Does Size Matter in a Car Crash?

Small Cars versus Big Cars: The Safety Factors

Small cars are everywhere on American roads these days and that’s because more people are after fuel-efficient vehicles, with fluctuating oil prices around. Many options are sporty versions, they are easier to maneuver, more agile, and of course, compact cars are easier to park. But are they safe? What are your chances of getting out scott-free in cases of accidents, like collisions?

Well, actually driving or riding bigger vehicles do make you feel a lot safer. However, size does not really count that much. While mass is a factor for bigger cars, meaning there is more room between the collision point and the occupants, smaller cars today are built with many safeguards, no longer what they used to be decades ago. Vehicles today have crash standards.

Large vehicles are mandated to keep their impact point at a relatable height to a small car. Both large and small cars have safety features. Today, the small car will not always be the underdog, or that the favor will not always be on the side of the bigger vehicle.

One other factor is vehicle design. Automotive design today is not only to reduce injury, but also to avoid collisions. Cars have crumple zones that absorb the energy even before it reaches the occupants, causing less trauma and injury. The frame rails, hood, suspension, firewall, and windshield provide structural integrity, collapsing in a controlled manner to absorb energy and reduce the effects interiorly. So, the gap now between the safety of a large vehicle and a small one is a lot narrower.

In the same vein, the quality of materials used now is another factor. Lightweight cars are engineered to be rigid and strong. Materials are high-strength with structural integrity, with bracing allowing for crumple zones to be incorporated into the components for protection in an impact.

Safety systems are another factor. Anti-lock brakes, traction control, airbags, and seatbelts are standard, regulated and enforced decreasing significantly the incidence of severe injuries and fatalities.

Smaller cars being easier to control is another factor. They are more nimble; with their sporty suspension and better traction, less mass and quicker response to inertia, they can easily avoid collision. So we can say now that smaller cars today can give the bigger versions a good run for their money.

Welcoming All Makes of Cars in Seattle

Your auto body shop in Seattle believes that safety is primarily in the driver’s hands. But should you find yourself in a road accident nearby, be assured we can respond with our service, be your car big or small.