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01/29

Go Big? Crash Tests Lead to Negative Results for Mini Cars

Posted by: Jack Bernstein

small-overlap-frontal-crash-testMost of us do what we can to conserve energy and to save money. That means that the gas-guzzling vehicles from 15 – 20 years ago are no longer as popular as they used to be as more people are beginning to drive smaller cars, trucks and even SUVs in an effort to cut down on fuel consumption and costs. Some of these smaller vehicles can drive for hundreds of miles on one tank of fuel and others do not even use gasoline unless their main source of power runs low. In short, American vehicles have gotten collectively smaller in recent years.

While taking this step most likely saves the average American money and helps the environment, it may also be placing people in situations of serious danger. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or the IIHS, recently ran an independent test of 11 different mini cars to find out how safe they were during crashes. Unfortunately, the results that they uncovered were far from reassuring should people ever find themselves in a position of facing an imminent collision.  A link to an article describing the crash testing can be found here.

Only one of the 11 models that were tested in this study earned an ‘acceptable’ rating from the testers.  The specific crash involved with the test is known as a ‘small overlap’ crash where the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or a stationary object at a speed of 40 miles per hour.  The reason that this type of test was chosen was because these types of collisions affect the outer edges of vehicles that are often not protected properly.

One would think that vehicles that are small and that are not necessarily resistant to crashes would come standard with certain bells and whistles that would help drivers avoid collisions in the first place.  Unfortunately, that was not the case as none of the 11 models that were tested included front-crash prevention technology that can include electronic warning systems and automatic braking.  These features are quite common in larger vehicles.

What this means for people who have made the decision to drive smaller vehicles is that they need to be extremely careful whenever they are out on public roads.  Most people are vigilant anyway, but no one should be lulled into a false sense of security for any reason.  People who drive these vehicles may also want to consider such steps as avoiding highways or other high-speed environments if such a plan is realistic.

What this also means is that people who drive smaller vehicles and who are injured in crashes caused by others should be ready to stand up for their legal rights.  If you or someone you love has been harmed in this manner, you need to seek the help of Las Vegas accident lawyers who have been fighting for the rights of clients for 30 years.  Contact Bernstein & Poisson today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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