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Discussion Starter #1
I was proceeding through the green light (Treat blvd @ cherry lane, walnut creek, ca, usa) when wham! Saw something out my left eye, that was the car slamming into the driver side door.

Yikes! Pulled over to the side, CHP was there really quickly. Took our reports, towed my car away. Now sitting here with sore ribs and typing this.

Allow me to vent. What a &*^%$!

Called insurance co, we will see what happens.

Regards, Jim

'01 #191
 

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wow

glad to hear you are not TOO injured!
 

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I'm glad you're OK. Do get yourself checked out thoroughly to be sure!
 

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more details! was it a perfect perpendicular tbone? right into the door? how fast was the other car going? i'm curious to see how well those door beams hold up to a direct impact. and get pics if you can!

good to hear you're [relatively] alright.
 

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Ugh, so sorry to hear about your accident. That sucks. I hope the insurance does not total your car (unless that's what you want) -- finding another is a real nightmare, as I recently tried to do when they tried to total mine after it was stolen and recovered, stripped. Luckily, I was able to keep mine. Let's hope yours can be repaired!! :)
 

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Something very similar happened to me, my only accident in 30 years of driving sports cars and motorcycles (and now a hybrid, of course). I was going straight through an intersection with a green light at normal speed and a 93-year-old lady made a left turn directly into the side of my car as if I weren't there. I did my best to steer around her but in the intersection with the stopped cars all around there wasn't anywhere to go. She hit my left rear wheel and sent my car into a slide which I struggled to keep under control to avoid the other cars. My VW was totalled (OK, it was old enough that empty gas tank could have "totalled" it, but the rear suspension was wiped out), her Chrysler behemoth sustained minor cosmetic damage to the bumper cover.

She and I had a long (and surprisingly pleasant) talk afterward, she was pretty shaken up at having hit somebody and I was concerned about her. Intellectually she was as sharp as a tack, smarter and better conversationalist than most people my age (or any age really). I regret not having had more conversations with her, her memory spanned the nearly the entire 20th century and it was clear. It was just her reflexes and motor skills that had deteriorated, but looking at her you might have thought she was 60. And just talking to her you would have thought she was 40, maybe less. I would never have believed she was over 90 except that the cop told me when we were talking about the accident.

These cars are even less robust than that VW. I doubt it would take much to bend the aluminum frame beyond the recovery point, and I'm sorry to hear about your accident and its physical effects. I guess if "any landing you can walk away from is a good one" then any accident you can walk away from is a "great" one.
 

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moses - I'm not sure many here would agree that the Insight is not a robustly built car. Aluminium may be light but that doesn't mean that the Insight's structure is not strong.
 

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I believe Honda claimed the Insight was designed to be 15 percent stronger than a steel body and 50 percent more torsionally rigid, so no, the Insight is not weaker than similar sized steel vehicles. Nothing is indestructible. Even a diamond will split if you hit it right. ;)
 

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OK, for the record, I choose the word "robust" carefully because it is, in this context, a little fuzzy and doesn't mean "rigid." It is possible, especially for highly engineered structures, to be very rigid and extremely strong against the stresses normally encountered without being robust in a generalized sense of the word. Eggshells for instance are EXTREMELY rigid, almost impossible to torque or bend, without being "robust" (in any normal use of the word). Just tap two eggs together to find out how easy it is to irreparably break them. Or take a bicycle wheel which can support hundreds of pounds in the normal way but you can permanently deform by laying on its side and stepping on (I think, I've never tried it, although I have potato-chipped a few bicycle wheels in my time).

I never disputed the torsional rigidity of these cars, I appreciate that facet of their construction. And the aluminum shell of these cars is also quite safe (not that a 3 ton SUV couldn't find a way) but part of the reason it's safe is that it is deformable. And once this high tech-joined-Al structure does it's job and saves our lives and bodies by deforming (which it may have done it jgessling's case, thankfully), the local body and fender shop will be less likely to be able to straighten it than they would a steel frame or unibody. (doesn't Al plastically deform at a lower strain than steel? and here I mean "strain" and "plastic deformation" in the technical sense. And I know it doesn't respond well to being bent back and forth, it work hardens and embrittles).

Second, the suspension components in these cars are similarly engineered down to their bare bones. They are extremely good at their job of supporting the car while weighing as little as possible but it wouldn't take much of an off-center hit to bend up several thousand dollar's worth of fancy aluminum and steel. Some of the pieces in this car look light compared to motorcycle parts.

I used to word "robust" in order to encompass both reversible resistance to stresses outside the normal working working range and the ability to repair damage so that the car as a whole can return to service after getting stomped on, consistent with the dictionary definition:
robust -- (of a process or system) able to withstand or overcome adverse conditions

Besides, my post compared it to my old VW Golf which was semi-famous for the abuse it could take and stay on the road, thanks in part to cheap and readily available spare parts.

I'm standing firm on this ("firm" not rigid, robust, or strong) , these cars are rigid, safe, light, very well engineered, full of good qualities, but not particularly robust in the hit-me-with-a-hammer sort of way. OK?
 

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While the frame is strong, there are a lot of expensive/flimsy stuff on the Insights that I'm guessing would make them susceptible to being totaled. With plastic front fenders, the plastic wheel covers, and body panels that really can't be un-bent and repaired.

It depends on how hard you're hit of course. I pretty much figure if I'm in an accident I'll be drinking a beer from it someday (in the form of a beer can)

Understand, I backed mine into a concrete pole in a parking lot, and all that it did was scratch the paint.

However, the strong frame keeps me safe(r) in case I'm in a severe accident.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
me and myself

Thanks for the encouraging words. I would have posted earlier, but i'm still hurting pretty bad. One thing about hurt ribs, there's no comfort, can't sleep, can't sit, arrrggg...

Anyway, the insurance guy is talking like it's repairable. Damage missed front and back wheels, used door can be had for $500 from HAPs nearby. Major issue is door hinge area and getting that straight.

Doc has now got me wrapped in a tight corset around my ribs. I can move around ok which is a great help for getting in and out of bed. I got some film for the camera and if I feel up to it, I'll go over and take some pictures. (well, I did have two different digital cameras but both have been taken off to college with the daughters, so I'm left with what they didn't want. But I love the Rollei 35 anyway)

Regards, Jim
'01 #193
 

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Jim, the good thing about repairs to aluminum is that if done properly they won't rust out as would repairs to a steel body. The key is finding a competent shop.

Moses, I agree with you in terms of your definition of robust. In terms of save the car, save the occupant(s), Honda designed the Insight to save the occupants. The newer Honda vehicles have side curtain air bags. I suspect that the cost of retrofitting such a system to the low production Insight was part of the reason they discontinued the model. :cry:
 
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