How do Micro cars stand up to crashes?

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Has the time come for Kei cars? You may rethink that idea when you read the answers to the following. 1./ How do micro mini cars fare in crashes with larger vehicles? and 2./ How do micro mini cars fare in crashes with each other!? From Motorminnutes: Micro Mini cars are clearly inferior in protecting their occupants, according to new crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Smaller cars were crashed head-on with midsize cars from the same manufacturer; the smaller the vehicle, in either size and/or weight, the poorer the occupant protection. The IIHS tests crashed three 2009 micros and minis into their midsize counterparts: The Honda Fit and Accord, the Mercedes Smart ForTwo and C class, and the Toyota Yaris and Camry. The cars crashed at 40 MPH head-on and all three cars collapsed into the space around the driver dummy. The intrusion into the occupant compartment and forces were measured. The results clearly showed that the fatality rate in minicars in multiple-vehicle crashes was nearly twice the rate as it was in large cars, that minicars are not as safe as larger cars, and that minicars are not easier to maneuver. It also dispelled the claims that minicars would be safer if all vehicles on the road were minicars. IIHS stressed that it did not choose SUVs, pickup trucks, or large cars for the test, but midsize cars to highlight the greater potential for injury and fatality minicar occupants are exposed to. In 2007, the death rate per million minicars in single-vehicle crashes was 35 compared with 11 per million for large cars, and a significantly lower rate for midsize cars. 27,28
 
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Is getting 40+ miles per gallon worth risking your life? That is the question I ask myself whenever I get into my '99 Suzuki Swift. (Geo Metro clone) The car itself is okay, but I don't like to drive it any more than I have to.
 
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i think Ralph Nader called the VW bug a "coffin on wheels" probably these little bug like cars will get squashed in a crash, - like a proverbial coffin on wheels.
 
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Retired | Wausau, WI
I have mixed feelings about this. Back in the 60's and 70's I drove Austin Healey Sprites, MG Midgets, and VW Beetles and never gave it much concern. Back then, everything was 10X bigger than what I drove.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Johnny
I have mixed feelings about this. Back in the 60's and 70's I drove Austin Healy Sprites, MG Midgets, and VW Beetles and never gave it much concern. Back then, everything was 10X bigger than what I drove.
And thankfully none of those bigger cars ever hit you or you would not be here today to give us such great info. \:\! These little 2 seat cars are not only a death trap but frankly they are too small for many people to even get into let alone drive. At 6' 3" and 300lbs you can forget about me every having one. I wouldn't anyway but the bottom line is I would not fit. The US is a nation of large annd tall folks so these cars are not the answer for a lot of folks. I can't get into a Mini Cooper so no way I can one of these little 2 seat Tonka Toys they are trying to bring to market. My size 16 EEEE( that is correct no typo )shoe is bigger.
 

JHZR2

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 Originally Posted By: NHHEMI
The US is a nation of large annd tall folks so these cars are not the answer for a lot of folks.
The US is a nation of unhealthy and obese folks... that is the problem. We're not all natural giants. Our consumption practices on many levels create the bed in which we must lie. That said, there is a place for the microcar - I would suggest that they have no place on any highway (and their fuel economy isnt that great to justify it anyway). In the city, where the impacts are less, and parking is a premium, the benefits may be compelling. On the highway, when a fit, yaris, smart, etc. can barely do better than 40 MPG (if they can even get there), there is little benefit to using such a car. THeir economy is disappointing, and when a jetta diesel or prius can better the economy figures with more space, more comfort, etc., the argument for a larger car is compelling. Each car has its place, but I'd say that anyone in their right mind would not make them interchangeable.
 
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My wife would never let me have a convertible because she said that they were too dangerous. Now, after more than 100,000 miles on the back of a motorcycle she has changed her mind. As far as those tiny cars - a bunch of us were having that very conversation, saying that we'd never own one of those death traps.... and then one in the group reminded us that we're all riding motorcycles and that perhaps we were hypocrites. The Mini's and Smart cars are really cool. Does anyone know if the insurance is substantially more than, say, a Marquis? My wife's Corolla is roughly 50% more than our Marquis. I suspected that some of that may be that the injury rate was higher for the Corolla but don't really know.
 
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 Originally Posted By: JHZR2
 Originally Posted By: NHHEMI
The US is a nation of large annd tall folks so these cars are not the answer for a lot of folks.
The US is a nation of unhealthy and obese folks... that is the problem. We're not all natural giants. anyone in their right mind would not make them interchangeable.
So true - and we seem to be getting even FATTER if you can believe that. At least around here. Just about every person is FAT when I roam the streets and stores....I mean maybe one in 50 doesn't have some extra chub, but most have a balloon gut, and tons are morbidly obese. I used to ask: "What do these people eat?" My wife simply answerd once: "Everything".
 
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I thought that the smart car would be neat for "around town" and that it would be easy to park, etc. We're rural with two-lane roads so maybe it would be OK for that. We also thought that a 1.0 liter engine would make for outstanding fuel economy..... But we looked at the EPA estimates for fuel economy ( 33/41 ) and the Wife's Corolla is 32/38. Also, Smart recommends 91 octane and Ms Corolla runs just fine on the 87 stuff. And Smart Car acceleration is - - zero to 60 in 12.8 seconds?
 
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people will drive whatever size car they want to drive - regardless of safety. take motorcycles, for instance. the best piece of safety equipment on any car ? it's your brain. I have a SO who has been in 5 accidents, 3 of which were her fault: fell asleep at the wheel 2X, and also hit a parked car. yet she doesn't want me to ride a motorcycle. too dangerous. we'll see.
 
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I haven't really heard of any real world crash info on the Smart cars yet but I always assumed the idea was that they are so light and stiff that instead of getting crushed in a collision, they will get punted like a football.
 
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Don't crash...if you know you're going to die when you get hit, you drive with your head up. Some accidents are unavoidable, but 80%+ are. It's much like if you know you aren't wearing steel toed boots on a job, you pay more attention to not dropping stuff on your feet. I had a 1990 Aerostar that I knew had a "seam" that ran through the center of the floor pan. I knew in an accident either the front was coming off of it, or the footwell was going to cave and mangle my legs. I was far more cautious in that vehicle than any other.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Canawler
I haven't really heard of any real world crash info on the Smart cars yet but I always assumed the idea was that they are so light and stiff that instead of getting crushed in a collision, they will get punted like a football.
Ok, that's REALLY funny.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Pablo
 Originally Posted By: JHZR2
 Originally Posted By: NHHEMI
The US is a nation of large annd tall folks so these cars are not the answer for a lot of folks.
The US is a nation of unhealthy and obese folks... that is the problem. We're not all natural giants. anyone in their right mind would not make them interchangeable.
So true - and we seem to be getting even FATTER if you can believe that. At least around here. Just about every person is FAT when I roam the streets and stores....I mean maybe one in 50 doesn't have some extra chub, but most have a balloon gut, and tons are morbidly obese. I used to ask: "What do these people eat?" My wife simply answerd once: "Everything".
Very ignorant comments. While many obese people are that way because of their eating habits not all are. That is like saying everyone who drinks is an alcoholic or drunk driver. Just ignorant. I have spent a lifetime in a "battle of the bulge" and it sure as heck is NOT because of what I eat. I eat less in a day I would wager than Pablo's wife and it is probably healthier. I also have worked new home construction for a living for over 15 years so it isn't like I sat around doing nothing either. I was active and my hobbies involved outdoor physical activities like hunting and fishing. I actually managed to drop from 500 to 300 back in 04-05 and held it until about a year ago but I am now creeping back up despite eating one meal a day consisting of veggies and lean meat with no sugar, fats, bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, etc... I actually have spent thousands of dollars having test after test done and am now seeing an Endocrinologist to try and figure out why my body turns everything I eat to fat. It really tricks me off when people who are lucky enough to be predisposed to be skinny think every overweight person is that way by their own doing. Just ignorant! Many obese people work very hard at trying to lose weight but their body will not allow it. To say they are fat because they eat everything, about every obese person you see, is so ridiculos it is not funny. Unless you see that person sitting down with their face full of greasy fried chicken and fries you have NO IDEA why they are overweight so reserve judgement. I also was recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis so that means my ability to excersiise is going to be compromised. How am I to lose weight eating once a day and unable to excersise? Will you guys still laugh at me and say it is all my fault? You may have meant no harm by your comments but trust me they are extremely hurtful and very inaccurate if applied to every obese person you see.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Pablo
The Smart car makes a Yaris look huge! IMHO Smart cars aren't so smart on roads with over.....say 35 mph speed limit(?)
Smart cars are stupid for lots of reasons. Not the least of which is for their tiny size, they *SHOULD* get about 65 MPG on the highway but they don't. They don't really do much, if any, better than a Yaris or Fit on the highway because they're so short (in bumper to bumper length, not height) that they make a poor aerodynamic shape.
 
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