Originally Posted by Conrad
The smart cars actually do really well in high speed accidents, much to my surprise. There's a video where the run one staright into a New Jersey barrier at 70mph and it survives remarkably intact. Only thing is they carry so little forward momentum they just stop too fast upon hitting something. No way on earth you'd live through it.http://youtube.com/watch?v=ju6t-yyoU8s
not to be a naysayer, but simple physics. I just had a jury trial come back today dealing with a small vehicle being struck by a large truck. Large truck 1, small car 0 The dead in the small didn't have a chance. That doesn't make the vehicle defective, however.
There is absolutely no way I would get in one of these Smart cars in the united states, mileage be damned. sorry, but $4 gas ain't worth my personal safety. NCAP testing is great, but that measures only performance of the bags and belts, not the vehicle. Maybe if I am gonna slam into a barrier at 35 mph in a frontal in conformation with FMVSS 208, I will reconsider, but seeing as this is the real world and crash will more likely than not be between two or more vehicles, I want a shitload of steel on my side.http://www.crashtest.com/explanations/nhtsa/index.htm
"In 1978 the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began crash-testing popular vehicle models in the United States. Their protocol (FMVSS 208) involved running vehicles head-on into a fixed barrier at 35 mph. Results were published for the information of consumers, as the US arm of the international New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). Today's passenger vehicles are designed to be more crashworthy than they used to be, largely thanks to this testing. Still, over 30,000 occupants die in crashes on U.S. roads each year.
The very success of the NCAP means remaining differences in performance among most new vehicles in full-width tests are small. This doesn't mean important crashworthiness differences no longer exist. They do exist, and additional crash test configurations can highlight these differences. One such test is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) frontal offset crash. Full-width and offset tests complement each other. Full-width tests are especially demanding of restraints but less demanding of structure, while the reverse is true in offsets.
Full-width frontal impact crash test - NHTSA and OSA currently use this procedure for their full-width frontal impact collisions. Dummies are seated in the driver's and front passenger seat. The vehicle crashes head-on into a rigid concrete barrier at 35 mph (56 km/h). Afterwards, researchers measure and evaluate the impact on the dummies' head, chest, and legs.
This test provides very high deceleration forces to the test dummies and is particularly well suited to the evaluation of occupant restraint systems such as seat belts and air bags. Of note, however, the damage done to the vehicle itself is not assessed.
Bottom line: Drive a big SUV or a crossover. I won't let my family ride in anything else. The potential savings of say $1,000 per year ain't worth it.