Are You Risking Your Life in a Mini Car?

Feb 14, 2014 | Auto Accidents

Small, fuel-efficient cars have grown in popularity during the past decade due to high gas prices and concerns over global warming. However, many new minicars seem to come with an unfortunate side effect: poor safety.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently tested the crashworthiness of 11 mini car models and released its ratings of the safety of the vehicles. Among the tests was a frontal crash test that replicated what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or object.

The cars included the Chevrolet Spark, Mazda 2, Toyota Yaris, Ford Fiesta, Mitsubishi Mirage, Nissan Versa sedan, Toyota Prius C, Hyundai Accent, Fiat 500 and Honda Fit. The cars were graded on a scale of poor, marginal, acceptable and good.

Only one vehicle out of the 11, the Chevrolet Spark, earned an acceptable rating. Four of the other vehicles received marginal safety ratings, while the remaining six all scored in the poor category.  They were the worst performing group.

The cars are extremely lightweight, which means they sustain the most damage when colliding with a heavier car. In addition, the lighter frame of these vehicles is far more likely to collapse on occupants during a collision.  When a vehicle’s frame collapses, the risk of serious injury is high.

Head-on collisions account for only about 2% of all vehicle accidents but account for as much as 10% of all fatal accidents. These deaths are often due to the level of impact and the way the vehicle collapses when hit.

Smaller, lighters cars tend be more dangerous, as there is less room for the energy to transfer following a collision, causing the frame to collapse onto the occupants.

Increasing the car size a small amount significantly improves the safety of the vehicle. Among 17 slightly larger cars tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the majority earned ratings of acceptable or better. When it came to the frontal collision tests, generally the larger the vehicle, the better it performed.

Those who are planning on purchasing small cars should review all the safety ratings before making their purchase. Buyers should also check for all the safety standards, including side impact and rear impact results. Frontal collisions might be the most dangerous accidents, but they are not the most common.

While mini cars may be great for the planet and easier on drivers’ wallets, they have some drawbacks when it comes to protecting passengers in the event of a collision. Anyone considering buying a mini car should weigh the advantages and disadvantages.

Geoff McDonald and Associates: 804-888-8888.


No Fees Unless We Win

    Who May Be Liable for Truck Accident Damages?

    Determining liability for truck accidents in Virginia can be challenging. Unlike “regular” car crashes, accidents with commercial trucks often involve multiple parties with complex corporate structures and insurance policies. At Geoff McDonald & Associates, we can...

    What Kind of Damages Can I Pursue from a Truck Accident?

    A truck accident can disrupt your life by causing physical injuries, emotional trauma, and property damage. You may be eligible to pursue financial compensation, also known as damages, although this may only provide a modicum of relief. Knowing the specific...

    How Long Do I Have To File a Truck Accident Claim?

    Truck accident survivors may on occasion settle their claims without the need for litigation. Unfortunately, truck drivers, trucking companies, and insurance adjusters aren’t always so cooperative. To seek compensation in such cases, you must file a civil lawsuit. If...

    What Should I Do Immediately After a Virginia Truck Accident?

    The steps you should take immediately after a Virginia truck accident mirror those that you would take if you were in a standard car accident. But you should follow the steps carefully, as failure to do so could impact your ability to seek compensation for your...

    What You Should Ask for After an Accident with a Truck

    Navigating truck accidents is complicated because so many different parties could be involved in the accident, including: Truck driver Employer Mechanic Parts manufacturer Shipper   In some cases, you’ll be making a claim with the truck driver’s employer. If the...

    Our Case Results

    Industrial Plant Accident

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Jeffrey A. Breit and Justin M. Sheldon Our client was killed in an industrial accident when an unauthorized worker was operating an overhead crane and pinned our client between…

    Rear-End Crash

    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury, facial trauma, a dislocated hip and severe abdominal trauma when she was rear-ended at a traffic light by a tractor trailer. Suit was commenced shortly after…

    Assault of Log Truck Driver

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Geoffrey R. McDonald, Frank H. Hupfl, Justin M. Sheldon.
    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury after being assaulted and knocked to the ground while fueling his logging…

    Drunk Driving Crash

    Our client suffered neck/head trauma and a broken wrist after his vehicle was struck by a drunk driver while he was stopped at a traffic light. Upon rejection of a settlement offer of $325,000, our litigation…

    Rear-End Collision

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Justin M. Sheldon and Geoff R. McDonald, Richmond
    GMA’s client was injured as a result of a rear-end collision in the greater Richmond area. The crash occurred a little after…

    Client Reviews

    Cheryl and Rich were wonderful and patient with me throughout the case. All of my questions were answered. They really helped me through this tough time and made sure to let me know what was going on. I really thank Geoff…

    Troy Saxby

    My experience with GMA staff was first rate. They always represented in a professional way and made sure I had everything as far as paperwork. Kara and Theo made sure to answer all my questions, was always available and so…

    Shirley Brown

    Geoff McDonald & Associates is the team that you want on the field if you’re in need of top notch legal defense! Mr. Taj Henley demonstrated true customer service skills and his expertise made me feel comfortable throughout the…

    Julian Reeves

    Geoff McDonald & Associates: Thank you Taj Henley for all of your hard work and dedication! Very expeditious in my case and I was very satisfied with my settlement. Will recommend to all my friends and family!

    Shareema Williams

    Geoff is number one in my book and I especially appreciate the support of Mr Henley

    Ebony Conwell

    I was so pleased with the knowledge and support from Mr. Taj Henley

    Kideem Frierson

    Thank you Geoff McDonald &Associates. A special thank you to Mr. Taj Henley

    Denise Conwell

    Mr. Taj Henley displays exceptional professionalism for Geoff McDonald & Associates, along with commendable communication skills and customer service. By his work ethic and commitment to the people he serves his value to any…

    Justin Fitzgerald