Children and safety in Jeep JL

trstefani

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When I bought my JLU Rubicon, I posted a YouTube video of how I inserted three child seats in the back seat. This morning someone posted that I was placing my children in a death trap. The post was worded poorly which makes me suspect it was drafted by a person that speaks English as a second language or perhaps an internet troll.

I suspect the post was due to the poor NCAP safety rating. As a parent, a safety rating is important to me. Please let me give potential JL buyers my two cents.

Many of us have children and love taking our children on off road adventures. I’ve owned 30 Jeeps and take my children on local mountain trails, here in Colorado. I grew up in Southern California and spent weekends camping and off roading in the desert. It was a great childhood. I want my children to have similar experiences.

I’m a family physician and served as a battalion surgeon in Iraq and Afghanistan. I’ve cared for trauma related injuries. Since the NCAT rating came out, I considered getting a different trail rig.

On looking at the NCAP videos and write-up, I see air bags deploy as they should and the passenger compartment remains intact. The side collision is rated well which is odd because the child dummy’s head hit the B pillar. The write up states that injuries to the chest and femur of the front seat occupants could occur. It does not appear injury occurred to the dummies. The offset barrier was fixed and too low. There are more SUVs and trucks on the road so the barrier should be higher. The dummies flail around, but they do so on every crash test due to physics. I question the conclusions about injuries.

It appears there is a bias to European vehicles. Further NCAP loves electronic safety measures. The features can be great but they are not a substitute for driving safely. Additionally I’ve owned high end European vehicles and all the electronic stuff loves to fail and sensors are always going bad.

My conclusion. I’m keeping my JL and don’t have any reservations with my children riding in the Jeep. I think the 1 Star NCAP rating is biased. If I collided with one of the highly rated European vehicles I question how well they will fare.





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Jondrew

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We all love our Jeeps, but I think we’d be fooling ourselves to not agree some car designs are inherently safer than others, and the Wrangler is not the king of the safety hill. Stock, wit no modifications they (like many trucks and SUVs) do not brake as well and with high centers of gravity will tend to rollover more often.

Driving style is a huge factor. It’s the one thing we are all in control of. Keep your speed down, leave room between the car in front of you, and keep aware of the nuts around you.

Modern wranglers have air bags, anti lock brakes and anti skid control. In my view these are the most significant safety features a vehicle can have.
 

OldBird

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Is the JL the safest car on the road? Absolutely not. Is it safer than the JK? yes. Was the JK safer than the TJ? Yes. go on and on.

Car safety has improved massively across the board. If Safety were your only concern there would be no cars other than Volvos, Subarus and Teslas. I'm glad that these safety reviews are motivating all car companies to improve their features, as well as letting us understand what we're buying. But let's be honest, is a car that's 100 times safer than one from just 15 years ago really fair to be called a "death trap?"

If that were the case we should be outlawing any car older than 10 years old, just to be sure everyone is safe. Never mind that most people wouldn't be driving then, mostly because they couldn't afford a car.
 

CypressWrangler

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You can have the world's most safest vehicle and if the conditions are right someone is going to die in a crash. You also have miracles where people walk away from accidents where they should have died.

IMO 3 car seats in the back of a Wrangler is a bit much, but not unsafe.
 

RussJeep1

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Standardized crash tests have both their place and their limitations.

To the extent that they encourage manufacturers to design and incorporate safety features into their models and design their framework around protecting the passenger compartment in the event of a collision, such testing is good. Still more, as the testing methodology is standardized across all tested vehicles, it does, holding all else constant, allow the consumer to make comparisons among vehicles.

The problem is all else isn't constant on the road. People drive into and avoid collisions, take different risks, avoid slippery conditions or times of the day most likely to encounter drunk drivers and make decisions that a mindless safety test battering ram can't.

Further, vehicles are tested in their class. Accordingly, the highest rated 2 door Fiat isn't going to stand a chance against even a crappy rated Cadillac Escalade. Here, if not in the bedroom, size, (and weight, and height) matters. Second, consideration is given to all the collision avoidance features like lane collision detection systems, except perhaps the one Wrangler's are second to few at: gripping the road in the first place to either avoid the collision they might inspire or avoid. Third, the Wrangler's higher ride, not to mention weight gives it advantage to it in a collision over some of the best tested sedans.

The list could continue but the point is to take NCAP, and IIHS, and other rating institution's results with a grain of salt. I wouldn't suggest ignoring them, just looking at the in context.

Something tells me that these tests don't necessary correlate with the IIHS data on actual accidents, damage, and lives compromised or lost for lots of reasons. If nothing else, you didn't buy your Wrangler for speed. I'll bet, for example, even the safest Mustang shows higher casualty rates, simply by virtue of the market it attracts, and the muscle car's capabilities for that market to get themselves in trouble.
 

koinneach

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NCAP test aside, how can anyone NOT question the safety of the JL from its numerous reported cases of death wobble and the rudimentary welding? Not to mention, all the anecdotal cases of electronic issues. Although my kids will probably seldom be in the JLUR, as a father of 2 with a JLUR still in D status, I would be lying to say that it hasn't crossed my mind to abandon my order til FCA gets their 'merda' together. I really hope I come across more good threads than bad about the 2019s before my order turns to KZ.
 

84jeepjohn

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LOL my kids still ride around in my lifted CJ7. So yeah whatever.

I dated a girl in high school, and her mom would not let her ride in my first CJ7 without the soft top. She said it would protect her.....
 

jhonn236_AZ

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LOL my kids still ride around in my lifted CJ7. So yeah whatever.

I dated a girl in high school, and her mom would not let her ride in my first CJ7 without the soft top. She said it would protect her.....
maybe she just didn't want her to go driving "naked".
 

smithrd65

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If your scared of the Jeep sell it your problem solved.
Crash test are all staged events real world even or true ask the guy who rolled his JL and walked away. The public is so easily scared they believe in Pink UNICORNS if someone said they saw one eating a burger.
 

robaw

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The 1 star rating is heavily influenced by the lack of automated driving safety features. It says so in the report.
I have the advanced safety group (ACC/FCW) - that has to get me to at least a 2! :rock:
 

PavementWarrior

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My conclusion. I’m keeping my JL and don’t have any reservations with my children riding in the Jeep. I think the 1 Star NCAP rating is biased. If I collided with one of the highly rated European vehicles I question how well they will fare.

Should it be a 1 star, no they clearly over weighted avoidance tech. IIHS results will give us better information imho.

However, No rear side airbags makes it worse than most cars today if hit on the side. Rear passengers head basically goes through window or hits door rail. Sure cars for years did not have side air bags, but reality is fatality and serious injury rates are down because of these new safety devices.

How well will the car fare? they don't anymore, they crumple by design, and the people walk out alive. If the other car is going fast enough dont kid your self its one hell of an impact, if you have ever hit a seat belt so hard you think you are dead cause everything is black and you cant breathe you change your view (I had a kid spinning out of control at high speed hit my Jeep, "i won" but in reality both were totaled and we were lucky to be alive)


I have a 2 door and the rear seat is out so the no rear airbag is not a factor for me.
 

TheWingman

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Echoing what others have said here... the ol’ JL isn’t a safe vehicle by modern standards, and that means it deserves to be driven with respect. Also, kids’ modern car seats improve child safety more than anything else, so ferrying the children in mine is no cause for alarm. That being said, never take any intersection for granted. Even one-way feeders. I check them all like there’s an intoxicated motorist approaching from every direction.
 

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