Smart car strikes crash test gold
TOP MARKS FOR SAFETY: The Smart ForTwo was the only car among its small car contemporaries to protect its driver from life-threatening chest injuries, an Adac crash test has shown.
The latest Smart ForTwo scored top marks in a recent German crash test where it was the only small car to prevent severe trauma to the chest area in a collision with a larger car.
While the standard EuroNCAP crash test simulates a frontal collision with a vehicle of the same size, Germany’s Adac safety agency recently, for the first time, had three smaller cars crash into a barrier vehicle equivalent to a mid-sized car with an offset of 50%. According to Adac, accidents usually involve vehicles of different weights that crash with a degree of lateral offset.
SMART CAR, SMART SAFETY
The Adac crash test revealed that life-threatening injuries in the chest area are common in smaller vehicles although the Smart was able to protect its driver from such injuries.
Adac blamed the shorter crumple zones on smaller cars for their inability to absorb sufficient energy, although the smallest and lightest car in the test prevailed.
Mercedes-Benz credits the ForTwo’s good crash test result to its innovative construction based on examinations of actual accident scenarios conducted by the automaker.
The Smart, for example, uses a tridion safety cell made from reinforced with ultra-high-strength steel to protect its occupants like a hard shell. In a collision, the front wheels, which are supported by side members, are function as part of the crumple zone.
The rear-mounted engine enables a larger crumple zone at the front and acts as a shock-absorbing unit in a rebound.
Furthermore, interior trims such as the soft foam-backed lower instrument panel that doubles as a knee pad have been optimised to prevent injuries.
Other standard safety features in the ForTwo are an electronic stability programme with anti-locking brakes, brake assist, safety seats with integrated seat belts and airbags.
The Adac test also included the Kia Picanto and Renault Twingo models.