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Hello everyone.

I've heard the pitch. Seen the steel cage. Read that it achieved the highest safety ratings. I driven the car. I like it.

But.

I live in LA. Most of my daily driving is on the freeway.

My question is:
Has anyone been in a real life crash in this car? How does it hold up? Should I consider another car if I'm planning to use this as a daily freeway driver?

Any feedback would certainly help my decision.
Thank you in advance. :)

~ Lusso
 

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Hello everyone.

I've heard the pitch. Seen the steel cage. Read that it achieved the highest safety ratings. I driven the car. I like it.

But.

I live in LA. Most of my daily driving is on the freeway.

My question is:
Has anyone been in a real life crash in this car? How does it hold up? Should I consider another car if I'm planning to use this as a daily freeway driver?

Any feedback would certainly help my decision.
Thank you in advance. :)

~ Lusso
Hi Lusso,

To be honest, we've had a similar discussion earlier this week. We believe the point is to avoid crashing into anything, if you can.

My roommate and I have had ours for a week. We took it on a merry little 60 mile round trip today. This thing can maneuver in ways that drivers of larger vehicles can only dream of.

It handled just as well at 50 mph as it does at slower speeds. I imagine it'll feel just as stable at freeway velocities.

The only thing I don't know is what it would feel like to have a semi whoosh on by. But hey, I've been buffeted by the gusts as a semi passed me in larger vehicles. It probably doesn't feel any different in a Smart.
 

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Have not been in an accident. Drive in manual mode and Smart will do as well as any car on the freeway. As far as safety it is safer than most cars, look at the ratings.
 

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You asked specifically about real world crashing experiences; I can't give you any firsthand accounts, fortunately.

However, we have about 500 miles on the car since picking it up Monday night, about 400 of which have been interstate. Speed limit in WV is 70 mph and in PA it's 65 mph (although traffic flows 70+ mph in Pittsburgh). Tons of truck traffic on I70, so have experienced many miles of truck scenarios, including at night in the rain.

The windshield clears very easily and doesn't suffer from typical truck road spray blindness that plagues ever other car I've driven. I think b/c there is basically no hood so the airflow just blows the spray right off windshield.

I was pleasantly surprised at how stable the car is in truck wind turbulence. The body gets buffeted a bit, but the car continues to track dead straight. Much less of an effect than I was expecting based on the car's size and weight.

My biggest problem on the interstate has been people who slow down when passing me and then pace me for half a mile while they're checking out the car, all while expecting me to acknowledge them at 70 mph.
 

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I've been buffeted by the gusts as a semi passed me in larger vehicles. It probably doesn't feel any different in a Smart.
That is my experience. If anything, the pressure wave from a big rig seems to have less effect on my smart than some other vehicles I've driven. Gusty crosswinds, now that's another matter. Blustery weather can be a little unnerving.

Everyone who has had a smart for a while has been asked, "Aren't you afraid of being hit by a big rig?" ... or some variation of that. It is pointless to argue about the smarts Tridion crash cage, 4 air bags, ESP, et al. When confronted with this question I just say, "YES! No matter what vehicle I'm driving!". I'm puzzled why so many people talk as if wrecks are something to plan for, as if inevitable. You've got a safe car in a smart, drive it safely, watch out for the other guy, that's about all you can do. If it's your destiny to have a wreck, I can think of a lot worse cars to have one in.

Afterthought. I've been driving for almost 40 years with no significant accident. Knock on wood.
 

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I have 4k miles on my Brabus. Took a trip from Dallas to Tucson and part of the way the speed limit is 80. This car was great. The trucks did not bother it on the highway and it handled the speeds just fine. I almost always drive in D. No only did it drive well on the tirp, the cost of the fuel was fantastic. Let the fun begin.
 

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I drive mine on the Interstates in the NYC metro area every day to work (since last May). It handles the freeways very well, it just took me a week or two to get used to its feel. Fortunately, I've never had an accident in it, but, FWIW, I feel as safe as in my smart I did in my Audis, Mercedes, SAABs, etc.
 

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Finally real artillery i can use for one of my naysaying friends who recently called my car a "death trap". i was impressed with the stories of some of these survivors and yes some of these folks were on the freeways. BTW i drive the beltway here in Northern Virginia almost everyday in my Smart and the interstates, and i have no fear on the open highway in my car what so ever.


See safeandsmart.com: stories of survival from smart owners
Stories of true acidents with smarts as well as those that have been able to avoid them because of the smart's smarts
 

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Taking the Highway

The challenges of highway driving in and around the Richmond area are not the speeds or the passing trucks but the rough/pot holed road surfaces. The ride really gets rough and unconfortable at 65 mph! Thank goodness my daily commute to work is on local roads at 35-45 mph with reasonably smooth road surfaces. Under these circumstances my smart is a joy to drive!
 

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Well actually, I've had a disturbing number of instances where other cars don't seem to see my fortwo. Just this afternoon someone in an SUV tried to change lanes on top of me. Later today, as I was turning left into a supermarket parking lot someone waiting to exit the lot (stopped at a stop sign) began to cross my path as she wanted to turn left. I avoided a collision only by stomping on my brakes (and laying on my horn) and at the same time putting myself at risk of getting hit by on-coming traffic.

Similar instances have occured too often on my freeway commute to work. I believe this is because the fortwo is so short it is all too easy to end up in other car's blind spot.
 

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My personal 2 cents on tackling the highway...

1. replace the front two wheels/tires with another set of rear-sized wheels/tires.
2. get a relatively loud exhaust.
3. upgrade your horns.
4. be a tad bit aggressive.

The first point will minimized the "swaying" effect on the highway especially at high speed and when subjected to cross wind intervention.

The second point might not be everyone's cup of tea but from my observation, this will let other road users know that you're approaching.

The third point is the same as the second point.

The fourth point is to let other road users know that the smart can be nibble, quick and not to be bullied. I don't mean to be relentlessly and pointlessly aggressive. If you need to change lane or speed up, be confident about it. This I think is important. Because most road users I have encountered regard the smart car as some kind of a toy and can't possibly get up to highway speed. For that, they WILL cut you and often without a signal light.
 

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Smart on the Interstate

I recently took a round trip from New York City to Philadelphia in my new Smart. There were 55 mph gusts that day and I had to cross the Veranzano Bridge. While the car was "dancing" it never felt out of control or caused me to wonder if I had done a stupid thing. From the looks of cars in front of me, I was just as stable as they were. I drove at close to 80mph most of the way and I can only say that this car really performs. I clocked the mileage and got 43.6 mpg.
The only criticism I have about the car is that you feel every bump on the road. While that's not really a problem for me since I ride a 500cc Piaggio Scooter, it may be for some.
At the end of the day I would say the Smart is certainly highway/interstate capable and really fun to drive. I really don't know how it is to be blasted by an18 wheeler since they all slow down to look at the car and give me a thumbs up!
 

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Plenty of info on crash results elsewhere on the forum (already quoted by others).

I've made several long distance rides in my fortwo and part of our group tour of north Florida next Sunday is going to be on the Interstate.

The smart does feel the semis going past, but no worse than the 72 VW bug I drove in college. Ditto for several other small cars I've owned over the years.

I held 55 yesterday on the turnpike, but that was more because of 20-25mph gusty winds AND a $3,000 bike hanging on the back acting like a drogue chute. Normally, I ride with traffic at 65-75 on the Interstate with no problem.

I know LA can be difficult to get around while avoiding the 5, but you might want to try. I've found my smart is a LOT more fun to drive on two lane back roads at 55-65 with the top down than playing tag with the semis on the Interstate.
 

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Highway Driving

"I've found my smart is a LOT more fun to drive on two lane back roads at 55-65 with the top down than playing tag with the semis on the Interstate."

I could'nt agree more! Tooling around at 45-50 mph on country roads is a blast . . . the car really shines especially with the top down and the music up loud!
 

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Look at it this way,

Life is fatal, you won't come out of it alive.

At least with a Smart, you have a chance of lasting a little longer.
 

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I just took my baby on our first real out of town trip-- from Austin to Dallas, or about 215 miles door to door. The trip up was a day that was very windy and it was a little nervewracking, being blown about. Nothing I couldn't deal with-- just something that I probably would have never noticed in my old Exploder. Fighting the wind also killed my gas mileage-- it was 31 mph on the way up. Grrrrr!

On the way back, it was smooooooooth sailing the whole way-- absolutely a joy to drive Ruby that 3 1/2 hours. My gas mileage was about 42, but I'd also loaded the car down with about 100 extra pounds of baggage that I hadn't expected. Otherwise it probably would have been a bit higher.

Now I'm ready to take her on a super-long road trip!
 

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You asked specifically about real world crashing experiences; I can't give you any firsthand accounts, fortunately.

However, we have about 500 miles on the car since picking it up Monday night, about 400 of which have been interstate. Speed limit in WV is 70 mph and in PA it's 65 mph (although traffic flows 70+ mph in Pittsburgh). Tons of truck traffic on I70, so have experienced many miles of truck scenarios, including at night in the rain.

The windshield clears very easily and doesn't suffer from typical truck road spray blindness that plagues ever other car I've driven. I think b/c there is basically no hood so the airflow just blows the spray right off windshield.

I was pleasantly surprised at how stable the car is in truck wind turbulence. The body gets buffeted a bit, but the car continues to track dead straight. Much less of an effect than I was expecting based on the car's size and weight.

My biggest problem on the interstate has been people who slow down when passing me and then pace me for half a mile while they're checking out the car, all while expecting me to acknowledge them at 70 mph.
That actually was an issue for me yesterday.
I was driving in the right lane of the freeway, and the driver of a car pacing me in the next lane kept looking over in my direction. I stomped the brakes thinking he was preparing to change lanes into me to get to the next exit!
In retrospect (he kept going, didn't change lanes) he must have been looking at the Smart itself...
I'm just used to "reading" other drivers' intentions from years of motorcycling.

Your 500 miles of experience is similar to mine of 5500 miles.

-Rusty
 

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here is my experience with the smart. I had to drive it 300 miles home and close to several 18 wheelers and I was impressed. No wobbling at all (in dallas/Ft. worth area 70 MPH). BUT when I got it home to Houston/galveston area things were a little different. it is SO windy here on occasion, that 70 MPH does cause a noticeable difference, and I have to be a little more cautious. Not major, but it is slightly "squirrely" compared to the xB. NOt nearly as bad as the 300 lb. moped though :p It is still not enough to make me regret buying the car, and if i did it every day i am sure it would not even register that it is happening anymore. Just be aware that if it is windy (30+ headwind, at 70 mph) it will get squirrely on you! I am sure the Cabrio top does not help! Plus there is a high "causeway" here in galveston that does not help. I have heard other houston area smarties complain about it, but that did not really bother me.

If you are worried about 18 wheeler accidents, don't. I have a dark philosophy on the subject. In the smart (or on a motorcycle) you will just be instantly killed rather than suffering through pain, and then dying as in any other small car. probably safe to say any other car period. Sorry to be a downer, just helps me sleep at night :D, but I am honestly not that worried.

But yeah, I still wanna take her across the country. Would be fun! (and cheap ;))
 
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