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Old 03-27-2012, 03:26 PM   #61
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In terms of crash worthyness, I am a believer in Honda built cars.
Me too. I came out of a 1-2 punch of a T-bone from a side road followed by a head on from an oncoming car on a state hiway, in an Acura Integra, which was essentially a Honda with better leather seats.

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Old 03-27-2012, 03:53 PM   #62
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One of the silliest ideas that I have heard.
Perhaps the formula I whipped up in sixty seconds is too complicated. But maybe something simpler like fines for moving violations that are proportional to the vehicle weight. Why should a guy on a moped be fined the same as a guy in a hummer for reckless driving? The punishment ought to be proportional to the risk that you are putting everyone else in.

Right now larger vehicle drivers increase their own safety by directly increasing the risk of injury to others. Yet they face zero increased liability.

If you take a risk, you should have to deal with the liability, not be able to just shift it to everyone else with no consequences. That's what is creating the problem of the heavy-vehicle arms race.
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:07 PM   #63
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Perhaps the formula I whipped up in sixty seconds is too complicated. But maybe something simpler like fines for moving violations that are proportional to the vehicle weight. Why should a guy on a moped be fined the same as a guy in a hummer for reckless driving? The punishment ought to be proportional to the risk that you are putting everyone else in.

Right now larger vehicle drivers increase their own safety by directly increasing the risk of injury to others. Yet they face zero increased liability.

If you take a risk, you should have to deal with the liability, not be able to just shift it to everyone else with no consequences. That's what is creating the problem of the heavy-vehicle arms race.
I am sure the trial lawyers would have a great time with this one.
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:28 PM   #64
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Consumer Reports says you should ditch a car when the repair cost meets or exceeds the value of the car. Clark Howard says you should ditch the car when the repair cost is HALF the car's value.

It's unanimous- get rid of the old car.
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:37 PM   #65
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Consumer Reports says you should ditch a car when the repair cost meets or exceeds the value of the car. Clark Howard says you should ditch the car when the repair cost is HALF the car's value.

It's unanimous- get rid of the old car.
I don't think these rules of thumb are very useful--they ignore the utility value of a used car you've had for awhile and "know." I've driven "beaters" for decades that would have cost a fortune to fix (have you priced what a mechanic charges to change out an instrument light?). So, I just drive them with an increasing amount of known problems, none of which makes the car unsafe or unsuitable for my purposes.
And, I've often gotten good value when I've paid for expensive repairs to used cars. I know the car and what it's been through and how it's been maintained. If I didn't do the repair and instead bought a different used car, I'd be taking a risk I don't need to take regarding its condition.
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:48 PM   #66
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Perhaps the formula I whipped up in sixty seconds is too complicated. But maybe something simpler like fines for moving violations that are proportional to the vehicle weight. Why should a guy on a moped be fined the same as a guy in a hummer for reckless driving? The punishment ought to be proportional to the risk that you are putting everyone else in.

Right now larger vehicle drivers increase their own safety by directly increasing the risk of injury to others. Yet they face zero increased liability.

If you take a risk, you should have to deal with the liability, not be able to just shift it to everyone else with no consequences. That's what is creating the problem of the heavy-vehicle arms race.
Seems to me you are trying to combine civil and criminal penalties together.

The criminal act is reckless driving and whether you are driving reckless on a scooter or a 1/2 ton pickup it doesn't matter.

If your reckless driving results in damages to another party, then it is likely that your liability will be more if you were driving reckless in the 1/2 ton pickup than it will be if you are driving the scooter.

If you drive reckless and no damage results, then the criminal penalties apply (assuming you get caught) but the civil do not.
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:51 PM   #67
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I don't think these rules of thumb are very useful--they ignore the utility value of a used car you've had for awhile and "know." I've driven "beaters" for decades that would have cost a fortune to fix (have you priced what a mechanic charges to change out an instrument light?). So, I just drive them with an increasing amount of known problems, none of which makes the car unsafe or unsuitable for my purposes.
And, I've often gotten good value when I've paid for expensive repairs to used cars. I know the car and what it's been through and how it's been maintained. If I didn't do the repair and instead bought a different used car, I'd be taking a risk I don't need to take regarding its condition.
YES! Very well put, samclem
For D-I-Y people, it is a different situation than for the "average Joe".
Wrapped up in this, is the old "devil you know, vs. the devil you don't."
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:59 PM   #68
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Wrapped up in this, is the old "devil you know, vs. the devil you don't."
For this reason, my uncle who owned many used car lots over his long life, always told us kids-don't buy a used car except from a trusted family member.

I have seen otherwise honest people go to consideragle lengths to disguise flaws, even dangerous flaws, in cars they wished to sell.

Ha
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:15 PM   #69
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In which case she can easily buy a good new car for less than $20,000 (Subaru Integra?) and improve her life and safety considerably. In spite of what the board may think, there are more important issues beyond penny-pinching, especially for young people with their whole lives ahead, and with more arrows in their quivers than we retirees have.

Ha
I have to side with Ha . I would want a low maintenance car for my daughter so I would have no worries of frequent break downs in odd areas of town.I also agree with having a lot of metal around her .
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:21 PM   #70
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The criminal act is reckless driving and whether you are driving reckless on a scooter or a 1/2 ton pickup it doesn't matter.
What I'm proposing is something akin to 'aggravated reckless driving' or something, for vehicles over a certain weight. For example, the criminal act of assault with a deadly weapon is the same if you use your shoe to hit someone in the head, or if you shoot them with a rifle, but the punishments vary because the courts use their judgment in handing out penalties. Right now, the court doesn't consider the size of the vehicle in punishing the act of reckless driving (or speeding, or following too closely, or any other moving violation), in determining the penalty, I'm saying they should.
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:26 PM   #71
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What I'm proposing is something akin to 'aggravated reckless driving' or something, for vehicles over a certain weight. For example, the criminal act of assault with a deadly weapon is the same if you use your shoe to hit someone in the head, or if you shoot them with a rifle, but the punishments vary because the courts use their judgment in handing out penalties. Right now, the court doesn't consider the size of the vehicle in punishing the criminal act of reckless driving (or speeding, or following too closely, or any other moving violation), in determining the penalty, I'm saying they should.
Considerng the ongoing kerfluffle over the mandate to buy health insurance, I can only imagine the shrieks and howls should this suggestion ever make it into a bill.

In the meantime, I will continue carefully driving my F150.
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:26 PM   #72
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I don't think these rules of thumb are very useful--they ignore the utility value of a used car you've had for awhile and "know." I've driven "beaters" for decades that would have cost a fortune to fix (have you priced what a mechanic charges to change out an instrument light?). So, I just drive them with an increasing amount of known problems, none of which makes the car unsafe or unsuitable for my purposes.
We've done this with our last two cars. We ended up giving them away because they either had no resale value, or had "issues" that we didn't want to foist on an ignorant buyer.

I've always been annoyed at Ford for building a '94 Taurus whose dashboard seemed to go through some sort of plastic rot. Kinda expensive to replace a dashboard, and you don't want to touch a surface that's turned gooey & sticky.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:18 PM   #73
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What I'm proposing is something akin to 'aggravated reckless driving' or something, for vehicles over a certain weight. For example, the criminal act of assault with a deadly weapon is the same if you use your shoe to hit someone in the head, or if you shoot them with a rifle, but the punishments vary because the courts use their judgment in handing out penalties. Right now, the court doesn't consider the size of the vehicle in punishing the act of reckless driving (or speeding, or following too closely, or any other moving violation), in determining the penalty, I'm saying they should.
I'm with you. Another example of this would be the size of the cell phone keyboard for accidents cased by texting. Those tiny keyboards demand more attention, resulting in less attention for driving (or walking). Definitely worth additional penalties.

For that matter, I suspect we could claim a hate crime in a little car getting creamed by a big ole truck. Truck drivers often show contempt for econobox drivers. Actually, sarcasm aside, I'm a little worried that this one might be coming. Every time I get my outrage on, somebody takes me seriously and things get worse.

Never mind.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:52 PM   #74
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Perhaps the formula I whipped up in sixty seconds is too complicated. But maybe something simpler like ...
No. The entire notion is utterly indefensible. Quit while you are ahead not any further behind.

Insurance premiums are already based on the vehicle profile/history.

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Old 03-27-2012, 10:45 PM   #75
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What I'm proposing is something akin to 'aggravated reckless driving' or something, for vehicles over a certain weight. For example, the criminal act of assault with a deadly weapon is the same if you use your shoe to hit someone in the head, or if you shoot them with a rifle, but the punishments vary because the courts use their judgment in handing out penalties. ....
I guess I'd need a lawyer's input on that, I don't know how the law handles it.

But if someone I knew was killed by someone with a gun, knife, or beat to death with a shoe, they would be just as dead. I can't understand how the tool used would make a difference. Other than death by a gun would probably be less painful than death by shoe beating, so maybe the shoe beating should be sentenced harsher? But that goes against your argument, I think.


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Old 03-28-2012, 10:29 AM   #76
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But if someone I knew was killed by someone with a gun, knife, or beat to death with a shoe, they would be just as dead. I can't understand how the tool used would make a difference. Other than death by a gun would probably be less painful than death by shoe beating, so maybe the shoe beating should be sentenced harsher? But that goes against your argument, I think.
But the example was assault, not murder. So if someone you knew was attacked by someone with a shoe, vs. attacked by someone with a rifle and the damages in either case were the same (e.g. some scrapes from where they were grazed), it doesn't mean the punishment should be the same, since one attack was inherently more dangerous than the other. The riskier something is the harsher it should be punished in order to deter others from taking those same risks with other people's lives.

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Insurance premiums are already based on the vehicle profile/history.
True, but insurance only protects against actual damages to others because that's all the courts will award in a civil suit.

If you limit people who engage in risky behavior to only paying actual damages you're not discouraging the risky behavior, nor are you properly compensating the injured party who is limited to being "made whole", but never compensated for the fact that his injuries never would have occurred in the first place had the at-fault driver chosen a smaller vehicle.

I understand it won't be a popular idea since drivers of larger vehicles currently offload their risk to others without having to face any liabilities for the increased risk they are creating, instead pushing the liabilities onto everyone else. I, too, wouldn't want to have to suddenly start paying for something I had been getting for free.

But this uncompensated off-loading of risk by the individual to everyone else is an externality that's creating the big vehicle arms race and just making us all, as a group, pay more for transportation than we would otherwise have to.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:00 AM   #77
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But the example was assault, not murder. ....
But your whole argument goes to intent. It just isn't the case that someone in a mid-size car 'intends' to inflict more damage on someone in an econo-box. Recall the info samclem provided below - that a mid-size car is also relatively safer when hitting a 'non-brick-wall' object, even if that object isn't another car. Though that makes sense, I hadn't really thought about it, so thanks to samclem for posting that.


It's like saying that if I install a burglar alarm in my house, that I'm responsible for the burglar going next door and robbing my neighbor w/o an alarm. You really want to go there?

The only way I could follow you was if someone set out to harm another on the road - then maybe one could make a case that if they chose a big,heavy truck, they intended to do more damage than if they set out to do this on a motorcycle. But to apply that thought process to every owner of a car larger than an econo-box is just plain crazy.

And I'll re-iterate samclem's argument, which I think has more merit than yours:

Quote:
I'd ask the same question the other way: If I'm in a "regular" size car and cause an accident that injures a person in a less safe car (small, no airbags, seat belts inop, etc), should I get a reduced judgement for his injuries? After all, his deliberate selection of a tin foil econobox could reasonably have been anticipated to increase his chances of injury. He put me at increased risk (of damages) by his poor choice! Yeah, that's it!
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:06 PM   #78
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But your whole argument goes to intent.
Negligence and recklessness can substitute for actual, specific intent to harm. We accept it in all other areas of civil liability where people partake in activities that endanger others, I don't see why the road should be any different.

I'm not sure what about the way I presented my argument is so upsetting. If you don't like the idea because it isn't in your interest. I get that. But that doesn't mean it wouldn't be good policy and provide some balance to the insanity of constantly one-upping each other with ever larger vehicles.

I think I've explained it as best I can at this point. So I'll bow out.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:12 PM   #79
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Negligence and recklessness can substitute for actual, specific intent to harm. We accept it in all other areas of civil liability where people partake in activities that endanger others, I don't see why the road should be any different.

I'm not sure what about the way I presented my argument is so upsetting. If you don't like the idea because it isn't in your interest. I get that. But that doesn't mean it wouldn't be good policy and provide some balance to the insanity of constantly one-upping each other with ever larger vehicles.

I think I've explained it as best I can at this point. So I'll bow out.
I will bow out also. I will just close by saying it is not that I found your suggestion 'upsetting', or not in my interests, it is just that I find it to not be good policy at all. For the reasons I and others have already laid out. So enough.

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Old 03-28-2012, 02:21 PM   #80
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The only difference I can see between being shot to death and beat to death with a shoe would be that by carrying a gun, the DA could argue that the killing was premeditated, and possibly that would carry a more serious punishment. It's hard to argue that wearing shoes shows premeditation.
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