Size does matter - for safety

It is logical that a bigger, heavier car is going to be safer, but it will not be as economical. So when do you trade safety for a vehicle that has less of a carbon footprint, and will go further on that same tank of gas?

This is an issue that we have to consider after the latest crash test scores show us that the small, fuel efficient mini-cars did not do well in car-to-car frontal crash tests with mid-size cars at 56 km/hour.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested mini Toyotas, Smarts and Hondas. The Honda Fit, Smart Fortwo and Toyota Yaris all collapsed in the driver area. Leg and head injuries would likely have resulted, even though the air bags deployed correctly.

The Institute says that the 2007 death rate for mini-cars, is from twice as high to more then three times higher, depending on the type of crash.

These latest crash results should spark a debate about how government regulators go about mandating tougher fuel economy standards, without any consideration at all for safety. The quickest and surest way to improve fuel economy, is to downsize the side of vehicles. But at these latest tests show, smaller vehicles are not necessarily as safe as larger ones.

We are seeing a trend towards smaller vehicles, especially as commuters. There will always be the road tractors, SUVs and heavy duty pickups, used by commercial contractors, on the road as well.

Consider the safety as well as the economy, when purchasing your next vehicle. Which vehicle will you chose and why? Post a comment on the Forum!