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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please give your opinion on the following automotive safety features, using a scale of 0-10 where 10 represents a "must have" feature and 0 means "not only is it useless, but it actually makes the car LESS safe":

- ABS (Anti-lock Braking System)

- Side curtain airbags

- Daytime running lights

- Traction control

- Anything I forgot because it's past my bedtime :freak:
 

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What kind of car? ABS is essential (10) on a bimbo box but next to useless (4 or so) on a track weapon and downright dangerous (-1) on a rally machine or rock crawler.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
"Bimbo box"? Is that slang for a minivan? :rollsmiley:

I was thinking about ordinary, compact and mid-sized passenger cars - sedans, hatchbacks, et cetera.

I've read that ABS is most useful on heavier vehicles and less useful on lightweights. My own experience has been that it's useful for maintaining control during hard stops in a Taurus and a Camry but I don't think I've ever used it to avoid a collision.
 

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Originally posted by Matt VDW
Please give your opinion on the following automotive safety features, using a scale of 0-10 where 10 represents a "must have" feature and 0 means "not only is it useless, but it actually makes the car LESS safe":

- ABS (Anti-lock Braking System)

ABS is an "active system" while good for drivers during a "panic stop". Proper braking is generally shorter in a non-ABS equiped car.

I would give it a 7. Since it can help general drivers, but tends to hurt trained drivers.

- Side curtain airbags

If you need airbags then you already crashed. Airbags work/help in protecting you. Side airbags help. I would give airbags, an 8 or 9 however it is better not to ever need them.

- Daytime running lights

If I am not mistaken DRL's have already been shown to prevent accidents. I would say 9.

- Traction control

I am not a big fan of Traction Control Systems. The computer is unable to distingush between rain/sleet/snow/mud/sand/pavement etc.

"Rocking" a car can get you out of places that a TCS engaged system would not. Having a TCS system that you can turn off is a good mix between both.
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I would rate TCS as 6 or 7. It works well as designed however it if outside it's design paramters then it can hurt.

[disclaimer]

My car has all of the features you outlined. However they do nothing to make me feel safe, (They may protect me in the event of an accident).

[end disclaimer]

The only "10" I would give is learning the limits of a car and what needs to be done to keep control of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The only "10" I would give is learning the limits of a car and what needs to be done to keep control of it.
Yes, that's a good point.

There are two aspects of safety: avoiding accidents and surviving accidents. It's best to avoid getting into an accident in the first place, but sometimes someone else's mistake puts you into a situation where your driving ability can't save you.

For instance, I was once rear-ended when I pulled over for an ambulance. A woman driving behind me sped through an intersection to beat the ambulance and ran into my truck. There was no way I could have escaped.
 
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