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View Poll Results: Does more heavy, mean more safe?
Yes 25 22.12%
No 59 52.21%
Maybe 29 25.66%
Voters: 113. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 5th May 2006, 14:56   #31
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Unless one drives a battle tank, heavy does not mean safe!
A car's safety depends on the material and structural design. Most modern cars use monoque structure which is structurally very strong. Also the crumple zone helps to absorb energy - it may completely destroy the engine bay yet keeps the passenger cabin intact.
Several tests have proved that often occupands in heavy vehicle suffer more.
A recent episode of Fifth Gear featured frontal crash between an old Land Rover (heavy) and Renault Espace (light and modern). The crash clearly showed that occupants in Land Rover would have suffered much serious injury!
A car's integrety/safety depends on not just weight but various factors. A monoque chassis will perform far better than heavy metal parts joined together by screws or rivets!
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Old 5th May 2006, 15:11   #32
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Yes and no. There are so many other factors which make a car safe. But if we take two cars with same safety features, the heavier of the two will be safer.

I vote "Maybe".
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Old 5th May 2006, 18:22   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979
, the Indica is indeed safer than WagonR or santro
1. Its less likely to topple than both of these
I am yet to see a toppled WagonR/Santro.

ALthough, i have seen a couple of burnt Indicas, and a toppled Indica as well (the photo of which was published some years back in HT)

But, i am not saying that WagonR is more safer than Indica. It maybe, it may not be.
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Old 5th May 2006, 18:32   #34
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Theres no comparison of the wagon, santro to the indica....
I've seen accidents between a wagon r and an indica headon...
The indica suffered damage mostly to the engine bay...but the same couldnt be said for the wagon r, there was considerable deformation of the cabin.

Seen far too many santros and wagon r toppled...but thats mostly due to drivers trying to ape micheal schumacher around corners...the tall boy design has its limit.

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Last edited by drifter : 5th May 2006 at 18:35.
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Old 5th May 2006, 18:40   #35
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I think this thread is drifting around to find an answer to not so clear question

Does weight add to the safety-----NO

Are heavier cars more safe---------May be

Are lighter cars more safe----------May be

Given identical cars, including structural strength, is a lighter car more safe Yes
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Old 5th May 2006, 18:41   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepug
According to me the safety also depends on how the safety features of the car is used.
Some case in points. The Ford Ikon crash reported in the forum only thing that saved the
front passengers were the seat belts. So even without having air bags , ABS and the works,
the basic safety feature like seat belts helped --
yeah exceptions are always there
Old crash of Princess Diana -- in one of the safest cars in the world, with ABS,
7 /8 AirBags all aroud -- didnt survive because
they didnt use the seatbelts -- the driver survived -- seat belts again.
So it's not whether the car is heavy or light, it is upto the drivers and passengers to define their safety.
Well said deepug, I second that.
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Old 5th May 2006, 18:47   #37
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With same engeneering A heavier car is safer car.
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Old 5th May 2006, 18:48   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979
Only in some cases. Thats why I put in maybe
For example look at two similar cars, like lets say Wagon R and Indica. Indica is safer partly due to more metal.
So if you design two cars with similar engineering the heavier one will be safer.

But if engineering is different, things change. For example Aveo and Swift. Aveo is so heavy but is very very unsafe, much more than swift
The Wagon R - Indica comparison doesn't seem to be fair. The cars are dimensionally quite different. Wagon R is a much narrower car. If you stretch the Wagon R to make it as wide as the Indica, it will probably weigh as much. Aren't the weights of Swift and Indica almost identical?
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Old 5th May 2006, 18:50   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRC
I think this thread is drifting around to find an answer to not so clear question

Does weight add to the safety-----NO

Are heavier cars more safe---------May be

Are lighter cars more safe----------May be

Given identical cars, including structural strength, is a lighter car more safe Yes

Lets make the question a little bit more specific. Alto v/s Indica.
Now Alto is no tall boy, so i dont think i am committing a sin comparing these two.
I personally think Alto is light years ahead of Indica in terms of safety. Whatsay?!
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Old 5th May 2006, 18:51   #40
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I decided to go with MayBe. It depends on a lot many factors. First of all Heavy vis-a-vis what? A car is always safer than a bike because its heavier... You get the drift? So the first and foremost thing is that everything else about the two should be same to the max possible extent so as to not outclass any of the two vehicles completely.

Now when you look at similar vehicles, safety zones and equipments also carry a lot of weightage. A car may be real heavy and rigid so much so that it looks almost invincible in a collision whereas the other car looks completely crushed. Yet the stronger one may kill its occupant inside because it simply transferred all the shock to the occupants. A case in point was an accident I saw some years back where the driver (sole occupant) of an Ambassador was killed while the two occupants inside the other car (a Santro) survived.

Also, I do not necessarily agree with RevHarders example of the City and the Tata Truck. Yes the collision did break the wheels/axles of the Tata and the resulting impact caused it to slide down to a nallah (or whatever it was) but the fact is that the car hit the truck at high speeds at 90 degrees. At this angle the maximum impact was transferred to the wheels of the truck and hence the wheels came of. Of course the presence of good impact-absorption zones meant the driver of the car survived.
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Old 5th May 2006, 18:55   #41
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As long as cars are manufactured frm steel, I feel heavy is safeer, provided if it is designed properly. A properly designed heavy material makes more sense than the light material with the same design.
For verification, just try deforming these two, it will b clear.
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Old 5th May 2006, 18:57   #42
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Ok... maybe I should sum-up my previous post... in continuity to the previous one lets say that if I took two vehicles which are same in all aspects the heavier one may have an edge. Lets say we have two Altos... One is the regular one but the other one made heavy on purpose by adding a lot of extra weight (metal?!). Now if the two ram into each other the lighter Alto will always suffer more.

Above theory directly comes out of physics. At a given speed the heavier vehicle will always have more momentum at the time of the crash. Now if everything else is the same the lighter vehicle will have to bear the brunt because of the higher momentum of the heavier vehicle.
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Old 5th May 2006, 19:02   #43
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I've voted "Maybe" because the end result of a crash would depend on so many other factors as well, which can't be wished away.

Last edited by directinjection : 5th May 2006 at 19:05.
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Old 5th May 2006, 19:09   #44
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Even in my opinion, heavier = safer. A big, heavy car makes me 'feel' safer than smaller, lighter ones, even though they may fare better in crash tests. That also one of the reasons I love full size American cars.

Last edited by sajo : 5th May 2006 at 19:13.
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Old 5th May 2006, 19:13   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dceite
Lets make the question a little bit more specific. Alto v/s Indica.
Now Alto is no tall boy, so i dont think i am committing a sin comparing these two.
I personally think Alto is light years ahead of Indica in terms of safety. Whatsay?!
That would be wrong, as the design of both the cars are different,

OK, for the sake of arguement, let's take say Alto OR Indica, with engine and without an engine ( Now dont laugh, its only a theory) to make it ligher, Drive/hurl the car to say 60KMPH, and crash against some thing, then the car with out an engine will be more safer, as the wieght is less..

Or in other words, if you can make a car lighter and provide same strcutural rigidity, say by using composite materials, then the lighter car would be more safe, as it build less kinetic energy, which is fatal.
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