The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has recently released results on a new crash test study for mini-cars being sold on the U.S. market. The crash test results demonstrate that most mini-cars did not fare well in frontal crash tests. In fact, there was only one of the mini-cars, out of the 11 tested, that earned an acceptable rating, while none received the highest rating of Good.
The frontal overlap crash test was first introduced in 2012 following research demonstrating that 25 percent of serious injuries from a frontal collision. This test is intended to replicate the events which may occur when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another automobile, or object.
The two worst ratings in the mini-car safety test were given to the Fiat 500 and the Honda Fit. Both of these vehicles demonstrated a collapsing structure that seriously compromised the drivers space inside the cabin, also causing the steering column to be pushed into the driver. In the Honda Fit, the test resulted in the dummy's head hardly contacting the front airbag, then sliding into the instrument panel. When the Fiat 500 was tested, the driver side door opened after the hinges were torn off, creating a giant risk of the driver being partially or completely ejected from the vehicle.
According to Joe Nolan, senior vice president at the institute, Small, lightweight vehicles have an inherent safety disadvantage. Thats why its even more important to choose one with the best occupant protection Nolan stated Unfortunately, as a group, mini-cars arent performing as well as other vehicle categories in the small overlap crash.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and the auto accident lawyers in the Knoxville office of Greg Coleman Law, remind consumers that although mini-cars may offer more small overlap protection than other vehicles in its class, this does not mean it offers the same amount of protection as larger and heavier vehicles with comparable crash test ratings, as these vehicles are included in a separate class.