size car or SUV for your family.

      People who buy trucks for work or because they are wannabe countryboys aren’t obsessed with safety ratings. They tend to be more worried about towing capacity.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Ya, they got snipped.

        Do a search on YouTube for

        Camry vs Yaris

        Accord vs Fit

        smartfortwo vs C300

      • 0 avatar
        nrd515

        If my friend would do what he says, I could post pics of a new Ram versus his daughter’s new Honda Fit. The most amazing thing about it is she actually survived it, and without any serious physical injury. She got a little scaled by coolant from the Ram, which was TOUCHING HER RIGHT SHOULDER, and mostly just had the crap scared out of her. This was another case of someone talking while driving.

    • 0 avatar
      Charliej

      You can be killed in any vehicle. I personally prefer a smaller vehicle just for driving pleasure. I pay attention when I am driving. I learned that lesson at an early age. In the forty seven years since, I have been in no accidents in a car. I have had close calls, but no more wrecks. When I was working, I drove an average of fifty thousand miles a year, in a Sprinter for the last few years. Before that, I drove Ford vans. Paying attention is what counts. Your luck may still run out, I have seen cars and trucks just crushed in collisions with semis and dump trucks. Size only helps some times. I have posted on here before about a local crash involving an Accord and an F150, two people in each, head on collision, all dead. Pay attention, live longer.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      @APaGttH: “As Scottie said over and over again, ‘you cannot change the law of physics.’”

      You would be correct, if car crashes were inelastic collisions where the cars bounced off each other without damage. But that’s not what happens.

      The law of physics that you’re forgetting is that car bodies deform during the impact. The car body that absorbs the full impact over the longest amount of time will provides the gentlest impact, by spreading the deceleration out over the most time for the occupants.

      So, when you watch a crash video, the safest car will be the one where the hood/trunk gets bashed up THE MOST while maintaining the shape of the passenger compartment. The car is disposable, the passengers are not, and the car’s structures should behave accordingly in a crash.

      At this point in history, good crash engineering is hard, and requires supercomputers and really smart really specialized people. We don’t have a perfect formula yet, where the longer hood wins — the details are far more subtle than that. From all of my observations, quality of the team doing the crash engineering appears to be more important than size.

      So, which cars get the best crash engineering? High-volume cars are likely to have higher development budgets. While there are probably some exceptions, cars designed for huge production runs are likely to get the best crash engineering, since they’ll get the best engineering overall.

      Can anyone substantiate or refute this hypothesis? I’m making guesses based on seeing how some of the engineering and business sausage is made, and being familiar with some of the tools.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Watch the videos – the Yaris does a great job of deforming to protect the passengers. The problem starts when the Camry’s hood enters into the passenger cabin just below the a-pillar, slicing through the door and the crash test dummy smashing its head on the hood.

        The Yaris deformed beautifully.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Highish volume EXPENSIVE cars are the safest – the most margin to spend on the latest safety toys, and on the materials and design. A 3-series is a MUCH better car to crash than a Fusion, for instance. And best of all is an S-class or a 7-series – even more toys, a bit more mass, an even bigger budget. All the latest and greatest in case you get in an argument with a bridge abutment.

        I think the Germans in particular are VERY good at crash design because they have a wonderful real world high-speed crash lab right outside thier door. In the rest of the world a 150mph single vehicle crash is mostly a thought-excercise, in Germany it is a daily event.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        ……Highish volume EXPENSIVE cars are the safest – the most margin to spend on the latest safety toys, and on the materials and design. A 3-series is a MUCH better car to crash than a Fusion…..

        Makes sense because expensive vehicles have the latest in crash worthy equipment, design, and materials. But more of a factor than just mindless mass is that those expensive cars are not in the hands of young male drivers ripping up the road at 2 am with a few drinks in them. I also did a quick look at crash test results for 3 series vs the Fusion. Better? Yes. “Much” better? Quite an exaggeration.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      That may be true, but why do I feel like so many of the people who feel the need to drive a large vehicle because it’s “safe” are barely capable of handling a Smart?

  • avatar
    jaje

    Small cars are often in more danger in actual car to car collisions however SUVs and Pickups are in more danger at highway speeds due to rollover risk (high center of gravity) – especially those with very narrow / short wheelbase (think Ford Explorer Sport 2 door model that was very tippy even at speeds as low as 45 mph). In the end it is a trade off of mass and sitting high versus low slung and stable. Large low sedans seem to be the best compromise of room and high speed stability. Minivans should be next as they still have lower center of gravity then SUVs / Pickups but have the capacity of a large SUV.

    • 0 avatar
      fincar1

      Have you ever seen a rollover competition at a demolition derby? No one uses pickups…everybody uses the smallest short-wheelbase subcompacts they can find. They seem to be the easiest to roll on purpose. I’m not sure how this relates to everyday driving.

      • 0 avatar
        jaje

        I would think it’s because a 2,000 crappy old subcompact is cheaper to buy and put in a faux rollcage than a full size SUV or pickup – the small car doesn’t need as thick or as much metal to make a safe enough rollcage for the rollover.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        “Have you ever seen a rollover competition at a demolition derby? No one uses pickups…everybody uses the smallest short-wheelbase subcompacts they can find. They seem to be the easiest to roll on purpose. I’m not sure how this relates to everyday driving.”

        One day in the late 1990s, I took a road trip during an ice storm. It was idiotic, but I was 18 and I made it without problems.

        I lost count after seeing 50 cars in the ditch. The SUVs were all upside down or on their side. The cars were generally just facing the wrong way. That’s how this applies to everyday driving.

        For the rollover competition, my guess is that the SUV would tip over on to its side or roof more easily, but maybe the small car (that’s roughly as tall as it is wide) may be more able to roll multiple times once you get it going?

        Donno. There’s a lot of both simple and advanced physics going on when you roll over a vehicle, while constantly changing its shape. The freshmen physics dynamics models with the center of mass, a shape, and a few moment-arms only go so far. In my father’s and grandfather’s day, that was the real physics — but, because of computational modeling and simulation, it’s considered a back-of-the-napkin calculation these days, so I can’t say for sure.

  • avatar
    nikita

    What does the JDP IQS say about safety?

  • avatar
    Slab

    Every car is as safe as the operator. I’m a relatively safe driver. My last accident was in 1986, and my last ticket about 1990. But I rented a Grand Cherokee a few months ago and I was instantly turned into the most dangerous driver in town. I drive a SUV, so I’m used to compensating for poor rearward visibility. But the Grand Cherokee took it to a whole other level. The view out the back was near zero, especially at night. And the mirrors were not much help. I crossed my fingers every time I put the danged thing in reverse.

  • avatar
    multicam

    I watched a 2006-ish FX-35 get t-boned by a Trailblazer after running straight thru a stop sign. The Chevy was going maybe 20mph, the Infiniti maybe 30. The Infiniti, hit on the passenger side, skid at a 45 degree angle from its original trajectory, the tail started slipping out, and after maybe 15 feet it rolled onto its roof in someone’s yard (who was outside to see it, incidentally) facing almost exactly the opposite direction,having made about a 165 degree spin. Luckily no one was hurt. It just seemed to me that a sedan wouldn’t have flipped in that situation. I was quite surprised that the Infiniti flipped, having had the impression that it’s a low and wide vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      It’s low and wide, but it started to go sideways. Once you do that, you’re at risk of going shiny-side down if the tires on the leading edge of the sideways skid suddenly bite. Or if you hit the curb sideways.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Yup, and it doesn’t matter if its a sedan or a SUV or a truck or a minivan – however the higher the center of gravity the better chance of going greasy side up. But with that said, catch a curb or transition from tarmac to soft soil while going sideways it doesn’t matter if you’re driving a lowered Z06 Corvette, you’re probably going to see the world upside down, or at least from a 90 degree angle.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Same thing I saw a few years ago. A fight between two SUVs. One ended belly-up as well. Both lost.

      B-O-F isn’t everything, is it?

      I don’t like SUVs because some who drive them, like pickup trucks, think they’re kings (or queens) of the road.

  • avatar
    challenger2012

    It would be interesting to know the gender and age of the people involved with the accidents. I would wager that young males disproportionally represent the accidents with the pick-up trucks. We all know the type, the he-man/cowboy who purchases a truck as a statement of his masculinity and drives accordingly. I was in Des Moines, Iowa in an ice/snow storm driving on the interstate. The vast majority of the vehicles upside down in the ditches were Jeeps, 4×4 trucks, pick-up trucks etc. I would estimate that for every car off the road, there were at least 4 Jeep/truck like vehicles upside down or on their sides.

    What bothers me more about this article is the Euro-trash condescending view. It seems BS needs to write with an ax to grind when it comes to the USA, past articles bear this out.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      This been mentioned by other commenters, but I’ll say it slower so everyone gets it.
      This post is about crash and roll over testing by the IIHS. It has nothing to do with demographics, or how many of these vehicles are on the road.

      • 0 avatar
        challenger2012

        Mr. srogers Your are correct. My coffee did not take affect. If I could delete my writing, I would. At least you know I will admit a mistake. Thanks

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I call it AWD syndrome – commonly seen with Subaru drivers here in Maine. When it is slippery and you put your foot down in an AWD car, it accelerates just fine. But that just means you are going faster when you lose it.

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    The IIHS also has loss data in several categories at

    http://www.iihs.org/research/hldi/composite_intro.html

    I’ve used this as part of figuring out what vehicles to avoid, if only for the insurance costs. I guess these weren’t used because they track historical data and don’t remove the nut behind the wheel from the safety rating.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheatridger

      For 2002, the lowest automobile personal injury claims came from owners of the Audi Allroad, which is why I bought one for the novice driver in my family. I credit its strength (the body has 900 extra welds for offroad use, I’ve read) and its handling. But the safest car on that list was the Thunderbird convertible. For a quite different reason, I’d wager. Most of them are driven by 70-somethings in Florida, slowly, with the turn signals on.

  • avatar

    I knew about the poor safety ratings of Wrangler when I bought one. Unlike what the article says, IIHS rear impact rating was good, not marginal. Side impact was marginal for my 2D. It is unpleasant, but I suppose this is what you get for buying a vehicle with easily removable doors (currently I use stock full size doors, however). My hope is being t-boned by a Yaris. Also, I strive to mitigate the issue by keeping a sharp lookout at intersections.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    Maybe justice is at work here. These clumsy, driver-isolating machines with three tons of throw weight are certainly more dangerous for the rest of us who drive around them. I’m pleased to hear that their owners are sharing in the risks they create.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Ya, because the Colorado, CX-7, Wrangler and SX-4 are known for weighing 6,000 pounds, getting 8 MPG to the gallon and having school crossing guards stuck to their grilles.

      Funny, don’t see the F-150, Silverado, Sierra, Tahoe, Land Cruiser, Suburban, Escalade, Armada…

      • 0 avatar
        carlisimo

        The F-150 crew cab was pretty terrible around 10 years ago. Ford learned its lesson after those disastrous crash tests… even Miatas did better in frontal crash tests.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        @carlisimo

        My comment about that list of vehicles (and I left off the Titan and Tundra) was in response to the breathless hyperbole from Wheatridger about three tons of throw weight being on the list. The only one that comes close is the Dodge Ram – no one is going to call the Wrangler, CX-7 or SX-4 porky, that’s for sure!

        Most modern pickup trucks and large SUVs are quite safe and do very well in crash tests – you are correct, a decade plus ago the F-150 was only marginally better than a Generation 1.5 GM U-Body minivan.

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    The government should be testing and mandating that vehicles don’t cause excessive danger to *others* on the road. A full frontal crash test should be concerned with the damage done to the target, not the crashing vehicle. The government’s current system has set up an arms race of ever taller and heavier vehicles while the CAFE regulations push for ever smaller and lighter vehicles (or vehicles designed to sidestep the standards using loopholes).

    Much more often than not, the the people killed in rollovers are the people in the vehicle that is rolling over. While it’s great that tests can report the likelihood of a rollover so that people can make a decision about the danger they wish to place themselves in, people should be allowed to choose such a vehicle if they want.

    • 0 avatar
      Botswana

      That sounds like a horrible idea. Everytime the government gets involved they want to add a bunch of new requirements that adds more cost that in turn gets passed on to the consumer.

      No thanks, cars already cost too much as it is.

      I’m still not entirely convinced that airbags save all that many lives and the amount of extra risk they impose on a good portion of the population possibly offsets their inclusion. I’m perfectly happy just wearing my seatbelt. Yet without much data at the time, airbags became mandatory equipment because someone was convinced they were a good idea.

      Or the airbag manufacturers had a good lobbyist if you’re cynical.

      Besides which, if we were going to penalize vehicles for how much damage they do to others we might as well shut down the trucking industry, which would cripple a lot of industries across the US. They undoubtedly do the most damage in a crash and yet we continue to let tractor trailers share the road.

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        Tractor trailers are heavy and tall in order to accomplish a useful task that benefits everybody – efficiently transporting large quantities of stuff from one place to another. Their owners and operators don’t select the biggest machines possible just for the fun of it. In fact, they are very interested in reducing the weight of the vehicle in order to increase efficiency and cargo capacity.

        This is a far cry from your average suburban commando with a large truck daily driver that rarely if ever accomplishes a useful task beyond the ordinary daily movement of 1-4 people. They have no actual application that requires a truck, but own one anyway because they like to sit up high or fancy themselves a modern-day cowboy or similar.

        The two are only comparable for the small subset of pickup/SUV owners who genuinely need a truck, or the presumably even smaller subset of people who choose to commute in an 18-wheeler for novelty purposes.

      • 0 avatar
        Botswana

        Fair point, I did go to an extreme example.

        My point about not getting government involved still stands. There is only so much government can do before intervention becomes more expensive then useful, and I think we’ve already crossed that line.

        I agree in general with the point about people owning vehicles they don’t really need, but I also try not to judge. Some vehicles are just pointless. I’ve never known anyone who owned a Hummer 2 that couldn’t do the same tasks in a more practical vehicle with less gas consumption. It’s a gussied up Chevy Tahoe with less cargo capacity, heavier, and worse aerodynamics. Even then, I try not to judge. This is America and we do have freedom of choice. Sometimes people make ridiculous choices. Maybe a lot of time if you take voter participation for politics versus American Idol. Not everyone has the same priorities and what seems reasonable to one person can seem absurd to another.

        This is one of the reasons why I am trying to teach my kids about situational awareness even though they are not driving age. One son is 2 years away from his license and the other loves cars more than I do, so I feel it’s important to start these lessons now. I am constantly looking for bad drivers. However, bad drivers come in all shapes and sizes and occupy a broad range of vehicles. It’s easy to villify the SUV owner because it’s been trendy to do so for the past decade. It is very easy to target SUV’s and trucks for special rules because they somehow create a bigger threat by their presence combined with the common perception that the owners do not have a “good reason” for driving them. My own preference for smaller, agile, vehicles often makes it easy for me to fall into the mentality that “Big == Bad”

        Also, the way government works, they’ll intervene but the end result will accomplish little and affect people who drive any vehicle. The Federal Government is a hammer, but not every problem is a nail.

      • 0 avatar
        icemilkcoffee

        Actually the airbag has saved a lot of lives. Traffic safety for passenger cars have improved a huge amount in the last 2 decades. Don’t forget- the shoulder belt was also a government mandate. As was the headrest. The NHTSA actually makes available tons of data on every aspect of traffic safety. You can’t hardly accuse them of not having enough data.

        As to trucks- have you noticed that they all have a metal structure extending downwards below the rear cargo doors? Why do you think that is there? Would you rather that safety device not be there?

        Don’t let your political ideology become a religious blinder.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      Bumper-height requirements already exist, they’re just rarely enforced since this is America and we have the God-given right to operate any awful lifted deathtrap of a machine we please on public roads.

      Since many crashes involve a car hitting a some object besides a pedestrian or another vehicle, is it your contention that we should care more about the “target” than the crashing vehicle if the target is a telephone pole or similar?

    • 0 avatar
      Beerboy12

      Off the subject, contentious issues and an agenda… Troll per chance?

  • avatar
    Botswana

    Fair point, I did go to an extreme example.

    My point about not getting government involved still stands. There is only so much government can do before intervention becomes more expensive then useful, and I think we’ve already crossed that line.

    I agree in general with the point about people owning vehicles they don’t really need, but I also try not to judge. Some vehicles are just pointless. I’ve never known anyone who owned a Hummer 2 that couldn’t do the same tasks in a more practical vehicle with less gas consumption. It’s a gussied up Chevy Tahoe with less cargo capacity, heavier, and worse aerodynamics. Even then, I try not to judge. This is America and we do have freedom of choice. Sometimes people make ridiculous choices. Maybe a lot of time if you take voter participation for politics versus American Idol. Not everyone has the same priorities and what seems reasonable to one person can seem absurd to another.

    This is one of the reasons why I am trying to teach my kids about situational awareness even though they are not driving age. One son is 2 years away from his license and the other loves cars more than I do, so I feel it’s important to start these lessons now. I am constantly looking for bad drivers. However, bad drivers come in all shapes and sizes and occupy a broad range of vehicles. It’s easy to villify the SUV owner because it’s been trendy to do so for the past decade. It is very easy to target SUV’s and trucks for special rules because they somehow create a bigger threat by their presence combined with the common perception that the owners do not have a “good reason” for driving them. My own preference for smaller, agile, vehicles often makes it easy for me to fall into the mentality that “Big == Bad”

    Also, the way government works, they’ll intervene but the end result will accomplish little and affect people who drive any vehicle. The Federal Government is a hammer, but not every problem is a nail.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    Modern science, technology, engineering, research and crash worthy testing around the globe has shown time and time again that small cars can be as safe as big cars and big cars / trucks / SUVs / vans can even be at a disadvantage.
    There are people you can tell that to until you are blue in the face and they will not budge on their opinion. Perceptions are hard to change…

  • avatar
    toxicroach

    I’d like to know the difference between the worst and best. Being the worst in safety doesn’t mean that’s its actually bad at safety if every the variance range is between really safe and super safe.

    As far as the big trucks equal safe, I refer you to that video someone released of the crash videos of the 59 Malibu and the modern Malibu. The public’s perception of safety simply does not account for engineering and merely looks at the relative size of the vehicles involved. I’ve seen video of a Mini Cooper that flatlined a Suburban. Relative size has nothing to do with it. How much of the engine compartment is sticking through your liver is an engineering problem, not a size problem.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      Excellent points.

      If you go by the ‘star’ system, I think all vehicles today sit in a range between 3 and 5 stars for the various impacts.

      However, I think it’s the IIHS that actually quantifies the probability and types of injuries sustained by standardized impact tests, and the variance is startling – particularly the photographic evidence.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Bah – the liver can grow back.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheatridger

      The relative weight of two cars does matter. In any collision, the heavier object will push the smaller one around more. The heavier one will tend to maintain its course and momentum more. You’d expect that to mean reduced impact forces for the big vehicle’s occupants.

      None of that matters much when a jumbo truck hits a bridge abutment. Physics-wise, that’s like running into the Earth, an immoveable object that doesn’t respond to your Ram’s extra ton of Road-Hoggin’ Weight. In that case, the extra weight of the truck results in greater momentum, intensifying the impact, which can’t be good for safety.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    I’d still rather be in a Dodge Ram 1500 instead of a smart fortwo during a head-on collision between those two vehicles.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Analyzing anything in the real world isometrically never makes sense

  • avatar
    Joss

    In the factory the mighty SUV & econobox are born from the same carpet-like roll of miserably thin steel.

    Know your fragile. Watch speed and keep spaced out. Let the ones with the risk genes pay the price. Let them become the stats that help engineers improve our odds.

    • 0 avatar
      White Shadow

      Thin sheet metal? Yes, absolutely. But mass is mass and you can’t deny that the difference is mass between a big SUV and a tiny economy car is significant. And if both are modern vehicles with a full array of safety features (crumple zones, multiple air bags, etc..), I’d rather be in the heavier vehicle every time.

      I have a 4Runner that has a fully boxed frame. Of course it’s also a body-on-frame chassis. It is inherently more safe in a collision than your basic econobox because of the way it is built and the fact that it has all the modern safety features as well.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheatridger

        Why do you truck owners always assume an accident will consist of two vehicles colliding? Here in Colorado, I’ve seen plenty of one-truck accidents. When a light truck or SUV hits a tree or a bridge abutment, the vehicle’s extra ton of throw weight gives it no advantage over a lighter car.

        In rollovers, the truck’s weight worsens the damage. I’ll never forget the sight of a white Chevy pickup upside down beside I-25, lying totally flat on the ground. No roof structure remained- the truck sat on its fenders and door handles. I’ve rolled a GTI myself, and stumbled away with only a conked head. The driver of that white truck must have had a closed-casket funeral, but he probably died believing his vehicle was safer than my car.

  • avatar
    ranwhenparked

    The methodology seems shoddy at worst and incomplete at best. I don’t see how things like initial quality and recall records automatically correlate to safety (they might, and just as often, they might not), and the rest of it is just some mashup of ordinary crash test scores that anyone can look at.

    What about just looking at the incidence of accidents per year for a particular model, or the incidence of fatal accidents? Seems like that should have at least played a part in the equation.

    Also, big surprise that a Wall Street publication talks down on the flagship product of the only major automaker that’s privately held.

  • avatar
    grumpydok

    Does anyone have an opinion on INFORMEDFORLIFE.ORG? It purports to aggregate vehicle WEIGHTS with crash statistics and test results from IIHS and NHTSA. It leaves some holes when there are missing test results, but I wonder if any of you give any credence to the rankings.

  • avatar
    marcus128

    I can attest how unsafe the colorado is! It doesn’t fare too well in accidents and has electrical problems that affect brake lights and other exterior lights that prevent accidents. after two recalls on my’04 for tail lights they would still stop working. It also had cheap parking brakes, problem shifting out of park, stalling at highway speeds, and even brake failure. I didn’t feel safe driving this truck and seeing one Colorado suffer severe damage and both the driver and passenger were severly injured but the compact car who rear-ended them was able to walk away I decided even more that my truck was undafe. surprisingly the only recall was the tail lights which was only the tip of the iceburg of safety issurs with the Chevy Colorado!

    • 0 avatar

      I have had a Colorado since 2005, and I have no idea what you are talking about. Mine has never had any issues. The parking brake weak? Well, having a manual transmission, I have occasionally tried to drive off with it applied and its it impossible. I have never noticed, or heard of a brake light issue. I have nearly 100,000 mile on it and have never had a stalling issue. Mine is a manual, so no problem shifting out of park, though I would guess your issue may have to do with you bad brake light switch (you need to have your foot on the brake to shift). Brake failure? Never heard anything about that either.

      • 0 avatar
        marcus128

        I actually had it fail inspection twice for the parking brakes and at less than 50k miles replaced my parking brakes twice which is the first time I’ve ever had to replace a parking brake on a car. I’m surprised how fast the parking brakes would wear out! One day I had it in Park with the parking brake engaged on a steep driveway and suddenly my truck made a loud noise and started going in reverse. Other times (when my parking brakes weren’t wearing out, I would shift it into park and the shifter would slip into reverse but the parking brakes would be able to prevent it from going anywhere. I always make sure I am in park before letting off on the brakes and make sure my parking brakes are set just in case whenever I park my vehicle. There were two recalls on the brake lights for my truck where a switch would malfunction resulting in the taillights not functioning and after the recalls my tail lights would occasionally fail along with a problem (that happened more often in winter) where my power door locks, mirrors, and other electrical components would stop working. I don’t understand what you mean by the brake light switch being the cause of it slipping out of park and I always apply my brakes before shifting out of park. What kind of moron would not have their brakes applied when shifting out of park? As for the brake failure on some occasions I would apply my brakes and the only thing that would happen is the brakes would pulsate as if the Anti-Lock Brakes were acting on slippery conditions but the conditions were fine and my truck would never stop unless I turn off the engine. My Brake light problems often got me tickets and often other drivers who nearly rear-ended me would tell me to fix my tail lights then I would take it to a dealer or mechanic and they would be working fine. Sometimes they would work fine right after I turn the truck back on as one cop observed when he pulled me over for my brake lights not working and after he gave me a ticket he noticed as I was leaving that my tail lights started working again when I turned my truck back on. The tail lights would work fine then out of the blue stop working and the connections and wiring were fine. The stalling problem seemed to happen more often in hot weather but basically my transmission would feel sluggish and in some cases (including a highway entrance ramp) my engine would stall.


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