Tekochip, I also had an incident, but on a bicycle in traffic going about 18MPH. Everthing was fine until a police car pulled out right in front of me. To avouid hitting him I did lay the bike down, and slid up to his car and stopped. He looked at me and drove away, and nobody challenged him. I did have road rash and a few bumps. This was before bike helmet were common. It altered the way I think about the police in Madison Heights, Michigan.
Small cars are neat, but if they have to be built to our present safety standards theynare indeed not only too expensive, but also heavy enough to lose a lot of the advantage of being a small car. So I stick to my mountain bike, wear a helmet, and watch the cars very closely. WAY TO MANY people ignore bikes. They see them, but ignore them.
Interesting, but far from complete. Powell Crosley , Cincinnati, Ohio, built the Crosley automobile, sedans and wagons as I remember. The cars got 60 or so miles to the gallon. This was in the 1940's, but were not "needed" at that time, I suppose.
It is perfectly legal in USA to own a 2 or 3 wheeled motorcycle - which has absolutely no safety features, except for brakes and headlight.
To make car to US specifications in safety and emissions costs $18,000 to $23,000 in low volume ( uner 30,000 vehicles per annum production ) so effectively all small cars with the exception of few fancy versions on MINI are a loss on the balance sheet for the OEM.
FIAT 500 for example costs Chrysler $5,000 in advertising per vehicle and another $500 in incentives just to sell one of them im USA !!!
Car wihthout the safety features can be made for under $5,000 and nicely equipped for about $8,000.
There are EV's in NEV version for about that price, but people are not buying them in any significiant volume (ZENN, OKA NEV, ZAP, Wheego, GEM).
I have to agree that laying the bike down is not a good idea. I used to ride but quit when I had "the big one". I was a simple statistic, an oncoming driver that failed to yield while making a left turn. I stayed on the bike until impact and struck a brand new Lincoln Town car at the rear bumper, shearing the bumper off its mounts. I was hanging on to the brake so tight when I hit that I also sheared the anti-rotation pins off of the bike's front brake calipers when the bike attempted to rotate upwards over the front tire. As for me, I flew over the car and my initial impact with the ground was in a sitting position at about 25MPH. I bounced and then smashed face first into the pavement shattering my helmet, but not my pretty face, at the chin guard. I managed to slow down from 50 MPH to 25 by using every last inch of braking available. I can't imagine what an uncontrolled slide into the car would have been like, or would it would have been like to pick pieces of me out from under the car.
As others have surely noted, the selection at the Studebaker is hardly comprehensive, but "a good start". Of course the VW is not really a member of the class either - much too large!
One good selection in the US may be found at the Dezer Collection in Miami - they have an entire section devoted to the breed with several variants of each, and a good selection of some of the three-wheelers such as the Reliant Robin which offered not only a good tax dodge in the UK, but good economy as well.
My meaning of "lay the bike down" is an action intended to change the collision into one where the rider is still on the bike, and it hits with both wheels at the same time. YES, it is quite ugly. I only did it once, in 1972, when a police car pulled out of a driveway about 20 feet in front of me, in quite heavy traffic. I combined it with a swerve towards the shoulder of the road, and missed him. I did get some road-rash, but I was able to ride away after a while. It certainly did hurt, though. And the cop never stopped. I don't ride in that city any more.
I certainly agree that in most cases the best choice is avoidance and making the impact a glancing hit, instead of a straight impact. OF course, avoiding impacts is a lot easier on some bikes.
@Manoffewwords, not many of those cars made it here: only the Honda 600 and Subaru 360 were imported in any "large" number. The majority of the other makes were minitrucks, often never licensed for road use but employed in factories, parks and estates. The Japanese microcars were mostly designed a decade after the European ones, so are often more sophisticated in construction, if not performance.
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