Recent SUV 5 mph crash tests (Pacifica ranked poorly)

Discussion in 'Pacifica' started by MoPar Man, Nov 29, 2003.

  1. Yes, you said forces of physics, same difference. I've never heard of
    such a concept - there are forces and there is physics, but never heard
    that physics had a force.

    OK, now explain how the "forces" of physics make it such that a bumper
    that can withstand better a 5 MPH impact is now unable to also better
    withstand a 35 MPH impact. You say the "forces" of physics preclude
    both being accomplished simultaneously. I think that's a bunch of
    baloney, but I'm open to a sound physics based argument.

    Matthew S. Whiting, Dec 7, 2003
  2. The real roblem with bumpers anyway is not whether they can be designed
    better or worse at such-and-such a speed. The problem is that there's
    no uniform bumper height requirement. As a result you get collisions such
    as I
    had a week ago where I rear-ended a Chevy truck going at about 3 Mph with
    my Datsun 210, doing no damage whatsoever to the truck and completely
    my grill, both fenders, headlights, etc. because the bottom of the truck
    bumper was
    fully an inch above the TOP of my bumper.

    Now granted I was happy since I didn't have to have a fat claim put against
    insurance, and the car I was driving was basically worth about $500 anyway.
    However, clearly it would have been better if it had been a bumper-to-bumper
    bump, rather than a bumper-to-plastic gingerbread bump.

    Ted Mittelstaedt, Dec 8, 2003
  3. MoPar Man

    Art Begun Guest

    If I were you I would not post the facts of such an incident for the
    whole world to see. Before you posted it there was no record of it.
    Now there is.
    Art Begun, Dec 8, 2003
  4. MoPar Man

    Steve Guest

    Yeah, my wife's LH car has had about 4 rear bumper replacements (3 times
    someone hit it while parked in a parking lot, and once a Crown Victoria
    taxi rear-ended us because th cabbie was gawking at an accident and
    became one himself). Its been close to $1000 EVERY time that stinking
    thing has to be repaired because the plastic cover always cracks and the
    new one then has to be painted and installed. Interestingly, it appeared
    the LEAST damaged when the Crown Vic nailed us at 15 mph or so. All
    the 2-3 mph parking lot incidents were with the other cars' bumper
    corners, trailer hitches, or other things that made a point-impact and
    really tore up the plastic. The Crown Vic was right out of a
    crash-test... full bumper-to-bumper contact with no lateral motion. My
    conclusion is that modern body-color plastic-over-foam over steel-beam
    bumpers do great in staged collisions, but cost a frickin' fortune to
    repair for any sort of real-world damage.

    I'd give anything to have shock-mounted chromed 5 mph bumpers like an
    old '74 Dart that used to be in the family. Those things were truly
    5-mph bumpers that could survive real-world low-speed contact without
    any damage, cosmetic or otherwise. And besides, chrome looks 100 times
    better than painted plastic.
    Steve, Dec 8, 2003
  5. MoPar Man

    Steve Guest

    Hogwash. The old-style steel bumpers mounted on TRUE shock-absorbing
    struts (circa 1974-early 80s, most American cars) could absorb a LOT
    more joules of energy than any cheesy 2-inch thick chunk of styrofoam,
    AND they could survive low-speed impacts without any visible damage.
    They were better all-around.
    Steve, Dec 8, 2003
  6. MoPar Man

    Bill Putney Guest

    Tell me about it - I hit a 35 pound dog going 55 mph (uh - my car - not
    the dog). $1500 due to the fascia, etc. The dog however was totalled.

    I'm on my third front fascia (counting the factory one). First time did
    $4500 at 5 mph (full disclosure: right wheels drifted into a concrete
    lined ditch, and a chain link fence scratched the paint on the right
    upper doors and right side of the roof, fence post took out left front

    Bill Putney
    (to reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my
    address with "x")
    Bill Putney, Dec 8, 2003
  7. Dude, it's a crime to fail to file an accident report in the state that I
    live in if damage to
    either vehicle is over $1000, or if there's ANY medical claims at ALL.
    my insurance company will not cover me in the event the other driver files a
    claim if
    I do not file an accident report. So of course that accident is a matter of
    public record
    and can be looked up by anyone with too much time on their hands and a
    to go to the state capital in Salem.

    All I can say is that if you think that it's such a good idea to try to hide
    accidents, you
    better give your insurance agent a call and get your head straightened out.
    One of these
    days your going to get yourself into what you think is a "minor"
    fender-bender, fail to
    report it, then a month later find yourself staring at a $50,000 civil
    lawsuit on a trumped-
    up medical claim, with 3 witnesses of the accident to serve as backup, and
    your insurance
    company pointing to the fine print of your policy that you violated and that
    requires you
    to report accidents if you don't want them to deny coverage.

    In Oregon, insurance companies are not allowed to count non-chargable
    accidents against
    you (ie: ones that they did not pay out on a claim) no matter who is at
    fault, nor are they
    allowed to count accidents against you in which you were determined to not
    be at fault. You
    can have 2 dozen accidents in a year's time on your record, as long as none
    of them are your
    fault, your premium is the same as someone with a completely clean record.

    The ONLY thing you want to avoid in these minor fender-benders is having a
    police officer
    show up at the scene, because they invariably write a ticket. Thus, it's
    crucial to get your
    information exchanged with the other driver ASAP, and it's crucial to drive
    your vehicle
    out of the vicinity, even if pieces of it are hanging off scraping the
    ground and the radiator is
    belching water. Once both drivers are out of the accident scene, the police
    cannot do

    Ted Mittelstaedt, Dec 9, 2003
  8. MoPar Man

    Art Begun Guest

    Certainly your insurance company always has to be informed of an
    accident otherwise they could deny coverage. However they are
    unlikely to ask for details unless there is a claim. Without a claim,
    all they will note is that they have been given notice of an accident,
    in my experience. Also at least in the 2 states I've had accidents
    in, if only the negligent party's car is damaged, the police may not
    even bother with a formal report though indeed he may give a ticket.
    In my current state, if you are given a ticket for an accident and the
    other party is made whole the charges will probably be dropped.
    Art Begun, Dec 9, 2003
  9. MoPar Man

    C. E. White Guest

    Well when you are in dramatic collisions, bumper height is probably not
    very important. I have unfortunately been involved in a couple of chain
    collisions. In both cases I was in the middle of the chain (nothing like
    having a Pontiac push your Jensen-Healey into another car). When the
    cars involved in a collision are on the brakes, the cars in the line
    adopt a nose down, tail up stance, which means that even if the bumpers
    all started out at the same height, they didn't stay that way during the
    collision. Unless you want to design very tall bumpers (and heavy)
    bumpers, it is unlikely that you can avoid under running bumpers in many

    C. E. White, Dec 9, 2003
  10. MoPar Man

    C. E. White Guest

    And they were, in most cases, hideous looking.

    C. E. White, Dec 9, 2003
  11. MoPar Man

    C. E. White Guest

    Well in my area (Raleigh, NC), the Police almost never write ticket at
    an accident scene, even when there is clear evidence of fault (unless
    there a significant injuries). The last time I was in an accident, I was
    rear ended by a Tempo. My vehicle was undamaged (unfortunately his
    wasn't). The Police officer arrived and interviewed both of us. She
    filled out an accident report and gave me a case number. She told the
    person that rammed me that he was at fault and financially responsible
    for the damage to my vehicle (which was negligible). She did not write
    him a ticket. This was somewhat different than when I was the person in
    fault in another similar accident quite a few years before. When I was
    the one at fault, I was given a ticket (for failure to avoid collision
    with a vehicle then stopped in the roadway). However, when the officer
    gave me the ticket, he told me that if I went to court and provided
    evidence that my insurance had covered the other parties damage, the
    ticket would be dropped. THis is exactly what happened.

    C. E. White, Dec 9, 2003
  12. MoPar Man

    C. E. White Guest

    I suppose, but they were ugly (of course I thought the whole car was
    ugly, so I suppose they were not out of character). The battering ram
    bumpers on my '75 Datsun 280Z were terrific if you were planning on
    knocking down fences. However they were complicated, heavy,
    unattractive, and Datsun raised the car to put them at a useful height.
    I far preferred the original, if weak, Datsun 240Z bumpers. Maybe I am
    lucky, ut I have only ever had to replace two bumpers, and since the
    collision where they were damaged (front and rear) occurred at more than
    5 mph, I doubt that 5 mph bumpers would have done anything except raise
    my repair costs.


    C. E. White, Dec 9, 2003
  13. Some states do not centralize accident reporting, in those states the local
    city/county whatever has jurisdiction and maintains the accident reports.
    Not so in Oregon, by state law the state DMV runs it. However, despite
    that, many local police departments in Oregon do in fact maintain
    accident reporting databases (Beaverton is one, for example, while Portland
    is not) that are used by the city for rating road hazard abatement projects,
    and by the local
    police for determining patrol patterns. While there is no law
    compelling a motorist to report to the locals, if your unlucky enough to be
    caught in Oregon by the local cops in an accident in a jurisdiction that
    maintains independent reports, they will insist you waste
    your time filling out duplicate paperwork with them, before you leave the
    It's just another great example of how our local government likes to
    spend money keeping people employed sorting data that the state already

    The one exception to this is if the traffic accident is a felony - ie: hit
    and run, etc.
    In that case, all police departments will take reports. But in those cases,
    reports are filed with the general criminal reports of the department.
    Your lucky. Oregon courts never drop charges for moving voilations
    if the cop shows up, no matter what the circumstances, and if the internal
    paperwork is followed properly. The judge may reduce the fine to
    a paltry amount but that is it. And all the police departments have pretty
    much standing orders to the officers that they attend all court trials for
    any moving voilation. Most tickets in fact do not go to trial because the
    local courts make you jump through endless hoops in order to go before
    a judge. After all, liability insurance is mandatory here, they
    assume in all accidents that the other party is going to be made whole, you
    don't get any points for that in the eyes of the court.

    The only _legal_ ways in Oregon to get a ticket dismissed is to jump through
    the hoops (which means a minimum of 3 separate personal appearances at
    the courthouse before they even schedule a trial) and have either the
    not show up, or show an improper paperwork procedure has been done (such
    as the poilice department rescheduling the appearance more than 2 times in
    a row, which is not allowed) Officers generally don't show on equipment
    problems (cracked headlight, expired tags, etc.) but the court will fine you
    unless you show up with evidence the problem has been corrected, in which
    case the ticket will remain on your record but the fine will be suspended.
    speeding type tickets, stop sign violation tickets, etc. if in the rare
    event the
    cop does not show, as long as you have pled innocent all along, and you
    swear out that you wern't speeding (or whatever) then the courts will drop
    those. But they really do try their utmost to avoid having to drop tickets.

    Out here, the challenge to the driver is to avoid getting the ticket in the
    place, once you get one, the system is setup to milk you for everything they
    can get. On the plus side, though, the state does not ban radar detectors.
    (although if a cop sees one in your car if they pull you over for speeding,
    will tack 15-20Mph on your speed as punishment)

    Ted Mittelstaedt, Dec 10, 2003
  14. Your state must not mandate motor vehicle insurance coverage. I always
    wondered how the states that don't mandate it "encourage" people to have it.

    In Oregon, they mandate motor vehicle insurance and the court could not
    give a crap that your insurance covers the other party, if you get a
    ticket, your going to pay regardless.

    Ted Mittelstaedt, Dec 10, 2003
  15. Quite true, but in dramatic collisions the bumper is going to be toasted
    Bumpers exist for one reason - to prevent minor bumps from turning into
    $2000 repair expenditures. If they can't do that, because of positioning or
    crap design, there's really no point in having them at all.

    Ted Mittelstaedt, Dec 10, 2003
  16. I'd gladly take hideous-looking bumpers on my car anyday to avoid the effort
    time needed to piece back together the front end.

    Ted Mittelstaedt, Dec 10, 2003
  17. MoPar Man

    C. E. White Guest

    North Carolina requires all drivers / vehicles to have liability
    In North Carolina you pay if you are at fault whether you get a ticket
    or not. I think this is the better system.

    C. E. White, Dec 10, 2003
  18. MoPar Man

    Steve Guest

    Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:

    And as far as I'm concerned, modern cars don't have them anymore. And
    haven't had them for years.
    Steve, Dec 10, 2003
  19. MoPar Man

    Steve Guest

    C. E. White wrote:

    Opinions vary. Some were poorly-implemented monstrosities, but ANY
    chrome bumper is way better looking than body-color painted plastic.
    Steve, Dec 10, 2003
  20. MoPar Man

    Art Begun Guest

    Maybe when new but I remember plenty of ugly rusty chrome bumpers.
    Art Begun, Dec 10, 2003
Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.