Little Cars Equal Little Protection?
Written By: Rheingold, Valet, Rheingold, Ruffo & Giuffra LLP
This year the IIHS (Insurance Institute of Highway safety) tested the newest line of economy size cars on the market in front end collisions. In the economy class 11 vehicles were tested including the: Honda Fit, Fiat 500, Hyundai Accent, Nissan Versa, Toyota Prius C, Mitsubishi Mirage, Mazda 2, Kia Rio, Toyota Yaris, Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Spark. Of those 11 vehicles only the Chevrolet Spark earned an "acceptable" grade, with none of the vehicles earning a "good" grade. 6 of the vehicles earned poor grades.
The other 10 small vehicles failed in the new safety standard for front end collisions. The front end test includes part of the car's front end striking a 5 foot barrier at 40 miles per hour. The vehicles are then rated in three areas: structural integrity, the effectiveness of the restraints and potential injuries. The IIHS notes that the slightly larger vehicles in the groupfared better. In the compact category, of 17 vehicles tested, 5 received "good" ratings and 5 received "acceptable" ratings.
Clearly there is a correlation at this time between size and safety. The IIHS says that smaller, lighter vehicles have an inherent safety disadvantage when compared with larger vehicles. Despite their size, even small vehicles are created with the intention and purpose of protecting its occupants. If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident, please contact our firm. We have vast experience in dealing with automobile product liability cases.