The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently tested 11 minicars to determine how they performed in a frontal crash test, which was designed to mimic what happens when a car hits another vehicle, pole or tree. The 11 cars tested included the Ford Fiesta, the Toyota Prius c, the Honda Fit, the Fiat 500, and the Chevy Spark, among others.
Of the 11 cars tested, only one won an acceptable rating in the front crash test: the Chevy Spark. However, the Spark doesn't protect occupants as well as larger, heavier vehicles with the same rating. Minicars weigh 1,500 or more pounds less than the average automobile, which means that they have a safety disadvantage when compared with larger vehicles.
In the test, part of the vehicle's front end hit a 5 foot barrier at 40 miles an hour. The cars were rated in three areas: structural integrity, restraint effectiveness, and potential injuries. Every minicar got a poor or marginal rating for structural integrity, which is the most important part of keeping drivers and passengers safe in a crash. The test also found that in crashes that involve only the front corner of a vehicle, the front wheel, suspension system and firewall take the brunt of the impact, which can lead to serious leg and foot injuries.
Automakers have a duty to make cars that are safe and that perform well in crash tests. However, there is also consumer demand for more fuel efficient vehicles, as well as governmental demands for improvement in fuel efficiency. If automakers fail to make cars that perform well in crash tests, they could be held legally liable for any damages that result. If you have been injured in an automobile accident because of an unsafe vehicle, call the Houston personal injury attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 713-489-9493. We will be happy to provide you with a free consultation on your case. Call us to learn more.