Washington, D.C. (JusticeNewsFlash.com – News Report) – The highly anticipated and widely discussed Smartcar test results have been released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Smart For Two is the smallest car ever tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and is approximately three feet shorter and 700 pounds lighter than the popular Mini-Cooper and the IIHS agency has classified it as a microcar. With about 7,000 Smartcars on the roads in America, it is helpful to see the crash-test ratings from a reliable source. The various tests were conducted in April and gave the Smartcar a four star rating for front crashes on the driver’s side and three stars for the front passenger. The rollover rating was given three stars. And although in 2006, minicars experienced 106 driver deaths per million registered vehicles compared with 69 driver deaths in large cars; vast improvements were being made in the structure of the SmartCar. Now, the SmartCar has received the highest rating possible in front and side impact testing, from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety a private group funded by insurance companies.
The SmartCar boasts electronic stability control (ESC), which helps drivers maintain control during emergency maneuvers or on slippery roads. The program engages automatically when it senses vehicle instability, and Institute research has found that ESC lowers the risk of fatal single-vehicle crashes by about half. In addition to this feature, all of SmartCar’s Safety features engage when there’s a crash – with three point seat belts, surrounding airbags, and crash boxes and seats absorb shock impact. Smarts wheels are as close together as the width of most car hoods, so a side-on collision will affect the wheels and axles most, by absorbing the crash energy.
Also given high crash test ratings are smaller SUVs such as the 2009 Ford Escape, 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan, 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander and the 2008 Nissan Rogue, each of which have the electronic stability control built in. The Institute has advocated that automakers make side air bags and electronic stability control standard equipment on new cars and trucks. Electronic stability control will be required on all new vehicles by the 2012 model year while automakers have said they will make side air bags standard across their fleets by the 2010 model year. These results are beneficial to consumers buying these smaller vehicles as well as to other people on the roads. With the population of American constantly on the rise, it is vital to our safety to have certain regulations, tests and safety features installed in all of our vehicles, no matter what size they are.
Contributor: Amy K. Witherite, Dallas car wreck lawyer, specializing in Dallas truck accidents, SUV rollovers in Dallas Texas