I can guarantee you that a head-on collision with a wall at, say, 30 mph will be safer in a Smart Car than an Oldsmobrick.The fact of the matter is that when it comes to protecting the passenger, crumple zones and safety cages are more important than mass.
“All things being equal in safety, bigger and heavier is always better. But among the smallest cars, the engineers of the Smart did their homework and designed a high level of safety into a very small package,” Lund said.
In new crash tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rammed three automakers' smallest cars into their midsize models. Although the small cars had passed other IIHS tests, they flunked in collisions with larger but still-fuel-efficient sedans. "The safety trade-offs are clear," IIHS President Adrian Lund says. "There are healthier ways to save gas."
"We're hearing people say, 'Everything gets a 'good' rating now, so I might as well buy a small car,' " Lund says. "A lot of people are forgetting that the laws of physics still hold" and even a little bit bigger still is safer.