May 14, 2008

SMART Finally Passes Crash

I don't know how they could allow the sale of the Smart Car if they hadn't passed crash before now.

After the side-impact test conducted on the Smart car by the Insurance Institute, and a separate test by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one issue remains under review: The Smart's driver door unlatched during each test crash.

The IIHS downgraded the Smart structural rating to acceptable from good, "but the opening didn't appear to effect dummy movement during the test," the agency said.

"Still, doors shouldn't unlatch because in some crashes it could allow partial or complete occupant ejection" especially if they were not wearing safety belts, the Insurance Institute said.

It shouldn't be long before someone sues because a loved one died after being ejected during a crash and not wearing their seatbelts.

How safe is it really?

The IIHS noted the Smart has standard side air bags and electronic stability control, but the vehicle lacks a traditional front-end crush zone, which absorbs crash energy in most vehicles.

Instead, the Smart counts on seat belts and air bags to absorb energy. (emphasis mine)

They rely on seat belts and air bags to absorb crash energy. Not something I would take a chance on.

Not with statistics like these:

The IIHS noted that smaller, lighter cars like Smart are generally less safe, since they tend to fare worse in crashes with larger vehicles. In 2006, among vehicles one to three years old, minicars had 106 driver deaths per million registered vehicles, compared with 69 driver deaths in larger cars.
Posted by Quality Weenie at May 14, 2008 08:07 AM | TrackBack

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Posted by: click at August 5, 2009 02:26 AM