New tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) show that smaller cars, although frugal on fuel, may be more dangerous than larger models.

Minicars, sometimes called microcars, are being promoted to appeal to people looking for smaller, cheaper, and fuel-efficient cars. However, according to recent crash tests conducted by the IIHS, they may be more dangerous to drive than other cars. Most minicars perform well on the Institute’s offset barrier test, an indicator of how well they will perform in a car accident with another car of their size. But when the IIHS crashed three of these smaller cars into midsize cars by the same manufacturer, each traveling 40 mph, they found that the smaller cars performed poorly.

IIHS crashed a Honda Fit (31 mpg) into a Honda Accord (29 mpg). While the Accord scored a good rating, the Fit scored poor, showing likely auto accident injuries to the legs during a crash. When they crashed a Smart Fortwo (41 mpg) into a Mercedes C-Class (25 mpg), the C-Class achieved a good result, while the Smart Fortwo did far worse. It flew into the air and spun 450 degrees, throwing the crash dummy around inside the car, with likely injury to multiple locations including the head and neck. They crashed the Toyota Yaris (36 mpg) into the Toyota Camry (31 mpg). The dummy in the Yaris showed likely head injury, neck injury, and leg injury.

Although only about 1 % of all car accidents are this violent, for many of these cars, the increase in fuel economy is slight when compared to the increased likelihood of injury. They may even be considered defective vehicles because they are unable to protect passengers. If you have been injured in a car accident, no matter what the car, you need representation to increase your likelihood of a positive settlement that covers your injuries. Schedule a free, no-obligation car accident consultation.