|02-27-2012 07:28 PM|
|realter||They were returning from a vacation in Mexico.|
|02-27-2012 01:04 PM|
I'll state the obvious here. Driving is dangerous, and that's why people need to watch where they're going, and they need to keep their vehicles maintained so that the car doesn't go into the opposite lane out of control. This is a deadly world with permanent consequences, good or bad. There's no going back when it happens.
Now, a wreck like that is hard not to die in. The human body is fragile, and it only requires a certain amount of a "tug" in the opposite direction of travel to disconnect the heart from its aorta or the brain/spine from the body, or even internal organs from the attachments to the body. This is what kills people more than the bloody-bang club of an A-pillar or the steering column to the head. All you need is to jerk those body parts off the connection points, and you're standing by your now-dead body on the freeway.
|02-27-2012 12:39 PM|
Yep, and you are 100% correct.
As an interesting addition, I owned a 2005 GTO a few years ago, which I had bought used. Carfax was clean, car looked good on the surface. After owing it for a few days, I noticed something weird behind the front bumper, while changing out the factory grilles. The crash beam was completely buckled, right in the middle, but still bolted in place. It looks like someone rolled the car into a parking pole or something, and just replaced the bumper cover. Needless to say, I took the car back to the dealer for an explanation. I used the word "misrepresented" a few times, and they agreed to give me a new crash beam, and I said I'd install it (they needed a WEEK to do the fix, due to being "really busy"). So not only is the crash beam not structural in any way, it's not even necessary outside of protecting the radiator on that particular car. the rest of the front end was perfectly intact. The beam itself did not weigh much at all, and I ripped through the damaged one with a sawzall like a hot knife through butter.
There is ZERO crash protection beyond a little bump there.
|02-27-2012 12:22 PM|
Physically handling the stock bumper on a JK tells me--just as a matter of common sense--that this is designed to mitigate low speed jostles and smoosh like a bag of potato chips under slight pressure. While it's the "first line of defense" for the rest of the jeep, the major drivers for it's design quite clearly (to me anyway) appear to be damage to other vehicles, pedestrian safety, cost, and ease of replacement. It will also protect your radiator, headlights, etc. and the like in a (very) low speed collision more so than just the plastic grille would in the event you just ran without a bumper altogether. It's the inexpensive "sacrificial lamb" for impacts under 5 mph.
As soon as you get into a "real" crash however, I would expect it's basically irrelevant. Sure it smooshes and thereby absorbs some energy, but the numbers involved effectively render the absorption benefits at zero. At that point, it's the crumple zones and the safety features of the rest of the front end that decide whether the occupants are going to walk away or not--not the reinforced box of tissue paper known as the "stock bumper."
This is why I proposed that a JK without a bumper would probably do about the same as a JK with the stock bumper in those 35 mph front end crash tests. While the stock bumper (or a steel one) would of course perform better than no bumper in 5 mph crash tests (again, radiator, headlights, etc.), I would expect that much over that and your bumper (whether steel or stock) really just doesn't do much. At that point, you've invoked the larger crash features of the front end overall, so whether you've got a steel or stock bumper is basically semantics.
|02-27-2012 12:10 PM|
You also have to remember that the 59 Chevy is a sheet metal box bolted to a boxes steel frame, and has ZERO in the way of crumple zones or structural support outside of that which keeps the body bolted together. If you look behind the body panels of my 55, there is noting but air. No crash beams, no reinforcements, nothing. It looks big and heavy, but in reality, it's much lighter than modern family sedans at about 3100 pounds. The bumper on an old car is typically heavy chromed steel, and fares far better in a light crash than any new crumple bumper, with far less damage to any components behind it. The major difference in crash protection is in the construction of the body and frame, not the bumpers.
Modern crash bars/bumpers fold up like tin cans, and there is little in the way of actual support to them. They're designed to absorb a light impact and provide protection for the electronics or radiator, not add any real crash protection. The Wrangler bumpers are no different, and offer no real crash protection. Q&A: Bumpers
|02-27-2012 11:53 AM|
Having said that are you suggesting that a steel bumper in this particular accident would have made a difference? Holy crap the bumper is sitting in the interior of the Jeep! Plastic or steel the crumple zone worked as engineered and as far as that Jeep front end is pushed in, not being an engineer, I have got to believe you are talking semantics here.
|02-27-2012 11:51 AM|
This doesn't prove anything about the JK and steel versus stock bumpers. What this proves is that a modern vehicle can provide more effective occupant safety using a mix of components and improved design that were not available many years ago.
Even in this video, do you have any idea how the outcome would've changed if you'd swaped out the Malibu's stock bumper with a steel one? Or if you'd simply swapped the bumpers between the vehicles? Even if you could determine those issues, do you have any idea how significant the stock bumper is to the Malibu's crashworthiness versus a JK? Just looking at a Malibu versus a JK, it's pretty clear that the JK's bumper sits off of the vehicle like a literal "bumper," where the Malibu's bumper is much more incorporated into the front end.
I've never taken a bumper off a Malibu. Nor do I know how "incorporated" it is into the overall crashworthiness of the vehicle. I can tell that I've turned wrenches on my JK bumper and even sawed into it. There's hardly anything there.
|02-27-2012 11:49 AM|
|vacca foeda||i've got to imagine that the vast majority of the crumple technology is incorporated into the actual frame and body. the easy deformation of the stock bumpers is most likely due to the pedestrian safety regs, designed to prevent injury in a low speed collision with a walking human rather than provide meaningful protection in a collision with another automobile|
|02-27-2012 11:44 AM|
I hear ya guys. I get all that. Yes, the stock bumper will no doubt "absorb" more energy than a steel one.
My point though is that I very much doubt it has any practical significance. Again, I could hang a few tissue boxes off the front of my grille and argue that my tissue boxes absorb energy, and, therefore, my jeep is safer to the occupants.
While you'd have to concede that my tissue boxes do indeed absorb energy, I doubt very much you'd be running out to hang a few off of your grille as well. Instead, you'd tell me I was nuts and that whatever de minimus amount of energy absorption is provided by the tissue boxes is simply inconsequential in any accident that poses a reasonable likelihood of injury to the occupants. And you'd be right. Hence, we're not adding tissue boxes, pillows, bean bags, or whatever other soft, "crushable" stuff we can think of to our front ends.
The stock bumper is no doubt sturdier than a tissue box, but not by much. Seriously. Go pick one up. Cut into it and actually look. There just isn't much there. It doesn't appear to me to be a piece of sophisticated crash engineering (and again, I'm no expert), so much as just a piece of plastic set over some thin metal with some lightweight crush cans.
So my point is practical rather than theoretical. I get that the stock bumper absorbs some amount of energy and I get that people can be injured in all sorts of crazy ways you'd never anticipate when the circumstances are just right, but, practically, I just can't see the stock bumper making a lick of difference.
Put another way, I'd wager that a wrangler would perform identically or nearly identically in terms of occupant safety in a front end collision if you just took the front bumper off altogether. It's simply not plausible to me--and you are free to disagree--that the front bumper I've actually cut, handled, etc. does anything substantial in a front end collision.
|02-27-2012 11:35 AM|
You can see the car full of steel is shredded while the newer car with its thin metal and plastic components fares well.
Crash Test 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air VS. 2009 Chevrolet Malibu (Frontal Offset) IIHS 50th Anniversary - YouTube
The passenger compartment in the car full of steel is completely destroyed, with the engine pushed into the dash which obliterates the driver. Meanwhile, the passenger compartment in the thin steel & plastic Malibu is almost completely untouched. The Malibu driver may walk away, or may have back/neck/spinal injuries from the accident. The Bel Air driver, however, is looking at a trip to the morgue, or, if he is lucky, a lifetime in a wheelchair.
The bottom line: Firm steel bumpers are not helpful in a collision, at least as far as personal injuries are concerned. Those steel basher bumpers may do a great job of limiting the damage from a parking lot tap, but they're horrible in an auto collision involving lots of energy.
|02-27-2012 11:17 AM|
Have you ever seen/heard of someone hurt their back bending over to pick something up? How about hearing about older folks breaking a hip in a fall? Do you know anyone who suffered a concussion due to a simple fall on ice? The human body is fragile and even a low speed auto accident can lead to permanent injuries, which is why manufacturers spend so much time and money designing crashworthy vehicles.
This will matter even in a head-on collision like we have here. The simple act of absorbing 5mph of energy can literally be the difference between life and death or walking away or being stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of one's life.
|02-27-2012 11:13 AM|
Think of it this way, if your wearing a steel helmet and have a rock thrown at your head, your probably not going to suffer any harm from the impact itself but there is going to be one hell of a vibration and that in itself may hurt. On the other hand, if your wearing a specially designed crumple aluminum helmet that is designed to absorb the impact, you may not be hurt as much at all. Now, you can argue that if the rock is big/heavy enough it could blow through the thin aluminum much easier than the steel, but lets not forget the transferring of power afterwards could be just as harmful.
I have argued the importance of crush cans before. Some people feel they have absolutely ZERO value. I argue that although they might not an enormous benefit, they still provide a slightly better level of absorption compared to nothing. Steel or aluminum bumpers
|02-27-2012 11:03 AM|
As for the bumpers...
The stock set up can take a hit up to 5 mph or so and not cause frame damage, the plastic and crush cans would need replaced.
A wreck like the OP posted... There would not be a measurable difference between the two.
Makes you wonder though. If you where on the highway doing 65 mph and you say a car driving towards you what would you do? I'd hit the brakes and steer off the damn road. I'd rather roll my Jeep from swerving to avoid that then have that happen.
|02-27-2012 10:36 AM|
But assuming the brush guard is a sturdy steel unit, it sort of illustrates the point. If that truck had hit the deer broadside I have to believe the brush guard would have helped prevent damage to the truck, whereas the otherwise mostly plastic grille area would've taken quite the beating.
|02-27-2012 10:21 AM|
|02-27-2012 10:00 AM|
I understand the basics of the debate. Stock bumpers are "softer" and have "crush cans," which both absorb some force and--in theory--translate to delayed airbag deployment (i.e., airbags don't go off "too early" or during "too small" of a crash) and can help prevent frame damage by not transferring force straight back. Steel bumpers don't have these features, so whatever force hits the bumper comes straight back into the vehicle, causing airbags to deploy sooner and greater frame damage.
However . . . Have you ever actually held a stock JK bumper or taken it apart? They're only a few pounds and principally made of plastic, except for the preposterously thin sheet metal that makes up the "frame" of the bumper. Honestly, if you took the plastic cover piece off, I think most people could kick the sheet metal into oblivion with a sturdy boot. When I chopped the ends off of my stock bumper, I was easily able to bend the chopped pieces of the sheet metal frame with my hands. It's just a grade or so above alumninum foil . . . seriously.
I can't see any way that this absorbs energy "faaar beyond [the capacities] of any aftermarket bumper." I think the factory bumper is designed not so much for "energy absorption," but rather to soak up most of the damage from most 2 mph fender benders, and that's about it. I think it's the jeep's front end itself--beyond the bumper--which is designed to really do the energy absorption you've addressed.
So while the factory bumper no doubt does "absorb" more energy than a steel one would by virture of its "crushability" while steel just passes force backward, I can't believe this extra absorption is actually significant in any crash that actually poses a risk of injury to the occupants. In other words, I view the stock bumper as the engineering equivalent of hanging a few boxes of tissue paper off the grille--sure, there's some extra "energy absorption" from a theoretical standpoint, but it's not mechanically significant.
In fact, I think from a practical standpoint you're far better off with a steel bumper. For whatever miniscule amount you lose in energy absorption in high speed or weight impacts, you make huge gains in resistance to damage in low speed or weight impacts.
For example, if I rear end somebody at 15 mph at a stop light with a factory bumper, we're both going to need a little front end body work, including replacing our bumpers. If I do the same with a steel bumper, I won't need anything other than some rustoleum bedliner to touch up my bumper's powdercoat while the other car will likely need quite a bit of work. Similarly, if I hit a deer at 30 mph with the stock bumper, the stocker will crush, my grille will get busted, and my hood will probably crumple, whereas if I hit the same deer with a steel bumper, I likely just obliterate the deer and have to pick some fur out of my front tow hooks.
Just my two cents. I could be wrong of course and I'm no engineer, but that's just what makes sense to me.
|02-27-2012 09:59 AM|
|realter||Too me it's more than another wreck in a far away place, as the 2 killed were from Lincoln. He works at Shopko, and she did until recently. She worked at the service desk at the one a few blocks from my house, I recognized the name right away when I saw the details on the local news last night. Very sad, wonder what they were doing so far from home late at night. I too noticed the way the Jeep held up in the crash.|
|02-27-2012 09:21 AM|
|Czechsky||Dreadful. Condolences to the family of those lost lives.|
|02-27-2012 08:52 AM|
Back then crash survability/impact absorption wasn't as much of a focus/requirement.
|02-27-2012 08:39 AM|
|Drakea94||Its wrong for anyone to die but even worse when you were hit and killed by someone driving on the wrong side of the road|
|02-27-2012 08:30 AM|
You can see that the passenger compartment is largely intact, the passenger's window is not even broken, despite the front of the Jeep being crushed tremendously. This Jeep performed extremely well in this head-on accident, given the circumstances. A Jeep built just a decade ago might have left it's passengers in the hospital or killed, simply because the engineering wasn't as good.
This sort of accident is one of the reasons that aftermarket bumpers may not be a good idea, at least where the effects of crashworthiness are concerned. The energy absorbed by a factory bumper is faaar beyond that of any aftermarket bumper. Thick steel is not your friend when it comes to crashworthiness because it transfers forces to the driver and passengers instead of absorbing it. This extra energy could be the difference between life and death in a car accident.
Finally, before we speculate on "drunk driving," keep in mind that the driver of the other vehicle has not been officially accused of that. The phrase "alcohol may have played a role" means little and could be attributed to the time the crash occurred, the area where the crash occurred, or even because the driver had a 6 pack in the trunk he was taking home to drink. The police will take the driver's blood and that will tell the tale. The rest is just speculation and somewhat unfair to the deceased driver and his family.
|02-26-2012 11:40 PM|
|Blackened||Lesson 1: Don't drink and drive. Lesson 2: Stay on the right side of the road drunk or not.|
|02-26-2012 11:07 PM|
|02-26-2012 10:56 PM|
|the Kolector||HOLY SH!t, that's crazy!!! It's unfortunate every time a life is taken during a senseless act like DUI. Guess people never learn. Maybe one day.|
|02-26-2012 10:41 PM|
JK in a head on collision
The jeep driver is still alive but unfortunately the passengers from the other vehicle were killed...RIP Wrong-way driver kills two | News - Home