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Car Performance Standards

Have standards for how low a car's limits can be
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I propose that there be laws limiting how slow a car's acceleration, roadholding limits (slalom, not skidpad), and braking limits can be. I think this would decrease accidents by a significant amount. Any car has to be able to do 50-70 mph in its top gear in under 6 seconds, the slalom at more than 55.0 mph, and 70-0 panic stop in less than 195 feet. (Those numbers were not arbitrarily determined, see below) These standards should be enforced for any car made since 1990, and if any car cannot meet or exceed these standards, the owner must either buy a different car that can meet them, or they can modify their current car so that it meets them (stiffer springs for handling, bigger brakes, or some part that creates more power from the engine). And none of this crap about different types of vehicle have different standards, like pickups and SUVs have lower standards than regular cars, and sports cars have the highest standards. Most cars should easily be able to meet or exceed the standards I outlined, as I took the averages of a few out of my stack of car magazines. Any roadgoing vehicle that can be bought by the average Joe would have to meet these, be it econo-car, sports car, SUV, pickup, motorcycle, whatever.

Alright now to explain the categories. The 50-70 acceleration would be a standard for someone quickly trying to get out of the way of danger on a highway if there isnt room to stop. The slalom rating is similar to an emergency lane-change, which is self-explanatory. The 70-0 braking would be for a panic stop from the speed most people drive on the highway. All of these standards focus on increasing highway safety, since thats where most major crashes happen. Any improvement here should translate to improvement at slower speeds as well.

Bert6322, Jul 23 2002

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       These exist in the form of these things called 'Safety Standards', in europe they are called 'European Safety Standards' and all cars must be tested to them.
[ sctld ], Jul 23 2002

       //These standards should be enforced for any car made since 1990, and if any car cannot meet or exceed these standards, the owner must either buy a different car that can meet them, or they can modify their current car so that it meets them//   

       Who pays for this?
calum, Jul 23 2002

       We do.
thumbwax, Jul 24 2002

       sctld: I don't mean safety standards like crash-tests; I know what those are. I mean tests for a car's limits when it is on the road driving, without being in a crash. My personal belief is that crashes could be prevented if all drivers knew the limits of the car theyre driving and knew what to do at or beyond those limits, like what a performance driving school teaches.
Bert6322, Jul 24 2002

       I think it may be rather naive to believe that our highway accidents are the fault of the automobile itself, and not by the imperfections of people. I agree it would be wonderful to know you will buying a strong perfmorming car at the local dealer, but we would certainly hope that the ability of the car would not give us false confidence that we would be safe on the road because of it. If we instead concentrated on diminishing our distractions while driving, such as cell phones, make-up, electric shavers, and paperwork, which are a far greater factors in automitive casualties, I think we would reduce our risk of getting in an accident. And, which may please calum and thumbwax, would be ultimately a more cost effective solution.
evenmind99, Jul 24 2002

       // Most cars should easily be able to meet or exceed the standards I outlined... //   

       Well, it sounds like it's baked then. Which cars do not meet the standard?
waugsqueke, Jul 24 2002

       it's a nice idea, but if you make cars faster/better at cornering then people will just drive them faster. Even making cars safer gives people more confidence, this is reflected by insurance companies charging loads more for fitting roll cages etc. <rant> My insurers wouldn't even let me put disc brakes on my 1983 mini, claiming that it is 'a performance enhancing modification'.<end rant>   

       In short, people will always cause crashes, regardless of what car they're driving.
timo, Jul 24 2002

       Calum's point is something to consider seriously. I would rather that refresher driving lessons were enforced, and people were shown what happens in an accident, than all cars' performance was raised. If you drive a car you should be aware of the possible consquences of your actions.
sappho, Jul 24 2002

       I like this idea because it strives to make all cars able to compete on the raceway I mean freeway, but I see it as a solution to a non-problem. Assholes never seem to have a problem going fast enough, even in their beat-up Piece of Shi-Tzu. Although I wish my family-car-clunker would respond better, it does well enough for normal street driving.
polartomato, Jul 25 2002

       What about the loading in the car? The more bags of gravel (or fat people) you are carrying will increase the inertia of the vehicle - making acceleration/deceleration much harder. The tests would have to be done with both axles griding along the floor!   

       What about the idiots driving the car? Ah, many comments above about that one.
PeterSilly, Jul 25 2002

       Why not take the train. Since most cars have only one person in them maybe people should question why use a car before they do.
English Pete, Jul 25 2002


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