3 Comments on “crash test: Mini vs. F150

  1. Trucks and SUVs are image vehicles. On roadways they are inferior in every measurable aspect when compared to passenger cars, sports cars and station wagons. They have inferior gas mileage, their collision performance is inferior, and the have less (!) interior / cargo capacity. A good example is that the interior room plus trunk space of a Taurus from the mid-90s exceeded the interior room of an Explorer.
    An F-150, as an example, is a great truck. It really is. But the fundamental design characteristics of a good truck make it bad in crashes and bad as a road car.
    The hysterical comment that it should be made safer ignores the trade-offs associated with vehicle design. The truck is fine for what it was designed for – using it outside of its design parameters is what leads to problems.
    I do not believe in additional auto safety regulations, particularly for SUVs. I think that these should be a matter of consumer choice, and consumers should be able to choose a relatively dangerous vehicle with a high center of gravity, poor performance and poor crash performance (i.e., a truck or an SUV) or a passenger car or mini-van.
    I maintain this belief because there is a market segment that needs the very design features that make the F-150 and other trucks and SUVs dangerous. That is, the functional characteristics are needed by a set of users. The fact that a group of users mis-uses the equipment does NOT mean that the intended users sould be penalized with a bunch of crap that makes their work vehicles more expensive and less useful.

  2. Follow up:
    That’s why I buy older cars. I hate airbags, and I refuse to pay for ABS. Driver training and practice is 10x more important than some regulation from the safety-crats responsible for auto-safety regulation.
    The proof is that, when ABS was first introduced, braking-related accidents went UP. Just because the average person is an asshole behind the wheel doesn’t mean that I want to pay for it.
    I would prefer a more rigorous licensing program, as, ultimately, operator proficiency makes up for all the rest and then some. It’s more environmentally sound, as well. A skilled operator in even a widly unsafe contraption is less of a menace to himself and the community than an unskilled operator driving in an entirely foam-filled egg covered in cushions and powered by rainbows and good intentions.