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US road conditions vs EU

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by lorih, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. lorih

    lorih Member

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    I wanted to hear what others have to say about Elon's decision to change air suspension defaults, so that it doesn't decrease until much higher speeds (I think he said 97 MPH). His reasoning was that US had more road debris and he believed the higher suspension would reduce collision of impact in US, but he still wanted good handling on autobahn speeds 90-130 MPHand would therefor lower at higher speeds. (This wasn't in his blog, it was in an interview someplace recently)

    it brought up a few questions:

    1) since road debris leads to unsafe conditions for ALL cars, how do we in US work to make sure our roads are clearer, and therefore safer for everyone?

    2) How many current US Model S owners regularly travel at 90MPH or above?


    please do not turn this thread into a duplicate of other threads (ie discussion of probabilities of collisions leading to fire, or whether this temporary software update was the right PR and/or safety decision, there are already multiple threads on these issues.)

    Also, I would like to keep this thread polite, and for the purposes of this discussion please give Elon the benefit of the doubt that the lowering of suspension at highway speeds will be a driver decision in January 2014. If you think that is controversial, there are aready other threads on that.

    I purposely started this in "off-topic" because road debris is an issue for ICE vehicles AND EV's, so I do not want to make this another thread about the Model S battery.

    (Note: these guidelines may sound limiting, but this is an attempt to limit discussion to make it easier for both readers and mods, by not duplicating discussions, and not adding to hot topics and hot tempers... Cheers everyone)

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    Another thought. There are two issue to consider for road debris: old debris already in the road, and things flying off cars/ trucks in front do another car.

    it seems to me that the roads are clearer in Germany, but there is probably also less rusted parts flying off cars in front. I would assume no one in Germany is on the autobahn with open trucks carrying purely secured cargo, as we see all the time here in US. Is this self selected (common sense?) or is this regulated?

    Same question regarding rust car bits: are older cars kept off Autobahn just because they don't handle we'll at high speeds or is this regulated?

    In general are cars just 'newer'?

    Are there just less accidents (of all kinds) or is it a trade off, and number of 'incidents' is lower, but actual incidents worse? (ie more damage? More fatalities? More multi-vehicle crashes?)

    not playing devil's advocate here, I am ignorant about EU stats, and curious.
     
  2. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    For what is concerning Italy it's very difficult to find road debris (of both the kinds that you mentioned) both on highways and city roads, but it's very easy to find potholes damaging the wheels expecially in cities.
    Very high percentage of old cars here. Not able to give other data that you asked.
     
  3. RobStark

    RobStark Active Member

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    The differences inside the EU are greater than the differences inside the US.

    Comparing Germany to Romania is not like comparing California to Mississippi.

    It is like comparing California to Panama.

    Actually,Panama's GDP per capita is about $1K more than Romania.
     
  4. Klaus

    Klaus Member

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    In my own experience, I agree that there used to be and probably still is much less debris on highways in Germany and the surrounding Central and Northern European countries. In large part I think this is due to mandatory regular safety inspections (annually?), i.e. TÜV in Germany, that will find and make the owners repair unsafe conditions of cars including rusted and loose parts. If you don't repair the defects you don't get to drive the car much longer. Inspections of trucks are also more strict, although that system has been challenged by the vastly increased east-west cargo traffic since the opening of the "iron curtain." Rules for securing cargo are also strict and are actually being enforced to some degree. As an example that's easy to verify, you definitely get to see a lot fewer cars with burnt out headlights or brake lights than in the US, likely in part due to the regular inspections. I'm not sure how well that would translate into fewer lost trailer hitches.
     
  5. montgom626

    montgom626 Active Member

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  6. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    I think Klaus largely nailed it.

    In all Western European countries there are requirements for annual testing and inspections to make sure vehicles are "roadworthy"; as far as 'loose' items on the back/top/outside of a vehicle there are various versions of "unsafe load" laws which will get you ticketed/fined and possibly ordered to fix it on the spot before you can drive on.

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    Mornington Crescent.
     
  7. widodh

    widodh Model S R231 EU

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    There is a weekly show on TV here called "Road Abusers" and it showed a big police action where they checked all passing vehicles.

    A truck got fined for just that, carrying not properly secured load and he had to leave his truck there since he couldn't fix it on the spot. (And he got a fine of a couple of hundred Euros).

    And we indeed have yearly inspections for all cars and trucks here.

    So yes, after driving in the US and living in the EU I can say fairly certain that the EU roads are a lot cleaner. (and also have less potholes).
     

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