Safety versus Performance?


#1

I’m having a hard time finding an answer to this question, so hopefully someone here has an idea. My husband and I currently have a '98 Accord and one toddler, who sits in the back middle seat, of course. Baby number two is coming in December. We had planned to purchase a Mazda5 (I’m not ready for a full minivan) so that each child would be able sit in a captain’s chair, rather than have the car seats pressed against the doors. Unfortunately, my husband managed to get 34 mgp on our way back from CO, and is now pushing to keep the Accord. He believes that the children would be just as safe in the back of our current car as they would in the Mazda5. I think that he is crazy, and the idea of my newborn’s car smushed up next to the door makes me cringe. What if we got T-boned? I don’t think a child would survive, especially a baby. Thoughts?


#2

A T-bone crash will get you either way.
— The safety will be in the style of car seat you have. —
and the way it’s mounted to you car.
One with head side wings is your only side impact protection.
Because even sitting a few inches further from the door glass, the head’s sideways snap will still be the same.


#3

The baby can still be put in the middle, the toddler will have to be put next to the door.

Statistically, the child on the drivers side has a better chance, lees T-bones on the drivers side, but its very close. If you have to park next to a curb, the danger while putting a child in the rear on the drivers side could negate the advantage in traffic.

Now the big factor would be side impact airbags. does the Honda have them for the rear? Does the Mazda have them for the rear. Child safety seats provide a lot of side impact protection, but a little more can’t hurt.


#4

The Accord is 13 years old. Anything made in the last five years would probably be safer.


#5

At this point in vehicle safety we’re starting to entertain the (irritating) human assumption that anything can be made 100% safe (See: TSA). Keep the Accord, drive safely, look both ways before you cross intersections, and statistically, you’ll be fine. I grew up in the days of no airbags, no 3 point rear seatbelts, and kids were out of the car seat by the time they were toddlers. I’m still alive, and the majority of the people who were kids when I was are too.

It’s far better to run with the car you have and drive safely than to cocoon yourself in the automotive equivalent of a battle tank and then drive like an idiot, which is what a lot of people do.


#6

Where is this “performance” you speak off? A 13 year old Honda even with a V6 isn’t exactly a screamer, and the four cylinder model is merely adaquate, but I digest…

I agree with Whitey, the Mazda 5 will indeed be the safer car, and Ken Green said, in a T-bone crash the type of car isn’t as important as the car seat. If you’re really concerned about safety I would go ahead and get full-on minivan like a Sienna or Odyssey.


#7

You might buy the Consumer Reports car buyers guide, lots of info on the Mazda and other alternatives. I would think you’ll need more room than the Accord for 2 kids and all the stuff that comes with them…


#8

Shadowfax: " I grew up in the days of no airbags, no 3 point rear seatbelts, and kids were out of the car seat by the time they were toddlers. I’m still alive, and the majority of the people who were kids when I was are too."

OH NO! Not the “I survived, so your kids will be fine” fallacy again! Shadowfax, those who died in those days aren’t around to speak for themselves, so they are under-represented. They may not have been people you knew, but their lives had value too, in spite of your lack of recognition.


#9

FoDaddy, I think the OP is thinking of fuel economy when referring to “performance.”


#10

If safety is a major concern, visit
www.IIHS.org.

That’s the officially recognized arbitor of crashworthyness.

Whiey also made a good point in that anyything new would be safer, even a smaller vehicle. Cars these past years have come with side airbags and other technology that can make a big difference.

And don’t confuse performance with safety. Some of the safest cars in the world are also some of the fastest.


#11

And don’t confuse performance with safety. Some of the safest cars in the world are also some of the fastest.

Ever see a Nascar Crash at 200mph and the driver walks away unharmed??..I’ve yet to see regular passenger car on the road crash at 100mph and the driver isn’t severely injured or killed.


#12

You can’t prevent everything. Captain’s chairs may or may not be better in accidents. Some people would choose the seats that are located best to avoid back strain when putting the kids in. Others would choose not to open a big van door at -15 degrees

I saw a suggestion to look at safety ratings in C. R.


#13

Forget the Mazda5. HLDI (Highway Loss Data Institute) shows medical losses for the Mazda 5 at 96; 100 is average in their normalized rating system. The 4WD Honda Pilot, on the other hand, has a medical loss rating of 47. The 4WD Pilot is the safest of them all. If you must have a Mazda, the CX-9 has a rating of 56. BTW, the 2WD Pilot is not rated for medical payout for 2007-2009, the most recent data.


#14

The 5 and the Pilot are 2 completely different animals; both in size and in vehicle type.


#15

But I’d buy a stripped Pilot with good safety ratings rather than a 5. An LX 2wd Pilot starts at $28k, a 5 at about $20k. Big difference, true. That’s why I’d open up my options, if a '98 Accord might work, just about any intermediate sedan would work, including the much roomier and safer 2011 Accord.


#16

“The 5 and the Pilot are 2 completely different animals; both in size and in vehicle type.”

The only question asked concerned safety. Other merits don’t appear to be important.


#17

The HLDI data does not take into account that one model may be purchased by more accident-prone drivers than another model.


#18

I don’t think you husband is crazy. The safety of the child is more dependent on the quality of the car seat and that the seat is installed properly in the car and the child is buckled into the car seat correctly.

The Honda has reinforced doors and it would take a very high speed impact to push the door into the car seat. Still the Mazda 5 is a new car with more safety features by design, but it doesn’t achieve especially good safety marks in crash testing compared to other new cars.

Your desire to protect you child is valid, but you can’t put a protective bubble around your child either. I think the difference in a child’s safety in a 4 door Honda vs a Mazda 5 is virtually the same even if the child is seated next to the door. In a side impact (T bone) accident the injuries are from being jerked and spun around in the car, not from the other car intruding into the passenger compartment.


#19

Let me weigh in again. The safety of the child is most dependent on a vigilant and defensive driver behind the wheel. Avoiding an accident is preferred to surviving it. But even the best drivers can take a hit.

As for a t-bone type accident. The closer to the door, the more dangerous. If the child is far enough away from the door, they will suffer injuries from the g-forces of the impact, but if they are next to the door, they can also receive a direct hit. The direct hit will not have the advantages of the shock absorption enjoyed by the child that is on the other side or in the center.