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Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationSafety · 1 decade ago

Why don't automakers build cars that will stay afloat in a river or canal in the event of an accident?

Please don't tell me it's about cost. Having that feature on cars would do more to boost sales than the cost of installing the feature. What is wrong with those people? Do they not understand the importance of safety?

23 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Automakers make what people ask for AND what sells.

    Once upon a time there were several brand names that floated, but now there is only one ... the VW.

    Once upon a time there were several brands where getting water into the engine did not cause it to stall.

    These brands worked wonderfully as advertised, but very few people bought them. When an auto manufacturer makes some feature, it costs them $. When no one buys into that feature, the auto maker loses big bucks.

    Same thing other products.

    There used to be home PCs that did not get malware, hackers, spyware, viruses, you name it, because they were built with operating system (other than Windows) and hardware (other than Intel) that was hightly resistant to this nonsense, but they could not compete ... the mass public wants

    (a) buy the cheapest stuff

    (b) looks cool, goes fast

    (c) could care less about safety security quality, or the notion that the stuff was made by slave labor in a non-free nation

    (d) lots of things to go wrong so we can have fun complaining ... life would be so dull if there was nothing to complain about

    Given the choice of buying cheap, then paying thru the nose over the life of the product, many times the purchase price


    buying a little better quality, with almost nothing to pay for maintenance, so that the total lifetime expense is maybe half of what the buy cheap has

    the mass public buys cheap and damn the consequences

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  • 1 decade ago

    First of all, cars do float and there are perfectly good procedures for sober people to get out of a car that has gone in the water.

    If they floated a lot in a river, they would be floating down stream.

    Cars going into water are uncommon and often those going in would not be in the water with a little common sense (like not driving into low water crossings.)

    About the only way to guarantee that a car would float would be to install rather bulky (tough) air bags above the front and rear bumpers where they would certainly interfere with styling and probably with access to the trunk and air flow to the engine.

    If one went off and the other did not, or one tore, the car would end up hanging nose down (or up) in the water and maker would be sued for injuries or deaths.

    You could certainly get in the business of selling after market kits, if you think there is such a demand. The kit would use existing technology because life rafts inflate automatically when they hit water, so you could make a tubular kit and figure out how to bolt it in place in two locations on car (or maybe to roof as long as it did not disturb the parachute already installed for people who fear driving off a cliff.)

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  • 1 decade ago

    Well the likeliness of an accident happening involving a vehicle and water rarely will ever happen. Automakers wouldnt think that feature would hold up to consumers, thus it would raise the the price of the vehicle, something a consumer wouldnt want to happen. Todays safety features involve seat belts, airbags, and the way a car crushes when an accident happens. Extra features just of that are too far fetched and are costly. Although cars with all windows up are tightly sealed for a certain amount of time before water starts to emerge..

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  • 1 decade ago

    there has rarely been a car that has sold on safety. Look how manufacturers had to be made to put seat belts in and all the other safety.

    In the end it is money - people will pay for alloy wheels, leather upholstery and the like but never safety. An illustration of this is the Volvo 240. It was in its day the safest, easiest drive most reliable car on the road - but much ridiculed for those very features. Look at the car adds now - how many mention safety at all

    The message is - most cannot give a dam about safety

    Source(s): A happily safe Volvo 240 driver
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  • thomas
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Cost is the major issue though. To make a car float would require making most of the body airtight which would make it cost a lot more. It would also make it more difficult to service since the panels would have to be sealed. Then there's also the added weight that would decrease the total gas milage.

    Frankly the consumers wouldn't pay for it when a car ending up in a lake is rather rare compared with the total number of cars on the road.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Sorry, but it's about cost.

    You have to make the car water tight. That adds significant complexity to the manufacture of a car.

    You have to look at what % of cars that get in accidents end up sinking in water? Suspect that number is REALLY small.

    So, if you were faced with the decision as an automobile buyer would I pay $12K for a new corolla that might sink or $22K for a new corolla that won't sink. I'd be willing to bet that 99% of people would take their chances with the one that will sink.

    Been driving for over 30 years, never put one in the drink yet, nor do I know anyone who has.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    they dont have cars that float but they do have cars that will drive through certain levels of water. safety is important but considering we have constant weather reporting and news that allows us time to get somewhere safe, warnings, emergency signals, and our own timing and judgement, it's not much of a priority to build expensive floating cars...and yes they will be expensive. for now, the floating car money is going to meteorologists and other forms of safety instead in the hopes that we'll take the information and prepare ourselves rather than sitting around waiting in our floating cars for things to get worse. unless the whole world flooded, there is and will always be dry land somewhere we can count on. if not, there's always a boat, plane, helicopter, or just plain old swimming to get us there. besides, in the event of an accident, the last thing you want to do is JUST FLOAT. you just want to get out of there and fast. plus, a car that can float on water will require even more skills that just drving the car because not everyone can sail a boat, let alone a boat car, especially in the event of an accident/emergency. not only would you have to pay the high cost to own one, but you'd also have to learn how to drive it on water which may require the additional cost of an extra license/permit, and special classes to ensure that people arent being reckless in the middle of a an already scary situation.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    aqua cars are being built but not by the major manufacturers. their mentality goes along the same lines as why don't airline manufacturers build airplanes with parachutes built along the top of the fuselage so that in the event of a engine failure or explosion the chutes would open and increase the survivability rate of passengers and crew. the Apollo capsules are perfect examples of how large parachutes can function for this purpose.

    their refusal to take these measures is strictly ignorance because obviously the cost would not be that great to save lives which are priceless.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I think the main reason has to do with the fact that people like air. Watertight=airtight and people seem to like things like fresh air vents, air conditioning and windows that roll up and down. And breathing. Consumers are big fans of breathing. Refrigerators float, but most people wouldn't think it'd be a good idea to hang out inside of one for awhile.

    I have to agree with you though, clearly because automakers don't make floating cars, they couldn't care less about the importance of safety. Those monsters!

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  • 4 years ago

    at the beginning do no longer concern concerning the adaptation between capability or handbook residing house windows. capability residing house windows will nevertheless function under water opposite to theory. as quickly by using fact the automobile has stopped that's violent action undo your seat belt, watch for the automobile to in basic terms approximately fill thoroughly, stay calm, open the window as quickly by using fact the water point has risen above the window, go away in the process the window and flippantly swim for the exterior. in case you get disoriented as you go away the automobile you could enable some bubbles of air out of your mouth to be sure which way is up. you could go out the automobile in 20 or 30 seconds in case you do no longer panic.

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