The Accident Lawyers Network Blog
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Smart Car Performs Well in Crash Test
Daimler AG's 2008 Smart fortwo micro car received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) highest rating for front-end and side-impact testing. In rear-end crashes, the Smart received the second highest rating. This is the smallest car for sale in the US at eight feet, eight inches in length. The testing may address some of the concerns consumers have had about a two-seater car this size.
While the Smart received the rating of "good," the institute stated the front-end score cannot be compared across all weight classes. A larger car that didn't earn a good rating may in fact be safer than a small car like the Smart. However, institute president, Adrian Lund said that high-density urban areas where high speed impacts are less likely are more practical for the Smart. In cases like this, the Smart is a very safe car.
The tests simulate a frontal end crash at 40 miles per hour with a similar vehicle. A side impact simulation shows a crash at 31 miles per hour if the car is hit by a sports utility vehicle.
Earlier tests of Smart by the government gave it a five star rating, but in side impact tests the driver side door came unlatched. This required the government to note their concern for vehicle safety which will appear on the window stickers at dealerships. The concern is that occupants of the Smart will be ejected in accidents. The IIHS noted the driver side door also came unlatched, but said injury measurements on the dummy were low.
Just over 6,000 Smart units were sold through the end of April, and the vehicle's automaker has stated there are over 30,000 reservations. It gets 33 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. It is three feet shorter and 700 pounds lighter than the Cooper Mini, weighing 1,800 pounds. It comes with a steel safety cage, four standard air bags, and has standard electronic stability to keep it from swerving off the road.
Dave Schembri, president of Smart USA, notes that the first question in people's minds isn't about fuel economy, but safety, when it comes to choosing a vehicle.
posted by Neil at 8:51 AM
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