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Discussion Starter #1
<a href="http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/usatoday/20020301/ts_usatoday/3906096&printer=1">USA Today article</a> about danger in 3rd seat in SUVs - not enough room between the seat and the rear of the SUV.

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Maugham
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Anybody measured the distance from the third-row seat to the rear door? I'm guessing it's about 18 inches. Not too shabby.

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Richard
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If an Ody is rear ended at 30-40 mph there is a tremendous amount of force that has to be abated. Obviously, the closer the passenger is to the point of impact the more force they will absorb. The seat plays a role too, in that it either absorbs forces or breaks. A rigid seat is likely to break. That's why some rear passengers are ejected. I avoid using the 3rd seat, and IMHO owners would be wise to insist that children ride in the second row.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by rgrossman:
If an Ody is rear ended at 30-40 mph there is a tremendous amount of force that has to be abated. Obviously, the closer the passenger is to the point of impact the more force they will absorb. The seat plays a role too, in that it either absorbs forces or breaks. A rigid seat is likely to break. That's why some rear passengers are ejected. I avoid using the 3rd seat, and IMHO owners would be wise to insist that children ride in the second row.

</font>
I personally don't have enough knowledge or expertise in the subject to recommend something like that.

Do you have a background in vehicle collision analysis, design, and prevention?

Or can you cite some expert references on the internet to support that position?

The internet is rife with invalid yet strong warnings of dangers that don't really exist.

Regards,

Maugham
 

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I personally was involved in a collision in which the seatback bent about 30% due to collision forces. I was very happy that the seat absorbed more of the force than me. The structure of the vehicle also absorbed tremendous force witnessed by the fact that the frame was bent and the vehicle "totaled" by the insurer. I was lucky enough to walk away with no injury. Believe me, the forces in a high speed collision are incredible. My concern about the 3rd row seat is that it appears very rigid, and it is the closest to a rear end collision. Maybe I'll be a structural engineer in my next life, but right now am just expressing my opinion.
 

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A few things to consider-

According to other sources, rear-enders are rather uncommon compared to other crashes. Only 4% according to crashtest.com.

Plus, I would guess most rear-enders are at a few mph, and the car in front is pushed forward, so momentum is conserved by putting the car being struck into motion instead of just crushing like a head-on crash. I don't know where the article got its statistics, but they also show that serious rear-enders are less common even with their numbers.

I suspect that severe rear-enders where one car is doing even 15mph or more are pretty rare. If I have the time, I'll go through the NHTSA FARS database sometime and see what kind of data I can extract. It can be tedious using their interface sometimes, though...

Next consider that most rear-ender injuries and deaths are whiplash related. Whiplash is very dependent on [good] head restraints and positioning. Even the article mentions this at the end. Whiplash is not usually an issue for kids properly restrained in harnessed carseats or high back boosters. Plus, Odyssey does have 3 headrests in the 3rd row.

Next, consider that kids, especially those under 8, may not be at serious risk. First, they weight a lot less than adults and will not load the seat as much. Second, you can put them in a high-back booster seat which has added protection from the shell behind the child.

Finally, consider that Odyssey does have about 18 inches from 3rd row seat to the rear glass, and at least 2 feet from 3rd row seat to the bumper, maybe more. Not much, but better than many SUVs which have only inches. The rear crush zone will also absorb some energy. See:

http://www.honda.ca/models/odyssey_benefits_description.asp#b12


Seat failures are a problem, and it's good they are getting more attention. Front seat failures are also a problem, incidentally. Personally, I don't think is is so great a risk that the 3rd row seat should not be used. My kids are normally in the second row for convenience, but I have no problem having them in the 3rd row now and then.

On the other hand, I'd be very concerned about a 3rd row seat just a few inches from the glass. Especially one without a head rest or lap/shoulder belt.

[This message has been edited by caviller (edited 03-02-2002).]
 

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The lack of distance behind the back row seat was one reason we wanted the longer wheelbase vans and did not consider the Seinna or the DC shorties.

What about the back seats on sedans? The seat back is attached to the structure of the car. When they get hit, they don't give an inch. They rely completely on the crush zone of the car to absorb the energy. The crush zone on the Ody van is less than some sedans, but isn't it enough? Couple the crush zone that does exist with the fact that the seat will give to some degree and don't you get the same effect?
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by accordian:
The crush zone on the Ody van is less than some sedans, but isn't it enough? Couple the crush zone that does exist with the fact that the seat will give to some degree and don't you get the same effect?</font>
That seems to be the question of the day. I wish I knew...
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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If the rear seat "gives" the kid may slide out of the seat belt and be propelled backwards. If the rear-ender is body-on-frame vehicle, e.g. SUV and the rear-endee is a unibody the van will do more crumpling IMO.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by caviller:
A few things to consider-

According to other sources, rear-enders are rather uncommon compared to other crashes. Only 4% according to crashtest.com.

</font>
Our 240sx was rear ended 4 times. Once by a bus going 40 mph, once by a geo going 25, and two others under 15 mph. Talk about beating the odds!
The 240 was stopped in all 4 cases.
 

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From the USA Today article:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">When a minivan with a third-row occupant is hit from behind, the occupant is killed half the time, according to a Ford Motor analysis.</font>
This statistic is very hard to believe as is. There must be some missing qualifier to this, such as "over xx mph". Does anybody have any more info on this?

Mike
 

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Rear-ended Odyssey

Our 2000 Odyssey LX was rear-ended by an SUV that I guess was traveling at around 35 miles per hour. The third seat happened to be folded down, and our 2 children were seated in the middle seats. The bumper of the SUV went over the top of our rear bumper, and the forces crushed the rear end of the van inward by about 12 inches. One rear roof-support beam was slightly distorted, and the left and right rear fenders were slightly crushed. I think the folded rear seat absorbed some of the impact; it was damaged by the collision. The plastic paneling on the inside of the rear of the van was also cracked.

The force of the collision pushed us into a pickup truck stopped in front of us, and the bumper of that vehicle went over the top of the front bumper. The front of the van was pushed into the engine block, the radiator was broken, the air intake assembly was broken off, and there was probably additional damage that I could not see because the hood was jammed shut. In any case, the vehicle was declared a total loss. Aside from some soreness, none of us suffered injuries. I was riding in the front passenger seat and had some whiplash, but that had disappeared within a week of the accident. The children are both fine. We were happy with the way the van held up, happy enough to buy a 2002, but were glad the children were not in the 3rd seat. We have never let them ride back there and are even less likely to allow it now.

We were a little surprised the airbags did not deploy when we were pushed into the truck in front of us, but later read in the owner's manual that the airbag deployment is based on the rate of deceleration of the vehicle, not on the crushing of the front end. Since we were just smooshed up against the truck in front of us at a fairly slow rate of speed, the rate of deceleration was probably fairly slow. We probably would have been more bruised if the airbags had deployed.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Re: Rear-ended Odyssey

bjmeyer said:
Our 2000 Odyssey LX was rear-ended by an SUV that I guess was traveling at around 35 miles per hour...
I'm glad you are all OK. <s>Would you (or did you) get another Ody?</s> I just read that you bought another Ody.

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Maugham¿
 

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Re: Rear-ended Odyssey

bjmeyer said:
... and the forces crushed the rear end of the van inward by about 12 inches. One rear roof-support beam was slightly distorted, and the left and right rear fenders were slightly crushed. I think the folded rear seat absorbed some of the impact; it was damaged by the collision ...
First, I'm really glad none of you suffered any injury.

Second, with the third seat folded down, there was little space between the rear bumber and the third seat so I beleive it's normal that it was damaged. If it would have been up, the distance between it and the bumber is bigger, it might not have suffered any damage.

I have three children (well two born, one due in about a week :D ) so we have no choice but to use the third seat :( and the distance from the bumber to the third seat is one of the reason why we choose the Odyssey.
 

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bjmeyer,

Did you have the towing package on the Ody that was rear-ended? A rear collision is one of the main reasons I bought the tow package, I doubt that I'll ever use it for towing anything. I don't know how much it would help, but every little bit counts in my book. We are also expecting another baby, our third, so we will have to use the third row seat. I'll take all the protection I can get for the kids.

Nak
 

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No towing package.

We did not have the towing package. I should also say that the back of the van was not crushed in far enough to have reached the third seat, if the seat had been upright, but I do think the force of the impact was greater in the rear due to its proximity to the point of contact. The SUV was a Ford Explorer, a 2000 model I think, so it could have been worse had it been an Expedition or Suburban that hit us. The collision really drove home the point of why some are calling for the bumpers on SUV's to be lower--as mentioned in my earlier notes, the SUV bumper went over the top of our rear bumper.
 

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Until they make one of those monster truck grill guards for the rear bumpers, I guess a Yakima Roc'nGate swing arm bike carrier mounted to the Honda trailer hitch could serve to impale tail-gating SUV's. Better yet, propane powered back-off lights.
:flame::dizzy:
 
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