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Re: crash data (and some empirical data!)

Our man STEADIRIC@aol.com spoke thusly:

>>Now when my rear tire blew  on 86' 5000 CST, I spun out at 60 MPH, hit a
>>retaining barier broad side (my side) and walked away without a scratch,
>>that is when I can believe that the car is pretty safe.

>Well you hit the wall with the largest surface area which reduced the
>impact psi, which is one of the reason's that you walked away from the
>crash......  I doubt that you'd be posting us if you did a 60mph ofset
>frontal impact..........

BZZZZT. I don't think so. The human body doesn't care about psi between
the two mating surfaces, just the speed of decceleration and the hardness
of newly met surfaces...IOW, whether the end of my car is pointy or broad,
it don't matter. What does matter is how that portion of the car deforms
as it takes the energy of the impact. And the front crumple zone will
handle this energy a hell of a lot better than the side of the car, which
by and large is set up very stiffly to avoid intrusion, rather than to

Beyond this, the interior passive safety devices - bag, seat, belt,
padding, etc, is all largely designed to cushion in a frontal or offset
collision. You've got squat in a side collision, save your head on the
glass. Ouch!

Bottom line - given the choice of two collisions into the same barrier at
the same speed, and I'd probably want to take it head on...

OBTW, some jerk decided to try exactly this in her Ford Shitbox this
evening. Rammed me from behind as I was waiting to pull onto a major road.
I saw it coming in my mirror 30 seconds before...young girl watching
traffic at a standstill, instead of watching *me*. Then *she* went!

Audi took the hit without flinching. My kids in the back giggled and
laughed as though it was a big joke (first accident ever for them). I got
out to inspect the damage...fortunately she was moving slow enough, and
the Ford Shitbox had sufficiently little get up and go, that she was
prolly only going 2-3 mph when she hit me...it was more than a tap, but
not much more...bumper moved in and out, with the trim scratching the
bumper cover as it was designed to do (WTF do they do that?). No
bent/buckled sheet metal, no other marks. No harm, no foul. Nothing even
on the Shitbox, which indicated to me that it couldn't have been *that*
hard! ;-)

Anyway, I think she learned her lesson. Just glad it wasn't broadside!


Lee Levitt
1990 Audi 200
1988 Volvo 745T