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Smart ForTwo Receives High Marks in US Crash Tests: Still Afraid To Go Small?

Posted in Car Tech, Cars, Crash Testing, Design by will bee | April 7th, 2008 | Leave a Reply |

2008 smart fortwo – NHTSA side impact crash test 

The Smart ForTwo has been selling in the US for months and yet it is not until now that the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has completed its crash testing of the minuscule auto. Ofcourse, with the car being the size that it is in comparison to most other vehicles on the roads of America safety is a primary concern. Then again in spite of a lack of reporting from the Crash-Ologist’s of the US Government the Smart ForTwo has been selling faster than they can arrive on our shores.

The video at the top of the page demonstrates the side-impact test on the Smart ForTwo. The NHTSA gave the ForTwo a 5 star rating, their highest award, despite the driver side car door becoming unclasped and opening. An open door in a crash is never a good sign, as the NHTSA noted it could lead to passenger ejection, but it did not worry the NHTSA enough to lower the score accredited to the car.

The video below demonstrates the frontal-impact test for the Smart ForTwo. The combined score for the frontal assault was 4 stars; 4 star rating for the driver with a 3 star rating for the passenger. With a 3 star rating on the passenger side you should make a note to yourselves – always volunteer to drive when getting into a Smart ForTwo.
2008 smart fortwo – NHTSA front impact crash test

However, for some those simple US Crash Tests are not enough to convince them of whether a severe collision would be survivable in the ForTwo… and who can blame them. No matter how many diagrams, photos, videos and depictions of the Smart ForTwo Safety Cell in action the side-by-side comparisons of the car against the average American truck or SUV is going to give people pause. Comparison’s are what many do… just like the caption below.

So to further explore the Smart ForTwo’s crash worthiness we are going to turn to a bit of UK Hooning. The following video displays a Smart ForTwo smashing into a concrete barrier at 70 mph. This might be the test all large truck/SUV drivers have been waiting for. However, how well do you think your big “safe” vehicle would perform in the same test? Large trucks have notoriously receive poor to average grades in safety testing, and both large trucks and SUV’s have suffered from rollover issues.

But back to the topic at hand… the TwoFor-Boom!

As mentioned before, it does not seem likely that any amount of video footage or government crash test ratings are going to squash the debate of large vs small when it comes to safety… although there are plenty of video’s out there to test that. Some people just like the impression of safety that a large vehicle provides. Look at the car you are currently driving on a daily basis. Study the lines of the interior, the safety bag positioning, the dash and the position of your legs beneath the dash. How safe do you really feel in your current vehicle?


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