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Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan
Old 01-12-2007, 07:04 PM   #1
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Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan

Does anyone else consider owning a safe car an important element of their retirement plan? I figure a safe care (front, side, and head airbags) is part of getting me and my spouse safely to retirement.

My spouse's car is a 1993 Volvo (in perfect condition) which means the airbag probably needs to be replaced and it has no side or head airbags. I am making him go find another car (used) to replace his current one. Would you do the same?
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan
Old 01-12-2007, 09:37 PM   #2
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan

Warren Buffett buys his cars with that criteria.

He tends to go for gross mass and large crumple zones.
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan
Old 01-12-2007, 11:19 PM   #3
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan

Unfortunately, when it comes to automobiles, economy and safety tend to be competing characteristics. When I go car shopping, I let the function define certain minimum specs, then try to find a balance between economy and safety. Front, and side airbags help any vehicle a lot when it comes to safety.
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan
Old 01-13-2007, 04:20 AM   #4
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckeye
Does anyone else consider owning a safe car an important element of their retirement plan? I figure a safe care (front, side, and head airbags) is part of getting me and my spouse safely to retirement.
Yup!

Luckily have big cars now. My LS400 has 180k miles on it and is the daily FIRE car. Expect 4 more years out of it. The seriously thinking big Pick up or SUV.

In Myrtle Beach you have tourists galor. Looking for things AND talking on Cell phones at the same time. The number of fatalities let alone fender benders is unreal to me and I come from Bostonish. Bigger and higher is better. Budget a bit more for gas and LIVE...

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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan
Old 01-13-2007, 11:46 AM   #5
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan

Absolutely. Traded in my darling '91 Camry due in large part to its lack of front and side airbags or modern safety features.

I remember sitting in my Camry in a parking lot when a BIG pickup pulled in next to me. Its headlights were at the same level as my HEAD. The damn thing blotted out the SKY!! I tried to imagine what it would be like to run into that monster head-on -- frightening.

No airbag will protect me against EVERYTHING, but I hope I've improved the odds a little.

I don't want to "retire" early just to spend the rest of my life in the vegetable ward.
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan
Old 01-13-2007, 01:44 PM   #6
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan

i definitely think you should have a safe car in early retirement. for instance, a 300-hp two seater convertible with a low center of gravity won't roll over when you do donuts like an suv would. safety first, that's my motto.
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan
Old 01-13-2007, 03:10 PM   #7
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum
i definitely think you should have a safe car in early retirement. for instance, a 300-hp two seater convertible with a low center of gravity won't roll over when you do donuts like an suv would. safety first, that's my motto.


It's more likely to be able to outrun a tornado too.
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan
Old 01-13-2007, 10:24 PM   #8
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckeye
Does anyone else consider owning a safe car an important element of their retirement plan? I figure a safe care (front, side, and head airbags) is part of getting me and my spouse safely to retirement.

My spouse's car is a 1993 Volvo (in perfect condition) which means the airbag probably needs to be replaced and it has no side or head airbags. I am making him go find another car (used) to replace his current one. Would you do the same?
Yes. I sold my 1991 Mitsubishi 3000 GT VR4 and bought a 2001 Volvo S80 T6. The Mitsu only had an airbag for the driver. The Volvo has driver and passenger frontal airbags, side curtain airbags, torso airbags for the driver and frontseat passenger, as well as head restraints that actually protect your head, front seats that absorb impacts from the rear, seatbelt pretensioners, front and rear crumple zones, side intrusion prevention bars, five different grades of steel used in the body, a rollover cage, and several other safety features. Here are a few websites that rate various cars for safety. The Euroncap, in addition to rating for adult passengers, rates cars for their effectiveness in protecting children in the car and pedestrians that may be hit by the car.

http://www.euroncap.com/

http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/ncap/

http://www.iihs.org/ratings/default.aspx
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan
Old 01-14-2007, 10:19 AM   #9
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan

While I'm enjoying the banter of "My car has more airbags than your rolling deathtrap", I have another question.

What's the latest data on whether airbags + seatbelts are better than seatbelts alone? (I agree that airbags save the lives of beltless idiots.) I wonder how airbags would survive evidence-based medical analysis.

The reason I ask is because we know that young kids can be killed by airbags. Spouse used to enjoy resting her feet up on the passenger-side dashboard until she considered the effect of airbag deployment. And I've heard anecdotes of people having their hands slammed into their faces by the airbag that's supposed to protect them from injuries. Today's driving schools actually teach putting one's hands at the steering wheel's 4 & 8 o'clock positions instead of 10 & 2 for just this reason, valid or invalid though it may be.
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan
Old 01-14-2007, 10:27 AM   #10
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan

IIRC, air bags are manufactured to be less forceful and less effective than possible, because they have to assume that may people will not be wearing their seatbelts.
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan
Old 01-14-2007, 10:38 AM   #11
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan

As a small person, I worry some about the airbags. I have to sit too close to the steering wheel. Every once in a while you hear about that 5 foot tall 95 pound old lady killed in a parking lot air bag deployment.


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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan
Old 01-14-2007, 10:38 AM   #12
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan

I think they work differently depending on whether you have your seatbelt plugged in or not.
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan
Old 01-14-2007, 01:24 PM   #13
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan

A lot of the new air bags take into consideration not only the seatbelt engagement, but the weight of the person in the seat and the seat position. My new honda pilot does a lot of this stuff and even shuts the air bag off if it detects someone too small is in the seat.

Which led to an interesting conversation with my wife, who barely makes the 'air bag on' grade. "Whats that light that says "passenger airbag off?". "Well, you see, I have this little switch over here, and when you're pissing me off I can flip it and turn your airbag off". Momentary silence. "That light better stay off."
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan
Old 01-14-2007, 11:06 PM   #14
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan

I guess it must be a part of one of hubby's employee's plan. She's taking out a loan against her house to buy a Mercedes.
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan
Old 01-15-2007, 09:42 AM   #15
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan

Don't wait til you retire to own a safe car. I'm on a rescue squad and I've seen people survive some ferocious accidents because of air bags. I've also seen people lose their lives in relatively small accidents because of not buckling up.
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan
Old 01-15-2007, 12:00 PM   #16
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
IIRC, air bags are manufactured to be less forceful and less effective than possible, because they have to assume that may people will not be wearing their seatbelts.
I think you have it backwards T-Al.

In the early days, airbags were very forceful, as they had to inflate faster to try to protect you even if you did not have seat-belts engaged. But, that made it more likely that the air bag could hurt you. As seat-belt use increased, they went (after Canada already had) to a more gentle release. Seat-belts plus airbags is the safest.

lots of good info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_bag...and_Fatalities

( wiki is soooo cool)

Quote:
Airbags involve the extremely rapid deployment of a large cushion. While airbags can protect a person under the right circumstances, they can also injure or kill.

To protect occupants not wearing seat belts, US airbag designs trigger much more quickly than airbags designed in other countries. As seat belt use in the US climbed in the late 1980s and early 1990s, US auto manufactures were able to adjust their designs.

Newer airbags trigger at a lesser speed; nonetheless, passengers must remain at least 25 centimetres (10 in) from the bag to avoid injury from the bag in a crash.
-ERD50
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan
Old 01-15-2007, 02:35 PM   #17
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan

I am a recent convert to big iron. I have always driven small, economical
used Hondas and Toyotas. Last month I took a 50mph hit right into my
driver side door while driving my roommates '93 Crown Vic. It gave about
6-12 inches, leaving me with a couple of small bruises on my side and a
stiff neck. Both cars were totalled (the other driver was not hurt - airbag).
If I had been driving my normal car, I would have been killed or maimed.
As a result, I will be driving much bigger, heavier cars from now on.
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan
Old 01-15-2007, 06:03 PM   #18
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan

Wow. This conjures several images: The old dude couple (no one here matching this, right) ensconsed in their Caddy or Chrysler that spills over onto either side of the typical urban parking space, barking commands to each other in order to negotiate the mine field of a suburban supermarket parking lot; the 40 something lady who almost ran me over at Blockbuster as I alighted from my Prius to flip a DVD into the quick return slot as she was hard pressed to control the inertia of her mega Hummer; my own near death experience three years ago in the last few months of wage slaving as I coursed south on I-71 to
Columbus in my then new Prius at 5 am. Hit black ice on a bridge with a semi passing at plus 70. The VSC took over and straightened me out just before I crapped a brick and missed RE for an EB (early burial).
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan
Old 01-15-2007, 07:38 PM   #19
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan

Empty Pockets -- I agree with you about not waiting until you are retired to get a safe car. Actually, this thread is about having a safe car pre-retirement so you can actually make it to retirement.

In the last year, three friends have been affected by side-impact accidents (which seem to be very prevalent in rural communities). A 30-year old co-worker was killed on the way home from work, a 15-year old neighbor was severely injured in a car where the driver (his aunt, who may have been 45) was killed, and a friend who is about 40 was significantly injured such that she won't be working for several months.

The first accident was due to someone not stopping at a stop sign, the second was from the driver thinking the other person had a stop sign, and the third one was from an old geezer who had just had cataract surgery out driving when he should have been at home. No alcohol, no weather, no teenagers goofing around. You just never know.
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan
Old 01-20-2007, 11:43 PM   #20
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Re: Safe car part of health plan and/or retirement plan

good news for two wheelers... goldwings come with airbags this year...

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