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Old 08-21-2007, 01:17 AM   #1
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2008 Focus Safety

I've heard a lot about the new Focus, but the one thing that I havent heard is anything about safety. All I hear is stuff about the Sync features and all the other crap that wont save your life in a crash. Is the new Focus a lot safer in crashes or is it still terrible like the older models?

I ask because after owning a '07 for 2 months, i've seriously considering getting rid of it. Sure its fun to drive and the gas mileage is great, but it doesnt feel safe to me at all and then after watching crash tests where it got hit by a pickup truck, yeah I think it may be the nail in the coffin. I dont see how anyone could survive a side impact with a larger vehicle.


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Old 08-21-2007, 07:19 AM   #2
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Perceived personal safety is something nobody else can decide for you. I feel that my (horribly unsafe...?) 2004 is a sound vehicle. On the forum here we're seen a number of posts from people in horrific wrecks with the Focus - the point being they were alive to show us these pictures.

A Volvo (or something else with higher crash ratings) may make you feel more comfortable, but understand that it's a measure of degrees. A 6000lb full size Dodge Ram at 45mph is going to upset anything less structurally robust than a Bradley. I have long felt that the statistical likelihood of a catastrophic high-speed not-my-fault life ending accident was very low - much lower than the likelihood that I'll be killed doing any of the other dangerous things I do. To me, advanced safety features are not as important as driving safely, which is why I'd still love to own a 2nd gen CRX. Compared to a Focus, a CRX isnt a nail in the coffin, it's the coffin, all the nails, a bunch of dudes to nail it shut for you with a hole pre-dug to dump you in.
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Old 08-21-2007, 07:29 AM   #3
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I have to go with Robzor on this one...

The NHTSA crash tests are a little misleading. Granted, there has to be a benchmark, but the accidents that they replicate in a laboratory are not necissarily indicative of real life.

Those types of accidents are not as commonplace as you would be led to believe.

One thing that bothers me about our society is that we put more emphasis on accident survivability instead of ...

Accident AVOIDANCE.
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Old 08-21-2007, 07:35 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVT Robzor View Post
Compared to a Focus, a CRX isnt a nail in the coffin, it's the coffin, all the nails, a bunch of dudes to nail it shut for you with a hole pre-dug to dump you in.
that's awesome! but i've gotta agree with the other stuff he said too, especially about some of the wrecks we've seen on here. car accidents happen all the time, and critical ones are bound to happen and sometimes there's simply nothing you can do about it. wrong place, wrong time. but shouldn't have to live in fear because of what you drive. if you honestly feel that unsafe in the focus, then you should get rid of it. feeling unsafe and being paranoid of something happening is probably going to increase your chance of making a costly mistake. one of those things where you might just be thinking too much about it. personally, i thought the focus was rated decently in tests? idk, maybe i'm mistaken, but again, from some of the things i've seen on here, and myself being as much of a smart/safe driver as i can be typically, i feel good about the car.
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVT Robzor View Post
To me, advanced safety features are not as important as driving safely, which is why I'd still love to own a 2nd gen CRX. Compared to a Focus, a CRX isnt a nail in the coffin, it's the coffin, all the nails, a bunch of dudes to nail it shut for you with a hole pre-dug to dump you in.
You nailed it on the head. My brother had a CRX and in '90, couldn't even imagine driving that thing with all the cray SUV's around today. I feel safe in my focus, maybe has something to do with sitting more upright. I thought the focus did pretty well in crash test, but can't remember. Perceived safetey can outweigh statistical safety.
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:16 PM   #6
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Now, I'll admit that the thought of getting t-boned by one of those monster suv's or full sized pick ups scares the willies out of me. However - the simple fact of the matter is that as long as you are paying attention while driving and always have an escape thought out should things get dicey - you'll be fine.

For example - if the vast majority of your driving is interstate - your likelihood of getting broadsided is almost nil - and even if you do get broadsided on the interstate - nothing is going to safely protect you in that event.

The best thing about small cars like the focus is the fact that the car seems unsafe. Because of that - you are forced to pay more attention to the road - and you have more communication with the road. Look all around you, predict what others will do (suv and large pickup drivers - because of the perceived safety - tend to drive more unsafely than any other group).

The type of accident you are most likely to encounter is being rear-ended or rear ending someone. In regards to those type of accidents - you are incredibly safe in the focus. (unless you get rear ended by a semi doing 60 - and again - you're not safe in anything in that scenario).

I tend to gravitate towards small cars like the focus, civic, etc because of the fact that they offer the greatest amount of active safety in any kind of car out there. By active safety - I mean the ability to prevent an accident in the form of maneuverability, quick acceleration, and short braking distance. Passive safety is important as well, but the ability to prevent an accident is far more important to me than surviving a type of accident I'm unlikely to encounter.
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Old 08-21-2007, 10:35 PM   #7
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I appreciate all of your responses and i'm sorry if I went a little overboard. I agree that accident prevention is key and I know the chances of getting run over by a big SUV or something similar is pretty low, but it does scare me a little. I've never owned a small car before, so I guess its getting to me.

However, does anyone know what kind of safety improvements have been made to the '08?
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Old 08-21-2007, 11:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee07 View Post
I appreciate all of your responses and i'm sorry if I went a little overboard. I've never owned a small car before, so I guess its getting to me.
I felt the same way when I bought my Escort GT in 1993. Before that, I had only owned big cars from the 1960's.

I became a VERY defensive driver over the next 14 years, and I found that the Escort was a nimble car. That and always looking out for the "other guy" got me out of more than a few jams that could have been big accidents. The Focus is even more nimble that my old Escort.

The philosophy I was taught is that NO ONE else on the road knows how to drive,(Especially people in SUV's, a great majority don't realize they are driving a TRUCK!) Everyone else on the road is the enemy. So making a mistake, or letting your attention lapse, will get you in trouble.

It has worked well for me, I have an extremely low insurance rate to prove it.
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Old 08-21-2007, 11:57 PM   #9
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I find that alot of small cars dont seem safe, and they look horrific in car accidents. But they are actually, most small cars are totaled in accidents, their front ends like demolished....but alot of the time the interior is ok, no intrusion. Like more work goes into keeping the occupants safe, then keeping the whole car intact.
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Old 08-22-2007, 08:08 AM   #10
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If memory serves me correct, I believe that the 08 gets curtain airbags - along with the rest of the Ford lineup. Seat mounted side impact air bags have been an option on the focus since 2001 (IIRC - I haven't seen them on any 00's). My 07 has the safety package - which includes the seat mounted side impact airbags. Now, it's not the greatest amount of protection - but it is better than nothing.

Also, keep in mind that even without curtain or torso side impact airbags - a focus is a lot safer than the vast majority of the cars made during the 1980's and 1990's. And heck, even a larger vehicles isn't necessarily safer in a side impact - because of the added weight - the vehicle won't bounce from the impact and more intrusion will occur. (because of the light weight of a small car - the force of being smacked by a larger car will often cause the car to move quite a bit - using up a good amount of the momentum of the impact - instead of that force intruding into the passenger compartment.

Having been in an accident in a focus, knowing others who have, hearing the stories here, and from the body shop - I feel safer in the focus than I do in most other small cars.
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