Recent crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a nonprofit group, have confirmed what a lot of people have been thinking all along. If drivers of micro cars were to get in a bad accident, they would be at risk for serious injury.
The crash test results really aren’t that surprising, in my opinion. I saw a Smart Fortwo in the lane next to a Chevy Suburban the other day and the size difference really puts these micro cars’ tiny stature into perspective.
The crash tests conducted were head-to-head collisions at 40 mph into midsize sedans from the micro cars’ respective companies.
The IIHS tested the three smallest cars on the road; the Toyota Yaris, Smart Fortwo and Honda Fit, and all three received a “poor” rating in the tests. These three cars currently meet and exceed federal crash safety standards though.
Toyota Yaris vs. Toyota Camry
Smart Fortwo vs. Mercedes C Class
Honda Fit vs. Honda Accord
"The test used an extremely high crash severity which is unlikely to occur in real world crashes," Smart spokesman Ken Kettenbiel said in a statement. "In fact, less than one percent of all crashes fall within these parameters."
Insurance Institute spokesman Russ Rader said that although the head-to-head test crash results in relatively few real-world crashes, front impacts like those depicted in the test account for roughly half of all occupant deaths in car crashes.
Big incentives, discounts and low auto loan rates are great reasons to buy right now, but car shoppers should always do their research to see how the cars they are looking at rate in crash test results. What’s more important, a great deal or safety? That’s ultimately up to the individual buyer.
Videos via CNBC.