A series of tests, involving crashes of different types of motor vehicles (microcars or minicars), were conducted by the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and a report, wth respect to the findings, was released on April 14, 2009.
Although small sized motor vehicles may be more environmentally friendly than the larger or much larger motor vehicles, they may be hazardous to your health, if you are a driver or passenger and are involved in a motor vehicle crash, according to this report.
The tests which were funded by the Insurance industry, showed that the smaller the motor vehicle, the more deaths and injuries of drivers/passengers were likely to occur, especially if there was a frontal collision with a larger motor vehicle. The U.S. based report states that “The death rate per million 1-3-year-old minis in single-vehicle crashes during 2007 was 35 compared with 11 per million for very large cars. Even in midsize cars, the death rate in single-vehicle crashes was 17 percent lower than in minicars”.
No doubt the release of this report will now justify an increase in auto insurance rates for those who own mini’s, smart cars or smaller or medium sized motor vehicles. The results of these types of tests should be always be viewed through a cautious lense, given that it was paid for by members of the insurance industry.
Update: Aug. 16/09 – Smart cars are tipped over and pushed into canals – see story.
Update: November 18, 2009 – 27 motor vehicle winners of 2010 Top Safety Pick award