A note from the death and dismemberment department. While Trump supporters are screaming at the top of their lungs about the horrors of government regulation and the burden it places on the economy, out in the real world, our rivers and skies are cleaner thanks to environmental rules (which went into effect under left wing proto-communists like Dick Nixon and Ronnie Rayguns). In the world of automobiles, crash test standards have been strengthened considerably over the past 20 years.
To listen to the reactionaries tell it, those regulations have forced the price of new cars up so high that ordinary folks can’t afford to buy them any more. They conveniently forget that real wages for all but corporate CEOs and Wall Street bankers have fallen steadily since about 1975. But those regulations have done something else. They have made today’s cars a whole lot safer to drive. It’s hard to put a price on that.
Recently, the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), a joint program of the Australian and New Zealand governments, crash tested two Toyota Corollas — one from 1998 and another from 2015. The testing was conducted last week as part of the United Nations’ Global Road Safety Week. The 1998 car was built in Australia, which did not require new cars to have air bags at that time.
Both cars were subjected to a 40 mile per hour partial overlap frontal collision test. When it was over, there was almost nothing left of the car manufactured in 1998. ANCAP gave it a safety rating of zero stars. The actual tally was 0.40 points out of a possible 16. Sensors onboard indicated any occupant would have suffered severe head, leg and chest injuries. The 2015 car fared a whole lot better. It got a 5 star crash rating and was awarded 13 out of 16 points. Any occupant would likely have walked away with minor injuries.
The lesson from the ANCAP test is not so much that newer cars are safer. It is that many of the most vulnerable drivers — teenagers and the elderly — are driving around in cheap cars that may crumple up around them in a collision. ANCAP CEO James Goodwin says. “It is unfortunate we tend to see our most at-risk drivers – the young and inexperienced, as well as the elderly and more frail – in the most at-risk vehicles, and we hope this test promotes a conversation to encourage all motorists to consider the safety of their car.”
The message? If you insist on texting and driving, make sure you do it in the newest car you can afford. And if you are commuting back and forth to work in a beater built in the 90’s, you better pray Trump and his minions haven’t cancelled your health insurance. Buckle your seatbelt before watching this video and remember, in Austrialia and New Zealand, the steering wheel is on the right!
Source: ANCAP via Autoblog