Mini cars are becoming more and more popular for a variety of drivers,
from newly licensed teens to retired baby boomers. Yet while these small
cars may look cool, they are surprisingly unsafe. The Insurance Institute
for Highway Safety puts numerous types of cars through a variety of crash
tests each and every year—and this year was no exception. When they
performed the specific small overlap frontal crash test on mini cars this
year, the results were shocking. Out of the 11 minicars that were tested,
only 1 received an acceptable rating. The rest of them—FAILED.
The worse mini car that was tested was the Fiat 500. When the Fiat 500
hit the barrier, the crash test dummy sustained a significant
head injury on the instrument panel because the airbags were not in place. He also
sustained serious leg injuries after the steering compartment was dislodged
and pushed into him.
The only car to achieve an acceptable rating and pass the small overlap
front crash test was the Chevrolet Spark. By default, it was then awarded
the 2014 Top Safety Pick award.
The small overlap front crash test is extremely important for safety. During
this test, the vehicle’s front corner is tested for strength. When
the front of the vehicle fails this test, it means that the structure
of the car is compromised and airbags can be dislodged or the driver’s
front compartment could be crushed, causing serious injuries.
In order to complete this test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
forces cars to strike a rigid barrier going 40 mph. At least 25% of the
mini car’s front end must strike the barrier in order for the test
results to be accurate. What this does is bypass the front-end crush zone,
which exposes the car’s structural weaknesses.
Larger cars, like SUVs and trucks, have found a way to improve the structure
of their front ends in order to pass these tests and improve safety. Yet
mini cars are at a significant disadvantage because there is not enough
room to add structural support.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a
car accident, the Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys at Kelley/Uustal can help.
Contact our office today to learn more!