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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
It was another thread that inspired my question, but I'm wondering if, between government mandates, manufacturers' responses, and technology in general, have we pushed safety devices to where they may be contributing to diminished safety overall?

  • While its nice to have nice strong A,B, and C pillars, they are so big they limit visibility.
  • Its really hard to see cars coming on a front angle because of the A pillars.
  • If another car is approaching on an incline, the sideview mirror interferes.
  • The combination of the sideview mirror and the A pillar can even block a pedestrian.
  • Try using the rearview mirror in a 2nd Gen Compass -- the rear head restraints pretty well block the view.
  • The back-up camera, while clever, can be as much a distraction as a help. "Check your surroundings" is good advice. It should say, "Why are you reading this?"
When my late 2018 Compass was involved in a minor accident, six airbags discharged turning a comparatively minor crash into a total wreck. "Totaled" seems like an overstatement, but the airbags and resulting interior damage doubled the cost of the damage. The airbags caused all our injuries; we were wearing our seat belts and if we had no airbags I think we would have been fine.
 

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It was another thread that inspired my question, but I'm wondering if, between government mandates, manufacturers' responses, and technology in general, have we pushed safety devices to where they may be contributing to diminished safety overall?

  • While its nice to have nice strong A,B, and C pillars, they are so big they limit visibility.
  • Its really hard to see cars coming on a front angle because of the A pillars.
  • If another car is approaching on an incline, the sideview mirror interferes.
  • The combination of the sideview mirror and the A pillar can even block a pedestrian.
  • Try using the rearview mirror in a 2nd Gen Compass -- the rear head restraints pretty well block the view.
  • The back-up camera, while clever, can be as much a distraction as a help. "Check your surroundings" is good advice. It should say, "Why are you reading this?"
When my late 2018 Compass was involved in a minor accident, six airbags discharged turning a comparatively minor crash into a total wreck. "Totaled" seems like an overstatement, but the airbags and resulting interior damage doubled the cost of the damage. The airbags caused all our injuries; we were wearing our seat belts and if we had no airbags I think we would have been fine.
You should stop posting.
 

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I agree that the visibility is pretty bad, the A pillar issues for sure and the rear/side rear visibility are troublesome. I was thinking it was more due to design and aesthetics than safety but maybe it is more the safety aspect, not sure. My old S10 Blazer had huge windows all the way back that did not slope or get short at the back, you could see just great out of that thing in all directions.

Every morning the first thing I do is take a right-turn out of my driveway and go straight into a left-hand curve in the road which requires physically shifting in your seat to look around the A pillar to see the road ahead. My wife noticed this on her own and did not have nice things to say about it either.

Sacrifices we make for safety and style?

Anyways, I removed the center headrest on the back seat (nobody ever sits there anyways) so at least looking straight-back view wouldn't be so impeded. In the CR-V the center headrest of the back seat folds down.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
. . . I removed the center headrest on the back seat (nobody ever sits there anyways) so at least looking straight-back view wouldn't be so impeded. In the CR-V the center headrest of the back seat folds down.
Good idea. I think I will. Doesn't solve the problem with the A-pillar, but like you, I've learned to look around it.
 

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Good idea. I think I will. Doesn't solve the problem with the A-pillar, but like you, I've learned to look around it.
Yeah the central mirror is nearly useless. But I am used to only using the side mirrors.So I just backup with the side mirrors and use the camera to see if there is something too low/close to see.

I think A pillar and air bags are designed for the worst case. I would prefer an airbag that deploys easily over the ones that dont deploy when needed. Or a car that gets crushed due to weak a pillars after rolling over. IMO the A pillar design has the issue due to the bottom of the car being considerably wider than the top. It causes the A pillars to connect the body at a relatively "inside" position, rather than being at the sides.
 

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The other issue is the ever shrinking window. For "safety" (i.e. to perform better in crash tests), automobile companies reduce window size so there's less shattered glass in an accident. On the other hand, larger windows allow the driver to actually see better and avoid the accident in the first place.

Speaking of crash tests, do you realize that the NHTSA does not perform rear-end crash tests? Do you know why? The answer is because seatbelts are the cause of most injuries (i.e. back and neck) to the receiver of a rear-end collision. Seat belts can save your life in front end collision, but those are rare. Seat belts are a liability in rear-end collisions which are much more common.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The other issue is the ever shrinking window. For "safety" (i.e. to perform better in crash tests), automobile companies reduce window size so there's less shattered glass in an accident. On the other hand, larger windows allow the driver to actually see better and avoid the accident in the first place.

Speaking of crash tests, do you realize that the NHTSA does not perform rear-end crash tests? Do you know why? The answer is because seatbelts are the cause of most injuries (i.e. back and neck) to the receiver of a rear-end collision. Seat belts can save your life in front end collision, but those are rare. Seat belts are a liability in rear-end collisions which are much more common.
No, I didn't realize that. That is a HUGE oversight. At first glance I'd like to rattle the cage of some politicians; the again, government interference has brought us to where we are today, for better for worse. Still, it would be helpful to the consumer to know all around safety, not just head-on and side-impact collisions.
 

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Seat belts are a liability in rear-end collisions which are much more common.
That is impossible since one person would need to have a front end end collisions for the other person to have rear end. You can have a front end end collisions without the involvement of another car, like if you hit a tree or something, but it is nearly impossible to have a single car rear end accident. So no, rear-end collisions are far far less common.

Plus NHTSA does make rear end crash test, but they dont do it with the entire car since it is unnecessary to use the whole car for that. The just use the seat and seat-belt assembly.

From the article below;

The crash test, which is conducted with the vehicle seat attached to a moving sled, simulates a rear-end crash about equivalent to a stationary vehicle being struck at 20 mph by a vehicle of the same weight.​

https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2011/08/crash-test-101/index.htm
 

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That is impossible since one person would need to have a front end end collisions for the other person to have rear end. You can have a front end end collisions without the involvement of another car, like if you hit a tree or something, but it is nearly impossible to have a single car rear end accident. So no, rear-end collisions are far far less common.
True, but I'm talking about those in the car that is struck. When struck from behind, the body will compress against the seat and hopefully, the head restraint will do its thing. However, the body will want to go forward, this is where lap belts will restrain the body and often cause lumbar problems. The neck will snap forward and be restrained by the shoulder belts causing cervical issues (i.e. whiplash). Front collisions are different because, assuming the airbags deploy, the body is restrained by the airbags more than the seatbelt.

The biggest difference though, is that occupants on the receiving end usually don't know they're about to be struck. In a 30mph collision or worse, it doesn't matter because the human body can't suppress the forces put on the body in such a collision. I'm in the personal injury industry (yes, it is an industry) and I've seen catastrophic injuries to occupants struck at less than 10mph due to them not knowing they were about to be struck. Usually in these cases, the occupant(s) of the striking vehicle walk away unharmed as the brunt of the collision was on the other vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah the central mirror is nearly useless. But I am used to only using the side mirrors.So I just backup with the side mirrors and use the camera to see if there is something too low/close to see.
I've driven a few delivery trucks and farm trucks over the years and learned to use my mirrors for backing. Frankly I find the camera a distraction. Before backing I check the camera just to be sure there's nothing down low (like a child or an animal), after that initial check I use my mirrors for navigating.

The other issue is the ever shrinking window. For "safety" (i.e. to perform better in crash tests), automobile companies reduce window size so there's less shattered glass in an accident. On the other hand, larger windows allow the driver to actually see better and avoid the accident in the first place.
Ironic. Wasn't the Nash Metropolitan banned in Pennsylvania back in the 50's because it didn't have enough glass? (i.e., the windows were too small). I think I've got the make and state right, but someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

Seems another car was also banned for having dual headlights before they became legal in '58. If those people could see the headlights we have today! This is another area of concern: sure with super-bright headlights I can really light up the road, but I blind the oncoming drivers -- really I'm no safer, I'm just facing danger from a different source.
 
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