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Auto safety

Need help in finding THE safest auto for transporting grandchildren [ 1& 4] in car seats. Presently using Grd. Cherokee 2001 which is subject of recent requests for recall due to gas tank fires caused by rear end collision. Any help or suggestions appreciated.

What do you intend to do with it ,play bumper cars ?
Vehicle safety lies with the operator and the type of kid seats you have.
All vehicles produced in the last 5 years or so are as safe as they can possibly babysit .
The wrong kid seats will be trouble no matter.

Transporting two toddlers will next be a physical function issue between you , the kids , and the vehicle.
Pick one that is easiest for YOU to work with the kids and all that goes with that.

I’ve got an 06 Hybrid Escape, an 08 Expedition EL, and 6,8, & 11 year olds.
Either vehicle works well but THEY like “the bus” ( 08 Expedition ) best.

I agree with what Ken said, but if it’s a concern to you, you can use the attached website to compare official safety ratings.

Here’s another web site that combines available crash test information for an overall rating.

1970 Chrysler Imperial if you’re looking to demo derby the car on the road. they banned it for a reason.
If you’re looking for something newer, any mid sized vehicle will do fine

I think the hardest part about transporting children is paying attention to the road, and not them. I don’t do it, myself, but I know lots who do, and I see them on the road every day, yelling at, slapping at, telling the kids to play nice, be quiet, whatever, all while trying to control somewhere between 1 and 2 tons of metal moving at anywhere from 25 to 75 mph.

It’s going to matter far more how the vehicle is driven, than what vehicle it actually is.

The least expensive 2011 econobox will probably be “safer” than your ten year old Jeep.

Or not.

It all depends who’s driving.

You cannot guarantee their safety by buying a certain vehicle, unless, perhaps, you have access to a used M1 Abrams tank. If so, and if you can afford the fuel for the turbine engine, you can feel pretty secure in every day traffic.

There’s not much that can harm your grandkids if you transport them in a tank.

Otherwise, you and your grandchildren are at the mercy of the idiots with whom you share the road, just like the rest of us.

You have somehow managed to survive the daily carnage on America’s highways. How did your parents manage it? Maybe you should take a lesson from them.

When I was a kid cars had metal dashboards and no seat belts. When my dad or mom hit the brakes they would stick out their right arm to hold whichever kid was in the front seat so he or she wouldn’t go flying into the windshield.

Ahh, those were the days.

Somehow my four siblings and I survived, and so did you, and so will your grandchildren.

Turn off the cell phone, put the kids in the back seat, use an infant seat if appropriate, and drive defensively. That’s the best you can do.

Unless you can get your hands on one those M1s.

In addition to IIHS ratings, you should look at HLDI insurance losses. The IIHS data is a controlled test while the HLDI data is real-world payout data for almost all makes and models. The data is normalized with 100 being average and lower numbers are better. If you go by the nubers, the Honda Pilot 4WD is your next car (um, truck). But I think that anything with a rating under 60 is worth looking at. Two large luxury sedans meet this criterion, but you are basically looking at midsize, large, or very large SUVs. Also note that the data is for 2007-2009. There is no newer data yet. But the takeaway is that bigger is safer, and that makes sense. If you are involved in an accident (highly unlikely, BTW), a larger vehivle will protect the occupants because it will have more between you and the other vihicle and larger vehicles have more momentum. If you have higher momentum, energy will be transferred from your vehicle to the smaller one and you will suffer less relative damage than the smaller car.

Mercedes Benz S550 sedan.

Something that bumper cars have that automobiles don’t is SIDE bumpers.
HERE is where the proper kid seats INSTALLED correctly will protect the kids.

– think T-BONE crash –

Your big grand-cherokee may already be the best, or better T-bone protection because of it’s mass and size.

Even in kid seats a child is very close to the glass of the rear door and a T-bone crash can smash their head sideways into the door glass.
I’ve seen many nice car seats these days with head side wings but proper seat mounting is imperetive. You don’t want the whole seat to wobble sideways. Cinch it down tight to the seat below it and use a top teather if possible.
DO NOT just seat belt the kid in a car seat which is just sitting atop the vehicle’s seat.

A kid’s curiosity can get them injured too. This is probably the hardest part.
To teach them to push back into the shell of their car seat when somethings goin on ( even rough terrain ) instead of leaning out to "see what’s going on ".

( I swear that’s what killed Dale Earnhardt. Not being braced for the crash but instead leaning out to tell the other driver what for. It wasn’t a bad looking crash as Nascar crashes go so it had to be some other factor. )

I agree with jt and mc. Do your research because it’s all about technology and not perception. Body strength and integrity cannot be measured on an older jeep compared to a more modern car with higher strength steel and side impact air bags. Contrary to belief, it’s not the hard protection but the soft that becomes a life saver as it increases the time during a collision which dissapates the forces. Same illusion for older Volvos and big Caddies and older cars of all types. Bigger is better, but only if it’s a modern and tested “bigger” and in cludes soft protection and energy absorbing technology.
Sorry to disagree with some, but mass and size alone without engineering mean less then we give it credit for in collisions.
BTW, the jeep GC is as much unibody WO a ladder frame as the Honda Pilot. In this way, they are similar and in general, these frames offer better collision protection than traditional truck frames.

Crash Test 1999 - 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee (Front) IIHS. They rated it as “marginal”.
Granted, this is just one test. Good info to have, though.

Just goes to show the differences in the last 5 years or so. A newer car (whether SUV, sedan or whatever), will virtually always be better than an older one.

For comparison, here’s a newer one:

Crash Test 2011 - 20** Jeep Grand Cherokee (Side Impact) IIHS

There are more tests posted. Just search on “IIHS tests”, and you’ll find plenty of info.

I have to agree with mcparadise. Your driving ability and safe driving is #1. The driver is the major issue.

Ask yourself. Have you experienced an accident or used a cell phone or fiddled with the radio or other device while the car was moving, or exceeded the posted speed limit?

I would feel a lot safer with a good driver and a poor car, than the best rated car with a iffy driver.

I agree with much of what is said in the above posts. The safest car to ride in is one with a good driver. If you need to take care of or discipline the kids, pull over and stop before doing so (yes, I know what it’s about…I have special-needs twin boys).

If you are worried about safety, get some defensive driving training, like the Smith System. Any school bus driver could give you the basics.

While the driver is by far the most important aspect, the Grand Cherokee rates just about the bottom overall (‘worst 10%’ on the overall listing at the site I mentioned). So if they’re thinking of a new car anyway, it for sure could be safer.