There’s good news if you thought green cars weren’t as safe as their gasoline counterparts. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has just finished crash testing the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt, and has named both a Top Safety pick. That’s the highest honor given out by the IIHS, and it should go a long way towards easing consumers fears of “new” technology vehicles. Per Joe Nolan, chief administrative officer of the IIHS, “What powers the wheels is different, but the levels of safety for the Volt and Leaf is as high as any of our other top crash test performers.”
Ironically, part of both vehicles’ safety is due to the use of heavy battery packs, which brings both cars curb weights on par with midsize vehicles. When it comes to occupant protection, the IIHS maintains that both size and weight influence crash damage and survivability. Per the IIHS’ Nolan, “The Leaf and Volt’s extra mass gives them a safety advantage over other small cars.” The NHTSA has yet to crash test either vehicle, so the IIHS findings give both Chevy and Nissan bragging rights for the time being.
Source: Detroit News