So buy an SUV, then. In my mind the risk of something like that
happening is not great enough for me to buy a car that I don't like just
so I can be "safe" (and said vehicle won't handle nearly as well as the
cars I like, either...)
I think the stat is something like the average driver is involved in a
serious "accident" once every six years, that is pathetic. Most drivers
really shouldn't be allowed behind the wheel.
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
So we should all drive armoured tanks that get 5 GALLONS to the mile
My last 1976 Rabbit was rear ended at a stop light by a gal doing 60mph. It
totalled the car, but my wife and I had zero injuries.
My best friend had a Rabbit also, and we got sandwiched between a van and a
station wagon on a highway. Totalled the car again, but my friend and I
walked away unhurt.
Would I survive a side impact? Probably not, but unless you're buying a
tank or a $50K Lexus with full surround air bags, I doubt any car would do
Personally, I'd rather "avoid" an accident than worry about "surviving" an
accident. My little Rabbit is small, maneuverable, and has great
visibility. By keeping my distance from other vehicles (i.e. not tailgating
like the majority of the road rage nutcases out there) and looking before I
pull out in traffic, I haven't been in an accident in 20+ years. Meanwhile
I see SUV's crashing into things all the time because they can't see where
they're going and don't handle worth a darn.
You wouldn't believe how many dumb/stupid drivers are on the road. We
had smnow storm last night with temp. plunging down to -25C during the
day. Look at these idiots specially in SUVs and 4x4s flying down the
road. What's in their head? Most accidents are caused by bad drivers.
Bad drivers generally don't look after their cars either.
On Sat, 13 Dec 2008 19:33:14 +0000 (UTC), HerHusband
That response can only be characterized as idiotic.
A car does not have to be an armoured tank that gets 5 gallons to the
mile in order to be safer than a 1976 VW by an order of magnitude.
How about a new VW? What's their current model that replaces the
Rabbit? I can tell you without knowing anything about it, that it is a
hell of a lot safer than anything made in 1976.
The newest cars with side curtain airbags are a lot safer than cars of
just a few years ago that had only front airbags. Crash safety
standards are MUCH higher now then they were in 1976. I'm not picking
on just VW. ALL new cars are MUCH safer than ANY 1976 car.
We also now have thing like ABS brakes, anti rollover systems,
Collision avoidance lights, better lights for seeing and being seen,
and a host of other improvements.
Your 1976 VW doesn't handle worth crap compared to a modern VW. And it
sure can't stop like one.
I don't need a car "safer" than an A1 chassis VW to be safe from all but
the worst circumstances. I have logged many miles in two '84 model VWs
(same basic chassis) and can tell you that they're perfectly adequate.
I do not need ABS brakes or special electronic band-aids. E-code sealed
beam replacements are far better than any lights sold as stock equipment
on any car in the US. Handling is adequate stock and can easily and
inexpensively be improved, as this chassis is a favorite of autocrossers
and SCCA racers. Likewise with braking. As far as crash safety goes, I
prefer to rely on handling, acceleration, braking, and most importantly
perception to keep me from crashing than I do hundreds of pounds of
extra weight in the form of airbags and crash beams.
So to those of you driving around in your unsafe old VW's, I will be
more than happy to take them off your hands. I'll even pay real money
for a pre-82 Scirocco if it's rust free and running.
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
I don't get your point. My post was completely factual; the ONLY
advantages that newer cars have over an A1 chassis VW are in *passive*
safety devices which are rarely if ever used - and actually add weight,
to the detriment of handling and economy.
The same argument could be made for any number of older cars with a
decent enthusiast base, like old GM A-bodies (Chevelle/Cutlass/Skylark)
or MoPar A-bodies (Dart/Valiant/Duster/Demon/early Barracuda) -
suspension upgrades, disc brake swaps, lighting upgrades, etc. are all
easy, and driving a car without all the extra weight and bloat that new
cars have is rewarding and economical.
Personally I'd just love to have the time and money to do a franken-VW;
take the best from the old and new. Maybe an '81 Scirocco with a 1.8T
swap and a few well chosen suspension, brake, and wheel/tire upgrades.
It'd be a far more fun to drive car than any new VW made.
Obviously you completely missed where I pointed out that A1 (and A2 as
well) chassis VWs are like cockroaches at autocross and SCCA events.
Surely if they were really unsafe...?
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
Well, it wouldn't be the first time I've said something idiotic, and it
certainly won't be the last... :)
The point is my 32 year old car gets better fuel economy than most of the
current vehicles on the road, is more reliable (fewer parts and
technology to break), easy to fix when something does go wrong, and is
inexpensive to operate.
Safety is certainly a big factor to consider in a car, but the vast
majority of the time in a vehicle is spent driving, not crashing. How
much does the vehicle cost to purchase and maintain? How much energy and
materials go into the manufacture of the vehicle? What kind of fuel
economy does it get? etc...
I mean, I could get shot in a drive-by shooting, but I don't put on a
bulletproof vest everytime I go to town. Then again, I don't go to areas
that are likely to increase my odds of being shot. I could rely on the
technology of the vest for more safety, or I could use common sense to
try and reduce my odds of it happening in the first place. In any case,
there's no way to completely eliminate the risk. Similarly, improving
your driving habits will do far more for safety than relying on
technology to save you from yourself.
I haven't driven the newest VW's, but my wife owns a 1986 Jetta. It's 10
years newer, with more "safety" features, and weighs considerably more
than my car does. She does get slightly better mileage with less
emissions, but there's less visibility, has been less reliable, and
doesn't even come close to the drivability of my old Rabbit.
My sister-in-law owns a 96 Jetta, and it's even heavier with additional
safety features, and gets about the same mileage I do (less than my
wife's 86 Jetta). The visibility and driveability is even less than my
I'm not against technology improvements, but it's foolish to use
technology to cover common sense.
ABS brakes are fine, but they make people overconfident. Simple physics
will show my lighter car can stop faster than a heavier car. And with a
little common sense, like not following so close or going too fast for
conditions, braking shouldn't be a concern. I've been driving about 30
years and braking has never been an issue, even in the few accidents I've
been involved in.
Anti-rollover systems may help, but the fact is those vehicles are top-
heavy to start with. Again, people get overconfident and think those
SUV's can handle like sports cars. I've seen enough SUV rollovers to know
all the technology in the world won't prevent that.
I would argue the better lighting, as all of the newer vehicles I've
driven are horrible to drive at night, compared to the simple 7" round
lights on my Rabbit.
If a newer vehicle with all the safety features makes you feel safer, by
all means drive one of those. But I personally don't like the
disconnected feeling I have when driving newer vehicles. I just can't
"feel" the road like I do in my Rabbit.
In any case, it's not so much a choice of the vehicle you drive, as the
fact that fuel economy has not really improved in 30+ years. Watch any TV
commercial and they're promoting how much power the car has, and are
racing around at high speeds or driving trucks over mountains of
boulders. It doesn't take that much power to get to work and back, and
that style of driving negates ANY safety features the car may have.
Oh bother! Wind turbines almost never exceed 30% of their rated capacity and
only work, obviously, when the wind blows. There are places in Texas where
neighboring ranches have to take turns using their windmills 'cause there's
not enough blow for two at the same time!
Solar power can't feed the grid because solar is horrendously expensive.
It would take a solar collection array of about 1200 square miles to provide
power just for California.
Now the entire interstate highway system (55,000 miles x 60' wide) is less
than 600 square miles of concrete. So it would take a construction project
roughly twice the size of the highway system just to power California.
Why don't we approach the problem like this. How many business and
households equipped with solar panels would be the equivalent to save
50 GW. I don't think anyone is proposing 1200 square miles of solar
On Fri, 12 Dec 2008 15:40:31 -0800 (PST), firstname.lastname@example.org
Oddly enough, Walmart has a program in which they are installing
massive numbers of PV panels on top of their stores and warehouses. I
guess they see an ROI of some kind.
No single solution has to be a complete solution. Every watt generated
by PV is one watt that doesn't have to be generated some other way. To
be sure, we can't solve the"real" problem by making more energy
When politicians talk about children being the future, what they
really mean is future taxpayers. Nobody loves a Ponzi scheme more than
governments. All governments of all types.
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