IIHS: Small Cars Not as Safe as Bigger Ones!

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
iihs small cars not as safe as bigger ones

TTAC doesn’t “do” press embargoes. While some of our writers have put me in the awkward position of respecting their desire to respect a manufacturer’s prohibition on publishing a review until the appointed second (I kid you not), if someone sends me anything other than private correspondence, I feel free to publish it. This evening (Monday), the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) e-mailed TTAC a couple of pdfs (click here or here), They were embargoed until one minute after midnight, Tuesday. So I immediately decided to publish them. Besides, big whoop; Pentagon papers these ain’t. It’s an anecdotal study of three—count ’em, three—crashes. The match ups: Toyota Yaris/Toyota Camry, Honda Fit/Honda Accord, Smart Fortwo/Mercedes C-class. What’s up with the lack of inter-brand rivalry? Apparently, “the smallest cars do a comparatively poor job of protecting people in crashes.” Huh. And just in case that’s a bit tame (despite the usual photos), the IIHS did some number crunching on fuel economy. They’d like you to know that “even though fuel economy is their biggest selling point, many cars just a little bit bigger get close to, or the same mpg as the mini and micro cars tested.”

[UPDATE: Embargo time and second link now fixed.]

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  • Juan70ahr Juan70ahr on Apr 25, 2009

    What has happened to basic journalism and research? There is a difference between a safety test in a lab and what actually happens on the road due to drivers and road conditions. If you were to go to the web sites for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (please look at source information) or the US Dept of Transportation, you’d see that the actual highway data demonstrates pickup trucks are the most dangerous vehicles on the road. With a death rate of 93 points, 12 points above a mini passenger car and 31 points above a midsize car. http://www.iihs.org/research/fatality_facts_2007/occupants.html Are SUV’s safer? - Current “on the ground” data supports that but not by much. However, data from 1978 to 2004 shows that occupant deaths per million registered passenger vehicles 1-3 years old were either worse or equivalent between SUV’s and passenger cars. Yes, that means that in 2002-2003 a passanger was just as likely to die in a new SUV as in a new passenger car. Now that stat goes beyond the lab test. If you would like to hire me as a reporter, fact checker, or data analyst don’t hesitate to e-mail me before you post a meaningless report that encourages irrational consumer behavior.

  • on May 19, 2009

    [...] hybrids. Let the super huge SUV's that were used as family vehicles die off like the dinosaurs. Small Cars Not as Safe as Bigger Ones! This is a population control move. __________________ I must study politics and war that my [...]

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