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Speaking about Saab safety, I just stumbled across some 'real-life' safety stats compiled on older cars by the New Zealand government.

"The ratings are calculated from a statistical analysis of police reports on actual crashes in Australia and New Zealand. They are based on whether or not the driver was injured in the crash and, if injury resulted, the severity of those injuries."[/b]
They make interesting reading. Here's the Saab section:

Saab crash safety

...and some of the 9k's contemporaries:

Luxury cars crash safety

Top marks for the 9k


Regards,
Alan
 

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IIRC, the 9000 was for some time rated (in Sweden?) as the car you were most likely to survive a potentially fatal accident.

It woudl be interesting to know how much of this "survivability" is down to the good handling of the car- which means that you may be able to avoid or mitigate the accident.
 

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Back in the eighties,when I sold new Mercedes Benz,they used to promote two forms of safety in their literature-Active Safety and Passive Safety.Active Safety was obvious i.e good brakes,crumple zone construction,positive suspension/steering,steering wheels that moved up and away on impact etc.I believe that Saab were one of the first to add side impact beams to the list.Passive Safety was more difficult to put across but,basically,it involved the well being of the driver,leading to a more relaxed and in-control situation,thus helping to prevent the accident occuring in the first place.Examples of this would be,anotomically designed seating,controls placed where they fall to hand easily, without having to take your eyes off the road,good ventilation and heating system,to ward off drowziness,good visibility all round,firm but well damped suspension allied to positive steering,a quiet environment.I could go on,but you get the picture. In my view Saab,and especially the 9000,have been world leaders in both these forms of safety.You have only to drive a car of lesser ability to realize how difficult it is to concentate on your driving when you are struggling with poor ventilation in damp weather,off set controls,high noise levels,and unresponsive steering/brakes/suspension--and thats all before you hit something!
 
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