Safety Advantages Offered By a Smart Car

January 27, 2012

Smart cars have been on the road for over a decade now. They have driven the highways of the world with precision and efficiency that has proven their value time and time again. Many people across the planet are trading in their larger gas guzzling models for these much smaller vehicles.

These tiny vehicles offer a wide variety of features not often found in their older, supposedly more powerful brother and sister automobiles. One of the primary differences, beyond the forty to sixty mile per gallon fuel efficiency and cute factor, is the overall safety advantages offered by a smart car.

The smart car comes equipped with many standard features such as ESC, electronic stability control to enable a driver with a higher capacity to avoid sliding off the side of the road, and a reinforced steel safety cage. Other features of note include anti-lock brakes, airbags to protect against front and side impact, and seat belt pretensioners.

Are these safety features enough to draw a prospective driver away from standard vehicles to join the smart car owning citizenry? The short answer is maybe. It is only when the prospective driver takes a deeper look at the safety advantages offered by a smart car that they can truly appreciate the design and potential of the micro-car.

The smart car is small. There is no doubt about that. Most people will equate this with danger from impacts. It is a well known rule of thumb that when it comes to crashes the larger vehicle wins. However, do not rule this tiny automobile out completely.

While it is true that the smart car performs better when crashing into non-moving objects most models on the market have passed with a minimum of 'good' on all crash impact ratings. The 2008 Fortwo luxury model rated as a four out of five stars when it came to passenger safety during front end crashes.

This is largely due to the heavy reinforcement of the vehicle. The safety cage mentioned previously is completed with steel reinforced beams in the doors to complete the effect. The axle assembly is also reinforced. This further enhances vehicle integrity.

When you combine that with the seat belt pretensioner’s capacity for locking a driver or passenger into a proper position for crashes the smart car proves itself to have an incredible safety advantage in comparison to many standard vehicles. The smart car is designed overall with the occupant’s safety in mind.

While the old axiom about cars 'bigger and heavier are better' when it comes to safety will remain true, the smart car holds its own given its tiny stature. These vehicles are dependable, durable, and capable of split-second adjustment due to their onboard sensory equipment and programming.

As an example, a potential driver can equate the standard car to a heavy weight boxer. They have stood the test of time and slugged their way to the top because they can be hit hard and fast, coming out on top by muscle and will alone. A smart car is more akin to a speedy lighter weight boxer that is forced to duck, dodge, and weave, to maintain their capacity to fight. Of these two fighters most people would bet of the heavy weight, it makes sense, however the lighter weight fighter has a style and finesse built into their style that their heavier opponent lacks.

If that heavy weight boxer were to land one solid blow to that lighter weight warrior then the fight might be over. However, the challenge comes in hitting that fighter solidly. It is much the same with the smart car. A savvy driver has numerous ways to avoid that knockout punch; they simply have to utilize them skillfully.