Bigger Is Not Always Better

I just read a very informative article (from The New Yorker?) entitled “Big and Bad: How the S.U.V. ran over automotive safety.” The predominant theme, although not that revelatory, is that bigger is not always better when it comes to car safety, although studies show that most people don’t realize this fact.

I didn’t realize how little engineering is involved in building trucks when compared to conventional vehicles. Another site illustrates this point in showing the graphic aftermath of a 40 mph collision test in a Mini Cooper vs. a Ford F150. The point is obviously that a well-engineered small vehicle does much better than a non-existently engineered behemoth, a point borne out by the accompanying statistics of driver fatalities in different vehicles. The first article points out that smaller vehicles generally excel in “active safety” versus “passive safety,” which basically means they are better able to avoid an accident in the first place. Still, the amount of damage to that F150 makes me wonder whether people driving large SUVs and trucks should really feel that safe in their large elevated metal cabins that dwarf smaller vehicles.

The article makes many good points, and I should stop trying to do it justice; I highly recommend that you read it for yourselves…

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