I’m looking to replace my car, the ‘family’ car and saw something locally that was quite interesting. Research was going well until I discovered that the model in question only has a 2* EURO NCAP rating which pretty much rules it out.
But it started a thought process about what is and what isn’t acceptable? The safety rating of my current car was not a significant factor in purchasing as its very good and so were the other options I considered. However when looking for small, cheap, automatic cars for my wife, safety rating clearly wasn’t a concern (1998 Micra and 2005 Suzuki Ignis) as they both have the crash protection of a disposable bbq. Size and budget were the over-riding factors. She does about a 1/3 of the miles I drive (4k vs. 12k) but still frequently travels short distances* on the motorway and obviously takes the children places. So why was safety not such a priority? Although it is the ‘family’ car, I probably spend 60% of my driving alone. Am I unconsciously valuing my own safety over that of the rest of my family?
On a one-off basis you wouldn’t stop your family travelling in a roadworthy vehicle on the basis that being old or small made it unsafe? If a friend offered to take your children somewhere in a 2* car, would you refuse? Should you dissuade someone you care about (family/friend) from buying a 2* car? Where exactly does one draw the line?
Looking at this poor crash rating (2014 Jeep Compass) it seems to struggle with leg injuries to the driver (especially) and the front passenger. It also does not have too many driver aids although more than my current steed. Should I being trying to make a more refined qualitative judgement than just looking at the 2* and going ‘**** that’?
*I've not seen any motorway accident statistics but I would expect entry and exit to present significant greater risk to normal motorway travel. Hence frequent small trips on urban motorways (M56, M60, M62) probably have a much greater risk than general motorway accident statistics would suggest.