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How safe is a Smart Car?

You've likely seen Smart Cars zipping around city streets. They're tiny little vehicles, just barely big enough for two people. They run about five feet from one side to the other and eight feet from bumper to bumper.

You get it. A car like that just sips fuel. People like to save money.

But is it safe? What happens when someone in a Smart Car gets hit by someone in a Ford F-150?

There are two sides here. First off, scientists do note that there are some inherent issues, mostly just having to do with mass and energy transfer. Typically, the smaller car is going to be on the losing end of the accident. A larger car carries more weight and that generally protects the occupants that much more.

There's also something to be said for height. A truck keeps the passengers far up off of the ground, whereas a Smart can is nearly at pavement level. This simply means the impact will be near one person's chest and head while it's near the other driver's feet.

That being said, the Smart Car was designed to be safe. It has side and front airbags. It has a steel frame developed for use in race cars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) ran the usual safety tests and gave it five stars, the highest possible rating.

Thinking about safety before buying a car is important, though you can be injured in any vehicle. Accidents are unpredictable. If you're hurt, make sure that you understand your rights to financial compensation after the crash.

Source: Scientific American, ""Smart Cars": Skimpy on Fuel, But Are They Safe?," accessed Aug. 18, 2017

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