4x4 Safety

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Mar 27, 2003
There was a program on British TV this week on 4x4 safety. It quoted some research that showed if a 4x4 was in a collision with another vehicle (car), the occupants of the other vehicle were 24 times more likely to die than the occupants of the 4x4.

The program then went on to show how there were several ways in which a 4x4 was less safe than a car. Namely, they are prone to rolling over. Several experiments were shown in which a stunt driver violently swerved to avoid driving into the rear of a vehicle that had unexpectedly slowed (as often happens in motorway accidents) The stunt driver carried out the manover in a car at 30, 40, 50 .... all the way up to 100mph. All he was able to do was spin the vehicle. The same demonstration was then carried out with a Range Rover. (You knew what was coming next, because of the safety cage and absence of any windows) At 35 mph the vehicle rolled.

Apparently this is very common due to a 4x4's high centre of gravity. The more lift you have, the more likely you are to roll.

Food for thought.....

Cheers, Jim :beer:
Thanks Jim for sharing that with us, I live in Boston, MA and the I pay more insurance premium on my truck than I am currently paying for the other car due to the same reasons you stated.

A new law had been passed over a year ago in MA penalizes the owner of a truck to pay more into his or hers annual truck Ins. (as this is a mandetory requirement in MA in order to register a car or a truck on the road) due to the same reasons as you have mentioned (truck will cause more fatality / damage to the occupents of the other car if an accident ever took place).

I guess I prefer to be the owner of the truck rather than the owner of the car if such a thing will happen god forbid, as my family's saftey comes first.


Given two unequal sized vehicles, the larger vehicle stands at an advantage every time. Physics. What irritates me to no end is that manufacturers have effectively turned most new "trucks" and "suv's" into nothing more than glorified (and less-safe) station wagons and mini-vans. IF manufacturers had left trucks as their own platform with their work ethic and spent their marketing dollar on the station wagon, I'd bet 90% of soccer moms would own those instead, and overall the roads would be safer since more vehicles would be of similar size and height.

Just one man's opinion....my wife drives a 325i and a MGB and loves them both!! (and that MGB is one TINY car!)
(Turning Rant On...)

I have yet to have a victim, or anyone in a victim's family that our SAR unit has saved, or even recovered a loved one's body, complain about the vehicles we use to do so being tippy, gas guzzling SUVs! That goes for our personal vehicles and unit equipment!

I personally can't wait until those who purchase their SUVs as mall wagons or status symbols get tired of paying for the gas, maintenance etc. and go back to station wagons; leaving the vehicles for those of us who have always driven them based on an actual need.

My Cruiser is not a Porshe, and thus I do not try to drive it like one!

(Rant Off...)

-H- :beer:
Apparently this is very common due to a 4x4's high centre of gravity. The more lift you have, the more likely you are to roll.

Shocking, just shocking. :G

Couldn't agree with you more - and look at the trend of the new suv's coming out like the Nissan and the Chrysler. They are a cross between an suv and a station wagon. IMHO, Lexus started the trend with the RX300.

To your point about our driving, again, right on. As a former Porsche 996 driver, do I drive my beast like I drove the 996, absolutely not, but there are morons that try and those few give the rest of us a bad name. Ok off my soap box now.
I for one am absolutely happy to see the design style of the new SUV getting smaller, lighter, more rounded and more car-city-ish. Why? Leave the big bulky, and actually solid tough stuff for people like you, who are reading this.

Sure, there will be the Expedition's and the Hummers, I see them is SF all the time, but those owners will eventually get sick of the gas and size and end up in a yuppified bubble.

It's just too bad the 100 is IFS, and so will be the 110, 120 or whatever.

Meanwhile I'll be cruising sixty, in my 80, saving gas and rubber for the dirt. Matter of fact, my 80 sits parked, mostly for road trips, wheeling and snow. While I ride the Kawasaki at 50 mpg and one hell of a turning radius.
I hear gripes around town all the time. Folks b##$ing about me using more gas, can't see around me etc etc. I just look 'em and say "hey, thanks for being my crush zone. At least I know if I hit you that I won't have to listen to you whine anymore. Now shut up and go away". :slap: :slap: :slap: :slap: :slap: :slap:

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
Here's my solution to safer driving...make everyone drive 105's w/ 1HZ's and a 5 spd. Since the engine is so underpowered on the highway, everyone would have to be a lot more patient and drive slower, thus reducing accidents. :)

Just a little soap box posturing.
about 4 years ago theere was a lad named Dave. he was an insurance adjuster who always dreamed of owning a 60 series. one day Dave gets a call to go and inspect a 91 toyota land cruiser. he gets there to look at it and it looks pretty bad the rocker has been smashed the doors are gone and after taliking to the owner of the vehicle he advised that he was hit by a 85 buick regal at anbout 40mph. he told me it shhok him a bit but he drove it home. then drove it to work the next day.
Soon after this day Dave started looking at 80 series land cruisers due to the fact he had a new born son back then and wanted something that could take a hit form some moronic drunk driver and walk away with his son. well I'm on my second 80 series now and my son is almost 5. Dont know of too many other suv's on the market that can take that kind of impact and make sure the passengers are ok.
ok leaving the soap box now and will admit I just wanted the cruiser and crash safety made it easier to convince my wife it was worth the money I spent.
Dave :beer:
Jim if this was on British tv was it a British program? I am asking because I would imagine that given the lower bumper requirements and crash safety standards in Europe, an fzj80 could take out most european cars without even damaging its bumper (assuming they were high enough off the ground to connect bumper to bumper). Certainly I'd hate to be rear ended by an 80 in a Fiat Punto. It would probably go right over the top of you and on to the Smartcar in front.

I guess I am also wondering what the Brits consider to be an SUV. I have a friend in London with a 2 door RAV4 soft top thing who thinks he is a fellow Toyota SUV owner. This may be technically true under the OED in the same way that humans and pygmy shrews are both mammals, but I don't imagine he is notably safer for his trouble than an ordinary saloon (or shrew).
The research was done in Europe. I take your point about an 80 being of a different scale to most European cars. Many a time I park front bumper to front bumper with another car and they are looking at my front diff.

In fact, it was another program showing what happened when a 4x4 hit a car that made me buy an 80. In the crash, a 4x4 hit a VW Golf (in the US - a Rabbit - I think) and went straight over the top - presumably taking the heads of the occupants of the Golf with it. I suppose the viewers were supposed to be disgusted. In fact, I, like many many others, was rather impressed and thought I must have one..

I don't know about Europe having lower safety standards. From what I understand, we export our cars to the US without making any safety improvements. The only thing you are more strict about is air pollution. Also, consider that UK motorway speeds are 80-90 mph and in Germany there is no legal maximum. I think in the US you all trundle around at 55mph :dunno: Our cars are built to pretty high safety standards...

We don't really use the term SUV over here. A 4x4 is an SUV.
That means that RAV 4's and Honda CRV's are all classified under the same category as an 80.

Cheers, Jim :beer:
Greetings Jim -

>> I think in the US you all trundle around at 55mph...

The posted speed limit in metropolitan areas - and highways that pass through them - is 55 mph, and 65 mph in the open areas. But as Cruisn' points out, that is not realistic.

Truth is, anyone who "trundles" on our highways is a pigmy shrew, and generally suffers the consequences. ;)


R -
Jim, European safety standards are lower, especially on bumpers. North American bumpers must be larger and heavier to pass minimum crash requirements. The resulting weight difference is one reason your little cars are so much more peppy than ours. Another is that your emission standards are lower so less emission control issues leads to more hp per cubic inch.

Also, we get golfs now too instead of rabbits. Apparently Volkswagen decided that North America was ready for totally meaningless names for their vehicles.
He gets there to look at it and it looks pretty bad the rocker has been smashed the doors are gone and after taliking to the owner of the vehicle he advised that he was hit by a 85 buick regal at anbout 40mph. he told me it shhok him a bit but he drove it home. then drove it to work the next day.
Dave :beer:

Think of the crash protection with a bullbar and sliders. My sister backed into my rear bumper this past week and only scraped some paint off while trashing the side of her Honda Accord. I just laughed it off pondering what would have happened if the tow hitch was still there. :G
Note to self:
have bull bar need sliders and need to get off my as and build my rear bumper.........
glad to see you made it safely to provo rogue.
Dave :beer:
sorry rogue read more closely soon to be in provo still? well I would try to hook up with you and go wheeling but I will be packing up the pig and heading to washington next week.
Dave :beer: :beer:
two beers cause they are hard to come by in provo. :tear:
I will be in Provo mid-June. Are you moving to Washington permanantly? If so, at least the Cruiser population won't suffer.

An eye for an eye, a Cruiser for a Cruiser. Something like that right... Maybe it is a bit mis-interpreted. Oh well! :G
at least for the next few years, Salt Lake is home for me but want to check out some ohter areas to live in.
BTW, the cruiser population here is pretty mall cruiser just by way of warning.
Dave :beer:

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