Greenie idiots. banning 4WD’s from going near schools is nearly as ridiculous as banning bull-bars in the city. 4WDs are, in fact safer because they give you elevated confidence…
okay, seriously, The idea was suggested by coroner Jaqueline Milledge who was investigating the events surrounding the death of Bethany, a 5 year old who was run over by a Nissan Patrol in 2002. Joan Maclennan, who was driving the 4WD said she’d never drive a 4WD again and has urged her friends to buy something smaller. “It ruined my life” she said yesterday. (source: the Australian)
It’s interesting, the media (today tonight, ABC radio and the start of the Australian article) have been reporting it as a suggested ban on 4WDs from going within 200 metres of a school. That is impractical. It would stop people who live next to schools from being able to drive near their property. In actual fact, the coroner is recommending that they ban 4WDs from school property and from PARKING within 200 metres. This makes a lot more sense. I wouldn’t want to regularly drive a vehicle where I can’t see kids running about in an area where kids run about.
As for bull-bars, Dad says there’s an organisation of engineers who are dedicated to getting them banned in cities. Bull bars are stupid, they decrease everyone’s safety. I think it’s fairly straight forward to see how they decrease the safety for everyone else, if you hit a person or car with a bull bar you’re going to leave a bigger imprint because bull-bars don’t bend and they don’t crumple, they stay put.
However, I assume that many people don’t understand the added personal danger of being behind a wheel attached to a bull bar because many people keep adding them to their gas guzzlers. Modern vehicles are designed to crumple on impact, this slows the time for the deceleration. So instead of slowing down really fast, your vehicle absorbs some of the impact. It’s like falling on bark chips compared with falling on concrete. The bark chips still slow you down the same amount, just over a longer period so you don’t get the jarring smack felt with sudden deceleration.
A bull bar partially defeats this system of crumple zones because bull bars are really hard. they don’t bend and crumple much, they’re designed not to. So when you hit something they stay put and the impact is absorbed by whatever the bull bar is attached to. However, because the bull bar is so rigid it converts what may have been a localised crash into an impact that is fairly well distributed across the entire front of the car. The crash is absorbed a lot faster and you get a faster deceleration. I think it’s like the same principle that makes a belly-flop more uncomfortable than a pin-drop; the more surface area for absorption the faster the deceleration is. This means the occupants are going to experience a rougher impact, they will typically suffer worse whip lash and they will be relying on their seat belts even more so than normal.
Dad goes as far to say that he doesn’t think he’d ever equip a car with a bull bar. Even if he lived with bulls, or travelled through roo country he’d rather have the crumple zone. I don’t know, I’m not an engineer (like dad) so I’m not going to try to give that sort of advice and dad was sort of just making an off hand statement…. but I’ve been reading a bit about g-forces in accidents and maximising crumple zones doesn’t seem like a bad idea to me.
I seem to notice a pattern, I blog a lot about transportation, mainly about cars which hate to love and I love to hate. But don’t get the wrong idea, there’s more to life.