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Old 29th July 2011, 12:06   #1
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Default Do Sedans survive rear-ended accidents better?

Hi All,

10 days before my daughters birth, An auto came and smashed my car from behind while i was standing in Traffic signal, he came out of no where, people from the auto were thrown out and injured. Thankfully my wife was not in the car. My Optra rear bumper,tail light and little part of right hand side body took the dent, The bill was 30 k for the repairs and i had to pay 9k rest the insurance. Auto fellow did not have any insurance, police fellow suggested i claim for him too, what the hell it was not my fault, i knew police are such a waste and left the scene saying i will take care of my car. But this accident has created a bad psychological impression on my mind. With my new born daughter and family i am now becoming too much concerned about safety, and the thread accidents in india makes me more insecure, not sure if that thread really helps, because when an accident happens its out of no where all of a sudden. i was just thinking what if it was not an auto but a truck, the damage would have been more, So since we know the fact that heavier vehicles are damaged less in accidents when thay crash with smaller ones, doesn't a good heavy sedan take impacts well compared to small cars no matter with how many airbags.

But all i was thinking that if it was a small car without a boot the damage would have been more, also the rear glass may have shattered. I felt Optra's well built took the impact nicely and since sedans have larger boot and crumple zone it should take impacts better than the smaller cars.

Hey but my both the cars Optra and Getz has no Airbag or ABS. I am not using my Getz for all doctor visits. I know with time i will forget the incident. But i really feel that than buying a new car with ABS / Airbag if not in budget we can go for a second hand sedan with these feature that may handle crashes better. Some cars with airbags abs like elantra i have seen in dead cheap prices. I may be wrong though.

Last edited by krish82 : 29th July 2011 at 12:17.
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Old 29th July 2011, 12:41   #2
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Default Re: Do Sedan Cars Survive Crashes better!

I remember reading the Sedan Vs SUV sometime ago and was keeping up with the latest developments as i am considering a SUV as my next buy and would like to be more safer on the highways than i currently am (With no ABS and Airbags).

Some of the stuff that i read recently were one from MSNBC among others.

SUVs now safer in crash; small cars risky - Business - Autos - msnbc.com

Although your concern is valid i would think in the city drives a good sedan is equally safe as the kind of speeds that we do within City are much less and if you also have Airbags and ABS you shouldn't be worried, unless you have a Drunken driver driving a truck full of madness behind you (Usually when i feel some truck driver is driving erratic i let him go ahead of me or ensure there is enough distance)
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Old 29th July 2011, 12:46   #3
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Default Re: Do Sedan Cars Survive Crashes better!

Modern cars - be it a Sedan or a Hatch - are designed keeping crumple zones and other safety things in mind. So both would be able to take the impact equally well or bad. It is a fallacy that a SUV or a car with "thud" feeling would be better in an accident - if that was the case, the safest car in India would be the goold old Amby

Airbag/ABS is a feature which is compulsory in most countries around the world and for a reason - it saves lives. I sometimes wonder when people buy 5-6L+ cars but dont go in for the safety options as they cost 50-60k more. I would suggest that for your next car, do look for cars which come with ABS/Airbag. (A rear impact would not activate them though)
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Old 29th July 2011, 13:02   #4
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Default Re: Do Sedan Cars Survive Crashes better!

A sedan will always have better rear protecction. The best protection is to ensure your child is secured by a belt. MY daughter has always used a belt and now at 13 yrs, it is a habit!
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Old 29th July 2011, 13:05   #5
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Default Re: Do Sedan Cars Survive Crashes better!

Even a diamond is breakable if you hammer it at the right place.

And the rear looks more solid than front. Have seen Innova smash into a Zen's rear; felt sorry for the Innova.

ABS/airbag always helps. Glad that this incident helped open your eye.
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Old 29th July 2011, 13:22   #6
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Default Re: Do Sedan Cars Survive Crashes better!

As far as I understand it, with somebody rear ending you, most of the energy may be taken up by allowing the rear ended car to move forward. With a head on crash, this is not likely to happen, thus the requirement for airbags, and big crumple zones. If there is something ahead of you that you hit when you are rear ended, all the frontal/side crash safety measures come into play.

So, I dont think overall a sedan would do a lot better than any other type of vehicle.

Thus, you should much rather concentrate on getting a safer car, with fron airbags, ABS and a good design, rather than buying a sedan over a hatch. And of course taking proper precautions like seat belts,even in the rear seats, are also very important.

Last edited by julupani : 29th July 2011 at 13:26.
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Old 29th July 2011, 13:27   #7
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Default Re: Do Sedan Cars Survive Crashes better!

Krish82,

In general, any car manufactured in India, need to clear the requirements of Full frontal, Side impact and rear collision tests at the specified speeds, in ARAI.
Now, the speeds at which these tests are conducted are specified segment wise by ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India) after analysing the driving patterns/ road conditions/avg speed, etc as per the Indian standards.
While, the European/ American avg speeds are more compared to India conditions, those cars are designed to absorb more impact.
Yes, there would be a strip down to some extent, but not completely to our levels.
So, in this perspective, we can say, the cars which are already 5 years old or so in the international market are to be preffered than the same segment counterparts of Indian origin.

The above analysis may be wrong if we speak in apple to apple comparision in some cases.
For eg. The Indica is equally sturdy in comparison with other European/ American brands and more rugged than Korean cars. The earlier Palio was called as 'Tijori on wheels' due to its very rigid and rugged cabin.
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Old 29th July 2011, 13:59   #8
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Default Re: Do Sedan Cars Survive Crashes better!

Sedans would surely prove safer to hatch's, when its a rear ending accident.
Have had my Accent rear ended at high speed on NH4 and the only damage was, a dent in the rear bumper. Had it been a hatch, I shudder to think what could have happened.
Best way to protect people in the car, is seatbelts. All occupants, not only by the ones on the front seat.
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Old 29th July 2011, 14:11   #9
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Default Re: Do Sedan Cars Survive Crashes better!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ethanhunt123 View Post
Modern cars - be it a Sedan or a Hatch - are designed keeping crumple zones and other safety things in mind. So both would be able to take the impact equally well or bad. It is a fallacy that a SUV or a car with "thud" feeling would be better in an accident - if that was the case, the safest car in India would be the goold old Amby

Airbag/ABS is a feature which is compulsory in most countries around the world and for a reason - it saves lives. I sometimes wonder when people buy 5-6L+ cars but dont go in for the safety options as they cost 50-60k more. I would suggest that for your next car, do look for cars which come with ABS/Airbag. (A rear impact would not activate them though)
Logically speaking in a small car, the passengers head and the rear tail gate will have only 10 to 15 inches of distance and also since there are no proper head rest in some small cars, during rear impact the damage may be more. Now days there are several accidents where cars are rear ending other cars parked on the highway side. Due to this i am thinking that we should recommend sedan cars as much as we recommend ABS and Airbags.
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Old 29th July 2011, 14:17   #10
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Default Re: Do Sedan Cars Survive Crashes better!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverick79 View Post
In general, any car manufactured in India, need to clear the requirements of Full frontal, Side impact and rear collision tests at the specified speeds, in ARAI.
Are you sure ARAI conducts these tests?

I don't think so. If at all they were done we would have had Indian car makers advertising them, like how they publish their "ARAI certified mileage".

Quote:
Originally Posted by krish82 View Post
Logically speaking in a small car, the passengers head and the rear tail gate will have only 10 to 15 inches of distance and also since there are no proper head rest in some small cars, during rear impact the damage may be more. Now days there are several accidents where cars are rear ending other cars parked on the highway side. Due to this i am thinking that we should recommend sedan cars as much as we recommend ABS and Airbags.
IMO hatches sold in european countries as well as here like Polo, i20, Punto, etc are much safer in rear impacts, than the boot pasted sedans like Dzire, Indigo, etc which have undergone no proper tests like Euroncap.

Last edited by Daewood : 29th July 2011 at 14:23.
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Old 29th July 2011, 14:22   #11
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Default Re: Do Sedan Cars Survive Crashes better!

I have seen several scorpio's and safari's crumpled along side highways. But in those accidents the drivers themselves go over the limit and loose control and dash against trees or trucks. What would happen if an 800 and safari collided at 50 kmph head on, shouldnt the 800 get more damaged. I think there are very less accidents in city roads that claims lives in cars unless until drunken or rash driving, majority happen on the highway where speed is the main reason. I will upload my car photos in a while, The Auto's structure after hitting my car had got fully bent, if you would have looked at the auto you will feel its a head on major accident. I will try to cover up my accident story in another thread, because i learnt many things from it.

1. As soon as it happened, i was wondering for 10 mins that it was true.
2. My touch phone sucked.. i will never ever use one, reaching family and call center insurance was a real pain in tense situations.
3. Police tried to convince me to claim insurance for that auto, if i had done so legally i will be the responsible person for the accident. Police wallahs are worst here.
4. There is no one to help when such things happen, only you and your passengers, for me i was alone. Few people was just enjoying the show from their cars and few bike fellow laughing and some crowd seeing the optra and auto as if it was a Boeing 747. May be even i would have done the same.
5. And of course my sincere condolences for all the people and their cars who are featured in the Accident thread. Its very easy to browse posts and give advice's, but when such things happen, its inconsolable, i regret for all lives that are lost in car accidents, its not worth loosing there. Safety should be made mandatory, i would any day prefer airbag and abs in base versions as ford has done instead of some phone bluetooth connectivity.
6. In india i havent seen anybody wearing rear seatbelts, most of them also get hidden within seat covers. Even i havent used it for my family. i always wear one when i am in the front.

I feel there should be some head to head figures or tests how an i20 or polo or 800 would perform in certain type of crashes. Some ARAI figures and 5 star rating give us nothing, its just a gimmick for selling a car, How many people can get a mileage of 19kmpl from their cars as stated by ARAI in city conditions. they always provide a *. If i20 has 5 star rating and BMW has 5star rating can we say i2o is as safe as a BMW ?

Last edited by krish82 : 29th July 2011 at 14:36.
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Old 29th July 2011, 14:37   #12
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Default Re: Do Sedan Cars Survive Crashes better!

A sedan will take the rear ending better than a hatch because the boot will take most of the hit and the cabin will be relatively unaffected. In a hatch, the rear gets all the hit and hence the passenger cabin faces more damage.

Build quality and safety wise etc., I don't think there's much diff. between a sedan and a hatch; it depends on the manufacturer.

Agree, ABS and Airbags are an important aspect in a car, but they are uselss in case of a rear-ending.

The most you can do - have a baby seat strapped properly via seat belt and drive safe.

Cheers!

A question : Are crumple zones better designed to absorb hits in sedans w.r.t hatches?
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Old 29th July 2011, 14:44   #13
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I shudder to think about the rear end accidents in particularly when my son always prefers to sit at the rear with seat belts of course. Since I drive a sedan should I heave a sigh of relief. I dont think so. It all depends on the severity of the crash. Even a small jolt at the back can unnerve the rear passengers.

Dont the newer hatches come with advanced body chasis with crumple zone features and all. Shouldn't they be considered safer at par with the sedans then?
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Old 29th July 2011, 15:29   #14
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Default Re: Do Sedan Cars Survive Crashes better!

I really dont understand, that everybody is missing a simple point.

When one car hits another car from the back, the force is just transferred through, its as if somebody providing an extra force. Not much crumpling or damage is going to be suffered at the back at all. The energy will mostly be taken up by an increase in the kinetic energy of the vehicle, and not by crumpling of the body.

Do a simple experiment with two tennis balls, compare the two following situations.

1. Roll one ball, and then roll another ball at a faster speed in the same direction. See what happens, when the second ball hits the first one.
2. Roll two balls in opposite directions towards each other.

In the first case, there will be a bit of compression of the two balls, but after a while the first ball will just speed up and may be change direction a bit if they are not in perfect straight line.

In the 2nd case, if they are in a perfect straight line, there will be a heavy amount of compression in both balls, and accompanied by a drastic change in direction if they are not in a straight line.

The crumple zones at the back are only important only when a car is being crushed from both sides. Even here, if there is a good crumple zone at the front, the rear doesnt really need that much.

The sedan doesnt really have a big advantage at all.

If distance of the passenger from the ends was important, we would all be driving Cadillacs now, with a mile long bonnet and a half a mile long boot.
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Old 29th July 2011, 15:51   #15
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Default Re: Do Sedan Cars Survive Crashes better!

Quote:
Originally Posted by julupani View Post
I really dont understand, that everybody is missing a simple point.

When one car hits another car from the back, the force is just transferred through, its as if somebody providing an extra force. Not much crumpling or damage is going to be suffered at the back at all. The energy will mostly be taken up by an increase in the kinetic energy of the vehicle, and not by crumpling of the body.
I totally agree to the theory of motion you used in your argument (the intensity of a rear impact is the same irrespective of a sedan or a hatchback). However, in real life situations, it is not so. A sedan takes a rear impact much better than a hatchback, irrespective of passive safety features present or absent. To illustrate, I have attached pictures posted by laxmanrk in the Accidents in India thread. See for yourself, if it had been a Swift instead of the Dzire, the occupants in the rear seats would have definitely suffered more injury.
Attached Thumbnails
Do Sedans survive rear-ended accidents better?-dzire1.jpg  

Do Sedans survive rear-ended accidents better?-dzire2.jpg  

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