Full chassis & Bull barred vehicles, a danger to passenger vehicles! Or Not?

Submitted: Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 17:51
ThreadID: 96870 Views:2681 Replies:7 FollowUps:5
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I caught a few minutes of a show on TV last week, i think it was called Emergency Situations or something similar. There was an accident involving, i think a Commodore and a Nissan Patrol, it was hard to tell the exact vehicle models due to the camera being at close quarters to the crash scene. I didn't quite get what exactly happened but the 4x4 driver said that he could see the passenger vehicle coming towards him but he could not avoid it. The 4x4 only had no passengers but there was a passenger in the Commodore who died at the scene,a young woman, the driver of that vehicle was critical but survived. The 4x4 guy ended up with a minor fracture to his lower back and bruising and would recover in time, he was around 55yo. The 4x4 guy was lucky to survive with his vehicle badly damaged and on its side. The Commodore would have taken the major part of the impact due to being the softer vehicle.This was a 80kph crash, head on so 160kph impact. The point being is that if the 4x4 guy who said he was not at fault, was in a passenger vehicle, he may not have survived but may have lessened the impact on the other vehicle and the passenger in the other vehicle may have survived. There is a lot of noise about the strength of 4x4s in a head on collision but in this case it may have saved an innocent life but caused the death of an innocent life in the other vehicle. Its hard to know all of the "what if" 'but' "maybes, and i guess we will never know. When you start to analyse the situation, its hard to come to a reasonable solution. Michael

Patrol 4.2TDi 2003

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Reply By: Member - Judy and Laurie - Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 18:44

Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 18:44
Hi, this can go on but what if a 4x4 had a head on with a truck???
AnswerID: 490949

Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 18:52

Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 18:52
or a train, or a wall, or a cliff....

I don't believe we should not buy 4wds because we might hurt someone in a smaller vehicle "if" we collide with them.

Personally, I try to avoid colliding with anything but it's basic physics that when two objects collide with each other at the same velocity, the object with the greater mass is going to have a greater impact upon the object with the lesser mass.

Something like that.

Hoo roo,

FollowupID: 766341

Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 12:05

Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 12:05
hi eighty matey
i agree with your theory
its very simular to the difference in using a 2lb hammer in comparison to a 12lb sledge hammer the bigger heavier one is going to drive /bend /or crush more than the lesser weight no matter whether you tap the other item or you swing the hammer with greater force and that is always going to be a fact when two vehicles of a greater difference in weight collide
FollowupID: 766402

Reply By: Jarse - Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 19:28

Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 19:28
Gidday Michael,

These stories are usually driven by media with an agenda. In this instance the anti-bullbar lobby.

I also ride a motorcycle to work, so pretty much anything that hits me (78% of accidents involving motorcycles are caused by the other vehicle) is going to cause me a lot of grief.

However, that said, I'm not anti-bullbar. I think vehicle owners should have a choice :)
AnswerID: 490952

Follow Up By: SDG - Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 19:56

Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 19:56
But by saying that, the vehicle owners should also take in consideration on their location, or use of the vehicle.
For example,
are bullbars really needed on a vehicle that does not travel more than five k's from home?
Are 4x4's really needed to drive 1 child to school that is three blocks away?

Looks over practicality. Keeping up with the Jones
FollowupID: 766352

Follow Up By: rumpig - Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 14:33

Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 14:33
well all i can say to that is.... the one time i've hit a kangaroo in all my years of driving, it was in a Western suburb of Brisbane in the wifes Commodore. many years of travelling outback Australia in a 4wd (including driving at night) have had plenty of close calls with roos, but the one time i hit one was in a major city. i wish i was driving my fourby with it's bulbar that night instead of the Commodore, because being without the vehicle for 2 weeks was a major pain in the you know what.
FollowupID: 766413

Reply By: Meridith D - Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 20:48

Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 20:48
I owned a 1994 GQ Patrol and was involved in a head-on/corner of vehicle collision with a Mazda 2( or equivalent). My vehicle had a bullbar fitted but did not have crumple zones or air bags. The other vehicle did.
My Nissan ended up with the front wheels under the engine and engine pushed back and the entire chassis so twisted the opposite back wheel was in the air. The Mazda ended up with the front and boot areas crumpled but the driver survived with just severe bruising due to the air bags etc. Pistons from my engine were found 50m up the road so you can imagine the force of the crash. My car was almost stopped at time of collision but she was still skidding (locked up) at approx 80km/hr.
The tow truck driver commented that if I had been in a smaller vehicle I probably wouldn't have survived and if the driver had of been in an older model car she would've been in trouble too. Luckily my only injuries was a fractured sternum and bulging discs in my spine and my daughter was uninjured.
So, yes, it does seem to be all about the dynamics of size and speed of both vehicles.
AnswerID: 490958

Reply By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 23:31

Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 23:31
Hi Michael,

Thats is one of the reasons Ive got a bullbar on the front of my 4wd. The extra strength and security gives me a better chance of survival then someone who doesnt have one. I think it should be mandatory.

The majority of people I know have them even on passenger cars, maybe its a country thing but its definatly a smart thing.

Cheers Wilko
AnswerID: 490978

Reply By: Robin Miller - Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 09:44

Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 09:44
Hi Michael

As eighty matey says its basic physics and supported with evidence that big car wins , but it isn't supportable that being fitted with a bullbar wins on average.

The huge move to lightweight utes will carry its consequences in accidents but hopefully the new electronics will reduce the overall number of them.

I do not carry a bullbar because of the bad effects on general driving and when you hit a roo well they are great of course but there are many accidents when cars hit something bigger.

I think I reported that my old Patrol I sold was driven into a tree by new owner at a relativily slow speed , it had no bullbar and the front crumple zone worked well to reduce the shock impact on the passengers significantly so they walked away (well climbed out the window actually).
Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 490988

Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 19:20

Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 19:20
Thanks for the replies! As I mentioned, lucky the guy in the right was ok and probably not because of the bull bar, but the full chassis and height and mass I would think. It was a thought provoking few minutes of TV that makes one think of the other possibilities. We all have family who drive small cars to get around in, including my own household, my wife drives a late model Corolla, I believe it has a top crash rating but still is no match for something bigger coming toward it.. As you can see on my Patrol, it has a bull bar and I have travelled around 700,000 ks with one fitted, so I am not anti bull bar! Just a thought!! Michael
Patrol 4.2TDi 2003

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AnswerID: 491037

Reply By: Rockape - Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 21:18

Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 21:18
I will give you one. Bloke in a Datsun Bluebird station wagon drunk as a skunk drifts across the road and hits a mate in a loaded R model Mack. Datsun takes out his steering and sends him over a bank. The load on the trailer lands on the cab.

Result!!! Old mate in the Datsun walks away with a hangover and mate in the Mack suffers for the rest of his life. He was lucky or unlucky to live depending how you look at life because he suffered big time.

AnswerID: 491050

Follow Up By: Road Warrior - Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 22:05

Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 22:05
More than a few examples like that out there Rockape, in Perth years ago after the Motorcycle Show at Fremantle Passenger Terminal, some Wayne Gardner wannabe was caning along South Street (eastbound) and a couple in a Corolla wagon pulled out in front of him (he was probably doing 150+ km/h so would not have been able to judge his approach speed very well) and blam, his bike drove straight into the car like a harpoon and killed the driver and passenger, he got thrown clear and survived.
FollowupID: 766465

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