The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported Wednesday results from its crash tests of the smallest cars on the road. The results show that only the Chevrolet Spark, out of all of the other 2013 and 2014 small city and minicar models tested, received an “acceptable” safety rating. Clearly, the results confirm our suspicions that the smallest cars on the road carry the biggest injury risk in a common and deadly type of crash.
The telling test was the IIHS’s small front overlap crash test. In this crash test, the vehicle hits a hits a barrier with the front driver’s side corner at 40 miles per hour, simulating clipping another car head-on or hitting a tree or pole.
The worst performer was the Honda Fit, which earned a “poor” rating in the test along with five other models and all but one of the rest were “marginal.”
“Small, lightweight vehicles have an inherent safety disadvantage,” Joe Nolan, a senior vice president for the institute, the safety arm of the insurance industry, says in a statement.
Spokesman for IIHS, Russ Rader, says there is no reason they can’t be re-engineered to perform well in the tests. Often, he says the problem is that the main shock-absorbing materials are bypassed or missed when an offset crash test is conducted. And he noted that while larger cars have generally performed better, automakers are working “feverishly to update their product to do better in this test.”
The Law Offices of Ian Mattoch specializes in representing persons who have received catastrophic injuries as a result of manufacturers that have failed to design, market, manufacture, and sell safe automobiles. If you or a loved one has sustained a catastrophic injury as a result of an unsafe automobile, call us immediately.