How important is safety to the average person?

As for me, I don’t go overboard but the idea of driving around on non divided roads in a sub compact or ever compact car just isn’t something I would want to do. On 2 lane highways it’s especially scary. But then again I’ve seen like all the Russian dashcam crash videos. Crashes are the number 1 killer of younger people. I guess the average person usually doesn’t consider what if I’m in a severe accident when they buy a car, or do they?

no offence but if you are that afraid of driving on those roads maybe you should not drive.


Agree. :roll_eyes: :upside_down_face:

1 Like

So far you two have done a great job of answering the question. What about the rest of the people?

1 Like

Lots of folks consider crash ratings when buying cars.


Most car buyers when faced with the added cost for safety gear, don’t choose to add it. Seatbelts used to be optional, as did airbags and ABS. The order rates on all of these were pathetically low.

So the government mandated them.

The first car I bought with the choice of ABS, I ordered with ABS. Mostly to get the rear disk brakes but the ABS was helpful, too. The first car I owned my grandfather bought new with the optional seatbelts… lap only, front only.

Oh, and by the way, a divided highway is not particularly safe. People manage to get on the wrong side of the highway going the wrong way in the fast lane ALL the time in my state. Daytime or after the bars close… go figure!

1 Like

agree and neither are the air bags now a days.

The speed limit on some of our 2 lane highways is 70 MPH and there are fatalities each month within 100 miles of my location. If I had to use these roads frequently I would buy a newer vehicle, my old cars would be deadly in a highway collision.

I don’t think the majority of people look at crash test ratings when they buy. Personally, I don’t really consider them, however, I rarely buy new vehicles so you kind of have to take what you can get in the used market to some degree. Now if I happened to hear a certain vehicle had abysmal crash test ratings, I’d probably avoid it. But I don’t look for that info. I assume that vehicles of the same type built during the same time period are probably relatively close in safety during a crash with some faring worse or better than others in certain tests.

As far as some of the new safety tech, like blind spot monitoring or automatic braking…well I’ve never had it so I don’t miss it. I wouldn’t seek out a vehicle that was equipped with it. I might feel differently if I ever experienced those features.

I get the fear of the 2 lane. All it takes is one schmo texting…. There’s a stretch of 2 lane near my house that has a drop off on either side, so no escape. I’ve seen a fair amount of deer in that area too. I’m always a little concerned that on a clear night a deer might jump in front of someone and they’ll swerve into my lane to avoid it. I actually hit a deer pretty nearby, so it’s not out of the question.

1 Like

i would say a majority of people that buy cars put little thought into car safety. I never did. Noticed a button on the side pillar by the windshield, it said side curtain airbag. Never had a fear of driving on a 2 lane road.

Safety ratings factor in to the purchase decision in my family, but we still prefer smaller cars. Grew up with a sub-compact Mazda that was about the size of the Honda Fit, thankfully never had any impacts though.

Maybe we’ve been lucky. A co-worker drove past the wreckage of his son’s '93 Nissan Sentra which had been hit in the rear by a 1/2 ton truck doing 45mph and pushed into another truck which was stopped by traffic. The front end was smashed to the base of the windshield and the same for the trunk. Passenger compartment held other than the pedal assembly breaking the kids ankle. First call from the scene was his son. Back around 2005. They bought a Ford Escort ZX2 as a replacement when the son healed up enough to drive.

People who drive the biggest trucks and SUVs consider safety and buy it… they are convinced they are driving the safest vehicles on the road. The people in small cars agree with that (likely the only thing these two factions actually agree upon) and want them OFF the road because they know that the laws of physics are not on their side in an accident between a Prius and a Ford Expedition.

1 Like

I sold my 98 Dodge 1/2 ton to a younger guy. It was 4wd with slightly oversized tires (285’s vs 265’s stock size), no lift. He rear ended a Sentra. Two lane highway, the Sentra was stopped waiting in traffic in order to turn left. The Sentra was probably totaled. It pushed the trunk and the top portion of the rear quarter panels up to the rear seat, shattered the back glass, etc. The truck needed a bumper and a grill and it was good to go. Actually, I sold him the parts to fix it. I knew the lady he hit also. No one was injured, thankfully. But it certainly made an impression on me as far as big vehicle vs small vehicle crashes.

Well , my wife and I must be suicidal because when we take trips we take as many 2 lane scenic roads as we can in our 2018 Ford Fiesta or the 2010 Volvo V70 .

The Blue Ridge National Parkway is 2 lane with many curves and hills so maybe 90’s might want to avoid that really enjoyable drive.


You’re safe in the Volvo. I thought their commercials were awesome when I was a kid.

Do you drive 70 MPH on the Blue Ridge Parkway? The speed limit is 45 MPH, a lot different than a two lane highway.

1 Like

The kid broke his ankle mainly because he saw the truck approaching at speed and held the brake pedal down, This was on a state highway where traffic was stopped and for some reason the driver of the truck wasn’t paying attention. As my co-worker put it you really don’t want to hear your kid whimper. Had nerve damage from the crash but did make a full recovery.

A former music director at the church only drove large Cadillacs after his first wife died in a car accident, would buy 2 slightly used Cadillac’s for him and his wife every few years. He did end up “off roading” his later model Deville a few years ago but his wife was glad she saw him before she saw the car. Only time i ever saw him driving a Chevy.

We can only hope that he avoids it .

Agree it is a very scenic and enjoyable drive.

1 Like

I was holding off on saying this which will bait some other members here, but you kind of started it.

I used to think I was less safe driving an early 90s car on 2 lane roads because of the head on collision crash performance. But, as you bought up, the early 90s car has the old style powerful airbag that fills up the whole area in front of the driver. It has an acceptable rating on the IIHS moderate overlap test, which was current until small overlap replaced it in 2012. It also doesn’t have seat belt load limiters.

So, if I’m hit head on on the passenger side at 60 MPH I’ll likely survive, but in a more modern car I likely wouldn’t. The stronger structure of the modern car will significantly increase the G forces in the crash, and the weaker airbag and seat belt load limiter will finish me off.

The “Arms Race” on American Roads: The Effect of Heavy Vehicles on Traffic Safetyand the Failure of Liability RulesMichelle J. WhiteNBER Working Paper No. 9302October 2002JEL No. R4, K1

The Internet brought a good thing, because I can skip that step and not learn the hard way by watching dashcam crash videos.

1 Like