Filling up your gas tank these days can be painful at the pump, but for those who own smaller vehicles…well, they don’t feel the sting quite as much. It’s true that smaller cars get better gas mileage, but the larger ones offer more comfort and comes with a few more perks; we are all aware of the potential dangers that exist every day when driving our vehicles on the highways, but I’ll pick one I feel safer in.
It’s apparent that automakers are either building bigger trucks or smaller cars, leaving out mid-size; sort of ironic in a way. While gas prices continue to soar, you may see a variety of smaller vehicles hitting our roads this summer, but beware…as highways become more congested, you may experience a flow of distracted drivers (cell phones in hand) or worse yet…someone with a short fuse causing road rage, accelerating at higher speeds and passing without regard to another; most of which will have a disastrous outcome.
Small cars like the Smart Fortwo car, Chevrolet Aveo and Kia Picanto (just to name a few), are fuel efficient and environmentalists love them; however the likelihood of walking away from an accident is next to none. Steel is being replaced with lighter metals (and less of it), including more plastics; making them more economical for its drivers, but decreasing protection. I’ve always felt that larger vehicles offer more protection; the more steel that surrounds me, the better off I am; granted there are airbags, but I’ve experienced impact where the airbag deployed and I was still injured. My crash was in a 1992 Chevrolet Barreta, one I would consider to be mid-size. The airbag blew a whole right through my denim jeans (knee). Impact happened as I was pulling out from a complete stop, making a right turn. I recall it as if it was yesterday, and I’m grateful I wasn’t in a smaller vehicle at the time. I have always owned larger cars, and being there are many inattentive drivers today, you couldn’t convince me to choose something smaller. Last year I saw a smart car where the top half was sheered right off by a truck; it was a horrific scene. I now call these tiny vehicles for two…a roller skate.
In a large car, you have plenty of legroom. In a small car, your legs are in a tiny area with the dash right in front of you… think of your legs if someone hits you head on…crushing into your torso (body). There’s no give, not to mention a minimal distance when impact pushes the front engine compartment right into you; chances of it being fatal or more likely. I recently watched somebody’s dash cam on YouTube of a lady being ejected out of her smart car at impact while driving on a smaller highway; it was awful to see. The size of a vehicle cannot deny the physics of impact and is a key element of safety. It is the accelerating force of impact (crushing) that determines the outcome of injuries, and studies show time and time again that those occupants in tiny cars suffer 12X more because of decreased overall protection. While I understand the theory of those that insist on purchasing a tiny economical car…I still can’t wrap my thoughts around how anyone could possibly feel safe enough to get behind the wheel of one…but then again, these are just my thoughts.
Make your week count.