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   Undertoad  Tuesday Sep 4 12:41 PM

9/4: Dumb car owner



The story: this came from a "Water-cooled VW" mailing list I was on a few years back. I'm sure things like this happen every day but nobody bothers to get a picture. In this case, the car owner demanded that the guys at the store load up his car this way after they explained that it certainly wouldn't work. The result seen is after the car moved only a few yards - crushed roof, broken back window, two flat back tires and obviously massive suspension damage.

There's no need for a stupidity tax - the stupids pay it every day.



dave  Tuesday Sep 4 12:59 PM

should have bought a volvo...





CyclopONE  Tuesday Sep 4 05:21 PM

Re: shoulda bought a volvo

LOL!!

But I wonder if modern Volvo's can still handle that kind of weight?

Still, two good pics here. =)

-Cyc



dave  Tuesday Sep 4 05:35 PM

Volvo 240's are quite durable and could probably handle something to that effect. I also have experience with the 850, and I must say that the car feels like it's been cast from a single block of steel. Planning on getting an S70 soon, which is basically just an updated 850, and it's quite sturdy. I'd say you're more likely to survive a roll in a Volvo than any other car, less the C70 convertible.

Also, I believe it is the 240 which claimed no passenger lives from 1988-1993, a five year period. This can be said of no other car. (I may have the model number and/or the years incorrect, but there's a model of Volvo car in which no one died for five years - something no other car company/model can claim).



dave  Tuesday Sep 4 05:39 PM

fyi, I found the source of the information --

http://www.cabinnaise.com/vpage/why.htm

near the bottom, in bold lettering. "Between 1988 and 1993, no one died while riding in a Volvo 240. No other car model can say that. "

Absolutely incredible cars.



elSicomoro  Tuesday Sep 4 08:12 PM

I don't have any doubt about how tough and durable Volvos are. However, I do remember in one of their commercials, where they were a tad deceiving. They had the Volvo (don't remember which model) in a row of cars for a monster truck competition. IIRC, the Volvo was the only car that didn't get crushed. However, when they did a close up of the commercials, there were apparently support restraints for the roof in the car.

I love Volvos though...even those old boxy ones...I'd love to buy one if I had the scratch.



Sperlock  Tuesday Sep 4 09:10 PM

I do hope the store got this guy to sign a wavier or something saying he doesn't hold the store liable for any damage done to his car. He'd probably still sue them even though they could say "We warned you! We warned you! But did you listen? Oh no, it's just a harmless pile of wood isn't it?" (Say this in your best impression of Tim from Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail)



Slithy_Tove  Wednesday Sep 5 04:06 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by dhamsaic
"Between 1988 and 1993, no one died while riding in a Volvo 240. No other car model can say that. "

Absolutely incredible cars.
I don't doubt that Volvos are great cars. But bear in mind in thinking about statistics like that, that their drivers weren't randomized. How much of that safety record is the car, and how much is the driver who whom it was sold?

Consider that Volvos tend to be bought by those who are concerned with safety. These are the very same people who are likely drive more safely than the average driver, are likely to wear their seatbelts religiously, not disconnect their airbags, not drive drunk, and so forth. Volvos are expensive, which means their drivers tend to be middle-aged and middle to upper-middle class, who also tend to be safer drivers.

Try distributing Volvos to higher-risk populations *cough*teenagers*cough*, and I'll bet they'd start racking up fatalities pretty quickly. They'd still probably have a better safety record than other cars, but it would look less amazing than 'zero deaths in 5 years'.


jaguar  Wednesday Sep 5 05:10 AM

Almost enough to make you go out, buy a volvo and drive it into a road train wihtout a seatbelt eh?
=P



Mas71  Wednesday Sep 5 08:09 AM

Volvocars and teenagers

If noone has died in a 240 Volvo between those years I would assume that they mean worldwide.
The situation with safety aware people driving Volvo may be the case in the US but in the homecountry of Volvo, Sweden, the car is a lot more common and many (if not most) teenagers choose Volvo as their first car.



lisa  Wednesday Sep 5 10:55 AM

About the VW picture, here's details that I had from elsewhere:

"This picture is real - not doctored in anyway - and was taken ... in Waldorf (Maryland?) by a Transportation Supervisor for a company that delivers building materials for 84 Lumber. When he saw it in the parking lot of IHOP, he bought a camera to take pictures.

The car is still running as can be witnessed by the exhaust. A woman is either asleep or otherwise out in the front seat passenger side. The guy driving it was over jogging up and down on Rt. 925 in the background. The witnesses said their physical state was OTHER than normal and the police just shook their heads in amazement. The driver finally came back after the police were there and was getting down at the back to cut the twine around the load. They told him to get back until it was taken off.

The materials were loaded at Home Depot. The store manager said they had the customer sign a waiver! Both back tires are trashed. The back shocks were driven up through the floorboard. In the back seat were 10 bags, 80 lbs. each of concrete. On the roof are many 2X4s, 4X4s and sheets of OSB. They estimated the load weight at 3000 lbs. The car is a VW Jetta with FL plates and the guy said he was headed for Annapolis."

Hmmmm... just did a little more research and found a verification of the original with more pictures. Check it out at http://www.snopes2.com/spoons/photos/lumber.htm



Slithy_Tove  Wednesday Sep 5 11:29 AM

Re: Volvocars and teenagers

Quote:
Originally posted by Mas71
If noone has died in a 240 Volvo between those years I would assume that they mean worldwide.
The situation with safety aware people driving Volvo may be the case in the US but in the homecountry of Volvo, Sweden, the car is a lot more common and many (if not most) teenagers choose Volvo as their first car.
This is kind of interesting. I've been trying for the last hour to run down an authoritative source for that 'no deaths between 1988 and 1993' number on the web, and I haven't been able to do so. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety keeps fatality figures by car, but I can only find current numbers on their website for the 850, which show that it has a total fatality rate per million registered vehicle years of 39, comparable to the Toyota Camry, the Buick Riviera, and worse than vans such as the Nissan Quest and the Dodge Caravan.

The chatter on alt.autos.volvo is that the 240 was safer than Volvos that have been built since.

Unfortunately, the US Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) database only goes back to 1994. But in that year, it shows 82 fatalities for the 240, and that's only for the US, of course. For 1995 there were 99 deaths, for 1996 there were 94 deaths, and so forth. I'm highly skeptical that deaths per year could be zero for five years, then suddenly jump to 80-100 a year.

I really think this is an urban legend. I saw it repeated on Usenet, too, without attribution.

Still, Volvos seem to be fairly safe cars. The IIHS data did apparently show that in the mid 90's, the 240 had, compared the average car in the US, a tenth the fatality rate per 10,000 vehicles registered. I'm pretty happy with my little Saturn, but I've started thinking about a Volvo for my next car. There's definitely a Volvo cult out there. People seem to hang on to them forever.


Slithy_Tove  Wednesday Sep 5 11:38 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by jaguar
Almost enough to make you go out, buy a volvo and drive it into a road train wihtout a seatbelt eh?
=P
Interesting you should say that.

It's been suggested that everyone has their own set-point for the amount of risk they want to experience, and that individuals will adjust their risk-taking behavior until it meets their own internal set-point. If you force them to take fewer risks -- for example, to force them by law to wear a seat-belt -- they will find some other way to raise their risk to meet their set-point. By driving faster, for example. Seat-belt laws would then be pointless.

Whether this is true or not, I don't know, and I haven't read the psychology research behind it, but I've always thought it was a fascinating and disturbing idea.


Undertoad  Wednesday Sep 5 11:52 AM

One author suggested: what would happen if, instead of air bags, you had a sharply pointed spike in the middle of everyone's steering wheel, pointed directly at the heart?



CyclopONE  Wednesday Sep 5 12:06 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Slithy_Tove
It's been suggested that everyone has their own set-point for the amount of risk they want to experience
Director David Cronenberg (of Scanners, Videodrome, eXisTenZ fame) did a movie similar to this, called Crash. It explores the sexual fetishes of crash injuries. Quite disturbing if you ask me.

-Cyc


dave  Wednesday Sep 5 12:48 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by jaguar
Almost enough to make you go out, buy a volvo and drive it into a road train wihtout a seatbelt eh?
=P
did you know....

in 1999 models and newer, if the front passenger or driver are not wearing their seatbelt, the front airbags require less of an impact to inflate? Such as, if you're wearing your seatbelt and you hit a tree at 15 mph, it might not come out, but if you're not and you hit it at 10, it would.

As for the death statistics suddenly jumping up on the 240, it could be attributed to anythings. One that comes to mind is the side impact from an SUV, which has been shown to be more likely fatal (in the case of no side airbags, which the 240 does not have, as it was halted in 1993) than a side impact from another car or a minivan even. I've also noticed drivers getting progressively worse, but maybe that's just me...


dave  Wednesday Sep 5 12:54 PM

Oh yeah - almost forgot - Volvo cars come with a life insurance policy that pays $250,000 to the estate of anyone killed in one of their cars.

So there's always that...

added @ 3:45pm est 9/5/2001 - for the 2000 model of the S70 - protection against whiplash in a rear-end collision - "The seat itself moves back 15 degrees with the occupant after impact, preventing the person's body from snapping forward again. At the same time the headrest moves forward, providing extra support for the head and neck."

man, I can't wait to get one of these



Mas71  Thursday Sep 6 07:33 AM

About the whiplash protection:

S80 was the first one with the back-falling-seat. Their commercial campaign here in Sweden was.

"The first car with curtains and rocking chair built in"

With curtains they are referring to the side impact airbags that falls down from the ceiling of the car.



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