Pat’s Perspectives – Saving a Daughter’s Life

Sam has been a Goss’ Garage customer for many years. For the most part Sam is a smart guy what with being a doctor and all but occasionally, he comes up with a ridiculous idea! Like when he came in to show off his new car. He was so proud that he had found just what he was looking for.

Seems Sam needed a car for his daughter to take to college and he wanted something extremely safe. To make sure he bought a safe car he went to the internet and found a website hosted by one of the guys out there on the lunatic fringe of automotive wisdom and followed that lunatic’s advice to the “T”! The loonie told him to look for a car from the late sixties to mid-seventies because they’re very safe thanks to solid steel frames and heavy gauge steel body panels making older cars a safety dream come true.

Oh-My-God this loonie is so wrong in so many ways. In my opinion, for telling a concerned father that a car like this would be safe for his daughter should land him in jail. But he’s on the internet and the internet is like the wild, wild west in the days of old and there really isn’t anyone to control such people. So, be incredibly careful and make sure you know the integrity of the source of your Internet information, or you might get ripped-off or hurt, literally.

But back to the car and why it isn’t the safest car to buy. It was a nineteen seventy-one Chevrolet Malibu four door in genuinely nice condition, and it ran like new but safe it was not. Many people seem to think that heavy steel frames and tough steel body panels make a car safe but, they do just the opposite. In an accident there are huge amounts of energy that must be dissipated. In modern cars that happens using designed-in crumple zones, easily deformed high-strength steel or aluminum body panels and a host of other safety features.

In an accident, whatever speed of the vehicle at the time of impact is also the speed of the people inside the vehicle. When a car is too stiff and non-deformable it stops very quickly but the people and things inside the vehicle keep moving at the same speed as the car until they hit something to slow them down. Hit something? At just about any speed that’s going to hurt or worse.

In a modern car the ability to deform allows the car to come to a stop more slowly and to dissipate the energy of the crash throughout the car’s body. This fraction of a second slower stop allows a tick more time for your body to slow before hitting something and even then, your body will hit a compliant airbag or multiple airbags rather than hard, rigid steel. Additionally, the steering wheel will be energy absorbing and the body structure will be designed to move the crash energy around you rather than through you. The engine mounting will be designed so if the engine is dislodged in an accident, it moves down and under you rather than moving straight back to crush your legs or lower body. Granted the old car will probably show a lot less damage and you might think that means safer, but safety is not about the beauty of a car following an accident, it’s about saving your life. Usually, the newer the car is, the safer the car is! Thanks for reading, please subscribe to Goss’ garage on you tube, follow us on Facebook and for more car tips — tricks and money saving ideas visit goss dash garage dot com. Drive gently — see you next time right here in Goss’ Garage.

© Copyright 06/24/21 Pat Goss all rights reserved

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