Busting the Smart Car Safety Myth – Two Reasons Smart Cars Are Safer Than You Think

One of the first reactions every smart car owner gets from people who see the tiny car on the street is, “How safe is it?” It’s a reasonable question; after all, the smart fortwo car is what is known as a micro mini car. In fact, it is just a bit over half the size of the ultra small BMW Mini Cooper. It’s also about half the weight of the Mini Cooper.
So that might lead anyone to believe it couldn’t possibly be safe, especially in the U.S., where our roads and highways are dominated by pickup trucks and Facebook Marketplace Cars For Sale By Owner SUVs. But actually, nothing could be further from the truth… the smart car is extremely safe, and here is why that particular myth is just wrong.
When Mercedes Benz first designed this car for the United States, safety was their driving concern. They knew Americans would never buy such a small car without a stellar safety record. Safety is built into every aspect of the smart car design, and all of the safety features are available as standard items, not as upgrades, as they often are in larger vehicles.
Smart car safety design is structured around two things: protection and control.
1. Smart For Two Cars Offer Superior Protection.
The foundation of protection in the smart fortwo car is the “tridion safety cell”, a sort of steel roll cage that surrounds both driver and passenger. In smart car crash tests, the tridion safety cell held up even at impacts of 70 miles per hour. In addition to the safety cell, there are also side braces for each door.
Secondly, there are 4 air bags built into the smart fortwo, one on each side and two in the front. High-mounted, safety-designed bucket seats have built-in headrests to protect your head and neck during a collision and integrated seatbelts containing belt tensioner and belt-force limiter technology.
A wheel-absorbing impact design assists with smart safety during a front or read end collision. Front and rear bumpers provide further protection in such accidents. In addition, the steering column collapses during crashes to protect the driver from injury.
2. Smart Cars Also Provide Safety Through Top-Notch Driver Control.
As if all those protective safety features weren’t enough to convince you that these cars are safe on the road, Mercedes also built in a number of control features to enhance safety even further.
An anti-lock braking system, which protects against swerving, assists you with added force where needed and even enables stability on slippery surfaces, makes the driver’s job dead easy. There is also a hill start assist to prevent you from rolling backwards when starting up on a hill and a traction control system to help with safety on wet roads.
In summary, smart car safety is assured. Even independent testing authorities agree that this car is safe. The smart fortwo car earned the highest front and side crashworthiness ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It also received high marks in crash tests performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), including a top five-star crash test rating for side impact protection and roof strength.
Mercedes believes in the safety of their U.S. version of the small car so much that they created a whole website about it, called . On that site, you can find not only more technical information about smart car safety, but Automotive Industry Trends 2020 also dozens of stories submitted by people who survived major accidents in these cars and walked away with no injuries. So don’t believe everything you hear about smart cars being “death traps.” It is just not true.

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