Posted On: April 30, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Chicago Car Crash Law Firm: IIHS Tests Prove that Bigger and Heavier Cars Provide Greater Safety During Auto Collisions

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently conducted three front-to-front crash tests using a minicar or microcar and a midsize car for each one. 2009 model vehicles were used for each test, with both cars coming from the same auto manufacturer—Honda, Daimler, and Toyota. These tests showed that the smaller cars just don’t hold up against their larger counterparts when it comes to providing vehicle occupants with the proper protection.

Cars used in the IIHS tests:

• Smart Fortwo and the Mercedes Class C
• The Fit and the Honda Accord
• The Yaris and the Toyota Camry

While the smaller cars performed well in the IIHS’s frontal offset barrier test, they performed poorly in the frontal collision tests against the midsize vehicles. The bigger and heavier vehicle was always less impacted from the force of colliding with the smaller, lighter car, which meant that if actual occupants were riding in the smaller vehicles, they would be more at risk of getting seriously hurt.

According to crash statistics, in 2007 the death rate/million for 1-3 year old minis during single-vehicle collisions was 35. The death rate for very big cars was 11/million. Midsized cars have a death rate for single-vehicle crashes that is 17% less than that of minis.

Granted, smaller cars now come with electronic stability control, airbags, better safety belts, and added features. They also cost less and are more economical when it comes to using up gas. But larger vehicles also now have these added safety features in addition to the added protection of weight and size. And even though there are those who claim that smaller cars are easier to drive (which means a motorist can more easily avoid a potential crash scenario), insurance figures show that there are still more damage claims involving mini-4-door vehicles than midsized cars.

Regardless of the size of your motor vehicle, you are likely entitled to Illinois personal injury compensation if you were injured in a Chicago car accident because a motorist or another entity was negligent.

New crash tests demonstrate the influence of vehicle size and weight on safety in crashes; results are relevant to fuel economy policies, IIHS, April 14, 2009

Why small cars won't keep you safe,

Related Web Resources:
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Contact Chicago car crash lawyer Steve Malman for a free case evaluation.

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