Car safety


#1

Hi guys. I got really confused whether certain cars are safer than others. Not sure which one to buy from safety point. Both Ford Fusion and Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata are very good in safety. Does that mean I can just pick any one no matter if Japanese, Korean or American? In common sense, American cars are safer than Japanese cars. But data from iihs doesn’t support this idea. Of course, data could be biased as car type and driver groups. People drive Mastung tend to get in accident more than people drive a civic. I want to buy a safe family car. All kinds of list can be found on-line but not really tell me much. Any ideas?

German cars are safer but I don’t want to get to the trouble of repairing.


#2

In common sense, American cars are safer than Japanese cars.

Why?

German cars are safer

Who says?

Your safety data seems to not be founded in actual data, but in some impressions you’ve picked up along the lines somewhere. First off, any car sold here in the USA has to meet a minimum safety standard. And compared to cars of even 10 years ago, that standard is pretty safe.

Any of the cars you mentioned will be perfectly fine from a safety standpoint.

BTW:

Of course, data could be biased as car type and driver groups. People drive Mastung tend to get in accident more than people drive a civic.

Cars are safety tested in the laboratory with specific tests that are applied equally to all cars. The human equation is removed from this testing.


#3

German cars are safer is supported by real data. The data is not from lab but from real accident. Check http://www.iihs.org/sr/pdfs/sr4003.pdf.


#4

The most authoritative data on automobile safety comes from the National Institute on Highway Safety. Google is your friend. Try their site for comparative ratings.


#5

“The page you requested could not be found.”

I did, however, find this page:

You’ll note that American and Japanese cars appear on the top safety list right alongside the Germans.

I’m really not all that interested in accident statistics when evaluating the safety of a vehicle, as they are not an actual measure of the car’s safety. Of course the sports cars and cars like Camaros and Mustangs are going to get into more accidents. So what? All that means is that other people driving the car I’m looking at are probably driving like idiots. Since I don’t plan to do that, I’m more interested in what the car will do in a crash.


#6

That report (you have to remove the last period, shadowfax) doesn’t necessarily support your assertion. There are many confounding factors:

  1. Death and injury rates can clearly be influenced by driver behavior. The Buick Lucerne, LaCrosse, and the Ford Taurus have the lowest overall insurance losses among sedans up to full size, according to IIHS - significantly lower than any BMW, VW, or Mercedes model. Of course, you’re looking at, on average, a much more cautious driver in the non-German models there, which biases the results.

  2. When you look at crash test ratings from IIHS, you get a very objective rating on how the vehicle will perform in a crash - one that takes out the influence of driver behavior. But this rating alone misses one factor - how well the vehicle can AVOID a crash. They could give a Mazda6, Ford Fusion, Toyota Camry, and Honda Accord all the same ratings in crash protection (they don’t), but that wouldn’t tell you that the superior handling in the 6, Fusion, and Accord over the Camry would make it less likely to even get into the crash in the first place in those vehicles.


#7

ayready:

It sounds like you already have your mind made up. What’s your question? I thought you were asking for ideas, but shadowfax just offered you some and you shot them all down.


#8

Two 2011 cars have received five-star crash ratings:

BMW 5-Series
Hyundai Sonata

You could buy three Sonatas for the price of the BMW

Twotone


#9

My question is should I buy Ford instead of Honda?


#10

I agree, your assumptions are incorrect. Here’s a list, sorted in weighted safety rating order. Few of the top cars are German, many are Japanese.
http://www.informedforlife.org/demos/FCKeditor/UserFiles/File/1MasterSCOREr.pdf


#11

If you want.

Both are very safe cars. One might protect you slightly better in one crash than the other, but throw a different crash at them and the roles might reverse.

There are many reasons to choose one over the other, but safety isn’t really one of them. The Fusion has slightly higher ratings at IIHS, but that comes from rollover protection - and you aren’t that likely to rollover in an Accord.


#12

Most 2011s have not been tested yet, so we shouldn’t assume that those two are necessarily any better than the others…

And the Hyundai Sonata came with a caveat - it had only middle-of-the pack ratings for front crash protection until a mid-2011 model year design change. So not all 2011 Hyundai Sonatas are equally good.


#13

I think it can be interpreted to support my assertion. The Firebird is #3 on the most deadly list. The Camaro’s on that list too.

The trouble is that it can be interpreted to support it. We don’t really know. Did more people die in Firebirds because the car sucks and killed them in what should have been a crash they could walk away from, or did more people die in them because they tend to be bought by young males who think nothing of doing 100mph on back country roads?

We don’t know. That’s why I go based on crash data for safety. It’s objective.

Then, as you pointed out in your second point, I think about how well I can avoid the crash. I bet my MR2 would score “Ultimate suck” on crash test data, but I can dance around traffic problems that other cars would just plow right into. That is a consideration as well.

And a point that you didn’t make, but I will, is that statistically we’re very unlikely to die or even be seriously injured in a traffic crash. If that were not true, the population would be a lot smaller. At some point you have to stop worrying so much about the relative safety (if the car isn’t reasonably safe, it’s not going to be sold here in the first place) and just get what you want. You’ll most likely never even get into a fender bender in it.


#14

My question is should I buy Ford instead of Honda?

It depends on which Ford you are considering, and it depends which Honda you are considering. There are some Fords that are safer than some Hondas, but there are also some Hondas that are safer than some Fords.


#15

Safety has as much to do with the standard equipment in a car, esp. side air bags, as anything else. A car w/o could do much worse in the ratings than one with regardless of the make. I would put more importance in the safety features a car had than the make.


#16

I think you can figure this out on your own. Honda and Ford both make safe cars. Don’t buy a Ford Pinto.


#17

Actually, MB, that is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
I also suggest consulting their site, as they have more stringent testing standards than NHTSA.


#18

You are, of course, correct. Thanks for the correction. It’ll help others find the data.


#19

The trouble is that it can be interpreted to support it. We don’t really know. Did more people die in Firebirds because the car sucks and killed them in what should have been a crash they could walk away from, or did more people die in them because they tend to be bought by young males who think nothing of doing 100mph on back country roads?

But there’s a related question:

Does owning a Firebird/Camaro ENCOURAGE one to drive in a more risky manner? If so, then (at least some) accounting for “operator-induced” wrecks is warranted.

As it stands, insurers WILL charge higher rates to a driver who buys a sporty car vs. the same driver buying a “boring” car. Is this because a sporty car alters behavior…or is it that the insured is “signaling” a (heretofore hidden) tendency towards risky driving through his car choice? Or some combination of the two?


#20

Here’s another way to look at it:

http://www.iihs.org/research/hldi/composite_cls.aspx?y=2006-2008&cls=2&sz=3&sort=medPay

Click on “medical payout” to sort on that factor. It tells you how much was paid, on a relative basis, for the car listed. Note that the Camry hybrid scores much better than the non-hybrid Camry. This is related to the group of drivers that own those cars. A Camry hybrid and Camry are equally safe. But it would save you on insurance if you bought one of the lower (numerically) rated cars.