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Does a better car make you a better driver?

  1. Apr 12, 2004 #1
    As a luxury car went racing past me tonight, I wondered if that car's occupants were any safer with a monied idiot behind the wheel than passengers in an average car driven by an average driver. It reminded me of the SUV hoax - paradoxically, more lives and gas lost.
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  3. Apr 12, 2004 #2

    jimmy p

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    That's an interesting question. Theoretically, the more expensive your car is, the more safely you should want to drive it, so you dont damage/wreck it. However that is not usually the case. People have the engine power, they want to flaunt it. I think it just depends on the driver really, but i suppose people who drive old bangers would want to drive safer as they may not have all the crash precautions in their car...
  4. Apr 12, 2004 #3
    I think it makes you a better driver, since it really only matters in comparison to how well your vehicle manuevers and stuff...Well, that didn't explain it well at all. It doesn't matter to other drivers whether you are a super good driver with a bad handling car or an average car driver with a perfect and good car. God. I jsut cant find the words tonight. it really pisses a person off.
  5. Apr 12, 2004 #4


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    probably depends on what your car payments are each month.
  6. Apr 12, 2004 #5


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    I think in some cases, the safer a person feels, the more likely they are to be careless.
  7. Apr 13, 2004 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    Better cars usually do a better job of masking the driver's sense of speed. This happens because the higher quality cars often have better suspension systems, better tires, better design e.g. weight distribution, and often more weight with a larger wheel base to make the car more stable. They are also quieter than most inexpensive cars. So in this sense a nicer car makes it easier to go too fast without even realizing it. On the other hand, the better cars are better equipped for speed and they are more stable. So I think a nicer car tends to make one a faster driver, but too many variables exist to answer the question of safety with a simple yes or no.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2004
  8. Apr 13, 2004 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    2002 Lamborghini Murcielago

    I should add the qualifier that this car will always make you a much, much, much, much more dangerous driver. No exceptions.

    http://www.fast-autos.net/lamborghini/murcielago31.jpg [Broken]

    Price: $273,000
    Miles Per Gallon: 9/13 mpg
    Curb Weight: 3638 lbs
    Layout: Mid-Engine/AWD
    Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
    Type: V12
    Displacement: 6192 cc
    Horsepower: 580 bhp @ 7500 rpm
    Torque: 480 lb-ft @ 5400 rpm
    Redline: 7500 rpm
    0-60 mph: 3.6 sec
    0-100 mph: 8.7 sec
    Quarter Mile: 12.0 sec @ 121 mph
    Skidpad: .90g
    Top Speed: 205 mph
    Braking, 60-0 mph: 122 ft
    Slalom Speed: 65.7 mph

    http://www.fast-autos.net/lamborghini/lambomurcielago.html [Broken]

    It brings tears to your eyes doesn't it?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  9. Apr 13, 2004 #8

    jimmy p

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    it's beautiful!!! *sniff sniff* I WANT ONE!!!
  10. Apr 13, 2004 #9
    Apparently most really bad, horrendous, accidents occur on "Nice Sunny days" because most people believe that they cannot die on such a nice day.....

    The price of the car is NOT, in any manner propotionate to the driver's skills, most people learn bad driving habits, and never get rid of them, because of Pride, because of lack of re-testing of drivers, because of silly beliefs like the one above....

    Put simply, one of the vehicules that was most frequently in the ditch (Drove a snowplow/salttruck for years! seen lots of 'accidents') during snowstorms, were the FOUR WHEEL DRIVES because they think that 4 X 4 somehow imparts greater safety, they brake on four wheels just like all of the rest of the vehicules out there....only real difference is that they have better traction to go forward, no real braking advantage past the elementally small braking resistance that the driving of the 4 wheels affords...BUT they all seem to drive much faster then the rest....

    Accidents? WOW! have I ever gotten to see them! lots!
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2004
  11. Apr 13, 2004 #10
    I think there is some validity to the better car / safer car thought. If you are driving some P.O.S. that has balding tires, bad brakes, lights not working, even heat not functioning, each of these could contribute to an accident (the lack of working heat could become a distraction or force the driver to be dressed too bulky for safe control).

    That being said, I have seen many, MANY, expensive cars do stupid things in front of or behind me that cause me to say or think, "More car than driver."
  12. Apr 13, 2004 #11
    Perhaps the worst accident I ever witnessed was of a Jag wiping out on ice and into a tree. Ice plays no favorites.
  13. Apr 13, 2004 #12


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    There is an economics professor at my school that did a study on the demand for reckless driving and came to the conclusion that as cars get safer the demand for reckless driving increases. His proposed solution to reckless driving is rather ingenious: Put a sharp spear in the middle of the steering wheel of every car to reduce the demand for reckless driving. If people are always aware of the danger of driving a car fast, they won't do it.
  14. Apr 13, 2004 #13
    I agree with that 100%. But usually in those cases the conditions of the car or the environment around them isn't so safe, but they think the vehicle makes me the invulnerable-superman look. Right?
  15. Apr 13, 2004 #14
    'Invulnerable', that is what they think they become when saftey features are added.....defeats the purpose, if you ask me......

    Ice can be a real dangerous driving surface, especaily when wet with rain....OYE YIKES!
  16. Apr 18, 2004 #15
    In my opinion a better car makes you a much worse driver. All of these driving aids that can be found on modern cars, eg mercedes, have a negative impact on your driving. I noticed this when going from driving a C class mercedes to my ford fiesta. The C class has all the toys to play with but mainly ESP (traction control) and BAS (brake assistance) sp?. My fiesta has none of these, so as you can imagine being a young driver who didnt consider any of this when he got back into his own car, i got very very close to crashing into a ditch because i went too fast into a corner (for my fiesta) locked the brakes and almost skidded into a ditch. Im not sure whether it was more luck or judgement but i just about managed to release the brake and turn enough to avoid the ditch caught the curb quite hard though. In the mercedes this wouldnt have happened. Firstly the car wouldnt have let itself go that fast into a coner and secondly it wouldnt have locked the wheels up as i tried to stop.

    So a better car does not improve your driving it just makes it alot easier for you to lay back and take things easy. Driving a worse car will keep your driving skills sharp.
  17. Apr 18, 2004 #16
    Better to be wealthy enough to hire a driver, better insurance risk as it is less, if your wealthy enough... :cool:
  18. Apr 22, 2004 #17
    Volvo drivers reign supreme.
  19. Apr 22, 2004 #18


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    After having attended many track events and seen many people drive in many different cars, I have come to the conclusion that there is no correlation between the quality of one's car and the quality of one's driving.

    A better car provides more resources for a better driver to use; faster braking, cornering, and so on can be used effectively by a good driver to be even safer than in a less able car.

    On the other hand, those same resources can totally overwhelm a poor driver, as has been mentioned.

    Those who attend track events, learn from better drivers, and learn the limits of their vehicles better, however, are universally better drivers. I've been of the opinion for a very long time that American drivers' education is severely lacking. In my opinion, if you don't know what "throttle lifting" is and why it can kill you, you don't deserve a license.

    - Warren
  20. Apr 22, 2004 #19
    My guess is that "throttle lifting" involves the stalling of the engine during a sudden stop. So much for my license.
  21. Apr 22, 2004 #20


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    - Warren
  22. Apr 26, 2004 #21


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    Completly agree with you on that one. Driving ability has nothing to do with the car, but moreso the knowledge of the driver. More people die because they do not know how to react in emergency situations, and when they try to react, they fail miserably.

    A nice solution would be to have everyone wishing to drive attend an SCCA approved driving school (SCCA requires two schools last I checked), and screw written work. Every last bit of the class should be speant either behind a wheel, or watching someone who knows what they are doing behind the wheel.

    Anyhow, like andy was saying, so many modern cars have things like ABS, traction control, and a whole assortment of things that almost drive the car by itself. All a drive has to do is point in a certain direction and hit the gas.

    Personally, I stay away from powered stuff. The first thing I did to my most recent Z was remove the power steering pump. I like the feel of driving without it better, and since it only really assists you at lower speeds, it doesn't bother me a bit.

    Now my car is 24 years old, and was quite advanced at the time. Even today cars are using concepts that were implemented on the later models of the Z. Anyhow, (and please noone come around and make me defend my driving ability) I drive better then most people. It could be that people where I live are for the most part genetically stupid, or just that proper driving education is truly lacking. My best advice to anyone just getting a permit in NC is forget everything you just learned, pick up a copy of gran turismo and don't think about driving until you get all gold licenses.
  23. Apr 27, 2004 #22
    Has anyone ever played the arcade version of sega rally? I think alot of what i have learned about driving in wet and slippery conditions came from that game.
  24. Apr 27, 2004 #23

    jimmy p

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    LOL and the practise you got in. Remember the icy trip around Leisure World car park. That was a scream.
  25. Apr 27, 2004 #24
    that was, as they say "the b*llocks"

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