Fuel Consumption


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There is one concept that I don't think that you understood in my comments earlier. I understand all the logic behind the impact zones in comparison to stiff steel frames. But one concept that you are not addressing is that in an impact between two vehicles the heavier of the two vehicles is going to have less an impact on it thus less impact on the occupants inside it. Where as the smaller, lighter car will suffer much larger amounts of stress to the frame, impact zones, and occupants. An indy car must have those very intense safety zones in order to survive the impact WHILE keeping weight to a absolute minium. As well as the fact that most their crashes are against stationary objects (like walls). It would be virtually impractical to design indy cars like SUV's. Where as it is not so impractical to design small cars to be more like SUV's. Small cars are not restricted to weight because of racing purposes. My simple argument is that with the same technology as a small car (impact zones, air bags, etc...) SUV's benefit from being heavier and larger. If you took a small car and added more weight to the frame as to strengthen the frame on things as side impacts while keeping the impact zones in the front and rear you would have an all around safer vehicle. The only thing holding that back is CAFE standards which restrict fuel millage and thus cause a direct impact of weight reduction on vehicles. Final point being that weight does have a huge impact on vehicle safety when comparing two vehicles with all equal other safety features.

Brandon Whitelaw

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