The Chicago personal injury law firm of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. takes note of a crash test study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety which found that many of the subcompact cars sold in the United States failed the crash test.
The IIHS tested 11 subcompact cars and mini cars in crash tests and only one car rated even reasonably well, the Chevrolet Spark. None of the 12 subcompacts got the highest rating of “good” from the IIHS. The Chevrolet Spark got an “acceptable” rating. The cars earning the lowest “poor” rating were the Nissan Versa, Toyota Prius, Hundai Accent, The Misubishi Mirage, Fiat 500 The Honda Fit, the Mazda 2, the Kia Rio the Toyota Yaris and the Ford, Fiesta.
The overlap crash involves a car hitting a barrier at 40 mph on just the side of the bumper. Many cars that do well on crash tests directly to the front of the bumper do poorly when the impact is to the side of a bumper or to the front corner of the car. Statistics show that a quarter of the crashes causing serious injuries or death are these type of front crashes.
The IIHS report noted that by hitting only part of the front end makes it harder for the subcompacts to absorb the impact. In many of the subcompacts, the entire structure of the car collapses which makes the risk of injury to occupants greater since air bags, seats and other parts of the car get knocked out of position.
“Small, lightweight vehicles have an inherent safety disadvantage. That is why it is even more important to choose one with the best protection.” according to Joe Nolan, IIHS’s senior vice president for vehicle research.