Most safety concerns relating to the Smart Car have been conquered. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and our National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tested the Smart a few months ago, and the Smart passed with flying colors. A SCOA member from Long Island, NY, reports on his "Personal Crash Test" below. European safety tests, which some say are tougher than ours, showed that in a 32-mph offset head-on collision, the Smart's steel TRIDION safety cell was able to absorb most of the impact, and the city-coupe was the only model not to be written off after the crash tests were completed.
"A Personal Crash Test"
Evilbean42, a SCOA member from Long Island, NY, reports on his "Personal Crash Test":
"My car is totaled, but I'm not...” He describes how it happened, and goes on to say, "Driving on [the?] I95 in CT a car on the exit ramp decided to cut back into the traffic.
"He hit the car next to me, which then slammed into me (at 70 mph). My car hit the guard rail and bounced off it like a ping-pong ball, rolling several times before hitting the opposite guard rail (which then flipped me right side up).
"Thank god I was wearing my seatbelt, and driving this amazing car. I opened the door and stepped out, very shaken, but not hurt. I'm a little stiff now, the next day, but other than that I'm perfectly fine."
"Time to get on the orphan list for another Smart. MY SMART SAVED MY LIFE!!!"
Smart gets five stars for protecting occupants in the course of side impact collisions, four stars for front collisions on the driver's side, and three stars for the front passenger side.
A reinforced steel Tridion safety cell encases the two passengers. The safety cell absorbs the force of the impact of the oncoming motor vehicle or immobile object. Even under heavy-duty force, there's nothing to pierce the passenger cell, and the plastic panels will not splinter.
The longer wheelbase of the 2008 Smart has wider tracking than previous models, and a front suspension system that now gives additional stability in a hard left or hard right situation. Added space between the wheels allows for quicker steering.
This was a real problem in earlier models. The higher positioning of the seats allows passengers to be beyond the direct exposure zone on side impact, and the driver has a better view.
The steering column has been designed to retract telescopically upon impact.
The motor is designed to protect passengers. The wheels absorb impact and the doors have integrated, side-impact resistant aluminum struts.
The NHTSA did discover safety concerns in the side-impact testing.
Nevertheless, the Smart received five stars in side testing because of its ability to protect the driver and passenger from injuries in a crash, even though the driver's side door opened in the simulation.
According to Australia's NRMA Insurance group’s (equal to our IIHS) latest low-speed crash tests, the least expensive small car to repair was Smart's ForTwo.
Six million automobiles are wrecked in the US each year, at a cost of some $230 billion, along with the far greater cost of three million injuries and more than 40,000 deaths.
In light of these statistics, we believe an intelligent vehicle, first and foremost, must be a safe one, and we have no doubt the Smart Car is just that!
So, always buckle-up, adjust your mirrors, don't drive impaired, and drive Smart.
Read what smart USA has to say and check out their new site that tells about the cars safety features.
This is a newsletter from smart USA telling about their new site to help give buyers a warm and fuzzy feeling!
Dear smart enthusiasts,
Many of you may have become aware of a recent crash test study performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). You may have even seen some of the crash videos on the news.
We’d like to take this opportunity to share with you some additional information about the tests and to clarify any questions you might have regarding the performance of the smart fortwo’s safety management system.
The overall purpose of the IIHS test was to demonstrate that small cars do not perform as well as big cars in high impact crashes. Therefore, the IIHS crashed three small cars – a Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, and smart fortwo – into three larger cars – a Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Mercedes-Benz C-Class – respectively. In its press release announcing the results of the test, the IIHS stated that all three smaller cars performed poorly in this particular test, despite the fact that all three cars had received “Good” ratings from the IIHS in previous standard tests.
The IIHS’ non-standard test is rare and extreme and unlikely to occur in real world crashes. In fact, federal safety regulators do not require this type of testing because the likelihood of an accident within these test parameters is so rare: fewer than 1% of all accidents can compare to this type of crash.
The smart fortwo is safe.
The most important thing to note is that the smart fortwo meets or exceeds all federal government crash test standards, including a 5-star side crash rating. It also received the highest scores for front and side crashes from the IIHS.* The reason for these excellent results is the incredible safety management system of the smart fortwo. The vehicle is equipped with advanced crash avoidance (active safety) and crash protection (passive safety) systems that come as standard on all models. The most notable of the active safety systems is electronic stability program (esp®). According to the IIHS, cars equipped with esp are 20% less likely to be in a fatal accident with another vehicle and 51% less likely to be in a fatal single-vehicle accident.**
Additionally, the smart fortwo is the only vehicle in its price range to offer esp as standard equipment.***
In the event of a crash, the safety management system of this amazing vehicle will work hard to protect the occupants. The passive safety system, featuring four airbags and a collapsible steering column, is highlighted by the tridion safety cell – a steel safety cage reinforced with high-strength steel similar to a NASCAR roll cage.
smart has a proven, real-world track record with over a million cars on the road in 37 countries over the past 10 years.
More than 30,000 smart fortwos have been sold here in just over one year of being on sale in the United States.
To learn more about the incredible safety management system of the smart fortwo, visit www.smartusa.com.
At smart USA, we have received emails, letters and phone calls from owners who have shared stories with us about how their smart fortwo protected them and, in some cases, helped to save their lives.
smart USA has also recently launched a new website called www.safeandsmart.com. On this website, smart owners and drivers from across the country can share their own real-life safety stories, read about how the smart has protected others and learn more about the smart’s safety features.
We encourage you to visit www.safeandsmart.com today and share your safety story, whether it be about how the smart fortwo protected you in an accident, or helped you avoid one.
smart is changing the landscape of American highways.
As smart owners, reservation holders and enthusiasts, you know that we as a society are trending towards smaller cars. People are choosing the smart fortwo for many reasons: environmental consciousness, fuel efficiency, urban mobility and economic value. All in all, less consumption, more conservation in a package that is both safe and fun. That’s what smart is all about.
We trust this information has helped you to better understand the IIHS’ recent test, and assured you of the safety technologies that make the smart fortwo one of the safest small cars today. Should you have any additional questions about the test or the smart fortwo’s safety management system, please call smart USA’s Customer Care Center, at 1.800.smart.USA (762.7887) or visit www.smartusa.com.
Thank you for your continued support of the smart brand.
The smart USA Team
*Results based on a 2008 smart fortwo coupe.
**Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. www.iihs.org
***No safety system can replace proper driving practices. Always drive carefully, consistent with conditions. Always wear your seat belt and obey traffic laws.
Source: smart USA